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.
I have been working with Senator McGuire and Sheriff Kendall to enhance enforcement against illegal cannabis grows in our County. On Sept. 29, the three of us, along with the sheriffs of Humboldt and Trinity counties, held a press conference to highlight the state funding $1.5 million for enforcement against the worst of the worst cannabis grows in our region. Mendocino County will get $600,000 for needed staffing and resources. The goal is to go after illegal water diversions, operations threatening endangered fish species, environmental degradation, or the presence of organized crime.
The state budget includes $6 billion for broadband in California. The proposed map includes fiber optic lines going up Hwy. 101 throughout Mendocino County, including a line up Sherwood Road and a line to Covelo. Don’t hold your breath but the money is in the state budget.
The new cannabis ordinance was rescinded by the Board. Kudos to the people who worked on the two referendums. This was people power at its best. The people’s vision for our County and the concerns over water, environment, and community were not in alignment with this ordinance. After a year of working on this, the other supervisors finally recognized that this wasn’t the path that most everyone in our County wanted to take. Now we need to get back to making the existing ordinance work properly.
The Great Redwood Trail which is a 320 mile rail-to-trail project from the San Francisco Bay to Humboldt Bay takes another step forward. Senator McGuire authored SB 69 to transition the North Coast Railroad Authority into the Great Redwood Trail Agency. The Governor signed the bill into law. I have been a Director on the NCRA Board and will continue on the GRTA. In the 11th hour, it seems that a proposal was put forth by the coal industry to ship coal from Wyoming to Humboldt Bay using this line. I sponsored an agenda item in opposition to this secretive deal since it is unrealistic and the environmental consequences of shipping the coal on this line would be detrimental to our lands and climate change in general. The Mendocino County BOS approved my item.
Redistricting for the 2020 census is under way. According to the census numbers, the 3rd District has 2,500 more residents than the 4th District and about 1,200 more than the other three districts. According to the law, this will have to change. Workshops are happening and the public can influence how it changes. More information is available at https://www.mendocinocounty.org/government/board-of-supervisors/public-engagement
You can always contact me at [email protected] or 707-972-4214.