Political Action And Education Committee
The Farm Bureau Political Action and Education Committee (PAEC) focuses on a variety of local, state and federal issues that affect agriculture. The educational component provides information to the public so that the story of agriculture can be heard and understood. The political component works on numerous topics that include: land use, water, local government, taxes, air quality, state policy and federal legislation. The issues are dynamic and new topics are never in short supply.
Political Action & Education Committee Report
Reported by Peter Bradford, Committee Chair
2019 Third and Fifth District Supervisors
In 2019 Mendocino County will have two new supervisors for the Third and Fifth District. In the Third District, John Haschak will be taking the place of Dr. Georgeanne Croskey. John Haschak defeated John Pinches in the election to win the Third District. In the Fifth District, Ted Williams will take the place of Dan Hamburg.
Dr. Georgeanne Croskey was appointed to the Board of Supervisors on May 9, 2017 by Governor Jerry Brown. Croskey was appointed to fill the position vacated by Supervisor Tom Woodhouse after Tom stepped down earlier in 2017 because of health reasons. Dr. Croskey made a decision to not run for reelection in August 2017.
Dan Hamburg was first elected Mendocino County Supervisor of the Fifth District in 1981 and served until 1985. He then was elected to the First Congressional District in 1992 and served until 1994. In November 2010 Hamburg again ran for Mendocino’s Fifth District and after winning the election has held the seat until choosing to not run for reelection in 2018.
Ted Williams, the Albion-Little River Fire Chief was elected with 75% of the vote in the 5th District after Chris Skyhawk suffered a serious stroke and dropped out of the race in June. Due to election regulation, Skyhawk’s name was kept on the November ballot even though he had dropped out of the election; Skyhawk received 23% of the vote in the November election.
Mendocino County Farm Bureau looks forward to working with both these newly elected supervisors to support agriculture and our members in Mendocino County. The Mendocino County Farm Bureau Political Action and Education Committee will be meeting with both supervisors at some point in 2019 and we invite our members to attend to meet and question Haschak and Williams; for more information when this will take place contact the MCFB office.
The Mendocino County Farm Bureau Political Action and Education Committee would like to thank Dr. Georgeanne Croskey and Dan Hamburg for their service on the board and their support of agriculture and our members in Mendocino County. We hope they stay involved and remain in Mendocino County supporting agriculture and our members!
Ukiah City Council
On Wednesday December 19, 2018 the Ukiah City Council met and one item on the agenda was the appeal of a decision to not allow Garton Tractor to construct a new shop on the property Garton leases. The location of the proposed building was the reason the original permit was denied by the City Council citing a 1996 Ukiah Airport Land Use Plan. The 1996 plan was designed to allow space for emergencies on take off or landings at the Ukiah Airport and the proposed location for the Garton building is within a zone designed to cover potential aviation emergencies envisioned in 1996. However, the Federal Aviation Administration (FFA) also has a plan for the Ukiah Airport and unlike the Airport Commission, they review their plan every five years and consider updates to their plan to keep it current with FAA regulations and the surrounding area. As you can probably guess the FAA’s current plan and the 1996 Ukiah Airport Land Use Plan are vastly different. The FAA’s current plan shows the proposed project site in an area not restricted from building and when Garton asked them to visit the site to review the project, the FAA said they have no objection to the proposed construction.
A rational person when reviewing two plans, one outdated by 22 years and the other updated in 2015 by the FAA would reasonably conclude that it is much better to follow the guidance of the most current plan then to adhere to one that is outdated. Several of the speakers that addressed the City Council also stated that Airport Land Use Plans and the FAA plans are normally aligned together so there are no conflicts and they stated that when the Ukiah Airport Land Use Plan is updated it will be changed to reflect the current FAA plan.
Garton Tractor needed 4 votes of the 5 City Council members to overturn the previous decision denying permission to build the new building; they received 3 votes. The two council members who voted against the motion did so purely for political reasons, there certainly was no rational to uphold an outdated plan when they both knew that when the plan was eventually updated their reason for objecting would be gone.
The conclusions to this decision are: 1) Garton will not be allowed to build a new shop on the property they lease so they can better service their clients in and around Mendocino County and beyond and 2) that there are two City Council members who are not rational and are not doing the job they were elected to do.
In closing I would like to wish all our members, and all others who may read this and should be members, best wishes for 2019!