5/13/19 -- The following is a letter to the editor submitted by Mendocino County District 3 Supervisor John Haschak, in which he updates his constituents on the past month of activity. We hope that he continues this practice and encourage the other supervisors to submit letters -- we will happily publish them.
As your local representative for the 3rd District, I want you to know what I am doing on your behalf, so I’m going to try and send out these Supervisor reports on a monthly basis. Please contact me at 707-972-4214 if you have any comments or suggestions. I appreciate your patience, courtesy, and encouragement.
I have been working closely with CalFire, local fire districts, County officials and private land owners to create shaded fuel breaks and emergency access routes for the Sherwood Road and Pine Mountain areas.
I sponsored an amendment to the County’s cannabis ordinance that bans cultivation of GMO cannabis in Mendocino County. This amendment passed the Board of Supervisors unanimously.
I sponsored a moratorium on growing “hemp” until we can figure out how to make it compatible with growing cannabis. My moratorium passed the Board unanimously.
My letter objecting to the US Navy practicing military exercises off our coast that are devastating to marine life passed the Board unanimously.
People have been asking me about my no votes:
I voted no to spending $110,000 on hiring a staff person for the Climate Action Advisory Committee. While I support the goals and principles of combating climate change, the structure of the proposal and the cost of a staff person were not acceptable, especially when the people who brought forth this proposal are working for free. This exorbitant salary passed 4 to 1, my lone dissent.
I voted no on the combined fee increases for cannabis permits and for park rentals. Small growers shouldn't have to pay more due to County inefficiencies in the permitting process. And the increase in park rental fees from $30 to $130 by making the $100 cleaning deposit non-refundable eliminates the incentive to clean up and also prices out many County residents from using the parks. These fee increases passed 3 -2, Supervisor Williams and I dissenting.
I voted no on a pay raise for the Assistant District Attorney. It was a 17% increase from 2.5 years ago which is 7% per year. Until regular line workers get that kind of increase, I will continue to vote no for those kinds of raises. This pay raise passed 4 -1, my lone dissent.
Other goings on:
As I promised during my campaign, I have arranged to use my share of the excessive raise the Supervisors voted themselves last year to fund three scholarships of $4,000 ($1,000 for 4 years) each for graduating seniors from Willits, Laytonville, and Round Valley high schools who are considering a career in public service. That Supervisor raise was totally out of line with the raises given to other county employees. Mendocino County has a difficult time filling many of its low wage positions and retaining experienced employees who leave for higher wages in nearby counties or other agencies.
County staff proposed to close the County Museum in Willits on Sundays. I objected to this and since then, staff came back with a plan to keep it open from 12-4 on Saturdays and Sundays. After consideration by the Museum Advisory Board, the BOS will decide this at their May 14 meeting.
The adoption of the County budget will happen on June 4 and 5. If you have any suggestions for how you want your county taxes to be spent, please contact me, contact all the Supervisors by sending an email or correspondence to the Board of Supervisors, or come to our regular meetings in Ukiah on the first three Tuesdays of every month.
In coordination with AAUW, I plan to start holding quarterly Town Hall meetings in Willits soon. Stay tuned.
The preceding was a letter submitted to The Mendocino Voice, published here as opinion. The views stated in this letter are those of the writer alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Mendocino Voice. This being a letter-to-the-editor, its content has not been fact-checked independently by the Voice, nor has it been copy-edited — all punctuation, capitalization, spelling, etc. is preserved from the original letter.
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