By Samuel Strait – September 24, 2016 – Recently another of Will Meriwether’s preposterous “Another View Column” appeared in the local newspaper titled “New or higher tax needed for road repairs”. Reasoning to myself that the man lives perpetually in progressive or academic lala land, I more or less discounted his lengthy rational for raising Federal and State gasoline taxes as there are so many other less worthy Federal and State programs that money is wasted upon. A smarter and much more enlightened approach for securing the funds necessary to repair the nation’s roads, might come from the billions of dollars poured into the largely wasted expense of the Federal Department of Education or the one at California’s state level. It seems that neither Department has had the ability to do much more than insure continued and steady decline in the world’s ranking of the scholastic abilities of American children in Language, Science, and Mathematics.
The very idea of raising taxes on fuel is something that any one with a modicum of intelligence would realize the people most affected by such a travesty would be the poorest and most vulnerable in today’s society. As progressives are so fond of saying in so many instances “the poor are people too”. Well, Del Norte County Supervisors Martha McClure, David Finigan, Chris Howard, and Gerry Hemmingsten, your County, you know, the one you represent, has more than fifty percent of the population that has an income of about $27,000 or less. An increase in the gas and diesel fuel tax in this County would not be a positive thing in that population. For you to take time at a Board of Supervisor’s meeting to draft a letter to be sent to the Governor of the State of California in support of the newly legislated proposal to increase the gas and diesel fuel tax is completely irresponsible and will if signed into law be just one more instance that four of the current Board members just DO NOT GET IT!!!!!
This is, and HAS BEEN FOR THE PAST TWENTY YEARS one of the poorer County’s in the entire state. In that time there has been little in the way of progress from either the County or the City’s leadership to correct the path that we have gone down. In forty five days this county has a golden opportunity to change course and bring some intelligence and common sense to both the City’s Council and the Board of Supervisors. A giant step occurred in the primary when Supervisor McClure was turned away from four more years of this tired, unproductive direction that we have been on. With the re-election of Roger Gitlan, the only supervisor who voted against the Board’s letter supporting the tax increase and the election of Bob Berkowitz to replace David Finigan, this County will be able to start moving in a positive direction.
Both Mr. David Finigan and Kathryn Murray have received large infusions of cash from labor unions to insure that big money projects that the County’s residents can ill afford will employ unionized high cost labor to complete big dollar projects such as the new airport terminal. Support for higher fuel taxes insured that both Finigan and Murray received campaign donations by politicians at the state and federal levels for their efforts. Del Norte County will cease to be a viable place to live for way too many people if things continue as they are.
Higher fuel taxes will send even more money out of the County and into Oregon. The increased cost of fuel effects people in so many more ways than just the fuel that they put in their gas tanks. Heating and electricity, water and sewer, everyday products and services, food and medicine, will all see an increase in cost. This is not a political party against another issue as many in the leadership of the local Democratic party has chosen to make of it. The damage that the current four members of the Board of Supervisors McClure, Finighan, Howard and Hemmingsten, have done to this County’s residents has yet to be calculated and will not be known for some time. To add Kathryn Murray to this mix would continue the damage. Democrats and Republicans at the local level should put aside their state and federal differences and think about what is best for the great unwashed here in Del Norte County.