Hit: Reader submissions
Each week we reserve space in this newspaper for individuals with expertise on a particular topic to share their views without the word limit usually reserved for a letter to the editor. We always hope to fill the space with local submissions, but recently, we have more than we have been able to print. This sudden influx is largely due to the cannabis issue. Not in recent memory has one topic garnered such an outpouring of sentiment.
It’s an important topic that could dramatically shape the future of this county. On the facing page is a piece authored by the mother of an autistic son in which she describes the relief that cannabis has brought his symptoms. It’s a slightly different perspective than that offered by previous writers and we encourage you to read it.
We also want to make it clear that the sentiments published in the “Where I Stand” section are the opinions of the writer. One recent reader took us to task for publishing a “one-sided” opinion, but by its very nature an opinion is just that — it’s not meant to be an unbiased presentation of the facts.
Hit: Positive grand jury comments
This week we also received a portion of the 2018 Plumas County Civil Grand Jury report. You can read it on page 2A of this newspaper. It’s the first time in years, actually decades, that the report is fairly optimistic. While the current facility is still riddled with deficiencies, the jury report acknowledges that the $25 million state grant secured to build a new facility would eliminate those woes. We echo the grand jury’s praise for the staff who have worked in the outdated structure and its leadership for securing the funding and location.
Hit: New biomass facility
Kudos are also due to the Sierra Institute and all of those involved in the new biomass facility at the county’s Health and Human Services building. “Win-win” can be an overused phrase, but it is certainly apt in this case. The facility will take what we have in abundance — forest fuels — and produce heat for the building, while simultaneously improving forest health and reducing the threat of wildfires.
Miss: CAO debacle
And now to the CAO or the county executive officer or the county manager — it now appears to be the latter. The supervisors are leaning toward “manager” because they don’t want to give the position too much power and they want that reflected in the title. The problem is that by not giving the position enough power, the individual in that seat will be set up to fail. Even the supervisors’ own legal counsel warned them of that consequence. But at least we now know where Supervisor Kevin Goss stands. After failing to weigh in on previous discussions, he issued a one-sentence statement last week, going on record against the need to have the position in any form.
Miss: Who will be sued?
Finally, now that the streetlights are going to be turned off in Crescent Mills, with Quincy primed to follow, it will be interesting to see what transpires. Will crime increase? Will more traffic incidents occur? Which entity is going to be sued when the ramifications of turning off the streetlights in a community manifest? Yes, taxpayers had the chance to vote and the majority opted to not pay more taxes to keep the lights on. They’re already paying more to improve schools and support their local fire and health care districts; maybe they thought having streetlights should be a basic service that their tax dollars fund.