Opinion Piece By Samuel Strait – May 30, 2018 – It has been sometime since I’ve had any faith that my current representative for District #4 was of any value for the citizens of Del Norte County. He has made the claim that he must be doing something right as he has had no challengers in his last two bids for re election. That is true, but as two long term supervisors in the 2016 election found out, that only gets you so far. At some point the electorate gets tired of the same old face, with the same tired message, and actually expects some sort of results. Granted his message is that the results are somehow found in political connections that we are not privy to, yet even that explanation gets a bit stale. The message that I once received from the District 4 incumbent is, “I can’t really help, but let me know how it all turned out”. I can’t say I was expecting much, and that is exactly what I got. Reflecting back on the career of the incumbent as my representative, that appears to be the story of his political career. I hope somebody else will help the County through all of its problems and when it is over, let me know how it all turned out.
As such, District 4 in Del Norte County has turned out three challengers to the incumbent and hopefully the voters will see fit to make a change for benefit of all of us in the County. Last Sunday, May 27th on my radio program “Conversations with Sam “, KFUG 101.1 FM from 3 to 5 pm my guest was one of those challengers. The others to follow, 3 to 5 pm Sunday June 3rd on KFUG. In any event, Mr. David Mason, the County’s former code enforcement officer, will most certainly bring a breath of fresh air if elected to this seat on the Board of Supervisors. With Angelina Countess-Bieber, my co host, we spent two hours getting to know Mr. Mason and came away impressed with his love for this area and his commitment to changing the message. Too long from the current majority on the Board, and the one previously, the message has been, WE CAN’T do it. It seems that Mr. Mason has considerable faith in this County, that many of our multitude of problems can be addressed and solutions found. Drawing from long service in a community where he previously was employed and met with success, Mr. Mason intends to focus on our existing problems by setting goals, meeting the challenges as they occur, then utilizing Del Norte County’s staff of experts to move towards solutions rather than the customary practice of “We don’t count in Sacramento’s scheme of things, so we give up”. A bit of a change from tabling or abstaining with a whole litany of excuses, the go to excuse is “We don’t have the money”.
Mr. Mason if elected intends to ask the County’s Board to be a bit more of a reflection of the County’s needs as a whole, focusing on Blight, our economics needs, and involvement of the many other commissions and Boards to pull together and begin utilizing all of the potential resources, many of them vastly under utilized, and set a goal of say extending our tourist industry over more of the year. This he feels is something Del Norte County can do with very little burden on the County’s budget. As our leading economic factor currently at around $126 million, the potential to expand that factor would be well received by most of the various factions that are so often at odds within the County. With declining resource based industries, logging, mining, and now fishing, this most certainly is the direction that the current Board should be all in to pursue.
That is only a small sample of the wealth of ideas that Mr. Mason has to offer, but probably the most worthwhile sense that you get from his campaign is his optimism, something that is sorely needed on our current Board of Supervisors. As the County has recently been painted in its economic doldrums, well over negative 2%, and no growth in sight. Faced with a shrinking population, and our best and brightest leaving for a better future. Mr. Mason would like to halt that drift towards obscurity that many Pacific Coast small towns have transitioned and put us on a path towards small but steady growth in a positive direction. Vote wisely and for change when you go to the polls on June 5th.
The full audio of the interview can be found on line at: youtube. Link to be provided later.