They may vote today on putting issue on the ballot
Del Norte County supervisors will revisit the Jefferson state debate for the fourth straight meeting today as they discuss wether to place an advisory measure on the June 3 ballot.
The Board may take action prior to a special workshop Thursday that will explore how Del Norte County’s current level of services would be impacted if the effort to create a new state is successful.
“There’s a lot of assumptions at both the federal and state (levels) as to what would be passed over to a new state,” said county Administrative Officer Jay Sarina. “What we do know is what we have as county services, the level of those services and what it costs to provide those services.”
After a lengthy discussion at its Feb. 11 meeting, the Board of Supervisors was poised to vote 3-2 in favor of placing an advisory measure on the June ballot. The measure would allow voters to weigh in on whether Del Norte County should support a declaration to withdraw from California. That action was delayed, however, to allow county staff time to draft the measure’s language.
According to the proposed resolution, the voters’ decision will not control the Board of Supervisors’ vote on the declaration to withdraw. County staff members estimate that placing the measure on the ballot will cost about $4,000.
If supervisors approve the proposed resolution, Del Norte County’s action resemble that of Tehama County, which decided in January to place an advisory measure on the ballot.
Thursday’s workshop will not present a full fiscal analysis on how forming a new state would impact state and federal funding filtered to local communities, Sarina said. Tehama County officials have determined that doing such an analysis could cost at least $30,000 because it would require analyzing the state and federal budget, he said.
Del Norte County Board Chair David Finigan said data and information included in a recent report Legislative Analysts’ Office may be part of the discussion at Thursday’s workshop.
The LAO’s report, published last month, focused on a Silicon Valley-based proposal to split California into six states, including a state of Jefferson. Under that proposal, with 949,409 residents, Jefferson would be the least populated of the six proposed states, with Redding, Chico and Eureka being its largest cities.
Finigan said the workshop will give supervisors an idea of how to conduct an in-depth financial analysis.
“A lot of it starts with just who would, (and) who would not, be part of a new state, what the boundaries would be and who’s driving the bus,” Finigan said, adding that the Jefferson State Declaration Committee hasn’t yet determined what the boundaries would be. “I think a real beginning point is looking at the LAO’s impartial analysis of just how unbalanced the different six states would be financially.”
According to the LAO’s office, of the six proposed states, Jefferson would have the second-lowest per-capita income of $36,147. Only Central California, which includes Fresno, Bakersfield and Stockton, would be lower.
The Board of Supervisors meets at 10 a.m. at the Flynn Administrative Center, 981 H St. Agendas are available at www.co.del-norte.ca.us.
The workshop will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday at the Flynn Administrative Center.