By Samuel Strait – June 4, 2018 –
It now has come down to the last roundup before this year’s June primary of “Conversations with Sam”, on KFUG, the radio program’s series of interviews with challengers for the Del Norte County Supervisors races. I have had the opportunity to spend some time with each of the challengers, except Mr. Roger Daley, whose absence this Sunday gave me the chance to go one on one with challenger Ron Phillips, candidate for the County’s District #4.
I must say once again that Mr. Phillips is yet another challenger with fresh ideas, commitment, and pride in Del Norte County. Certainly a worthy replacement for incumbent Gerry Hemmingsen. As Mr. Phillips has demonstrated by service to the community on the Harbor Board as a member, Director of Food Services for RHS, and Manager of the County’s Market, successfully since its inception at the Fair Grounds for 22 weeks each summer. New vendors, and some timely favorites are once again open for business each Saturday in the Fair Grounds parking lot.
Mr Phillips styles himself as “not a Yes man”, willing to listen, yet fulfill the leadership role expected from a County Supervisor, something he feels has long been a absent with the current incumbent. If your job as a Supervisor is to not do anything bad and not to do anything good, what is the point of being a Supervisor other than to keep getting elected. He went on to say that for too long County Supervisor Gerry Hemmingsen has occupied a chair at County Board meetings with nothing to offer his constituents in the way of real progress. Mr. Phillips would like to change that dynamic with new ideas for economic growth, solutions to the blight and homelessness problems the County faces, as well as a more targeted approach to moving the Last Chance Grade process forward. He is more than aware of the long tern foot dragging by the current majority on the Board which prevent the Board from collaborating with other agencies to put together combined resources and solutions for the long standing problems we currently face. As an example, he pointed to the collective mishandling of and delays in treating with the long expected entrance of Cannabis as commercially available recreational drug in California. He pointed to the fact that a working group was established, abeit late in the game, then given no real direction as to what was expected from them. Supervisor Hemmingsen’s reaction, when it became clearly evident from the comments in a Board meeting by the Group’s Chair, Mr. Jesse Davis, that the Board’s input and direction was necessary, was one of confusion, as if to say, “you expect us to come out in Public and give direction?” Not much leadership in evidence shown there. It must be an election time thing with Gerry, and the Good Old Boys don’t want him showing anything that remotely resembles leadership and a direction on the topic.
In any event, the County has three eminently qualified challengers for District #4 and an equally qualified challenger for the District #3 seat which hopefully with changes in the current dysfunctional BOS will move the County’s economic direction from negative to positive and Del Norte County will begin to grow a bit and keep some of our more upwardly mobile youth here locally to enjoy that positive direction. I think it is important not to settle for no direction and get out to your local polling place to vote tomorrow. Yes, its that time again. Vote wisely and for a new direction. Throw the Bums out and get some new ideas in office.
Vote Tuesday, June 5th.