The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday suspended a 50-year-old policy to re-elect Curt Hagman as chairman for a second consecutive two-year term to maintain leadership during the pandemic.
The policy, in place since 1970, states that the office of chairman is to rotate every two years and forbids chairpersons from serving two terms in succession.
Dawn Rowe, third district supervisor, suggested the policy be waived because she said Mr. Hagman has done an exemplary job during COVID and it was not the time to change leadership.
According to the policy, Ms. Rowe would have been next in line for the chairmanship position because it is based on the seniority of members who have served on the board for a minimum of two years and not yet served as chairperson.
“I would be the next chairperson and I look forward to that honor someday, but I have not even had the opportunity to serve as vice chairperson yet,” she said.
Ms. Rowe, a Yucca Valley resident, was appointed to the board in 2018, elected in March 2020, and took office last month.
She was elected vice chairperson by the board.
Ms. Rowe said Mr. Hagman has been able to negotiate with international business partners to secure personal protective equipment and has implemented the COVID-compliant business partnership program.
Under the program, cash grants were provided to more than 5,000 county businesses.
The establishment of the Skilled Nursing Facility Task Force was also implemented.
Supervisor Paul Cook, who was elected in March and took office last month to represent the first district, said good leadership should not be changed in the middle of a crisis unless there is a very good reason.
Joe Baca, Jr., who was elected in November to represent the fifth district, said Mr. Hagman has done a great job and continuity was important during the pandemic.
Mr. Hagman, a Chino resident, former state assemblyman and former mayor of Chino Hills, thanked his colleagues for their vote of confidence.
“It is very humbling,” he said. “We will keep trying to work as a team to get through what 2021 will bring. Hopefully, it won’t be as eventful as 2020.”
Mr. Hagman was elected to the board in 2014 and selected as chairman in January 2019.
He represents the fourth district, which includes the cities of Chino, Chino Hills, Montclair, Ontario, and part of Upland.