The swearing-in of a new judge does not seem like the most exciting event to attend.
I am sure like any annual or somewhat regular event that one attends that these things can become rote.
But it was far from that Thursday at the swearing-in of John Soldati as a San Joaquin County Superior Court judge.
I went because I was invited. I wanted to see, listen and take in what has to be a big step for a judge officially being seated after winning an election.
Soldati, who won election in June, was appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown in October, allowing him to begin early and fill in the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge David Warner.
Although Soldati received a head start, it took nothing away from the excitement of friends, family, colleagues and onlookers last week.
It’s always interesting to see the interaction between people from the various communities.
San Joaquin County Supervisor Miguel Villapudua appeared to know everyone in the room, saying hello and shaking hands with what seemed to be everyone in the vicinity.
He was gracious enough to provide me with a vacant seat and then introduced me to everyone within reach. And he gave me perhaps the best advice of the day:
“Stand up now,” he said. “Stand up because you’re going to be sitting for at least 45 minutes.”
Also attending was recently sworn-in Sheriff Pat Withrow, District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar, Public Defender Miriam Lyell, former Stockton Vice Mayor Elbert Holman, elected officials and/or their representatives, attorneys and the like, law enforcement and, I guess, a few regular schmoes like me, who somehow made the guest list.
Assemblywoman Susan Eggman, D-Stockton, could not help but smile as she accepted congratulations about the news from earlier in the day about the $2 million in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget earmarked to review “a potential CSU campus in San Joaquin County, likely Stockton.”
Stockton, which has about 315,000 residents, is the largest metropolitan area in the state without a standalone campus.
The city is served by CSU, Stanislaus, whose main campus is about 45 miles away in Turlock.
Those who favor a CSU Stockton point out the agent for change a school could become for the region.
Newsom offered support for a state university in Stockton in June. “There would be nothing more significant than getting a CSU in Stockton,” he said then. Adding that it could be “the secret sauce” of economic development.
Although $2 million seems like a lot of money — and it is — it’s less than 0.0014 percent of the $144 billion proposed budget. (That is if I did my math correctly.)
Presiding Judge Linda Lofthus gave the news a shout out at the start of the ceremony.
As for the ceremony itself, it was just about everything you could ask for — interesting, enlightening, heart-warming, entertaining and brief, as it ended in less than an hour by my clock.
I wish Soldati the best during his term on the bench.
I am scheduled to attend two more judge swearing-in ceremonies. I hope they both are as pleasant and interesting — and carry an undertone of additional good news — as this one.
Contact Editor Donald W. Blount at (209) 546-8251 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at recordnet.com/editorblog and on Twitter @donblount.