What are the two biggest challenges facing the Fifth District and what are your plans to address them?
Affordable Housing: with completion of our Housing Element we are incentivizing construction of ADU's (Accessory Dwelling Units), smaller homes, detached bedrooms and other policy changes to allow for more flexibility in meeting Humboldt's housing needs. I will continue working with the Hoopa Tribe, and others, to reopen the Modular plant to construct Tiny Homes. I'll continue working with Planning Department staff, the community and the Board of Supervisors to complete the Emergency Shelter Ordinance which will allow for safe camps and parking areas for people without homes. I'll keep working to bring in state funds for supportive housing with wrap around mental health services for those who need it.
Drought and Wildfire: I will continue working with communities to increase rainwater collection and storage, and implement forest health and road restoration projects that will reduce wildfire and enhance our ground water reserves. We will continue our collaboration with tribal and all other communities to increase public education around prevention efforts as well as emergency preparedness.
What is the county government's largest flaw in responding to residents' needs and how do you plan to fix it?
Roads: Our roads have fallen into disrepair. I will continue to work for a balanced budget and to secure more funds for maintenance and repair of our roads. Additionally, I will vote to prioritize funding to repair existing roads and only support new ones that come with short- and long-term funding.
Mental Health: Many in our community go without mental health services; we need to secure more funding to deliver services and we need to do facility improvements in Eureka to bring all our services into a centralized location downtown.
Why are you the right person to represent the Fifth District for the next four years?
I have lived in the Fifth District for 46 years. I know it's history, it's diverse communities, and it's rivers, flood plains and roads. I know the community leaders and elders, and who to talk to when something needs to get done. I am tied deeply to this area, and its people.
I have 49 years experience in watershed management and land use planning in Humboldt County which gives me the expertise to tackle complicated problems and find sustainable solutions;
I look out for everyone in the district equally. I work to build bridges to bring folks together and focus on solutions;
I have increased public safety in the County and the Fifth District: I led the effort to raise wages for deputies and all county staff to increase public safety services, which Sheriff Honsal said helped with morale, retention and recruitment; I helped find funds for local fire departments to improve coverage and response times; helped with grant assistance for the new Orleans FD building; and I've supported community efforts to stop fentanyal in communities across the District by bringing attention, linking resources and encouraging partnerships.
I get results by listening to all points of view and ideas, learning from others and finding common ground to move us forward as a a community.
City/town of residence: Trinidad/Westhaven
Where did you grow up? Humboldt County
How long have you lived in Humboldt County? 49 years
Can you please provide a brief education history?
BS in Natural Resources, HSU,1975
MS in Watershed Management and Wildland Hydrology, HSU, 2011
Can you please provide a brief work history?
1976-1982 Owned and ran a small business which did tree planting, trails, erosion control and other natural resource projects
1983-2006 Worked as Independent Contractor directing, coordinating, and supervising 300 watershed and forest health restoration projects. Focused on hiring and training displaced mill and timber workers in the then new efforts at watershed management road storm-proofing, salmon habitat restoration and trail building
2007-2011 Owned a watershed restoration contracting and consulting business
2011-2018 Faculty at Humboldt State University teaching forestry and watershed hydrology classes
2012-2018 Executive Director for the Mattole Salmon Group, a non-profit organization working to restore flow and salmon and steelhead to our rivers
2018-2022 Humboldt County 5th District Supervisor
What is your current occupation? Humboldt County 5th District Supervisor
What do you consider the three most important endorsements you have received to date in your campaign for county supervisor?
The endorsements from local and regional elected officials such as Congressman Huffman; Sen. McGuire, Assemblyman Wood and members of the Trinidad City Council and McKinleyville Community Services District (CSD) because it means I've built solid working relationships with each of them that will lead to collaborating on great projects in the future.
The endorsments from the community members and leaders involved in developing the town center project in McKinleyville, because it means I have earned their trust and they know I will continue to listen to and represent all voices and interests.
The endorsements from people who didn't vote for me in 2018 because it lets me know I'm being responsive to my constituents.
Now, a few questions to give voters a taste of your personality:
What is your favorite movie? Mr. Smith Goes to Washington [Yes, really! It has boy scouts!]
What is your favorite book? The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
What magazine do you read most regularly? National Geographic
If your campaign had a theme song, what would it be? "This Land is Your Land" by Woody Guthrie
Who is your favorite fictional politician? Kermit the Frog
Who is your favorite real-life politician? Bernie
Dogs or cats? We love all the dogs and cats in our home equally.
What is your favorite hobby? Gardening