Two seek to be the next District 3 Supervisor

District 3 Supervisor Sherrie Thrall is not seeking another term to represent the Lake Almanor Basin, but there are two individuals who would like to succeed her: Kelley Cote and Tom McGowan. They will face off in the June 7 Primary.

Plumas News is sharing some biographical information on the candidates as well as their responses to some preliminary questions.

As the campaign season progresses, Plumas News will share more question and answer sessions with the candidates and will also cover forums that feature the two individuals. The successful candidate will take over as supervisor beginning in January 2023 and is scheduled to serve out a four year term.

 

 

Kelley Cote

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Kelley Cote

Age: 53

Occupation:  Director of Lassen County Department of Child Support Services

Family: I am married to my wonderful husband, and we’ve been together for the past 24 years.  He owns a mortgage company that has been serving the Northern California area for the past 35 years.  I have a son and grandson that live in Chester.  I have three sisters, one who lives and works in Chester and Susanville.

Why are you running to represent District 3 on the Plumas County Board of Supervisors?

We have been ignored long enough! Like many of you, I am frustrated with the lack of actual representation we’ve had over the years.  I am frustrated with the lack of vision for our community and its development. I want to serve you, our friends, and our communities. I want to make a difference, the right difference. I was born in Chester and have lived in this area all my life.  I have raised my family here and now the future of our children is at stake. I want to fight for our mountain way of life.

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What pertinent experience do you bring to the position?

I was appointed to Director of Child Support Services by the Lassen County Board of Supervisors in 2014. My duties and responsibilities as Director are pertinent to this position for the following reasons:

As a Department Head, I oversee the administration of the Child Support program pursuant to the federal and state legal standards. I am responsible for supervising, recruiting, developing, coaching, and terminating personnel and staff. I maintain an excellent relationship with the judiciary, Board of Supervisors, county agencies, social services, and State’s oversight agency.

I have an exemplary record in creating, implementing, and managing a county budget in compliance with federal and state laws, and county ordinances. This budget consists of funding from a federal block grant and the State General Fund.

I possess futuristic leadership skills, for example, I established a visionary policy and procedures for operations prior to the Covid crisis which provided uninterrupted income for children. As Director, I participate in advocating to legislators for child support funding legislation. In this capacity, I utilize my abilities to facilitate, mediate and communicate in difficult conversations.

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I am an elected Board member of the Child Support Director’s Association and a current committee member whose purpose is to facilitate communication and provide training to new Directors and mentorship throughout the membership.

I led the CSDA’s effort to build a relationship with the Rural County Representatives of California, where I successfully lobbied the inclusion of CSDA’s positions on child support funding in the RCRC’s Policy Principles.

I started with the Lassen County Department of Child Support Services in May of 2000.  From 2000 to 2014, I promoted to various positions including legal secretary, Child Support Specialist, where I managed over 900 cases, a Child Support Special Programs Coordinator, certified trainer, and a Program Manager.

Name the three most significant challenges that this county is facing and what would you do to address them?

Plumas County is facing insufficient workforce and/or affordable housing and I would address that concern by having a dialogue with the Board regarding implementing and evaluating the county’s 2035 General Plan, which includes the 2019-2024 Housing Element.

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The County is also facing the lack of a steady workforce, I would address this by discussing with the Board in exercising their authority in labor issues.

And the County currently is facing ineffective marketing for tourism, I would address it by expanding the County’s Tourism Economy plan by strategizing with the Board on how to implement effective marketing as described in the Economic Element of the 2035 General Plan, which provides for such expansion.

What are your constituents listing as their primary concerns and how would you address them?

The failure to be heard by their Representative, I promise to be responsive to my constituent’s communications.

The lack of workforce housing; I would address this as described above, specifically focusing on the underutilized sites inventory for District 3.

The future of the economy in District 3. I would address this concern by focusing on broadband infrastructure, evaluating the Planning Department’s policies and procedures, and hold Town Halls to engage with the constituents on their ideas to increase tourism.

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Tom McGowan

Tom McGowan

Age: 69

Occupation: Retired business owner/farmer

Family: married to my wife Shelly for 42 years and counting; two adult children and one granddaughter

Why are you running to represent District 3 on the Plumas County Board of Supervisors?

I feel that getting things done is a part of leadership. Some of our current board members are reluctant to commit to moving forward. There is way too much at stake to remain safe and predictable.

What pertinent experience do you bring to the position?

My past experience as a former Glenn County Supervisor (8 years) and my past association with CSAC and RCRC will allow me to skip the learning curve and get right down to the business of helping to guide our county through the recovery process.

I currently serve as Chairman of the Plumas County Planning Commission. I am a board member of the Lake Almanor Area Chamber of Commerce and I represent the Chamber as their government liaison to the current Board of Supervisors. I also serve as a representative to Caltrans for the HWY 36 Complete Street Project. I have been attending the Board of Supervisors meeting for the last 2 1⁄2 years to remain informed as to what issues are being addressed and what issues are being overlooked or put on the back burner. As a community it takes all of us to help guide us through these difficult times.

Name the three most significant challenges that this county is facing and what would you do to address them?

The list is long but in my opinion the significant issues facing Plumas County are lack of housing, jobs and reliable internet, more funding for Law Enforcement, Public Works and support for our local businesses and CBO’s.

The board needs to revisit the inventory of existing properties to see if any would qualify for a type of Permit process to help us through our housing crisis. We also need to pursue grants that we might be eligible for as Plumas County has been declared a Disaster Zone. This makes us eligible for additional grant funding from state and federal agencies. The Internet is being addressed by over sixty million dollars awarded to Plumas County from State and Federal sources.

What are your constituents listing as their primary concerns and how would you address them?

A recent survey of the community for using ARPA funds lists broadband infrastructure, supporting local business and CBOs with grants and Behavioral Health are the highest priorities. Funding for broadband and Behavioral Health are being addressed. As for supporting local businesses and CBOs we need immediate funding which the current BOS did not pass in a 3 to 2 vote that requires four yes votes on March 22, 2022 for the fifth time.

In closing, “the actions of a few affect the lives of many.” As a community let’s make sure that whatever actions are taken at the Board of Supervisors level are for the good of all the residents of Plumas County.