Elected less than a year ago. Few have seen or heard of Assemblyman Richard Pan.
9th Assembly District reaches from Sacramento to Lodi. Few of the areas leaders have met the assemblyman. He has not responded to invitations or attended any community meetings leaving many frustrated as he is their link to the Capital.
Last year Pan sponsored a bill that would increase the price of milk. That bill would have help many struggling dairy farmers in San Joaquin County. The bill was blocked by opposition in the cheese-production industry. But Pan reportedly negotiated a $110 million payment from the cheese industry to California dairy farmers as a short-term fix, according to the agriculture news organization AgWeb.
According to the Stockton Record . Pan’s communication staff canceled a phone interview scheduled on Wednesday morning with The Record to discuss his Lodi presence, and the Assemblyman did not call during a rescheduled time frame Wednesday afternoon.
Local leaders said they realize Pan has many constituents from Sacramento’s Pocket area south to Lodi. All they want is a little bit of attention.
Lodi City Councilwoman JoAnne Mounce added another level of disappointment. She said she tried to organize a meeting with Pan’s office on behalf of the League of California Cities Central Valley Division in April, when the organization attended an event called Legislative Action Days. The purpose of the event is for city leaders to meet with their representatives.
“This is an entire division of a statewide organization, and we couldn’t get an appointment with him,” Mounce said. “We’ve always had very good representatives. Alyson (Huber) was always very present and attentive. Maybe as a new legislator in this district he’s still trying to figure it out? Maybe he’ll get to Lodi eventually.”
Early spring, the Sacramento Bee had questions of Pan’s whereabouts. Redistricting prompted Pan to purchase a condo in the Pocket area of Sacramento.
He registered to vote there and swore under penalty of perjury that he was living there. But the Sacramento Democrat never moved his wife and two young sons from Natomas. The Bee has checked on Pan’s whereabouts at night and in the early morning. Each time, he was at the Natomas home.
To examine whether Pan truly lives in the district he represents, The Bee began by knocking on the door of the North Natomas house where he is not registered to vote and that he contends is not his principal residence about 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 8. Pan was there at the time, explaining that his in-laws were visiting and he had come to have dinner with them. Subsequently, The Bee visited the Natomas neighborhood once a week, for four consecutive weeks, parking near the Pan home beginning at 7:30 a.m. Each time, the legislator’s sport-utility vehicle was parked inside his Itasca Avenue garage and a reporter watched him drive away.
Back in April, Pan said he planned to run for the 6th State Senate seat where Sen. Darrell Steinberg will be termed out in 2014.
In the meantime, the question is will the mysterious Pan appear at a town hall meeting in Lodi October 14th ?