Below are my responses to some questions I get on a regular basis.
+ What are your thoughts on the Shasta County building permit process?
Shasta County is NOT the Bay Area, and our building and code enforcement issues are not the same as theirs. Too often, enforcing the California Standard Building Code has a negative impact on citizens attempting to “do the right thing” by using the process. The permit approval process has become extremely complex and sophisticated. Significant projects are often stymied or slowed by the approval process. The County must begin to advocate for its citizens, stop taking a “hands off” approach through the process, and start helping citizens navigate the dozens of voices in the permit process to ensure a permit applicant’s success. The County must work proactively to be sure we’re not wasting valuable time, money, or human energy solving problems that we might not really have. We need to fight off unreasonable DURT (delay, uncertainty, regulation and taxes).
+ What is your position on marijuana grows in Shasta County?
What a mess. The argument between the State and the Feds seems like an interminable dilemma, and areas similar to ours are caught in the middle, like the children in a divorce. Let’s face it: this area grows marijuana well. I think Shasta Lake City is proving that it is time we all embraced commercial grows, not because we approve of substance abuse, but because California has legalized recreational marijuana use as of January, 2018. Personally, I’d rather have Monsanto in my backyard than the cartels. In any case, we need to tax the marijuana industry, and designate those taxes for law enforcement.
+ What can be done to protect our water rights?
As Public Works liaison for six years at the City of Redding, I know that our water issues are wildly different than those of the metropolitan areas like L.A., San Francisco, or even the big agricultural areas in the Central Valley. We are not facing shortages of water, nor are we over-pumping our ground water, yet the State continues to use environmental issues to restrict and constrain practical access to our water. Now that the drought is over, it’s a great time for Shasta County to aggressively fight for a seat at the table in the discussions about the future of water allocations in the State of California. If Shasta County fails in this, the State will continue to seize our right to choose how best to manage one of our most abundant local resources: water. This scenario could lead to the detriment of our economy and well-being of our citizens. I plan to work to rectify this inequality for Shasta County.
+ What is your position on County employee benefits?
Unfortunately, the scenario that is playing out all over in cities and counties is that CalPers benefits are crippling local governments. I want to work with our union partners to address this issue, and come to a mutually beneficial arrangement to correct the current financial stresses on local government. While on the Redding City Council, I co-wrote (along with Mayor Rick Bosetti) Measure A and Measure B; these Measures were passed overwhelmingly by the citizenry and gave the taxpayers some relief. I always prefer polite negotiations rather than strong-arm tactics, but in this case, it was needed as there was no forward movement at the negotiating table. Ironically, because of this success, San Jose, a fairly left-leaning City, contacted us and copied our Measures A and B for their own ballot measures.
+ How do you justify employee raises you gave while on the City Council?
Any raises during my 8 year tenure that I approved were justified by employee performance, workplace equality, or inability to recruit employees in a certain field unless an increase in the offered salary occurred. For instance, at the end of my term, it was brought to the Council’s attention that women Department Directors were not being paid commensurate with their male counterparts. Based on gender workplace inequality (while noting both women were outstanding in their job performance), I voted to give two women Directors salary increases to avoid future lawsuits against the City. Ironically, the raises were approved by the Council with 3 women Councilors voting for the raises, and 2 male Councilors voting against. I concede that the timing for these raises could not have been worse on the heels of the defeat of Measures D and E (Public Safety Tax). However, I firmly believe in doing the right thing, whether or not it causes me to lose political capital.
+ Government seems to be falling apart and people don’t trust their elected leaders. How can you fix that?
I think the only way people will learn to trust their elected leaders is for those leaders to be as accessible and transparent as possible. I have a Facebook page, a website, and email for interested people to understand my positions or to contact me. I plan to always maintain many avenues through which citizens may reach me, and to keep an open-door policy for constituents.
+ Besides your platform issues, what do you see as something you would address as a Supervisor?
I think we should expect the County Board of Supervisors to exert their authority and make direct efforts to advocate our community’s needs and issues to the State and Federal entities. For example, besides being at the State’s mercy on water issues, we’re also at the Federal government’s mercy for forest issues. While the National Forests are not under the purview of the Board of Supervisors, the Supervisors could try to apply pressure to demand a role in determining forest management practices in our region, or demand that the government agencies responsible for the economic losses that are a direct result of negligent forest management practices be accountable. We need to explore what it costs Shasta County in lost tourism revenue to have miserable air quality for 4-5 weeks each year. We must always remember that we are alone up here, and we can’t wait for the State or the Feds to rescue us – we must work to save ourselves, while working collaboratively as much as possible to achieve our goals.
+ Why didn’t you run for City Council for a third term?
I believe in term limits for local elected offices. I think I “gave my all” to the City of Redding for eight years, most of that time through the Great Recession and very tough economic times for our citizens. I had tried to get the Council to restrict itself to two terms per Councilor (8 years), but I could only get one other vote of support, and I needed three, so I wasn’t successful. I believe after 8 years, it is time for fresh perspectives and new ideas. I look forward to providing that fresh outlook for the County.
+ Why have you decided to run for Supervisor, District 1, and why should I vote for you?
After ending my tenure as Mayor of Redding for the second time in December 2016, I saw a need at the County level for new leadership. I had been reading about the disharmony between certain Supervisors and others, and it occurred to me that the poison of partisanship at the US Congress level had seeped down to the County level. I may not be able to alleviate all trials and tribulations, but I do know how to listen. I feel I have always been a “Shasta Strong” leader who gets things done. I have never been a place holder; I am more of a visionary with a strong follow-through personality; I can do better than that which is currently occurring at the County. As a life-long Shasta County resident and recent Redding Mayor, I’m very familiar with the issues facing District 1 (downtown), and will work hard to make Redding safe and begin to thrive again.
+ Why do you feel you can get the County and the City to work cooperatively together?
I’ve done it before. Ten years ago when the Supervisors put all kinds of road blocks in front of our citizen’s group that was trying to merge City/County library services, we worked hard to create a positive outcome for a new library administered by the City/County entities. It wasn’t easy, but we persisted and, as a result, have a tremendously successful county-wide library system.
+ Why do you think the State will listen to you and address our County’s problems?
Same answer: I’ve done it before. The State of California was leaning toward awarding an $11 million library grant to a more populated area that would benefit certain State legislators. I addressed the State panel in Sacramento; not only did Shasta County get the grant, but I was awarded the Assembly Woman-of-the-Year Award.
+ What are you proud of from your years on City Council?
I am very happy that Redding made it through the Great Recession with reserves in our budget, and that we were able to build a new police facility, in spite of the economy. I am pleased that we implemented most of the ideas generated by April LaFrance’s Safe City Project while I was on the Council. I loved the extension of our trail system, making us ‘Trail City USA.’ I’m happy that our community pulled together to get us all through the tough times, not only economically, but with the drought years. I’m proud to have worked with One Safe Place and Matt Moseley to establish a massage parlor ordinance to curtail sex trafficking. I’m proud to have worked toward innovative solutions for the social issues that plague our society.
+ What is your education and job history?
Education: A.A. Shasta College; B.A. and secondary teaching credential Cal State University Chico; M.A. University of San Francisco; P.A. credential Stanford University.
Employment: Small business owner (The Fireplace Shop, Redding Title Company, Women’s Medical Center), P.A. (Physician Assistant) working for UC Davis/Stanford as a teacher; Women’s Medical Center, Mercy Medical Center ER, St. Elizabeth’s ER: working as a P.A. and Practice Administrator for Shasta Emergency Medical Group.
+ Do you have family in the area?
My two brothers and I were born and raised here; I’m the youngest of the three. One brother now lives in Oregon, and the other survived with his house intact after this autumn’s fires near Oroville. He has also survived his encounters with Agent Orange resulting in lung cancer and heart disease after serving two tours in Vietnam. The VA has been very helpful. Locally, I have one married son who also graduated from Cal State University Chico and who lives here with his wife and my toddler granddaughter.
+ What activities in our community have you participated in?
First, please remember I was born and lived all my life here, and beginning in my late teens I’ve been interested in using my various attributes to help my community by lending a hand where it was needed. As a result, and because I’m known as someone who can take the ball over the goal line, I’ve been asked to join many boards and organizations that can use my talents. So, to name some organizations I’ve been involved with: Plus One Mentors Board, Turtle Bay Board of Regents, Shasta College Foundation BOD and Board of Regents, Women’s Fund member, Cal State Chico President’s Advisory Board, Library Governance and Financing Task Force Committee Chair, President of Redding Area Physician Assistant/Nurse Practitioner Alliance, Women’s Refuge (predecessor of One Safe Place) Auxiliary Board, Bank of America Scholarship Committee, Park Marina Task Force, Elks Club, Rotary Club of Redding (International Committee and Team Captain), Sons of Italy, AAUW member, League of Women Voters member, YMCA (BOD & Executive Board), Trustee Shasta-Tehama-Trinity Joint Community College District, Help Line Inc. Board, American Cancer League, Shasta Library Foundation Board, American Heart Association Board, CSUC Redding Advisory Board, Affordable Housing Lowe’s Funds Committee, New Library Now! Board, Methamphetamine Task Force Board, Kids’ Kingdom “Project Playground” Public Relations Chair, Library Review Committee, Friends of the Redding Trails Founder, Library Citizen’s Advisory Committee, Redding City Councilmember and Mayor x2.
+ Do you have health issues that will affect your service to the Shasta County citizens?
It is known that I had a breast cancer scare about 6 years ago. At the time, I felt like the postman: “Neither rain, nor snow shall keep me from…” because I never missed a single City Council meeting while going through 3 surgeries and chemotherapy. I am tough, and I know how to face adversity and keep on going. Thankfully, I’m in the 98% survival category due to the wonderful medical personnel and hospitals here in Shasta County. So no, I don’t have any health issues that will prevent me serving the citizens of Shasta County. As a P.A. for 25 years and a breast cancer survivor, I do feel compelled to frequently remind citizens that since 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer, we must remind each other to get our mammograms and do our breast checks. I’m a big proponent of Think Pink.
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