Clear Creek Ranch open for bidness |

Clear Creek Ranch open for bidness

Mike Drummond, Columnist
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

The county supervisor seat is up for grabs in the gerrymandered district surrounding Clear Creek Ranch. People say to me, “Toss your hat in the ring. What have you got to lose?”

Well, my hat for starters. I got it mail order, a straw pith helmet. I regret not ordering the deluxe model with the solar-powered fan on top. That might appeal to the local New Age save-the-planet voters, or they could call it elitist. You never know when the “enlightened ones” will get up on the wrong side of the futon, so to speak.

I bought the helmet to keep the sun from frying the freckles off my forehead. It gives me an eccentric air, which is great for fending off marauding bands of Jehovah’s Witnesses. But if I get political, I’ll have to worry about image. Might have to put a backwoods Svengali or a homespun spin doctor on retainer.

Some folks associate pith helmets with British colonialism. Not exactly a sissy pursuit, but not in the same all-American category as a cowboy hat. A previous supervisor from this district wore one, along with a belt buckle the size of a pie pan, and spouted some “purty good” cowboy poetry, too. I’m more of a limerick man myself – none of which take place in Nantucket. Although a few occur farther west, in PAWtucket.

HIS replacement wore a black leather jacket when he wasn’t out jogging past all the potholes in the county road near his home. The cowhide jacket continued his predecessor’s bovine motif. The incumbent supe, an alleged zucchini farmer and something of a sacred cow herself, may be continuing in that tradition if she uses as much bull byproduct at home as she does in the board chambers.

As a reform candidate, I might enjoy a positive image by carrying a stout shovel and donning a pair of rubber boots.

Why do politicians “run” to get elected? Call me lethargic, but I want to “stand” for office. Stand is a good solid, motionless, non-sweaty verb more in keeping with the dignity I will bring to public service. I can think of many reasons why politicos might run as they leave office. “Run” sounds so much nicer than “abscond,” doesn’t it?

So let’s review my qualifications: I am a minority member, a California native who speaks English. I have served on a fire department board and as a grand juror alternate, and was once Rotary Club president (we integrated our mono-sexual ranks on my watch). I am well-versed in the futility of committee work and consensus building, do not tolerant fools gladly, can alienate anyone in 25 words or less, and have no use for career bureaucrats.

I take a laissez-faire attitude toward the use of private property. Alternative housing, pit-privies and raw sewage are OK with me, as long as they aren’t upstream or upwind from Clear Creek Ranch. The same goes for high-density/low-income housing, clear-cutting old-growth forest (our schools need those timber dollars!) and most home-based businesses from private nuclear reactors to drive-through bordellos.

If elected, I promise to build a handicapped access ramp to the 22nd century for ALL of my constituents. The pie-in-the-sky is on me!

But one image problem lingers. Since my guru, Thoreau, advised against endeavors that require new clothes, I am stuck with my old non-deluxe pith helmet.

Should I wear it in campaign photos? Is it better to be pithed off or pithed on? Let me know.

Mike Drummond’s column appears on Tuesday. You can write him in care of The Union, 464 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, 95945; or e-mail him at

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