John Pritchett, a 28-year resident of Del Norte County, has announced will seek the District 1 seat on the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors.
The election will be March 3, 2020.
Pritchett is the long-time general manager of Del Norte Ambulance and before that, served as editor of The Daily Triplicate for 8 1/2 years in the 1990s.
For the past nine seasons, he has served as the play-by-play voice of the Del Norte High School Warriors on KPOD Radio.
Pritchett, 58, said wants to bring civility back to the board of supervisors, as well as focus on Del Norte County issues. “I’m about building bridges, not burning them,” Pritchett said.
The creation of a Last Chance Grade bypass is a top priority on Pritchett’s list. He believes Del Norte County must keep the pressure on state and federal officials.
“Unfortunately, the District 1 voice is no longer heard in Washington, D.C., in Sacramento, and even in the Flynn Center,” Pritchett said. “I already have good relationships with State Sen. Mike McGuire and Assemblyman Jim Wood. I have met with U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman on numerous occasions. By working with other elected leaders, rather than against them on every turn, we can get things done.”
Pritchett said that in meeting with his district’s residents, the matter of homelessness has come up often. “It is important to remember that it is not the homeless issue, but the homeless issues ... there are many facets,” Pritchett said.
“There is no single solution, but what we are seeing is local, non-governmental groups stepping up to find answers. County government has to find ways to support these efforts, not to discount or belittle them.”
It is also important, Pritchett said, not to link all homeless individuals with those who are breaking the law. “We have to give local law enforcement the tools needed to fight the property crime problem, the lewdness problem,” Pritchett said.
“But at the same time, we must remember that most homeless individuals and families are not criminals. The school district reports that about 150 students are classified as homeless. These are not ‘human refuge,’ as some have called them. The women and children escaping from domestic violence and living at Harrington House, they are not human refuge. The veteran who is dealing with issues most of us can’t imagine, they are not human refuge.”
Pritchett also wants to see more economic development in the community. He noted that former District 1 supervisors Jack Reese and Leslie McNamer were strong supporters of building Del Norte’s infrastructure and creating local jobs.
“I want to follow in Jack’s and Leslie’s footsteps,” Pritchett said. “We need to invite new businesses to our community.
“We may have to look at tax breaks or other incentives, but the more solid our economic foundation, the better we will be able to fund law enforcement, social services and road repairs.”
Pritchett also said he is a strong supporter of the local Chamber of Commerce. “That’s our front door to both new companies, and to tourists from around the world.”
Pritchett said he has served on the Del Norte County Planning Commission, Del Norte Fish and Game Advisory Committee, United Way, the FEMA board, the Crescent City/Del Norte County Chamber of Commerce and numerous other groups.
In 2018, he was named by the governor to the 41st District Agricultural Association, also known as the Del Norte Fair Board.
And Pritchett is a two-time president of the Crescent City Rotary Club, as well as a longtime member of its board of directors.