July 20, 2010 — Flags were flying half-staff last week across Lassen County and the state of California in remembrance of State Senator Dave Cox who died Tuesday, July 13.
Typically when one hears the word senator, thoughts head in the direction of politician and that equates with special interest groups and a self-serving agenda.
Senator Cox was by profession a politician but our experience with him for the past five years was amicable and respectable. Cox meant what he said and worked hard to make sure Sacramento did not forget Northeastern California, especially Lassen and Plumas counties. He often stopped by the paper to listen, knowing the news staff and editors had a hand on the pulse of the community. He once told Managing Editor Barbara France that he knew that she and the news staff could identify the county’s needs without spinning them into a political frenzy.
City of Susanville Mayor Lino Callegari said Cox may have been a member of the Republican Party but “he had the right answers for the right subject and could make members of both parties see what was best for the people.”
That is high praise for a man serving in Sacramento since 1998, first as an assemblyman then as state senator.
As we mourn with his wife of 44 years, Maggie, who always traveled with the senator and his daughters, three things come to mind about the senator and the job he did for Lassen and Plumas counties.
One, with the senator’s help, Lassen Regional Solid Waste Management Authority received nearly $300,000 for the expansion of its hazard waste disposal site. This was a big gain for the county because it allowed the rural areas to stop using the surrounding National Forest as a dumping ground.
Two, in recognition of his long-standing record of supporting law enforcement and public safety, the California State Sheriffs’ Association named Cox, who represents 12 northern California counties, “Outstanding Senator for 2008.” Considering Lassen County is home to many peace officers, we saw this recognition as something to celebrate when Cox received the award, and worthy of mentioning again at the time of his death.
Third, every person we spoke to this week has wonderful anecdotes to share about the senator, but the same words were said over and over. “The senator will be greatly missed, and he was a quality person. He was a friend to Lassen and Plumas counties. He was the hardest working senator in Sacramento, and he didn’t let cancer keep him from doing the job he was elected to do.”
It may be an overused saying, but it looks like whomever takes Senator Dave Cox’s place has some big shoes to fill.
Our condolences and prayers go out to the senator’s wife, children, family, friends, staff and constituents. Senator, you will be missed!
Cox was the current state senator for California District 1 serving Lassen, Plumas, Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Placer, Modoc, Mono, Nevada, Sacramento and Sierra counties.
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