By Donna Westfall – February 14, 2023
Last month, Supervisor Dean Wilson spent an hour with our staff answering questions and discussing the state of affairs in Del Norte County.
Since the latest brouhaha in the Board of Supervisors chambers centers around the “Consent Agenda,” we started there.
Will you support public participation and free speech in BOS Meetings?
YES. It’s not realistic to lump so many things under the consent agenda. Should remove them for discussion as needed.
Do you believe the Del Norte County government should downscale or eliminate dysfunctional departments before seeking additional taxes?
What would you do to cut waste in Del Norte County’s budget?
Deal with Juvenile Hall first. Huge budget, overtime costs, 6 persons getting paid and only one juvenile recently. I’m pushing towards closure.
Do you believe it is better to eliminate one executive management position paying $250,000 per year, or lay off five boots-on-the ground workers earning $50,000 annually?
Eliminate one executive position.
Do you support the secession of Del Norte County from the State of California to either join the greater State of Idaho or the independent State of Jefferson.
No to Idaho because it’s not contiguous. Yes to State of Jefferson.
Do you support a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary (which prevents confiscation of guns and ammunition) declaration for Del Norte County.
Years ago, public schools had gun safety classes. Would you be in favor of bringing those back?
When you were Sheriff for 12 years, did you work within your budget?
Do you support a Declaration in Del Norte County refusing to comply with California’s blanket illegal immigration sanctuary status?
The Department of Health and Human Services is the lions share of the budget. Any suggestions?
Most of that budget comes from the State. I would be in favor of breaking up DHHS into welfare and mental health.
Any last comments?
Lately, the BOS seems to be driven by department heads. It is the responsibility of the Board of Supervisors to lead and not the other way around.
4 thoughts on “Interview with District 5 Supervisor: DEAN WILSON”
A few of the questions I wished were asked:
You stated the Board has been driven by Department Heads. Should the Board take a more active role and direct the various County Departments to focus their efforts (and hold the departments accountable) on various issues such as Homelessness, Crime, and our job market? If so, what steps need to be taken?
Should the Board schedule meetings that focus on a specific issue (such as Homelessness, Crime, and our job market) to gain various perspectives then vote to take next steps?
You mentioned that you would want to separate DHHS and Mental Health back into two separate departments. How would this improve those services?
What County departments do you feel should be eliminated or downsized?
There are a number of private, state and community based organizations providing services in Del Norte County which are headquartered in Humboldt County (for example College of the Redwood, the Regional Center, and Open Door). While the Board does not have any direct oversite of these organizations, what could/should the Board do to help these organizations understand the unique population and needs of Del Norte County in order to better serve our population?
I am not sure where the idea that the “Board has been driven by Department heads” was stated in the article. As far as wishing for questions to be asked, that is precisely why there is a comment section in this publication as the staff of the CCTimes will try to answer some of those questions with further interviews of public figures and will ask previous interviewees to return in the future for follow up interviews.
If you are a regular reader of the Times you will find discussions of your queries have already taken place, particularly as it relates to homelessness, crime, and economic opportunity. You are welcome to participate in the comment section as well as pen an article for the paper to be reviewed by the editor going forward. A part of the problem in this community that seems to exist is the lack of community participation in what may affect them the most, the governing of your choices in life. Hopefully you will find some ideas in these pages that will strike a cord and lead to a more active role in what you consent to in the form of local government.
Great to have Supervisor Wilson in there. He and Mr. Borges will be a thorn in the side to the rest. Seems like the county is trying to stay red, thank goodness.
I would be very reluctant to say that much has changed with the installation of two new board members. Granted we have finally had an occasional “No” vote here and there, but the Board clearly considers the welfare of its employees first before there is any concern for their constituents. Most votes give the County bureaucracy everything they want or even desire, whether it actually addresses the needs of the greater community or not is the larger question. Thus far, the impression I get when seeing the Board in action is they vote, there is no discernable result that benefits the community except more intrusion into daily life, or the problem addressed increases with no clear or measurable success. Businesses measure their success by being able to successfully stay in business. The local government has no measure to address whether they are successful or not, or even whether or not what they do is meaningful to those they are supposed to be serving. Most folks have difficulties with the problems that they encounter in life. Few have any concept of how often those difficulties are as a result of their government “acting” in their best interests. Time will tell I suppose, but I have sat through four Board meetings with the new members installed and can’t say I have noticed much of a change from the previous Board, nor do I think the will is there to be the winds of change. I have seen few blind squirrels find a nut in my experiences with the world, but one can only hope.