Coastal Voices: New-state plan vague, dangerous to Del Norte

Written by Norma Williams March 18, 2014 10:54 am

Given the small amount of information provided, and having had a discussion with the proponents of the state of Jefferson advisory measure for the June 3 ballot, the Executive Board of the Del Norte County Employees Association SEIU 1021, representing the miscellaneous and mid-management/professional employees of the County of Del Norte, cannot in good faith support this advisory measure.  

We have grave concerns on the impact the proposed state of Jefferson will have on the dedicated employees of the County of Del Norte as well as the negative repercussions on the general public who we serve.

 

We have strong reservations on the fiscal viability of the proposed state of Jefferson and issues regarding the potential economic ramifications such a measure would have on county, school, city, state and federal services, all that would impact the day-to-day needs of Del Norte residents, of which we are a part.  

The supporters for the state of Jefferson make broad and ambiguous assumptions and presumptions as to how the County of Del Norte will continue to be funded at its current levels. Yet what they presented relies on questionable facts and figures, more based on fiction rather than facts.

They claim they want less government and bureaucracy and lower taxes, yet local, federal and state taxes are what fuels county services, many of which county residents benefit from. The County of Del Norte would lose millions of dollars in funded and non-funded dollars for basic services — roads, education, transportation, law enforcement, child support, courts, and social services for children, youth, needy families, and seniors.

As a result, it is highly probable that services would have to be cut resulting in a loss of county jobs in all areas, regardless of whether it’s funded or not. Such a potential loss would wind up hurting those in our community who rely on these services. What would become of them?  

The proponents of this measure claim that they want local control over federal lands, our coastal waters and shores, regulatory power, education, state borders, and immigration. Yet when asked for specifics, for a plan, for their societal vision of the state of Jefferson, they fall back on the “it’s under development” line. In other words, they have no plan, no specifics and certainly no societal vision that they wish to lay claim to.

Ambiguous. Questionable. Uncertain. Unclear. Unverifiable. Doubtful. Are we, the citizens of Del Norte County, really being asked to make an “informed” decision on an advisory measure that has the potential of severely hurting our community with very little information to go by?  In other words, why are we being asked to build a new house where there is no foundation?

Therefore, we strongly recommend and urge the residents of the County of Del Norte to vote “no” on the state of Jefferson advisory measure on June 3.

Norma I. Williams is the chapter president of DNCEA/SEIU 1021.