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.
Spring is here with rain showers, green grass, and blue skies at times. This winter has been a wild one. The roads and infrastructure have taken a beating. The March snowstorms were declared a disaster by the County and State. We are waiting for a federal disaster declaration. If and when this happens, both public and individual assistance will be offered and FEMA will most likely come back to help with navigating the bureaucracy.
The opening of the Laytonville Library was certainly a cause for celebration! Dedicated people from the Laytonville area really made it happen. They were certainly persistent. It was great to see support from the County and other Friends of the Library groups. The new library is a beautiful space and the focus will be on getting people the books and resources that they need. Libraries also serve an important service as a community center.
Change is happening with the County’s cannabis program. The Director resigned and experienced County staff is leading the department for now. The State and County are working on new pathways to licensure. The Department’s budget has been a real problem with numbers bouncing around in a mind-boggling way. With the fiscal team from the Executive Office now overseeing the process, the numbers should be clearer and consistent. The goal is to get cultivators to their state annual licensure. We now have the Mendocino Cannabis Alliance working with Willits Environmental Center with this goal in mind.
The Public Records Act is meant to ensure openness and transparency in government. County ordinance 4507 was adopted to limit the number of unnecessary, frivolous public records requests. This is a statewide problem especially in the last few years with numerous requests focused on elections and covid. The answer must be greater transparency and accessibility to records via the County’s website, better organization of records, and possible modifications at the State level. I have attended several discussions about this issue at the Calif. State Association of Counties. With the ordinance that we have, I believe we are creating a liability for the County. That is why I have twice proposed rescinding the ordinance. I await another Supervisor to join me to get this on the agenda.
Please reach out to me at [email protected] or 707-972-4214.