One of the strengths of a democracy is that it provides for the periodic turnover of people in positions of authority. Unlike a king or a dictator an elected leader does not stay in office indefinitely. That limits the influence of special interests, acting behind the scenes. Because the official has to appeal to the voters periodically, he or she is well advised to keep the interests of the public first and foremost in their decision-making.
The county’s Fifth District Supervisor, Ryan Sundberg, has been in office for two terms, and during that time some troubling issues have emerged in the Fifth District. Three of them involve the Mercer-Fraser company, with whom Mr. Sundberg seems to have developed a close relationship.
Mercer-Fraser requested a zoning change of a parcel of land on the floodplain of the Mad River from General Agricultural to Heavy Industrial next to the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District’s intake wells. This could endanger the public water supply, and the public is expressing its revulsion to this plan.
Mercer-Fraser also wants to build a hash lab near a school in Willow Creek. And Mercer-Fraser’s Trinidad quarry has been causing distress to nearby residents, and is allegedly contaminating the Trinidad watershed.
Clearly, it is time to clean house, and vote in a new Supervisor who will place the interests of the public above those of any one private company. Steve Madrone is running for the Fifth District seat. Steve, who spearheaded the development of the Hammond Trail, will work hard to keep our drinking water clean, our children safe, and our residential neighborhoods peaceful. Vote for Steve Madrone on June 5.