Eddie Garcia: Observations on State of Jefferson presentation
On May 12, the Board of Supervisors listened to a presentation about the State of Jefferson movement. By The Union’s account, over 250 people attended the presentation. The meeting was presided by the chair of the Board, Supervisor Ed Scofield, who, very even-handedly, allowed proponents and opponents of the State of Jefferson to express their opinions.
The opposition to a new state seems to share its concerns with the State of Jefferson proponents that the rural counties of Northern California do not have a voice in our state legislature.
However, there is a disagreement on what should be the remedy to our lack of representation. The opposition’s solution seems to fit perfectly a definition of insanity: keep doing the same thing over and over expecting different results!
The opposition also bases their position largely in their belief that the State of Jefferson is not financially sustainable. They are not providing any data to support that belief.
We, on the other hand, have submitted studies that show the absolute financial viability of the future 51st state. I would like to invite our opposition to a public discussion on this issue at which time data could be examined in depth to clarify this issue. Since this issue seems to also be of great concern to our Board of Supervisors and our county’s CEO, it would be very informative if our Board of Supervisors would schedule a hearing to have both sides present their case for discussion.
The CEO of our county seems to have jumped into the fray by including a document entitled “Various Comparisons with Jefferson Counties” in his May 8 weekly Friday Memo. In it, he compares Nevada County to eight selected counties out of the 20 that are working to become the 51st state. In these comparisons, Nevada County comes out on top in most criteria. That is no surprise, since our BOS and the CEO are doing a great job administering our county. The implication of these comparisons would seem to be that Nevada County should not become a part of the new state. However, the CEO did not attend the presentation, when he might have had any questions answered. It would have been more informative if all 20 counties under consideration would have been included in the comparison.
One does have to question what prompted our CEO to publish such a document four days ahead of the State of Jefferson presentation. While the CEO’s office does a great job of administering our county, perhaps it would have been more appropriate to listen to the grassroots presentation and ask questions if necessary, rather than issue an incomplete document.
While Mr. Haffey is perfectly free to offer his personal opinion, one would question the motivation behind publishing an “opinion” as the CEO of our county.
One last observation on the May 12 meeting. At one point, it was requested that the opponents to the SOJ raise their hands followed by a request that the supporters raise theirs.
By my humble, conservative estimate the supporters’ hands far outnumbered the opponents’!
Eddie Garcia lives in Grass Valley.
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