By Sue Weber
Editor’s Note: Indian Valley community leader Sue Weber made the following remarks during the public comment portion of the Oct. 19 Plumas County Board of Supervisors meeting to address the supervisors’ collective response to housing Greenville residents displaced by the Dixie Fire.
I am pretty confident that it would be fair to say, that almost everyone in this room is experiencing a catastrophic disaster for the first time—with which a single community, and the county at large, has ever experienced. And oftentimes this type of experience can leave us paralyzed.
I am here today to specifically address the Board of Supervisors.
My concern, along with that of my community members, is that it feels like the supervisors are operating as mayors of individual towns, when in fact, you need to be operating as a collective county.
We need your presence in our town to show you care; we need your leadership to solve our challenges and help fix the terrible situation our suffering community members, our families, and friends are in. They are your responsibility and they are looking to you for help and direction. Without that leadership, our most vulnerable people will continue to sleep in cars and camp in the forest. Our community members, those who lost everything and those who have been impacted by the fire, don’t have access to the every day basics of food, shelter, and a warm shower. I for one, cannot sleep at night knowing that this is continuing to happen.
I challenge each of you on the board to recognize the urgency of this situation and to not operate as “business as usual.” Whether it be advisory boards or a long term recovery group, we the people need to be at your table as we all find our way through this devastation.
As a non-incorporated county we cannot continue to work in our silos, but need to join forces so that our voices are heard and together we can rise from the ashes.
And right now none of us should be resting easy until the housing issue is resolved. No matter how much time, effort, or sacrifices we need to make, with snow on the mountains, this must be our task at hand.
If each of you does not rise to the occasion, the people will simply lose more faith in your empathy and commitment to the communities of Plumas County. Now is the time to ‘step up’ and show us the way, make those hard decisions that will impact our future for generations. Without that commitment, the people sleeping in tents and cars will continue to feel as if they have been abandoned.
I pray that none of our other communities ever have to feel what the residents of Greenville, Canyon Dam, and Indian Falls are feeling: a lack of compassion and a feeling of abandonment by the people that they thought would care the most—YOU.
And it is YOU. Each one of you has the power to make a difference.