The Placer County Board of Supervisors honored journalist Joe Carroll Tuesday, thanking him for informing and entertaining his loyal readers with local news, colorful stories and spirited commentary for more than 40 years.
“Joe, you and I go way back many, many years,” Board Chairman Jim Holmes said, crediting Carroll with playing an important role in keeping the public informed about local government and politics. “I applaud you for that,” Chairman Holmes told Carroll.
The Board of Supervisors Chambers at the Placer County Administrative Center in Auburn were packed for the ceremony. The crowd included many family members and old friends who showed up to honor Carroll. “Joe, it’s a great pleasure to see you here today,” said Supervisor Robert M. Weygandt. “I miss your writing and I miss seeing you kicking around here.” Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery noted that she sought Carroll’s advice before she ran for her 5th District board seat the first time. “You gave me some excellent advice,” she told him. “Great, simple advice, but from the heart.”
Always quick with a quip and story, Carroll responded to the praise with a mix of jokes, anecdotes about board members and other local dignitaries, and stories from Placer County’s history. When Chairman Holmes read a list of Carroll’s achievements, the guest of honor joked, “I didn’t know I did all of those things.”
Carroll built a loyal following of readers in the Auburn area, first as a reporter and columnist for the Auburn Journal and later at the Auburn Sentinel.
The commendation approved by the board noted that Carroll’s reporting expertise ranged from prep and junior college sports to high-profile news stories about murders, trials, labor strikes, prison riots, airplane crashes and an execution at San Quentin State Prison.
His columns covered government and political issues with a flair that made them must-read pieces, particularly for elected officials and other public figures who often found their names mentioned prominently. Carroll used his skills as a storyteller and historian to craft memorable columns that often were hot topics of conversation in the community.
Joseph “Joe” Francis Carroll was born in Brooklyn, New York, but raised in San Francisco. He graduated from the University of San Francisco, where he earned a degree in English in 1953.
He began his newspaper career as a copy boy, reporter and columnist for the San Francisco Examiner and went to work for the Auburn Journal in the early 1960s. After leaving the Journal, he spent almost 16 years working in the California Legislature for former State Sen. Ray Johnson and former Assemblyman Norm Waters. Carroll returned to the newspaper business in the early 1990s writing a weekly column and covering politics for the Sentinel until ill health led to his retirement several years ago. Supervisors noted that Carroll became a fixture in the corridors and chambers of local government, and gained the respect of government officials, peers, associates and loyal readers.
“Joe, you have over the years provided no end of enjoyment for an awful lot of folks,” said Supervisor Kirk Uhler Tuesday, emphasizing that Carroll served as a mentor who helped guide him through some challenging situations. “I will always value the impact you had on my life.”