Meet Mike Wasserman, President of the Board of Supervisors for Santa Clara County

Wasserman Headshot 2013 - Med SVT: Name three inventions you’re most grateful for i.e. cell phone, ipad, computer, Kindle …

MW: Smart phones, GPS navigation systems, and tennis shoes.

SVT: Did you think growing up you would be doing what you’re doing?

MW: The “career indicator” test I took in high school said I was well suited to be a banker or a funeral director. I try not to read into that too much!

SVT: What do you do in your spare time?

MW: Spare time; what’s that? Representing 350,000 residents in my 700-square mile district and sitting on 28 different committees really limits my spare time. When I do find some time, I enjoy walking our 2 dogs with my wife, playing golf with my son, and watching football with my daughter.

SVT: What accomplishments are you most proud of in your role?

MW: Being told that I have “a head for a numbers and a head for people” affirms my approach to governing. Balancing the budget is more than just numbers on a page. We have to maintain the vital services that people rely on, sometimes for their lives, as is the case with our hospital and health system. I am also proud of the headway we have made in reducing red tape for business, increasing government efficiency, and protecting the public.

SVT: What in your past prepared you for this?

MW: The patience and caring that comes from being a husband and father helped to prepare me for serving in local government. Additionally, I draw on 30 years of financial education (Certified Financial Planner and Registered Tax Preparer), 20 years of community service (non-profits, youth sports, service clubs), and 11 years of prior elected service.

SVT: What are some things you would like to see improved in the community and are working on?

MW: Since day 1, I have been working to make County government more cost-effective and efficient while still improving County services ranging from health care to public safety. Santa Clara County has more than 7,600 men, women and—sadly—children living on the streets right now. This is unacceptable. I am committed to reducing homelessness by helping them find permanent housing and reducing their reliance on costly emergency public services.

SVT: Looking ahead, if you could wave a magic wand for San Jose and Silicon Valley, what would you like to see?

MW: I hope that in the future, Silicon Valley and San Jose will continue to thrive and innovate. I would like to see fewer people needing to rely on public services, improved educational opportunities, and a healthier population.

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  • Stephen Kudelka

    …and we should trust a politician? The homeless are doomed.

  • Fth Estate

    Hey Stephen, I don’t fault you for your pessimism one bit, in fact, we at do not accept funding from the government or people holding public office for the very same reasons we have come to generally not trust in them. But regardless of our philosophies or perceptions, I do have to defend this particular individual. Mike Wasserman and his wife Sarah not only care deeply about the homeless community of Silicon Valley but they are willing to do whatever they can to use their influence and resources to make things better. We are part of a local shelter task force with Sarah and have seen first hand how passionate she and Mike are about this issue and have every confidence in them to do something about it. This article posted in the Mercury is a small but palpable indication of their efforts in the last month alone.

    - Lance Weisser

  • Stephen Kudelka

    I have been homeless, Mr. Weisser. I don’t trust anyone. The strong prey on the weak. That’s nature. I have also been involved with “not-for-profits” that have evolved into job programs for middle-class professionals. You professionals are the problem, not the solution. We (the poor) simply can’t afford you (middle-class professionals) at market rates. So please, if you are not prepared to donate your expertise, just leave us alone. I am no longer homeless. It was only after I left the Bay area and all of the homeless advocates that I was able to secure housing. You professionals ought to be ashamed of yourselves.