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District 1 Assembly candidate Rick Bosetti speaks to the Plumas Sierra Tea Party Patriots on Oct. 27. Photo by Debra Moore
“I’m a capitalist guy; I’m a business guy,” District 1 Assembly candidate Rick Bosetti told members of the Plumas Sierra Tea Party Patriots Saturday evening, Oct. 27. “Jobs and reform –that’s what I’m about.”
Bosetti’s appearance came two weeks after his opponent, Lassen County Supervisor Brian Dahle, spoke to the Tea Party group.
The Tea Party originally billed the Oct. 13 meeting as a debate between the two men, but Bosetti said he never confirmed that date because he was going to be across the country in Belmont, Mass., attending his son’s wedding.
Trent Saxton hosted the Oct. 13 meeting and held Dahle to a tight 45-minute timeframe, with a short introduction and two-minute closing. The rest of the time was devoted to answering audience members’ questions.
Sandy Hopkins hosted the Bosetti event, which was much more free flowing.
Bosetti, who has served six years on the Redding City Council, told the group that he is “not a career politician.”
He spoke of his time on the council as being difficult during extreme budget cuts.
“I was elected to represent the 90,000 people who live there, not just the people who work there,” Bosetti said.
And fewer people work there now. Bosetti and his fellow councilmen cut the city workforce from 900 to 750 employees.
He also worked with nine bargaining units and won concessions in health and retirement benefits.
He said when the City told the fire department that its members needed to pay 9 percent toward their pensions, the council was told “to go pound sand,” even though the alternative was to lay off nine firefighters and close a station.
The fire station has since reopened and six of the nine positions have been refilled, thanks to savings that resulted from the city’s budget changes.
“Redding is a microcosm of what is happening in Sacramento,” Bosetti said.
He discussed a recent Council decision to reduce the permit fees required to build a new home. In 2011 the city issued 24 permits, but in 2012, after the fee reductions, the city issued 128 permits.
“That helped the private sector,” Bosetti said. “It put $25 million back in our economy and 750 people went back to work. We got government out of the way and look what happened.”
“I’m not slinging arrows, but my opponent talks about creating jobs, but there hasn’t been a new job in 10 years,” unless it was in government or the service industry, Bosetti said of Lassen County.
Bosetti draws a clear distinction between himself and his opponent.
“I believe there’s a huge difference between the two of us,” he said.
Bosetti said that various employee unions have backed Dahle, while his supporters are business people.
He takes issue with Dahle’s role on the Sierra Nevada Conservancy and his lack of a stance on Proposition 32.
Bosetti repeatedly spoke about his opponent, while Dahle didn’t mention Bosetti during his appearance.
“Let’s focus on you for a minute,” an audience member said. “Sacramento is messed up. What’s a guy from Redding going to do to fix it?”
Bosetti said when he was asked which committees he would like to serve on in Sacramento, he singled out health care, energy and natural resources as his priorities.
“My alliances are going to give me inroads,” Bosetti said of the private industry and political relationships he has built.
Bosetti wants to see cogeneration plants opened and more trees brought out of the woods. However, he said in his conversations with Red Emmerson, owner of Sierra Pacific Industries, Emmerson told him that he would have no place to take more trees, since so many mills have been closed and the industry has lost a generation of skilled employees to operate them.
With nine national forests in his district, Bosetti said it’s an issue that needs to be addressed. “Sierra County is a model for socialism,” Bosetti said, noting that there are no private sector jobs there that provide a retirement.
He thinks that the effort to fund education should put more emphasis on vocational jobs.
Bosetti also discussed his support of AB 1492, which adds a one-cent sales tax on all finished lumber. In exchange for the tax, private timber companies would no longer be held liable for forest fires that start on their property.
Bosetti said he signed the no-tax increase, but is in favor of AB 1492, even though it is a tax, because “it was the right thing to do.”
He said he it would protect “22,000 jobs (directly and indirectly) in District 1.”
“I’m not in this to make friends,” Rick Bosetti said of his bid to be the area’s next assemblyman. “I have a wife who loves me,” which he described as what is most important to him at the end of the day.
His Saturday night appearance marked the eve of his 34th wedding anniversary to wife Patti.
He also has four college-educated children of whom he is extremely proud, a professional baseball career and private business success.
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