Tuesday, May 13, 2014


(Leo Sears requested that print his Letter to Editor in it's entirety. No problem Leo. Virginia is my choice too!)

“There’s a big difference between running for office and actually governing,” Judy Hodgson wrote two years ago in reference to Supervisor Virginia Bass. As one of the many “giving kudos to Bass for chairing an emotional discussion, keeping everyone civil, and for finding a solution – a way forward,”  she concluded: “That’s leadership.”
Or as the MTV generation might say: she was way awesome at walking the walk, not just talking the talk.

What impressed everyone that day was, I’m sure, first developed and honed by her father’s example and tutelage and, upon his death, by stepping into his shoes. Virginia is, in many ways, her father O. H. Bass’ daughter, because hard work and a dedication to community minded service seems almost inbred in both of them.

O. H. went into the restaurant business in the late 40’s, culminating in the opening of O. H. Townhouse in 1966. Famous for its prime rib and onion rings, its restaurant and lounge seated 200 with a regular staff of 25, and seated  250 more on its banquet room. This is where Virginia began her waitress career at 15.

The waitressing continued through high school and college where she graduated from HSU with an Honors degree in Business Administration in 1986. This is the same year her father died and the responsibility of managing the business grossing a million plus fell on her shoulders. She managed O. H. s for the next 31 years and became recognized as a statewide leader in the industry.
But being her father’s daughter doesn’t stop with the restaurant. In addition to supporting most every community endeavor, O. H. found time to serve as a county supervisor – the seat now held by his daughter. Virginia was elected twice to the Eureka City Council, then as Mayor and as a County Supervisor where she is up for reelection.
Eureka Mayor Frank Jager is one of those with kudos for Virginia. “I was a Councilman when she was Mayor,” he said, “and I always admired her talents at conducting our meetings. She had a rather unique ability to keep everyone civil and moving toward solutions no matter how passionately issues might be pulling them in different directions.”  
Everyone going to O. H.’s would see Virginia, with plates stacked along her arms or perhaps balancing a tray over her head, taking orders, chatting with everyone – a waitress extraordinaire. What they would not see was the Virginia that was also responsible for all the 101 thing big and small that make a day to day operation run smoothly, as well as the responsibility of hiring, firing, training, payroll, bookkeeping, personnel issues, on and on - managing a successful small business is almost without respite.
“I made a living fishing,” said retired Supervisor Jimmy Smith, “and I have a deep respect for those who’ve experienced making a living through hard work and running a business.”
“My district adjoined hers” he went on to say, “and we always acted as a team in representing the people of Eureka. That sort of teamwork started when she first became a Councilwoman. She’s always worked toward cooperative efforts to serve the public – as Councilwoman, Mayor and Supervisor; it was always a pleasure working with her.”
If you ask Jimmy’s replacement Rex Bohn about who represents what part of Eureka, he will tell you that “you get a twofer” because he and Virginia work as a team – just as she did with Jimmy.

By any definition - that’s leadership.


Anonymous said...

Good piece. Just a small nit to pick: If she took over managing OH's Townhouse in 1986, 31 years from them would be 2017, so that can't be right. I forget when they closed, but that was a couple of years ago.

Anonymous said...

Virginia talks a good line consistantly fails to deliver. I have supported her substantially in every election since her city council days including, unfortiunately this time. Kerrigan is worse interms of his policies but at least he tells his supportes the truth about his policies. Virginia promised to support business and property rights but has gone against us every time. I regret writing my checks to her this time and will actually be voting against her at the polls. I'd rather have an enemy that looks me in the eye than a supposed ally who stabs me in the back.

Anonymous said...

Well said 3:41, I could not possibly agree more. I'm fed up with her smiles and feel good lines and no action whatsoever. All she does is kiss Lovelaces ass every time he opens his mouth. She must really like the smell down there.

liberal jon said...

"Virginia promised to support business and property rights but has gone against us every time."

How did she let you down?

She had me fooled during the Guiding Principles for example when she caved to strong cries from business and property rights on #4 when she herself voted less than a month earlier to "discourage resource conversion".

Also, think about using terms like "enemy" and "stabs" when you are speaking about local politics. Words like these do no good. You'll lose arguments, people will lose interest, and we lose civics for soap-opera-politics.