The following is a letter to the editor submitted by Mendocino County District 3 Supervisor John Haschak, published here as a column, in which he updates his constituents. We encourage the other supervisors to submit letters — we will happily publish them. You can see Haschak’s previous letters to his constituents here. The opinions expressed in this letter are the author’s, not those of The Mendocino Voice.
Water! Water! Water! Whether this is a current two year drought or part of a long-term drought trend, water is on everyone’s minds.
The Board of Supervisors voted to declare a state of drought emergency for Mendocino County. We had a presentation on April 6 about the historically low water levels in Lake Mendocino and other parts of the County. The water level of Lake Mendocino is where it normally is in October right before the rainy season.
Governor Newsom visited the dry lake bed on April 14 and made a similar declaration for Mendocino and Sonoma Counties. This will put us at the front of the line when the state starts allocating resources and grants to deal with the situation. Mendocino Unit CalFire Chief Gonzalez was very supportive of these declarations seeing that the fire season could be very difficult.
I am on the drought emergency ad hoc committee with Supervisor McGourty. Our first task is to ensure that all the water agencies are communicating and receiving the proper information. With 40 water agencies in Mendocino County, this hasn’t always been the case. We will be reconvening the Countywide Drought Working Group.
The new cannabis ordinance with the 10% of acreage increase and opening up rangeland was again approved on a 4-1 vote. I voted no because of the detrimental effects this will have on the communities, environment, and economy of the 3rd District. After overwhelming public comments and the Planning Commission against this proposal, the Board went ahead with it. The people, water agencies, law enforcement, Department of Fish and Wildlife, environmental organizations, and practically everyone (except the corporate cannabis industry) are against this proposal which is soon to be the ordinance. There is considerable talk of a referendum to repeal this massive expansion.
When not dealing with the cannabis ordinance, I have been busy with devising a process for the allocation of the PG&E settlement funds, working on a County operations strategic plan, coordinating a million dollar grant proposal for Covelo clean up as well as long term solutions, and celebrating that the County is in the yellow tier.
My wife and I are going to visit our son Ricardo who is in the Marines in North Carolina. When I set up the trip, there were no BOS meetings scheduled. Since then, two special meetings were added so I will be zooming from North Carolina.
Best wishes and stay well,