Sept. 24, 2013 — Herlong businessman Tom Hammond, 58, takes the oath of office today as the new Lassen County District 5 Supervisor. Hammond defeated veteran supervisor Jack Hanson in the Sept. 10 recall election.
According to Hammond’s statement of qualifications filed with his nomination papers, he is a businessman and entrepreneur who owns and operates “one of the most visible and successful businesses in the fifth district, The Mark.”
Hammond wrote he has lived in Lassen County since 1984, and his 39 years in the grocery business give him “a unique insight to the best interests of the local community.”
Hammond also wrote he would like to “reinvest into the community that has been so good to me. My investment will be time and effort, and I promise I will be available to all the people of the fifth district.”
Hammond has been a member of the Plumas Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative Board of Directors since 1996 and a Lassen Community College trustee for the past three years. He said at a public meeting he would resign his college trustee position if he won election as a supervisor.
“I believe my first-hand knowledge of the region’s cultural nature allows me to readily assess the needs of the people in the fifth district,” Hammond wrote.
Fair enough. I wish Hammond well, and I again congratulate him on his victory in the recall election. But I have to wonder: does being a businessman qualify you to be a county supervisor? Are the skill sets the same?
Either way, now that Hammond’s got the job, I’d like to see the economic development results in the South County he’s promised to deliver.
I’m sure district 5 residents join me in this desire. After all, that’s what they said they wanted. Maybe I’m wrong, but the message I got from district 5 residents was the previous supervisor didn’t work hard enough for economic development in the Herlong, Doyle and Milford areas —especially in Herlong. Many opportunities were squandered and wasted, they said, because of Hanson’s actions or inactions.
Ah, but now things have changed, haven’t they? It’s a whole new day. Not only does district 5 have a new supervisor, some of the Lassen County Local Reuse Authority properties will soon be in private hands, and I hope the new owners can create some business opportunities in beautiful, downtown Herlong.
But let me be real for a moment. Even though the cynical part of me wants to argue yesterday’s difficult challenges to Herlong’s economic development still remain unchanged today, and simply changing the person sitting on the dais in the district 5 seat probably won’t make an ant hill of beans of difference in overcoming those challenges, another part of me sincerely wants to be hopeful, positive and optimistic. I’m choosing to listen to that voice.
So best wishes to all you district 5 residents and any new investors who may come along. May all your wishes for the area come true, and may all your dreams be realized. Yep, mean old Jack Hanson’s finally gone, so now it’s time for all of you to roll up your sleeves and get it done. It’s up to you. You don’t have Jack Hanson to kick around any more.
Go, South County! Show the rest of the bozos in the county how it’s done!
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