We have complained long and hard about Chris Howard and Gerry Hemmingsen’s performance on the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors (BOS) so it should come as no surprise that they are not receiving our endorsement for re-election.
Instead, for District 3, we endorse Jake Smith. We firmly believe he can add a cohesive factor to the BOS that will help to end the divisiveness that has been so prevalent on the Board for the past few years.
With 31 years of experience with CalTrans, who better to push through a plan such as Berkowitz’s to apply for $300,000,000 to get an alternate to Last Chance Grade.
Never would Jake Smith turn off a microphone when people from the public would speak during public comment. Chair Howard did it twice, in the same meeting!
When former Supervisor Chuck Blackburn and dozens of others pleaded with Chairman Howard to pass the Chairman’s position to Roger Gitlin, it fell on deaf ears. Many folks were sick and tired of Howard’s incompetence in running a meeting.
While we think all the candidates for District 4 are good men, (Ron Philips and Roger Daley) we endorse Dave Mason.
Both Jake and Dave are convinced that being a Sanctuary State is bad on many levels. While the “Gang of 3” (Howard, Hemmingsen & Cowan) didn’t see any urgency in agreeing to drafting a resolution, both Jake Smith and Dave Mason see the wisdom of opting out of SB 54. If they had been on the BOS, opting out would have been history by now. Community members who decry illegal aliens and in particular the lack of cooperation between the local and federal levels regarding deportation of illegal alien criminals due to SB 54 would have been a non-issue.
A representative of the American Civil Liberties Union spoke during public comment at the April 24th BOS meeting and threatened a lawsuit if the BOS opted out of SB 54. Cowan, Howard and Hemmingsen jumped on that bandwagon and cried about the costs involved even though it was pointed out to the Board that a resolution would not cost anything, they still would not approve going forward with a resolution.
In addition, we’re still saddled with the danger of Last Chance Grade falling into the ocean. Sup. Bob Berkowitz’s Great American Renewal Plan fell on deaf ears. It didn’t seem to matter to the Gang that Berkowitz had more Congressional/Washington DC experience than the three of them put together. Hemmingsen decried it as “No Plan.”
Having Jake Smith and Dave Mason working together with Gitlin and Berkowitz would allow major issues to be resolved and rectified.
Take Code Enforcement for example. Some of the complaints by residents is that Dave Mason didn’t handle their problems. Well, come to find out that Mason was a one person show. He had to cover the entire county. When Gitlin and Berkowitz asked for another code enforcer, the Gang voted, “NO.”
It’s a sure bet that with Mason on the BOS the money will be found and allocated to include another code enforcer. Having a clean, sanitary and beautiful city is a step in the right direction.
Speaking of allocating money, there’s the issue of the Klamath Chamber of Commerce only receiving $2,500/year to help their budget with tourism. When Berkowitz asked for an increase with accountability assurances, what did the Gang do? They voted against it although Klamath contributes over $70,000 to the County budget.
With Jake Smith and Dave Mason on board, these two experienced men would see to it that Klamath would be treated more equitably.
These are just some of the reasons why change is so important and having Howard and Hemmingsen off the board. What has Chris Howard accomplished in nearly four years? What has Hemmingsen accomplished in nearly 12 years.
When you vote, think seriously about voting for Jake Smith and Dave Mason. They are agents for change in the right direction. Be sure to vote. Make the right choice.