Big government types are spending a lot of time and money trying to scare us into voting no on Measure A - trying to convince us that a yes vote on Measure A would cast us forever into a failed State of Jefferson.
It's time now for some truth-telling.
A yes vote on Measure A does not create a new state.
A yes vote on Measure A does not take Del Norte County out of California.
A yes vote on Measure A simply asks our County Supervisors to reserve us a place at the table with 15andndash;20 other rural counties in a coordinated effort to regain our representation in government.
Until 50 years ago, each county in California was represented in Sacramento by one state senator. Now one state senator represents 12 counties, Del Norte among them. Together, the Los Angeles and Bay areas have 30 state senators, an incurable imbalance of power favoring big cities and Southern California. Together they levy every tax, create every new regulation, add red tape and make decisions affecting our lives in Del Norte County.
The authors of the U.S. Constitution foresaw the possibility of such a loss of representation and provided for disenfranchised counties of a state to separate from that state and form a new one. This process has been used successfully to create a number of states in the past and is among the possible options going forward with Measure A.
Opponents spew dire warnings that the sky will fall if Measure A passes. They throw ominous dollar figures around as if they were truth. In fact, their numbers are meaningless, as would be any numbers put forth by proponents without the multi-county study Measure A would initiate.
We need answers to hundreds of important financial questions surrounding possible separation. None us have those answers and anyone who purports to is either purposely misleading you or is foolishly repeating ungrounded assumptions.
Some bemoan the assertion that a fiscal study will "cost thousands of dollars." Do the math. Let's jack up that "thousands of dollars" to a million dollars. With a projected assumption of 17 counties, the population of Jefferson would top 1.3 million people. That amounts to a cost of just 77 cents to each resident living in those counties. A bargain education for sure!
Until all the counties interested in exploring the possibilities of Jefferson opt into the process, we won't have the answers upon which to base intelligent decisions. Until we know how many counties and how many people and how many businesses will be included within its proposed boundaries, we have no good measure of the human, property and dollar values brought to the Jefferson table.
Until we know how many square miles of farm land, grazing land, timber land, park land and recreational land will be included, we won't know the value of our natural resources. Until we know the sum appraisal of taxable private real property we won't be able to forecast property tax revenues. And until we know the extent of our combined water rights, we won't know the potential extent of our riparian resources.
And it is of utmost importance that we have a realistic accounting of federal "pass-through" dollars that would divert from California into the State of Jefferson. Measure A opponents include these hundreds of millions of dollars in what they claim Jefferson would lose from Sacramento.
In short we won't know anything of value in determining whether to proceed with creating a new state until all the involved counties have had an opportunity to figure it out - to come up with answers to important questions.Realanswers to guide us through the process.
If we find that Jefferson is a great idea, we can keep going and achieve representation; if not, we can opt out. Measure A is not a one-way path.
A no vote on Measure A buries our head in quicksand, and we will never know the truth.
A yes vote on Measure A calls upon our representatives to dig into the facts and come up with the answers necessary for us to make intelligent and informed decisions about our future, and our children's' future.
For more information, go towww.DelNorte-Jefferson.net.
Aaron Funk is county coordinator for the Del Norte County State of Jefferson Declaration Committee.