6/18/19 — The following is a letter to the editor submitted by Mendocino County District 3 Supervisor John Haschak, in which he updates his constituents on the past month of activity. We hope that he continues this practice and encourage the other supervisors to submit letters — we will happily publish them. You can see Supervisor Haschak’s May, 2019 report here.
The County’s budget was adopted by the Board of Supervisors on June 5th with an emphasis on emergency preparedness. We put in an additional $500,000 for disaster recovery, $75,500 for Fire Safe Councils, $35,000 for emergency access roadwork, and $20,000 for forest and soil health management and watershed improvement projects. All of these funds are to be used to get additional grant funding to increase the scope and scale of these projects.
Fire safety is first and foremost on most people’s minds these days. CalFire, Mendocino County Office of Emergency Services, and the local fire departments have all been working very hard to make our communities safer. Together we have been concentrating our efforts on creating emergency access routes, shaded fuel breaks, and other emergency preparedness projects. There are many talented and spirited folks volunteering their time to organize our communities for emergencies. I greatly appreciate the Fire Wise Councils of Brooktrails and Pine Mountain. I continue to meet with the above entities to ensure that we have various options in case of emergencies. I am on the Mendocino Council of Governments’ Board of Directors and we just received a large CalTrans’ climate adaptation grant of almost $250,000 to study emergency evacuation routes and procedures throughout the County.
I am a member of the cannabis cultivation ad hoc committee with Supervisor McCowen. We presented our recommendations to the Board on May 14th. Most of the recommendations to modify the cannabis ordinance were accepted and submitted to County Counsel to turn into legally binding language. I believe that the changes are reasonable and will help the small farmers of our County. In the bigger picture, there are many barriers to the permitting process at the state level, big corporate influence, and the economics of supply and demand. My commitment is to protect as much as possible small mom and pop cannabis farms, get as many small farmers into the permit process as possible, and protect our environment and way of life.
At the end of April, Supervisor Williams and I personally delivered a letter from the Board to California Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, asking for his opinion on whether Mendocino County can legally enforce Measure V, the hack and squirt measure passed by Mendocino County voters in June, 2016, to ban the forest practice of injecting toxic herbicides to kill standing trees. The Attorney General promised he would respond in 30 days, but we still haven’t heard from him in mid June. At our June 11th BOS meeting we directed County Counsel to call Becerra’s office and demand that he issue an opinion. Mendocino County has been waiting over two years for this opinion and our patience is wearing thin.
I had the pleasure of granting three scholarships during this high school graduation season. They were for $4,000 each. Well deserving recipients were Savanna Hofmaister of Willits HS, Mariah Cox of Laytonville HS, and Emily Escareno-Arteaga of Round Valley HS. They all plan on careers in public service. I funded these scholarships with my share of the raise the Supervisors voted themselves last year that was far in excess of the wage increases given to rank and file County employees.
Round Valley is forming a Municipal Advisory Council (MAC). This will help them organize around community issues. Their activism is awe inspiring.
I will be holding Town Hall meetings in Willits on Thursday, June 27,at 6:00 pm and in Laytonville on Friday, July 26 at 6:30. I am looking forward to hearing directly from you. Please contact me if you have any concerns at [email protected] or 707-972-4214.
It is my honor to serve as your Supervisor.
John Haschak, 3rd District Supervisor