Opinion Piece by Samuel Strait – May 16, 2016 – With the on coming June primary just over a month away, there has been a rush for local candidates and their supporters to polish up that image that will be voted on June 7th. While many of these efforts are not helpful from an informational nor a factual stand point, there is quite often a back story that wiggles it’s way to the surface. Sometime that story comes from incumbents and other times their challengers. It has caught my attention, as I am sure that it has others, that there is a great deal of similarity between the glowing accounts of certain candidates that seem to lack a great deal of substance. I don’t think that it is very helpful to talk about people who run for office in terms of “he or she has a great deal of experience that cannot be lost”, “they listen well”,” they are able to cooperate with others”,” they have occupied a seat on this board or that commission”, or”during their term in office they have established relationships that cannot be regained”. Whether or not any of this is true, or that they were the paragon of virtue while serving the County or City, it really doesn’t tell us much about why they should be elected.
Case in point, I recently listened to an interview with Kathryrn Murray, who has been on the City Council for nearly eight years. What she talked about during her interview was her vision for certain issues that she felt were important to her. Notice I said “to her”. I can understand that Last Chance Grade, homes for homeless, weed regulation, cooperation between City and County, and street lights, might headline a politician’s world in Del Norte County, but the average person probably doesn’t give a great deal of thought to any of these issues. These are all issues for people who have spent most of their lives employed by the Government. They are also issues that politicians can use to generate more government and correspondingly spend more money. While these issues are given a great deal of urgency to be fixed, the reality is that most people have their own individual problems to sort out and a politician’s vision is just so much wordage. Mind you I do not discount any of Ms. Murray “issues” as being somewhat of a problem, I just don’t think that her approach will change much as has been evidenced in her lack of any meaningful solutions to some of the City’s on going problems. While campaigning for office, Ms. Murray is quick to claim credit for things done in groups, but the reality of accomplishment occupies a much thinner folder. Her legacy of failing to provide a satisfactory resolution of the Sewer plant’s financial catastrophe should be a stark reminder to all voters, particularly in light of the fact that the sewer system is so vital to most of the voters in district 1.
Government just can’t do everything, and very often does a great deal of harm. It becomes completely irrelevant to be labeled a “good listener”. “works cooperatively with others”, or ” has had a lengthy career in politics”, when you cannot even identify the under lying problems that are creating homelessness, the need to have street lights, lack of cooperation between City and County, regulating weed in the City, and why Last Chance Grade will be a topic for some time to come. Looking at the City’s sewer and water issue, Ms. Murray seemed unable to deal with the responsibility of that issue and now wants to bail and become a Supervisor. I personally do not care whether she has the ear of the State’s Democratic politicians, because they will do what’s best for them, and not Del Norte County. As such, Ms. Murray, should she be elected as a Supervisor, will no doubt follow in the foot steps of Ms. McClure, whose twenty year career is littered with ill advised decisions that have kept the County Government from moving on to solve the most basic problem we have. No economy! ARE ANY PEOPLE WHO ARE RUNNING FOR OFFICE LISTENING? NO ECONOMY!