Sun. May 19th, 2024

By Staff at Crescent City Times – February 13, 2024

There are two vying for the position of Supervisor of District 2. Incumbent Valerie Starkey and challenger Rivers Drown.

Both have similar platforms regarding drugs, overdoses, attracting and retaining deputies. While Starkey retired from Probation work, Drown has boots on the ground experience in dealing with all of that. He seems highly qualified and anxious to take that on.

We enjoyed getting to know Rivers Drown. He served in the Navy, then retired after 25 years from Pelican Bay State Prison and is ready to take up more. He sounds grounded in his family life, married 31 years and two grown children.

In a nutshell, “Del Norte County is currently #2 in the state for opioid overdoses. Theft is also out of control in our town. Many of us have become victims of this ourselves or know someone who has been.I will rely on my 25 years of law enforcement experience to re-establish a Drug Task Force to stop illegal drugs and fentanyl from pouring into our community and ruining lives.I believe it is important to develop a working partnership with the District Attorney’s Office and local law enforcement to combat theft.”

Starkey was invited to be interviewed by staff, but did not respond. This bodes badly for her. An elected official proves unprofessional when they decline such an offer.

At the most recent Board of Supervisors meeting (February 13, 2024), reimbursement for a trip to Sacramento requested by Supervisor Chris Howard to attend Sen. Mike McGuire’s swearing in ceremony on February 5th, Starkey was quoted as saying, “I always intended to pay for my trip.” Sups Howard and Short probably expected the taxpayer to pay for it.

Back to Rivers Drown. He’s for limited government. Sounds good, but how do you put figures to that? The County currently has over 400 employees and a budget over $200 million. Seems excessive in light of the budget being under $100 million just 10 years ago. Every week it seems more people are being hired.

We must ask is it the intention of government to be the major employer in this County or will they ever find the magic elixir to attract private enterprise and start-up businesses that can employ locals. Can they ever envision spending $10+ million to put our county people to work in a market based economy or are they more involved in spending that money on the homeless? We don’t believe building wind farms in the ocean is going to be the panacea for creating jobs in the private sector.

And with that, it seems Valerie Starkey has switched her opinion on resurrecting the Tri-Agency? Do we need someone that flip flops? Is she part of the “go along to get along gang”?

The question has to be asked, can Rivers Drown handle the myriad of issues that come before the County? Or is his focus better suited to working with just law enforcement?

Starkey is very responsive to her constituents and we commend her for that. The problem this publication has complained about is that she seems intent in making almost every issue a government issue and that is not palatable. We are for less government involvement in our lives. Wondering if she can ever think creatively on how issues in our community can be better served by the private sector or even public-private partnerships?

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