Sun. May 26th, 2024

By Donna Westfall – January 26, 2018 –

The 2018 election cycle is nearly upon us. Come early February, candidates will be filing their statements. Here enters Jake Smith, of Smith River in District 3.

Originally from San Diego, he spent the majority of his professional life in Sacramento. After he retired eight years ago, he and his wife hopped into a motorhome and traveled across the country for two years.  They breezed into Crescent City due to their love of hiking and the natural beauty of the oceans and the redwoods and decided, this is the place they wanted to live.  He and his wife have been married for 41 years, and have lived in Smith River for five years. He likes to smoke a cigar once in a while, have an occassional glass of wine but no drugs.

Conversation was easy with Jake.  He’s experienced in working with people due to his 31 years with CalTrans in helping to form policy and get things done which, if elected Supervisor, could be a big boon to this County.  We need people with vision, common sense and experience in getting things done.

Why do I believe he has common sense and perseverence?

He started his career at the ground floor level with CalTrans in the auto parts shop with only a high school education. He worked his way up in the organization and while doing so, attended community college for ten years to earn his AA degree in management.  If that isn’t perseverence, I don’t know what is.

We spoke about a whole slew of issues concerning our area covering law enforcement, to homelessness, to drugs, to Last Chance Grade and more.

This will be Jake’s first foray into the public service arena as a candidate for Supervisor 3rd District.

Let’s see if this makes sense to you:

Jake says, “Instead of housing people in jail why not advocate for work programs?”

Here’s an example I’m aware of.  I visited a woman in jail last week.  She was arrested for reckless driving.  Her fine was to be $1500 which she didn’t have. Her option was to spend 10 days in jail twiddling her thumbs at over $70/day expense to the taxpayer.  What if she were working productively doing something in the City instead?

Next, Jake offered this, “What about a centralized rehab program paid in part by public assistance monies normally given to the homeless?”

There will always be the chronically homeless that don’t want to stop their drinking or drugging.  But many of our homeless want a better life.  A hand up, not just a hand out.

He’s for smaller government and generally against raising any taxes or fees.

Jake is adamant about communication:
  • “I will be establishing a Facebook page to get constituents feedback on issues.”
  • “I will conduct regional forums to discuss issues and get feedback from constituents.”
  • “I will respond to constituents with their concerns in a timely manner.”

It’s his attitude and idea’s like these that will help change the complexion of this town, I believe, for the better.


4 thoughts on “Who’s Jake Smith?”
  1. Very few of the people who are in and out of jail are able to reform. That’s a fact. Especially in Del Norte County, where they keep their same friends and associates in their lives. It is time for these people to get out of Del Norte County. If a person is a repeat offender, either sentence them to extreme hard time after a conviction, or give them the choice to permanently leave the county. It’s a legal option any Judge can offer. If the person comes back, they should be held in contempt of jail. Perhaps a plea offer agreement option to accept a 3 year restraining order against the person from the entire county. It would be legally binding for 3 years.

    Perhaps a person would no longer wish to come back after finding out they can have a life of crime somewhere else. Or perhaps they have a chance to make new friends and start their life anew.

    Seriously, something HAS to be done to combat the perpetual offender problem in Del Norte. This is my thought and I think it would be legal.

    Oh, and don’t offer plea deals for any other reason. Only to allow people to leave and stay gone.

    The list of people who make up most of the crime stats makes up probably twice the number of people currently in jail.

    The businesses in Crescent City and area are negatively impacted by transients, thieves and drug offenders. Let’s fix that problem.

    I am about ready to start a pretty serious campaign to address the problem of stolen bikes in Crescent City, to guess who? Tourists. I want that problem solved. People should not be in fear of having their prized bikes stolen when staying there, nor should they feel like their vehicle is unsafe to leave at the parking lot of a trailhead or at the beach.

    If you attract the right kind of people to Del Norte County, those are the people with money. Those are the people you want to live there, not druggies and thieves. The situation behind Safeway also must be addressed. I have not ever in the last 15 years or so been able to check out the creek or ride my bike through the trails there because it’s been taken over by hostile transients. There have been murders and rapes back there and the problem persists.

    I have lived in a number of places where you can still leave your car unlocked and running while going into the store. It is normal to trust your neighbors here in Susanville, CA. You can’t trust hardly anyone in Del Norte.

    Donna, Please pass this message along to Jake Smith. Thank you.

  2. Remember, the nicotine in the cigar and the alcohol in the wine are drugs, otherwise folks would not inhale smoke and drink paint thinner. Have not heard yet of how he will offer better representation or help stimulate our GDP, any new ideas? Has he been here long enough to know what he is representing. Is there any new ideas other than living off of visitors and making their beds and importing salaries and exporting the poor?

  3. Jake Smith, what does your Caltrans resume include (positions held, tasks completed)? It is a large diverse organization and I am really unfamiliar with your experience and expertise; I have asked around and no one I have spoken with seems to know what professional experience you are proposing to bring to the Board. How will your Caltrans experience assist our community? One elephant in the room that you should probably address early is that you either do or do not want to change this community based on your experiences in San Diego and Sacramento. If you want to model change after experiences in other communities, what do you see? Good luck with the election!

  4. Donna, thank you for posting this article. It was nice talking with you. Once I become a certified, official candidate for office, I will be reaching out to District 3 voters, beginning around the middle of February.

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