Los Gatos Vice Mayor Rob Rennie is officially jumping into the race to replace Santa Clara County Supervisor Mike Wasserman who terms out in 2022.
Rennie is running for District 1, which includes parts of San Jose, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Gilroy and county unincorporated areas.
An engineer for 25 years, Rennie has served six years on the Los Gatos Town Council.
“I bring an engineer’s critical thinking to solving problems. I look at things from all sides,” Rennie told San José Spotlight. “I think someone who looks at issues critically before making a decision would be an advantage to the board.”
Catherine Somers, executive director of the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce, said Rennie is well-positioned to represent District 1. She said in addition to understanding government from multiple points of view, he is an advocate for small business owners.
“Having a postal annex, he learned firsthand what it is like to run a small business,” Somers said. “We have a really good working relationship. We don’t always agree, but we come together to discuss what is best for the town. He appreciates how the business community feels.”
Rennie will face off next year with former San Jose Councilmember Johnny Khamis, who declared his intent to run for the seat in December, and Santa Clara County Board of Education president Claudia Rossi who entered the race in March.
During his time on the Los Gatos Town Council, Rennie said he cut through the permitting red tape — and would do the same on the county level.
If elected supervisor, Rennie said he would prioritize accessibility and “having a truthful connection to the community.” His number one priority is helping families and small businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am concerned when the eviction moratorium ends, people will still owe a lot of money and may end up homeless,” Rennie said.
Rennie is also passionate about fighting urban sprawl, climate change and preventing wildfires. While serving as councilmember and mayor, Rennie focused on transit and climate change, congestion management, sustainable economy and equitable housing solutions.
With a background in engineering in renewable energy, Rennie said he is prepared to take on the challenge of climate change and promote fossil fuel alternatives for vehicles, buildings and the grid. Rennie said more middle income and affordable housing is needed to alleviate the housing crisis.
“We should look for infill housing opportunities,” he said. “Transit-oriented development is a good way to start.”
Rennie said he’s also committed to preventing homeless residents from ending up in the criminal justice system.
“If we can treat these people early on, before they spiral down, we can keep them out of jail and actually save money,” he said. “It costs $60,000 to $80,000 a year to house someone in jail and you’re basically ruining their life, when maybe what they really needed was help.”
Contact Lorraine Gabbert at [email protected]