#1- Please briefly explain the relationship between the state and the county, both legally and functionally.
CF – County is extension of State – State controls county with regulations – State Runs Country.
#2 – What, in your opinion, are the county’s strengths?
CF – We have potential strength to draw outside businesses into our county. We have plenty of housing plus vacant lots at the Business Park. With “fiberoptic” services expanding, the County can offer new residents phone out services, call centers, like customer services. (This will take a few more yrs. for “fiberoptic” to expand to the west side of our county) With our beautiful country, both east and west, we offer fantastic tourism.
#3 – What challenges do you see in the next four years?
CF – Dealing with our debt. Try to balance the budget. Try to unify the east/west/south, towards issues in the county. In the next year or two, the water shortage problems. More revenue coming into cities by promoting small business’s and tourism. Support both chambers of commerce. Confront “funky politics” .. deal with defensible space regarding fire dancers around rural, mountain properties. Looking into the restrictions that have hampered residential building and business growth.
#4 – Though at one time Sierra County supplied the silver mines of Nevada with dairy products,beef and even truck crops, currently, very little food is grown in the county, far less than the residents of the county would consume. Do you think it should be a priority of the board to encourage more local food production, and if so, how do you think the board might accomplish this?
CF – I am for more local food production…encourage small growers to get together (Co-ops) and come up with idea’s and questions to present to the Board of Supervisors..let the growers know how to get certified so they can sell their goods. This process seems to be fairly easy to achieve, as long as we don’t put stifling restrictions, even to sell an egg.
#5 – What is your opinion of county participation in RCRC, SEDCO, Sierra Nevada Conservancy, and the other opportunities for multi-county interaction, keeping in mind that participation requires time and travel for supervisors If you find value, are you willing to attend these meetings?
CF – Anytime rural counties can unite, we the people in northern California, can deal with state issues. If we have a bigger voice, we have a better chance than standing by ourselves…*with Sierra Economic Development Co., I feel with the 5 counties working together, this has potential of promoting small business’s and local issues. Regional Council for Rural Counties : with 25 counties working together, it gives us some speaking power to petition state issues when they arise. As with many rules/regulations, that pertain to mostly large metro areas, our small northern counties have to “wear the same clothes”, even if the don’t fit… concerning Sierra Nevada Conservancy, I feel we need to be good stewards of our lands. We must remember, it is public domain and it should be available for the public to enjoy, not be “gated out”… it things can actually get done and not just chasing the same issues over and over with no results, then I am willing to attend meetings.
Bonus question. optional: There is a growing effort to have Northern California counties withdraw to form a new state. Efforts to do this have failed in the past, and is unlikely to succeed since the process involves state and federal cooperation Some feel the effort will at least draw attention to the problems of rural counties. Would you support a resolution to join a new state, and why or why not?
CF – Good question… seeing northern and southern California’s view points seem to be quite opposite of each other, I feel it would be a viable process to look into. Lots of issues just pertain to the south and there are times rules and regulations are selected by the masses of southern California. Somestimes, even if they don’t apply to the rural northern counties, they put us under the same blanket. If we were a separate state, our votes in all elections, state and federal, might have more meaning than they have in the past.
Thank you, Craig Fassbender, Running for District #2 Supervisor