Political Action And Education Committee
The Farm Bureau Political Action and Education Committee (PAEC) focuses on a variety of local, state and federal issues that affect agriculture. The educational component provides information to the public so that the story of agriculture can be heard and understood. The political component works on numerous topics that include: land use, water, local government, taxes, air quality, state policy and federal legislation. The issues are dynamic and new topics are never in short supply.
Political Action & Education Committee Report
Reported by Peter Bradford, Committee Chair
2018 Fifth District Supervisor candidates on the November ballot
Chris Skyhawk and Ted Williams are the candidates that received the most votes, 41.42% and 31.09%, and will be on the ballot for the Fifth District November 6, 2018. David Roderick finished third with 19.25%. Following the election in June, candidate Chris Skyhawk suffered a severe stroke and on July 14th it was announced that he is withdrawing from the race. Most people would think that if the second-place candidate withdrew from the election then the third-place candidate would take his place. That is not the case in Mendocino County.
In 2006 Mendocino County District Attorney Norm Vroman was running for reelection and died just 47 days before the election. Instead of the other candidate being named the winner the county held another election. Following this series of events, in 2010 Mendocino County added to the elections code wording that no vacancy on the ballot for the general election will be filled unless the candidate dies 68 days prior to the election. According to the Mendocino County Clerk Susan Ranochak, this means that Chris Skyhawk remains on the ballot. In the event Chris Skyhawk wins the November election even after withdrawing from the race, the California Governor would appoint the Fifth District Supervisor. Possibly Mendocino County should consider reviewing the current election code so it has more common sense.
Measure C, the Mendocino Coast Health Care District Health Care Funding Measure, past by just 7 votes above the 2/3 approval required. Since the numbers were so close, a recount was requested, however the results did not change. The surprising part was how many voters did not vote at all on Measure C. This shows that every vote counts!
The MCFB Board of Directors voted to oppose Measure C, that creates a parcel tax ($144/parcel/year) for a 12 year period to provide additional funding for the Mendocino Coast Health Care District ¹. Parcel is defined in the measure as any parcel of land which lies wholly or partially within the boundaries of the Mendocino Coast Health Care District, that receives a separate tax bill for ad valorem property taxes from the Mendocino County Assessor/Tax Collector.
One of MCFB’s concerns with this measure is that there are a large number of parcels within the Mendocino Coast Health Care District that are resource lands (timber, range, etc) that do not include any residences or improvements. The parcel tax on these properties is a tax with no direct benefit.
For those of you that have properties in the footprint covered by Measure C, there is a process for applying for a contiguous parcel exemption. The exemption is specific to parcels with residential purposes. All of those that are interested in the exemptions should contact Gayl Moon (email@example.com) at the Mendocino Coast Hospital for additional information. If you are not sure if your property is within the boundary covered by Measure C, you can also contact the Mendocino County Assessor/Clerk/Recorder’s office at (707) 234-6800 or Mendocino County Planning and Building Services at (707) 234-6650 (Ukiah office).
¹ The District is divided into a Primary Service Area and a Secondary Service Area. The Primary Service Area consists of seven zip codes, encompassing the communities of Westport, Fort Bragg, Caspar, Mendocino, Little River, Albion, Elk, and Comptche. The Secondary Service Area consists of three zip codes in the southern coastal communities of Gualala, Manchester, and Point Arena.
SB 1029- Mike McGuire – Rails to Trails
This is a bill put forward by Mike McGuire to transform the existing 200+ miles of North Coast Rail Authority railway to a hiking, biking and riding trail with other potential uses. For those of you who don’t live adjacent to this railroad and have witnessed what has happened since the railroad stopped functioning, this bill if approved will be a huge liability for property owners.
Most of the people using the railway today are not those you would want on your property. They are transients moving from one area to another and landowners must constantly be watching to ensure their belongings are not taken or vandalized. In addition to adjacent landowners being impacted Mendocino County will be impacted as well because the county will have to provide emergency services along the “trail” if or when they are required. Only if adjacent landowners are compensated for any and all damages that may occur to their land or property