Former assemblyman Russ Bogh promises a “fresh set of eyes” as Riverside County supervisor
Russ Bogh thinks he’s been in government long enough to understand it — and out of it long enough to see what’s wrong with it.
The former assemblyman, who served in Sacramento as a Republican from 2001 to 2006, said the same problems he saw in the state budget loom over Riverside County’s finances.
“The Board of Supervisors took their eye off the fiscal ball,” Bogh said. “I really just think it’s time for a change and a fresh set of eyes is what we need in Riverside County right now.”
A 48-year-old general contractor who specializes in school construction, Bogh is one of five candidates in the June 5 election for the Fifth District board seat. The winner will succeed Supervisor Marion Ashley, who is not seeking re-election after more than 15 years in office.
The district of more than 400,000 people includes the Pass, Moreno Valley, Perris and Menifee.
Bogh, who lives in Beaumont, said his blend of public and private sector experience makes him the best candidate. “I’m someone who likes to do tough challenges. I like to do my homework,” he said.
If elected, he said he’d make sure county government does its job instead of outsourcing duties to high-priced consultants. He’s particularly critical of the $40 million-plus supervisors gave consulting firm KPMG to find efficiencies and savings in county government.
“They’ve got to go,” he said. “In Cherry Valley, (the levels of) deputy sheriffs have been cut to the bone. At the same time, to hire guys to do a bunch of PowerPoint presentations when we could hire (deputies)? … That’s a no-brainer.”
Funding public safety must be the top priority, Bogh said. “How can you argue there’s no money for the sheriff when you hire a Wall Street firm to be more efficient?” he said.
Rather than a “bottom-down system, where the executive staff decides how the budget is presented,” supervisors need to take a hands-on approach to the budget through a subcommittee system, Bogh said.
Bogh views the county’s health network, anchored by the county hospital in Moreno Valley, as “a diamond in the rough.” But he said the hospital needs to become more of a research and teaching facility to attract state and federal funding.
“It has been completely mismanaged by the Board of Supervisors,” he said.
Another focus for Bogh is the 60 Freeway/Interstate 215 corridor, which he said has been ignored for years in favor of “toll lanes (on the 91 Freeway) to move people to Orange County.” There needs to be more money spent to improve mid-county transportation infrastructure, he said.
Occupation: General contractor specializing in school construction
Endorsements: Riverside Sheriffs’ Association; Riverside County Deputy District Attorney Association: former district attorney Grover Trask; former sheriff Cois Byrd; Riverside County Medical Association
View Original Publication: Press Enterprise