Reins of Contra Costa in Glover’s hands

Federal Glover, looking slim and dapper in a new dark blue pin-striped suit, was elected chairman today of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors.

It was an entirely expected development. The supervisors rotate the largely ceremonial chairman’s post each year as a means to share both the limited glory of a higher profile position and the considerable headache of running public meetings. He takes over from Supervisor Mary Nejedly Piepho.

But Glover’s hearty appearance at the annual reorganization luncheon in Antioch — it’s traditionally held in the incoming chairman’s district — was a pleasant surprise to some folks. Glover fell gravely ill late last year and was hospitalized for several weeks. He must still undergo kidney dialysis, although he says he has hopes that his doctors will soon declare his kidneys sufficiently recovered to cease the visits.

Glover is trim and even bought a couple of new suits, he says.

He’s going to need all his strength for the upcoming year. He’s facing at least one challenger in his third re-election campaign, Erik Nunn, and possibly Antioch Mayor Don Freitas.

The county is also expected to face tough fiscal challenges this year amidst a weakening national and state economy.

In Glover’s speech to the crowd of several hundred of the county’s movers and shakers at the Lone Tree Golf & Events Center, he also announced plans to create a new public safety committee that will examine county readiness for disasters such as floods, earthquakes and fires.

Glover may want to work on his jokes, though.

He handed out the traditional gag gifts to his colleagues under the hat of “Dr. Glover,” given his recent hospitalization.

Supervisor John Gioia received a package of gauze to represent his ability to wrap themselves in the issues.

He gave Supervisor Gayle Uilkema a pair of rubber gloves in honor of her desire to stay out the muck.

Supervisor Piepho received a thermometer in order to advise the board if the temperature rises too high.

And he awarded Supervisor Susan Bonilla a stethoscope to measure the board’s heart.

Finally, he presented all four colleagues with a bed pan in case they want to moan and, well, you get the picture.

Lisa Vorderbrueggen