Fall 2010 pg7

Humboldt County 5th District Supervisor Candidates

In the 5th District Supervisor’s race, the top two vote getters were Ryan Sundberg with 39.02% and Patrick Cleary with 30.90%.

A ) RYAN SUNDBERG

Ryan Sundberg


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?
– As a lifelong resident of Humboldt County and as a member of a large extended family who has its roots in rural Humboldt County, I firmly believe that there needs to be a range of choices including urban and rural. I am aware that because of affordability there will be infill; however I do not think we should put a moratorium on people who do not live in town.


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?
– We must have departments that are results oriented and who efficiently provide necessary services to the residents of Humboldt County. I have 14 years of experience balancing budgets and setting priorities which I can bring to the table to serve you as your Supervisor. I have serious questions regarding the performance of this department that has had multiple rejections of plans submitted to the State for being unable to
meet state law. The County has a not made use of a grant to make this department more efficient, and to get an applications approved in a reasonable amount of time. It is time to implement these changes.


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?
– The final version of the plan has yet to be developed and at the present rate of progress, I will be in office to evaluate the final plan as it comes before the Board of Supervisors for their review. With that said, I believe that there must be a range of choices for Humboldt County residents that include the ability to live a rural lifestyle.


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 vast bulk of my donations came from working folks here in Humboldt County. I believe that this shows my support base and if a candidate is reliant on out of county donations, this is a strong indication of that candidate’s support. This is a local election and voters need to be concerned if a candidate must rely on out of the county donations. I do not believe that there can be a workable way to limit out of county funds but I believe that by disclosing as required, these donations will be an important message to the voters.

 

B ) PATRICK CLEARY

Pat Cleary


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 love Humboldt County’s rural lifestyle, and I want to keep rural lands rural. None of the general plan alternatives propose taking away residential zoning from any parcel. A large part of the debate is over how much timberland may be converted to housing.

Timber is critically important to Humboldt County. Even today, the county produces 30% of all the timber in the state of California. I understand why small timber owners feel frustrated by current regulations. The solution is look at ways of lessening the burden on small parcel owners, such as have been proposed by the Buckeye Conservancy, rather than giving up and developing the parcels.

Rural development also needs to take into account the potential impact on our rivers and our drinking water. I believe allowing blanket approval for two houses on every parcel in Humboldt County would make us profoundly less rural.


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 Planning Department is one of the smallest departments and one that relies little on general fund revenue. There are steps which should be taken to make the planning department more responsive:

a) Finishing the General Plan Update will free staff to focus on better processing of building applications, lot line adjustments and other essential functions.
b) Finishing the General Plan Update will also conform Humboldt County’s codes to existing state and federal law, thus making compliance less confusing.
c) Technology can be adopted to streamline permitting, so that applicants can track permits through the process, while making planning officials more accountable.
d) Expedited permitting should be adopted for low income and senior housing, and for houses that use universal design principles.


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?
– Over 90% of the contributions to my campaign have come within the county, and a majority is from within my district. I think it would be ideal if there were effective campaign spending limits that cannot be circumvented by third party groups, but that does not seem likely.

 

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