The community effort to recall District 1 Supervisor Roger Gitlin and District 5 Supervisor Bob Berkowitz is an expression of dissatisfaction by the voters of Del Norte county.
Recall is the power of the voters to remove elected officials before their terms expire. The ability to recall elected officials has been an essential tool in our state constitutional system since 1911.
It is very easy to start a recall initiative, but it is very challenging to collect the hundreds of signatures needed in less than 60 days. If enough signatures are collected then all the voters of the respective districts will have an opportunity to vote in an election.
There is no need to criticize the process itself; a citizen simply participates, or not.
The recall is about honesty, public trust, and creating a safe environment to exercise the most important right of all, free speech. County supervisors must be held accountable, by the public, for their words and actions.
The recall effort brings light and attention to serious contradictions, poor judgement, intolerant views and public intimidation. This exercise of political rights helps to remind everyone how important it is to stand up for what you have discovered to be true. We are only powerful through cooperation, compromise and focused work.
Del Norte County needs a complete governing body that can blend the voices of many into a unified motion of progress. When people don’t trust each other they stop talking. When people stop talking, they go to war.
We can create a new public dynamic by communicating, explaining and understanding the true meaning of what we have to say. We can do the real work it takes to find solid solutions we can all live with, if that’s what we all want.
We need leaders who understand that fighting to the end for a singular position is counterproductive and self defeating. We need leaders who have enough integrity and confidence to bring their individual truth to the table for everyone to view and judge what is right. Deception and intimidation are a waste of our precious time.
Del Norte county supervisors, please be the leaders we need you to be. Please be yourselves while also seeing others as themselves. Please trust people with the truth, we can handle the responsibility.
Healthy evolution happens when we learn new ideas. We must all ride in this boat together; don’t rock, just row.
Jesse Davis is a resident of the Low Divide community in Del Norte County and one of those initiating recall efforts against Roger Gitlin and Bob Berkowitz.