Fall 2010 pg6

Critical County Election 2010

THE FUTURE OF OUR COUNTY IS IN YOUR HANDS – USE YOUR VOTE!

A hard fought June primary election has led to four key County run-off elections this November. Our fall questionnaire asks four new important questions. We invite you to read each candidate’s answers carefully and urge you to cast your vote for the candidates most likely to uphold your rights. Election Day is Tuesday November 2nd. Vote by Mail begins October 4th.

Humboldt County 4th District Supervisor Candidates

In the 4th District Supervisor’s race Virginia Bass took a strong lead with 47.37% of the vote. She will face incumbent, Bonnie Neely who got 31.68%.

A ) VIRGINIA BASS

Virginia Bass


1. How will you ensure that the General Plan Update (GPU) (and other County Policies) reflects a realistic view of Humboldt’s rural living opportunities that offers a fair and sound plan for rural landowners and Humboldt’s rural lifestyle?
– I believe there should be greater outreach and more opportunities for public participation in rural parts of the county. That is the only way to truly hear from people who are going to be affected by changes in policy. Many Humboldt County residents enjoy living a more rural lifestyle. It is important to respect individual rights and not change rules in the middle of the game. We should not be forcing all growth into existing urban areas which do not have the infrastructure to support it. We must work to preserve opportunities for people to live in a rural setting.


2. The county’s Planning Department has grown to outnumber most other departments in both personnel and budget, yet the community feels under served. Are the department’s priorities in tune with the citizens’ demands for service? How would you address this, especially in these times of tight budgets?
– – I have heard from people who feel they are not well served by the planning department. We have excellent staff members in planning and throughout the County, but they need to understand that customer service is a priority. Much of the problem is due to the fact that the staff is operating on marching orders that are lacking clarity. Because the GPU has taken so long, the "rules" are in a constant state of change and uncertainty. Unfortunately, the result is less than satisfactory service. I will provide clear and consistent direction to staff in all county departments that government exists toserve the public, not vice versa.


3. Do you believe that the GPU offers adequate and diverse choices for Humboldt County residents to determine where they can live and raise their families?
– I am concerned that the Board of Supervisors is now trying to hasten the process by limiting public testimony. In an effort to speed up the process, there is less thought given to the diverse options that exist. As your supervisor, I will strive to ensure that all options are considered so that the GPU offers adequate and diverse choices for Humboldt County residents to determine where they can live and raise their families.


4. In the June Primary election some candidates received large donations from out-of-county contributors. Would you support a voluntary limit on such donations? If yes, what limit would you propose?
– – The bulk of my financial support has come from the people who live, work and own businesses in Humboldt County. I seriously question why people from out of the county would be willing to invest $10,000 in a campaign hundreds of miles away. It doesn’t make sense. My opponent,
who serves as chair of the Coastal Commission, has received donations as large as $10,000 from Southern California developers who have projects pending before the Coastal Commission. She also has received substantial contributions from the project manager of the Ridgewood Village/Forester-Gill project that will be coming before the Board of Supervisors. That appears to be a conflict.

I certainly support a voluntary limit on all donations. $1500-$2000 seems appropriate as long as all candidates for an office agree to abide by the limit.

 

B ) BONNIE NEELY

Bonnie Neely


1. How will you ensure that the General Plan Update (GPU) (and other County Policies) reflects a realistic view of Humboldt’s rural living opportunities that offers a fair and sound plan for rural landowners and Humboldt’s rural lifestyle?
– The General Plan will have very little affect on existing rural landowners in Humboldt County. The significant issue is how we make room for new rural residents without putting strain on public services, rural water supplies, or undercutting the long-term viability of our timber and agricultural lands. I support the rights of rural residents to continue their lifestyles, which in Humboldt is usually very conservation minded.


2. The county’s Planning Department has grown to outnumber most other departments in both personnel and budget, yet the community feels under served. Are the department’s priorities in tune with the citizens’ demands for service? How would you address this, especially in these times of tight budgets?
– The General Fund contribution to Community Development Services has not kept pace with most departments in the County over the last ten years. Planning has been a key priority of mine but Planning has had to compete for funds with essential public services such as Sheriff protection. The growth that has occurred in Community Development Services has been fueled by grant funding for housing, business development and
natural resources protection. I support these programs. I also will continue to work to provide core funding to support building and planning permit programs.


3. Do you believe that the GPU offers adequate and diverse choices for Humboldt County residents to determine where they can live and raise their families?
– Urban and rural living is not an either-or choice in the General Plan. the GPU alternatives address the question of which type of development we should prioritize over the next 25 to 30 years. All of the GPU alternatives offer large amounts of rural land available for building. Our most significant shortage is land for workforce housing which we addressed in the Housing Element. The challenge we face in the GPU is promoting development that adds to our economic well-being while protecting the things we love about Humboldt County.


4. In the June Primary election some candidates received large donations from out-of-county contributors. Would you support a voluntary limit on such donations? If yes, what limit would you propose?
– My real concern is not so much where a candidate’s contributors live. It’s what those contributors expect in return. Contributions from individuals and organizations with business before the Board of Supervisors are much more problematic than those from outside sources with no such business. My opponent’s campaign is principally funded by a consortium of local developers who will have to secure county approval for their various project. They will thus benefit from a lose enforcement of regulations, which they know they won’t get from me.

Regarding limiting campaign contributions, I’m in agreement. However, imposing limits in the midst of a campaign is disingenuous.



On the candidate questionnaire for Eureka City Candidates there are two specific planning projects in the greater Eureka area of countywide
significance. Because of the issues’ relevance to county policies, we also included candidates for Supervisor District 4, which includes most of Eureka.

A ) VIRGINIA BASS


1. Do you support the Ridgewood Village (Forster-Gill) development that would add 1,442 homes on 143 acres in the Cutten area?
–No. The scope and magnitude of the project are too large and the suggested mitigations are not acceptable.


2. Do you support the upcoming Eureka ballot measure (Measure N) that would change the zoning of the Balloon Tract to allow for a mixed-use project that would include retail, residential, light industrial, and wetlands?
– Yes. The change in zoning would lead to the redevelopment and reuse of a blighted part of our community.



B ) BONNIE NEELY


1. Do you support the Ridgewood Village (Forster-Gill) development that would add 1,442 homes on 143 acres in the Cutten area?
Failed to state a clear position "yes /no" but offered this comment: All developers must follow environmental laws whether they are building in Cutten or on the Balloon Track.


2. Do you support the upcoming Eureka ballot measure (Measure N) that would change the zoning of the Balloon Tract to allow for a mixed-use project that would include retail, residential, light industrial, and wetlands?
– Oppose. Developer is skirting the law. I would rather see his $30,000 spent on Balloon site clean up.

 

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