June 5, 2012 — Ah, I’m just finishing my first election cycle leading the newsroom here at the Lassen County Times, and I’m so glad it’s nearly over.
To many folks in the county, this is the most important election ever — a phrase that seems to come up repeatedly at such times — but truth be told Lassen County voters will have made a choice today some say will affect the future of our county for years and years to come.
The race for the board of supervisors seems especially contested. District 3 Supervisor Larry Wosick, who defeated Lloyd Keefer in the primary election two years ago, has repeatedly and openly displayed his disdain and contempt for his fellow board members and their role in and method of running the county.
He’s even referred to the board’s chambers on Nevada Street as “enemy territory,” publicly called for the recall of District 5 Supervisor Jack Hanson and pledged District 1 Supervisor Bob Pyle and District 2 Supervisor Jim Chapman would not be re-elected today.
A second recall effort against Hanson recently failed, and Wosick has recommended and supported a slate of candidates for districts 1, 2 and 4 (the seat abandoned by Brian Dahle as he runs for the state assembly).
Wosick claims he is alone on the board with a clear vision to break the status quo of good old boyism, end the corruption and cronyism and burst the logjam of regulation and mismanagement that will lead to a new era of prosperity on Main Street and throughout the county.
All he needs to accomplish his goals is two more votes on the board.
The incumbents run on their record of accomplishments and proudly point out Lassen County, unlike other many other governmental entities across the state, is debt free and has taken steps to fund its future liabilities for items such as retirement and health benefits for employees. The incumbents say Lassen County may be the only county in the state that will not be swallowed by such debt in the near future. This means 100 percent of the tax revenue the county collects today can be spent today to provide services for county residents.
Yep, this election battle is bitter, and the voters decide today the county’s future direction. I pray we make a wise choice and can move forward quickly from the divisions the candidates have created.
The crowded race for Lassen County Superior Court Judge began cleanly, but some candidates and their supporters have since complained about negative attacks and advertising for what should be one of the most dignified positions in the county. Again, may the people select the best candidate for the presiding judge for our superior court.
So what have I learned in the past few weeks on the job?
Politics are always personal, especially during an election cycle. I’ve endured the usual charges of bias and unfairness from some — I guess that just comes with the job. Even my membership in the service organization Rotary came into question by some, if you can believe it.
I’ve learned some candidates appeal more to emotions and some appeal more to facts.
But mostly I’ve learned election politics are a dirty business and some candidates will do or say just about anything to anybody in order to get elected.
I have to wonder — if they conduct themselves in such a manner trying to get elected, how they will act if they actually win a seat of power?
Still, I have to believe the wisdom of the people will carry the day and move our county forward in the proper direction. That, after all, is our democratic process at work.
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