Rick Dais is a different sort of local politician. By chance I met him in a smoke filled bar amongst a mixed crowd, the type of place that hangs Christmas lights and runs karaoke all night. He bounces back and forth between pool shots telling me the concerns he has with Sutter County.
If the encounter would have ended there I would have discounted him as just another person griping about town. Dais, however, running for Sutter County Supervisor, isn’t just another moaning bellyacher, but a practiced man of action.
The space next to his beer is reserved for his notes and books. Yuba College Philosophy students would certainly notice a copy of “Speaking Fast and Slow” marked with multicolored bookmarks that line the top of every page, as well as his notebooks and planner.
The South Dakotan native is very much a people person as he darts between groups and his work. He says he moved to this area because of a local girl and stayed because he loved the area. He mentions farming and jokes that he likes to see trucks running around and it’s apparent he fits in well here.
When asked why he is running for District supervisor he gives a very candid answer: “I feel compelled to make some serious changes.” He says, “I have a great grandson. All these deficits that we are running up will be paid by not just the next generation but generation after.”
Dais has a mission like any candidate: less government, more transparency, citizen involvement and pensions. The last he is especially critical of. “If we don’t fix that,” he says, “we don’t have money for anything.”
Dais flicks through his notebooks, appointments and notes. Though not even voted in, he is planning a seminar in this area, inviting the President of the California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility, Marcia Fritz to talk about pension reform. “We’ve delayed too long, we need to get on it.”
With state elections later this year Dais plans to go door to door to get his message across personally. As Political Science graduate from North Dakota State, clergyman, and later falling into his first love construction, Dais’s varied experience puts him in an ideal position to relate to a diverse amount of groups. His political career started early on when he ran for State house in North Dakota, and here, closer to home, when he was part of a group that fought the annexation of South Yuba city.
When he comments on the current County Supervisors he does so with an air of disappointment. “They are a pretty powerful group, when they choose to act,” he says. Speaking with him you can tell his campaign was sprung from the desire to act himself. “I’m not a miracle worker but I try to do what I say, and say what I do.”
As far as Yuba College students, some of whom if Dais has his way will be his constituents, he welcomes them, saying, “call me anytime.” We are used to seeing the people running for local government elevated on billboards near busy intersections. Our exposure is usually limited to a stranger in a picture, a crisp smile, and some notable past occupation that they held. Rick Dais is a welcome change to anyone looking for a more human element in a local candidate or a billiards partner.