This is the story of a courageous woman and the inter-agency team, across 2 counties (Tehama & Shasta), that fought for justice – and her life.
Last night, my husband and I attended the premier of the documentary “Crossroads: One Woman’s Path to Justice”. This is the story of a courageous woman and the inter-agency team, across 2 counties (Tehama & Shasta), that fought for justice – and her life. Corning Observer Article
courage (noun) the ability to do something that frightens one
Every person in Lisa Dawson’s path to freedom – the dispatcher, officers, advocate, doctors, investigators, attorneys, counselors – had to play his or her role perfectly to get and keep the attacker in custody and ensure the victim felt safe enough to take every next step.
When the movie is publicly available, I will share how you can watch it. In the mean time, I wanted to share some important information about local resources and what you can do if you know or see someone being abused.
Shasta & Tehama counties both have organizations who work with law enforcement and the district attorney’s office to help victims of domestic violence. GET TO KNOW THEM! Check out their websites and learn about the programs they have available.
Some of the resources available through Empower Tehama & One Safe Place are listed below.
Emergency & Transitional Housing
Prevention & Education & Intervention
Sexual Assault & Trafficking Programs
See their websites for additional information and other resources & programs.
Whether you have a friend you think is being abused or your see signs of abuse in a stranger, most of us have no idea how to help. Fear for their own safety or of putting the victim in further danger often prevent bystanders from getting involved.
Knowing both what to do and when to do it can be a tricky combination. Below are my thoughts along with a few links on how and when to get involved.
Start by learning what local resources are available. Keep the Crisis Hotline numbers in your phone or on small slips of paper to share with someone who needs help.
Call 9-1-1 if someone is in immediate danger.
Helping Someone You Know
Contact Empower Tehama or One Safe Place – they do this every day and can advise you on how to help
Let the victim know you are concerned about their safety – ask if they need help and tell them about local resources
Offer a ride to one of the organizations listed above
Explain that free, confidential help is available help for victims and their children
Let them know they’re not alone
Be patient – the mental control abusers have over their victims is difficult to understand; it may take numerous efforts for a victim to get help
The most dangerous time is when a victim leaves an abusive relationship – professional advocates can help them create a safety plan so when they are ready, they don’t have to try and figure out where to go
Helping a Stranger
Assess the situation – engaging may be unsafe for you and the victim
Discreetly make eye contact with the victim – they may be feeling very alone and isolated, let them know you see them
If you can safely do so: ask, whisper, or simply mouth “are you ok?” or “do you need help?”
Be an active witness
Make note of descriptions, details and vehicle information
Take photos or videos (if you can do so safely and discreetly)
If you don’t think 911 is warranted, but you think they need help, go to an area you can talk privately and call Empower Tehama or One Safe Place and ask for their advice
I’ll be voting Republican for those that are party designated – below are my thoughts for the non- positions and propositions and how I plan to vote.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Lance Christensen has had massive support from conservative mama bears! He’s my choice.
Tony Thurmond (current Sup) – endorses by Nancy Pelosi, Alex Padilla and the Democratic Party.
California Supreme & Appellate Court Justices
California Court Justices are appointed by the Governor. Newly appointed judges are listed on the ballot during the next gubernatorial race. This is a YES /NO vote for a 12 year term – they will be listed again at that time. Take the time to read about the individuals and decide whether you want to vote to keep them in their roles. Keep in mind that if Brian Dahle (R) wins the election, he would be in the position to appoint the new justices.
I’m in agreement with all but Prop 31 in the Reform California Voter Guide. Decide for yourself what you think is important – my decisions are below.
PROP 1: Reproductive Freedom
My Vote: NO – Prop 1 isn’t about healthcare – it’s about politics. This proposition allows for abortion up to and including birth. I personally believe life begins at conception. I understand their can be circumstances when difficult decisions need to be made, but I am not in agreement with a blanket law allowing abortions at all stages of pregnancy.
The questions you have to ask yourself:
When does life begin?
Does this proposition allow for abortion after that point?
My Vote: NO – Arts & Music are important, but I’m not convinced this is the right solution.
There is NO formal opposition to Prop 28. Opponents argue that the measure would limit schools’ options to navigate future budget crises.
“Proposition 28 would require the state to set aside 1% of revenue in the general fund for arts education in K-12 public schools.”
Carl DeMaio, chairman of Reform California, believes Prop 28 would lead to budget cuts in core education programs like reading, writing, and arithmetic.
“Prop 28 sounds good on the surface — more funding for arts and music — but the language is fatally flawed to allow diversion of funding from other education programs that are already not meeting the performance goals we’ve set,” says DeMaio.
He further notes, “California’s public schools are failing and it isn’t because we aren’t offering enough music and arts programs – it is because we have a total lack of accountability within the bureaucracies that run these school districts.”
“The state of California recently ruled that 90% of rideshare vehicles must be electric vehicles by 2030. Lyft is trying to force the taxpayers to foot the bill – rather than spend their own corporate money to support their drivers and comply with the new law.”
“Prop 30 revenue will be put in a special interest lock box overseen by an unelected board, redirecting general fund monies traditionally used to support California’s public schools, teachers and students.”
IF ANY CANDIDATES are willing to answer the questions on the above link, I would be happy to share those answers here!
RBJUHS District Board
Barbara Klotz is a conservative who has been supporting our group and coming to rally’s. I support her candidacy! She’s the only one I know anything about.
Red Bluff City Council
I don’t live in the city limits so I don’t get a vote, but their decisions still impact those of us who call Red Bluff home.
Who I would vote for if I were in the city limits:
Kris Dieters is a current councilwoman and is aligned with the majority of our local political beliefs. There is a talk about a recent decision made by Ms Dieters and 2 other councilmen in regards to Dog Island Park being a designated homeless encampment. Before you write them off, talk with them. The 3 that voted this way are and have been representing the people of Tehama County as we would want to be represented. Get the full picture before voting out the good ones!
Pat Hurton is a long time resident of Red Bluff, retired law enforcement officer, and pastor. He is also the current chairman of Christian Peace Officers of Tehama County. He has been attending the council meetings for quite some time and has been disappointed with some of the decisions made in the past. He sees the need for good, local representation and wants to make a difference.
Johanna Jones is also a current councilwoman. She is often aligned with Ms Eyestone. However – compared to those listed below, she is a less problematic choice.
Who I would not vote for:
Danielle Eyestone is a current councilwoman and former mayor pro tem. She was removed as mayor pro tem last year when she became visibly and verbally angry toward the other councilmen about an incident that she believed was a violation of the Brown Act (which is designed to ensure public transparency). She ended up walking out of the closed session meeting. The DA ultimately determined no violation had been committed. However 3 of the other councilmen (Parker, Dieters & Gonzales) determined her behavior was not appropriate for someone leading the council; they voted to strip her of her title as mayor pro tem. KRCR Article
Cody Strock ran for council 2 years ago. He is young, which is not in and of itself a bad thing! But his grand ideas, which sound good on the surface, are not realistic. When problems were pointed out to him during the last election, he became defensive and argumentative. Ask the very hard questions – but make sure you have the same conversations with some of the other sitting councilmen (Kris Dieters, JR Gonzales, Clay Parker).
Colton “Magi” Douglas Epperson is clearly connected to Strock. Check him out on FB.
PLEASE VOTE NO! Measure E would repeal and replace City Council ordinance 1063, which was developed through an extensive Committee process that ultimately provides accountability among government officials and commercial cannabis businesses within Red Bluff.
Cannabis dispensaries, distribution, delivery, cultivation, manufacturing, microbusiness, and testing laboratories are currently allowed. In fact, three dispensary permits have already been approved for operation within the City of Red Bluff.
Passage of Measure E would rescind and replace City of Red Bluff Ordinance 1063 and while it would not invalidate the permits and development agreements that the City has diligently been working on for the past two years, current permittees may not be re-permitted at their annual review under Measure E.
Measure E has several legal deficiencies that would subject it, and the City, to legal challenges and at least partial invalidity:
(1) the residency preference would subject commercial cannabis permit applicants potentially violating our Constitution’s Commerce Clause, Privileges and Immunities Clause, and Equal protection Clause,
2) the restrictions on criminal background of applicants could be unconstitutionally vague; and
(3) the process for revoking commercial cannabis permits may violate a permittee’s procedural due process rights.
Finally, there are ambiguities within the Measure that will complicate implementation if passed and Measure E does not reflect best practices for commercial cannabis permitting ordinances.
Measure E would have a detrimental financial effect on the City because the initial fees will likely not cover the City’s costs of processing applications, requiring a subsidy from the General Fund. Additionally, Measure E does not provide for public benefit payments in connection with their applications. The financial loss to the City if this Measure is passed is estimated to be approximately $400,000 annually. Furthermore, Measure E allows consumption lounges within the City, while City of Red Bluff Ordinance 1063 does not allow consumption lounges.
The City Council is opposed to Measure E. It is unnecessary since the City has passed Ordinance 1063 which already permits cannabis operations within City limits and urges the public to vote No.
“This is a misguided and ill-informed effort to remove and replace Red Bluff’s recently adopted Cannabis Ordinance. The language contained in Measure E to replace the ordinance has already been rejected by the City Council, after legal counsel determined that several clauses are non-enforceable and would subject the city to expensive and lengthy litigation.”
IMPARTIAL ANALYSIS BY CITY ATTORNEY MEASURE E
In February 2022, the City Council of the City of Red Bluff adopted Ordinance 1063 which authorized Commercial Cannabis dispensaries, manufacturing, cultivation, delivery, and microbusinesses within the City of Red Bluff.
Measure E seeks voter approval to repeal and replace Ordinance 1063 with an ordinance that would amend the Zoning Chapter of the Red Bluff Municipal Code to permit and regulate commercial and personal marijuana or cannabis activities.
Measure E would not invalidate the cannabis storefront permits or development agreements currently in place pursuant to Ordinance 1063, however the permit renewal process would be modified and there is no guarantee that the current permit holders meet Measure E standards for re-permitting.
Measure E would allow the following state commercial cannabis license types to operate in the City: storefront retail, retail delivery (non-storefront), microbusiness, manufacturing (including volatile), distribution, testing, cannabis events, and indoor cultivation. It would also permit cannabis consumption lounges if permitted by state law. Measure E allows 1 storefront retail business, delivery retailer or consumption lounge for every 5,000 people in the City.
Measure E establishes a “first come, first served” process for selecting applicants to obtain a retail or consumption lounge cannabis permit. The City must select applicants based on a ranking system of “social equity” factors which prioritize applicants living in or within 10 miles of Red Bluff for the last two years.
Cannabis businesses must be at least 500 feet from schools, day care facilities, and youth centers when established.
Retailers may operate in the central, historic, and general commercial zoning districts, and industrial districts. Other commercial cannabis businesses are allowed in certain commercial or industrial zones, though cannabis event organizers may be located in any district when operating as a home occupation.
Measure E creates a permit procedure that gives the City Planning Director authority to approve applications. There is no requirement for Planning Commission approval.
The initiative requires permittees to maintain odor control systems but does not require security systems. It provides the City cannot be liable for its permitting decision, but it also prevents the City from requesting applicants indemnify the City for claims others may bring due to the applicant’s conduct.
Measure E allows personal cannabis cultivation inside a dwelling or accessory building that complies with state and local building codes. However, it does not create a mechanism for inspections to ensure compliance with such codes. Although outdoor personal cultivation is prohibited, the City Council may allow it.
Measure E allows up to 6 plants to be grown indoors per property unless cultivation is for medical use. It then allows up to 12 indoor plants per qualified patient or primary caregiver.
The City estimates that the Measure E will result in approximately $400,000.00 in lost revenue annually due to the lack of Public Benefit Fee provisions in the initiative.
Measure E can be approved by the voters by a majority vote of the ballots cast on the measure. Measure E was placed on the ballot via a Proponent Driven Ballot Initiative.
RED BLUFF UNION ELEMENTARY SCHOOL DISTRICT SCHOOL SAFETY, UPGRADE, RENOVATION AND IMPROVEMENT MEASURE
Our elementary schools are the most important asset in our community and should be our number one priority. From higher achieving students, to greater neighborhood safety and improved property values, quality schools make a difference. Teachers and staff do their best in educating our children, many classrooms and school facilities at the Red Bluff Union Elementary School District are outdated and inadequate to provide students with the schools they need to succeed. This is why our children need your YES vote on Measure F!
Although our elementary schools have had some major renovations recently through the successful passage of Measure C, our work is not done. It’s time to finish our plan to fully renovate all our schools and provide quality education to our local children. These aging schools need major classroom and infrastructure improvements to preserve the quality of education provided to local children. By investing in our schools, we can meet today’s safety, technological, and educational standards and better our community.
If passed, Measure F will provide funding to make facility improvements at local elementary schools including: • Repairing or replacing leaky roofs • Replacing outdated heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems • Upgrading inadequate electrical systems • Replacing deteriorating plumbing and sewer systems • Making health, safety and handicapped accessibility improvements Measure F makes financial sense and protects taxpayers. • All funds must be spent locally and cannot be taken by the State. • By law, spending must be reviewed and annually audited by an independent citizens’ oversight committee. • Funds can only be spent to improve our schools, not for teacher or administrator salaries.
Measure F upgrades and renovates old and inadequate school facilities, improves the education of local children, and maintains the quality of our community.
The TV show Mom has a great episode addressing rape. Often women feel they were at fault because they were intoxicated or under dressed – it is NEVER your fault! And you always deserve help.
Empower Tehama has incredible resources for domestic violence and sexual assault.
If you need help, if you are being abused or have been assaulted, you can contact them directly – but if you’re scared about the process, you can also reach out to me and I will help get you in touch with them.
In addition to direct client help, they have a ton of educational resources for the community. You can help! Businesses can share brochures or place flyers in bathroom stalls. They’re also a 501c3 so you can make a tax deductible donation to help our county residents get direct help.
Tina Peters is the Mesa County, Colorado Election clerk.
She believed the the election system, including the Dominion machines used in that county, was secure and invulnerable to attack.
But she had numerous complaints that said otherwise. Enough so that she hired a forensic auditor to dig into the machines.
What she found is shocking.
Selection Code is a documentary tracking her discoveries and showing the lengths corrupt people will go to cover up their acts. They upended her life.
All it takes for ever to triumph is for good men to do nothing.
This wasn’t just the 2020 general election. She also found corruption in a local city council election.
Folks – WE HAVE DOMINION MACHINES in Tehama County!!!!
Our election clerk and our Board of Supervisors believe they are safe. We know they’re not.
So what do we do? How do we convince them we/they need to dig into the elections data? How do we convince them to get rid of the machines? How do we get them to validate the recent elections? Why is asking to verify the validity of our elections such a bad thing?
On the last Station 19, one of the fire chiefs who is known to be cruel and unethical is now a candidate for mayor.
Many of the fire guys are frustrated when they see him on camera talking about how he knows so much about the inside, he knows how to fix things and he’s already doing what needs to be done. Sound familiar?
One of the guys, frustrated, says “What is the point of anything we do when this stupid city and this broken country and this absurd world seems to be just fine with ‘Dixons’…. we keep giving them platforms, power and government positions. Isn’t not trying to stop him like giving him a platform?”
I’ve been hearing about corruption and unethical actions of certain people in this community for years. Somehow they seem to end up getting promoted or elected to higher positions.
Why do we allow this? I hear people talk all the time about how sick they are of representatives and leaders who don’t listen to their people. And yet when we have a chance to weed them out, we don’t do it.
Why is it that we don’t demand goodness from the people in decision making roles? We keep electing them. We don’t speak up when we know there is wrong being done.
Next week, I plan to share my ballot – not because I think you should vote the same, but because I think it’s important to talk about why we vote.
You have to make your own decisions about how to vote. But I hope my willingness to talk about why I’m voting certain ways will encourage you to do the same.
I don’t really know how much our vote truly counts at the state or federal levels, but I do believe our vote counts locally. So let’s vote well. Let’s vote for people whose ethics are not questionable. Let’s vote for people who have a history of listening to people.
I’ve been attending the candidates nights, which honestly have been a bit disappointing. One of the questions at one event was “what characteristics do you think the person in this position should have?”
This is a question we should be asking ourselves of every single position on the ballot. Honestly – for me the answer is the same across the board.
Strong moral values comes first: Integrity – Honest – Transparency – Sincerity – Compassion
Interest in the concerns of EVERY citizen they represent – including their competition, including those who are less than desirable, including those with whom they disagree. And treating those individuals with respect.
Elected officials take an oath to uphold and defend the constitution – I want to know they take this seriously (not just the 2nd amendment – but the whole constitution). I hear too often “I have to follow the law”, “I have to do what the state tells me”. No – you first have to know the constitution and respect it as the supreme law of the land. Period.
I don’t care if the candidate is a great public speaker. I don’t care if they have more experience. I don’t even care if they’ve had some personal life issues.
For too long, I have voted for people because I liked what they wrote in their candidate statement. Yes – that’s probably gonna tell me something, but it’s written to entice me – it’s advertising, that’s it. If I don’t sit down and talk with them, will I know what they really think?
Over the last couple of years, I’ve chatted with quite a few of our currently local elected officials. I’m disappointed in some of them – as are a lot of people.
But WE voted for them! So now it’s time for me to rethink how I make the decisions on which box to check on my ballot.
There are more candidates nights coming up. I’ll be attending them not to hear what they say from the podium, some of them are just better speakers – does that make them better human beings? No! In some cases, it just makes them better public fibbers.
What I Don’t Want in a Candidate
Apathy – Indifference
I had emailed one of the candidates a while back and I spoke to her briefly at one of the forums. I gave her my business card and after I walked away, I watched her hand my card to an associate. I don’t know what she said, but the associate rolled her eyes and the official nodded her head.
I suppose there’s an off chance she wasn’t speaking about me, but that’s not the first time I’ve felt her lack of interest in my concerns. Her email responses have given me the same impression. They’re short and snippy and basically have the tone that my concerns are not important to her.
Unfortunately, she doesn’t have an opponent or I would very seriously be talking with them.
Disrespect – Passive Aggressive
Some of the candidates are being unbelievably disrespectful to their opponents.
I understand having disagreements with the other persons platforms. I understand looking back at past experience and actions that have been taken. But using a public forum to try to embarrass or belittle your opponent will not win any points with me.
One of the candidates for controller/auditor is Krista Peterson, currently the 2nd in command of that office. She has worked there for 19 years, literally training for this position. On paper she might seem like the logical choice.
Her opponent is Candy Carlson, current Board of Supervisors member (which is an elected position that makes the decisions about how our county is run overall).
I’ve had several opportunities in recent years to have lengthy discussions with Candy. Long before she put her name in for this position, she had been publicly stating that she has concerns about the way our finances are being managed. She has an opportunity to make changes that will help the BOS make better decisions and I commend her for wanting to do so.
During the candidate forums, Krista chastised and belittled Candy because Krista doesn’t think that the controller’s office is doing anything wrong.
I take issue with this For 2 reasons:
Candy is a current elected official who has been doing her job well and is respected by many – she is voted into office by the people and is responsible for the overall budget of the county. In asking deep questions about the finances, she is looking to protect her constituents. If Krista truly thinks the finances are properly handled, she should have simply offered to sit down with Candy and discuss the issues.
Candy is also a citizen. If she has concerns about the practices of an elected official, it is her RIGHT to seek answers. No elected official should ever speak down to a citizen. When that citizen has a concern – it should be addressed. It’s really that simple.
History of Bad Behavior
I support one of the candidates for sheriff in large part because I know the history of bad behavior in regards to the other.
Chad Parker wants change for that office. he has great ideas about how to affect that change. Don’t get me wrong – I think he has the experience to do the job, but if the other candidate had integrity, it would be a toss up.
Dave Kain is currently 3rd in command at the SO and seems to think he deserves to be sheriff because he’s in the line of succession. But he won’t even acknowledge the concerns that many of us have.
Both my husband and Chad left the agency because the environment had become incredibly toxic. Approximately 40 other people in the last 4 years have also left. That’s more than 30% of the entire agency staff.
People need to hear this – no one wants to talk about it publicly because they don’t want to be thought of as whiners. But how do you know that there’s a morale issue if you don’t listen to the people who are suffering?
Kain would have us believe employees left because of salary. That’s simply not true – we know this because we’ve spoken with numerous people who have left. Yes some went to other agencies at a higher wage, but that’s not why they started looking.
He claims the exit interviews all support his line of thinking. Well, he actually did my husband’s exit interview – he was told about the concerns, he didn’t acknowledge a single one.
I have a huge list of issues like this – true concerns about whether he will continue to bully and belittle people if he becomes sheriff. He is doing it now during the campaign – so why wouldn’t he continue it in office?
It makes me sick to think people have bought into his ability to con them.
He’s led a dirty campaign and continues to treat my husband and Chad with disrespect. I don’t want someone like that in any elected office.
If you are like me and have historically voted based on who has more name recognition or a better candidate statement, I want to challenge you to rethink how you’re voting. Ask yourself questions and have conversations with others.
What are qualities you think are important in a candidate?
What issues with current candidates do you see?
Do you want to see continuity in the way an office is run? Or do you want to see change?
I’m sharing my concerns because I think people need to know more about who‘s on the ballot. I want to hear from you too. Email me confidentially at email@example.com if you want to share information about a candidate.
I got my copy of the Live Local Field Manual (LLFM) a couple days ago and have been flipping through it a little – digging into the first section this morning, which is about individual accountability and seeking God every day.
If you’re not familiar with Live Local – I encourage you to learn a little about the concept.
The main goal is to combat globalism by living local. We do that by getting involved.
“The Declararion of Independence states that the government derives its ‘just powers from the consent of the governed’. Live Local is about ensuring the consent has consequence, so that government is just.”
Jarrin Jackson, LLFM
Living Local isn’t just shopping local or showing up to community events. Where we fail immensely – and trust me, I’m pointing the finger at myself here – is getting involved in our government & schools.
“Consent of the governed” simply means that if we don’t object to the decisions our elected officials make, we consent to them.
But do we even know what decisions they’re making?
Did you know that in 2020, the Tehama County Board of Supervisors we’re drafting a “Penalty Ordinance”? This would allow them to hire enforcement and hearing officers to cite and fine citizens for not wearing a mask and businesses for not enforcing the governors “guidelines”.
How do we know what they’re doing if we don’t read the agendas and go to the meetings?
How do we know what they think if we don’t sit down and talk with them?
Candy Carlson holds a townhall meeting every month to hear from her people. Until recently, the other supervisors were not doing this.
Do you know who your supervisor is? Each county has 5 districts & supervisors.
Every election, I pull out my ballot and fill in the circle next to the name of a person or next to a Yes or No on some issue.
These are HUGE decisions!
But honestly, I usually didn’t give those decisions the time and energy they deserved.
Whose name did I remember from signs around town? Which propositions seemed appropriate? Didn’t I see a commercial or a letter about that? Did my party support it?
We vote people into office to made decisions for us. If they think it’s good – maybe it is.
Or maybe we voted the wrong people into office.
I listened today to interviews of certain candidates running for local office. One says a lot of right things – he is well rehearsed and seems knowledgeable. The other says good things too, but he doesn’t seem to have as much support.
So it would make sense to vote for the first guy right?
But how do you know the smoothe talkin, educated, experienced candidate isn’t just a good actor?
We’ve seen it enough – people sweet talk us during campaign season, they do everything right, they say everything we want to hear – then they take their oath and everything they said during campaign season goes out the window.
If you vote the way I used to – name recognition, and what sounds good – please shift gears this years.
Do your homework. If one person sounds too good to be true, maybe find out why the other candidate is so passionate about running against him.
Read the details of the propositions. Don’t just read the pro and con blurbs – I mean really get into the details.
And if you have questions – ask. If you don’t know someone to ask – reach out to me. I may not always have the answers and I’ll never tell you how to vote – but I’ll certainly tell you why I’m voting the way I am.
Camp Hope is a week long adventure for children and teens to help “break the generational cycle of family violence by offering healing and hope to children and adults who have witnessed and been impacted by family violence”.
Prior to retiring, my husband was the lieutenant who oversaw the SAR program. Since he retired, he joined SAR as a volunteer. That’s him on the boat.
If you aren’t familiar with Search & Rescue (SAR) – they are an all volunteer sheriffs team that train regular to “search” and “rescue” people who have lost or injured in the various terrains of our large county.
They are ready to get in the river or lakes, they have divers, they have gear for snow, they have dogs and 4wd to get into our remote areas, they are trained to repel down mountainsides and treat severe injuries in the field.
As you can imagine, to do all this right, the team puts a lot of time into training.
They most often get called out late at night – and sometimes during holidays.
They hold regular fundraisers to purchase equipment.
These are some of the most under appreciated people in our county. They won’t ever boast about what they do – so I’m boasting for them.
Thank you to all of the SAR volunteers. We appreciate more than you know.
This election year is unlike any other for me. Over the last 2 years, we have learned so much about our world, and in particular, our country.
The covid chaos has taught us how much our government has deceive us.
The 2020 election opened our eyes to election fraud and the great lengths people will go to win.
“There are people willing to stand up for other people no matter what it costs them.”
Johnny – Dirty Dancing
But the biggest thing for me has been seeing how many people have their heads in the sand. And I’ve been one of them for far too long.
There are so many individuals in local office (both elected and appointed), that have gotten there by taking advantage of the system and of the people. They do not have Tehama County citizens best interest at heart.
I never cared before. I just trusted the people running our county were doing the right thing.
But now I can’t unsee what I’ve seen. I can’t I hear what I’ve heard.
So this election, I am much more alert to the people running running for office. I want to know how they’ve conducted themselves in their own lives and in their work.
Some of our candidates have not been known to act with integrity. And yet at the first sign of public information that shows that, people jump in to defend that person.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, —
~from the Declaration Independence
Integrity is important. We have to be willing to get out of our comfort zones and have more detailed discussions about difficult issues. We have to be willing to identify weaknesses in our candidates.
That doesn’t mean we have to condemn them for those weaknesses. But we should expect them to overcome them. We should expect them to learn from their past mistakes and do better in the future.
We are all complaining about the people in office across the country and in our county who are doing bad things. But guess what folks – WE PUT THEM THERE!
It is OUR responsibility as voters to put the right people in office – not the one with the most experience, not the better public speaker, not the more popular person. We have to find the ones who will do what’s right and represent the individuals they govern, even when it’s hard, even when it goes against their own personal interests.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
~from the Declaration Independence
Listen to what people say – even if it’s hard to hear.
If you know that a candidate has a history of wrong-doing – reach out to me confidentially. Let’s find a way to get that information on the table.
How that person responds will tell us whether he or she is truly acting with integrity.
I want to encourage you to read the Declaration of Independence excerpt below. Our founding fathers understood that people become accustomed to suffering and that we would be more willing to suffer wrongdoings than to fight to correct them.
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
~from the Declaration Independence
It’s time for change friends. We don’t necessarily need to establish a new government – we just need to get the right people into office and then hold them accountable to the oath they take.
When I first started this group, our BOS was considering a penalty ordinance for individuals not wearing masks and businesses not enforcing them.
I was proud of our board for listening to our hearts and not instituting that ordinance. I truly believed we had a largely ethical and moral community leadership overall.
Since then, more and more information has come to light that has completely destroyed that belief – creating a passion in me to work towards educating our community and helping people get involved in our county.
Integrity: the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles
Integrity is a critical component to anyone holding an elected or appointed government office, as well as for being an officer, prosecutor, etc. People aren’t perfect, we all have failings in their lives – we are all just human.
But how do we handle things when we mess up? Do we own it and work towards improving? Or do try to cover it up and act like we didn’t do wrong?
To me – that’s what integrity is all about. It’s not just trying to do the right thing – it’s also having the willingness to acknowledge our failures.
Over the last 2 years, people have brought to my attention concerns they’ve had in the running of our county. Concerns at every level of local government.
Initially, I dismissed most of the complaints because they came from people I thought were being petty or had wrong motives.
But here’s the thing – even if they are petty and have wrong motives, they aren’t necessarily wrong!
The more I learn, the more disappointed I am in how unethical the people are who manage our local lives. We elect people into positions of authority and responsibility – people who represent us in making decisions about our community.
Shouldn’t we be able to ask them anything BEFORE we vote? Shouldn’t we want potential problem areas made public BEFORE we vote? Shouldn’t we be digging into their lives so we know we are voting for the person who will accurately and effectively represent us with integrity and intention?
Yesterday, information was made public about one of the candidates for sheriff. The person who shared this information had an anonymous account. The initial response from the candidate in question was to deny it and accuse the other candidate of dirty politics.
Some people understand the gravity of the issue – others immediately trusted the candidate in question and offered him support – without doing any research into whether the allegation was true and without understanding the weight of the issue.
It was that easy to convince people.
Why? Because we don’t like confrontation. We don’t like hard conversations. We don’t want to be part of the yucky stuff.
Where has this gotten us? We feel bad for the person “being attacked” and so we go vote for them. And we end up with a bunch of people in office who have a history of deceiving us!
Politics are ugly because people have a history. The question isn’t who has more history – the question is who handles their own history with integrity.
There are several positions in Tehama County that have more than 1 candidate. Don’t just watch for who has the better sign – don’t make your decision on who presents him or herself better. Dig in when issues come up and go learn the truth.
More than 40 employees have left the operations & administration divisions of the sheriffs office in the last 4 years. Many of these were long time employees who understood the salary issues. I have personally spoken with or know others who have had direct conversations with a lot of those who have left, as well as several who are still employed at the SO.
As I understand it, salary is not the only, nor even the primary, reason for the exodus. Morale at the SO has been very low for quite a few years and has gotten increasingly worse in recent years. This issue isn’t discussed – IT NEEDS TO BE!
There are a lot of questions we should be asking of the prospective sheriffs and as citizens who have a critical interest in the future management of our county law enforcement, we should not be criticized for asking the hard questions:
Why has the SO been giving $1M per year in annual salary savings back to the county? And for how long?
How do the SO salaries compare to other county employee salaries?
What other options are available to manage the staffing issues?
What actions have been taken and why?
What would the new sheriff do differently?
What is and will be done to address morale issues and identify other reasons for employee retainment challenges?
It would also help to really talk with former employees, each of the BOS members, and other county employees who might be familiar with these issues.
I also encourage those who are concerned about the salaries to do some research. Transparent California is a website that makes government employee salaries available publicly. You can filter by Tehama County and 2021 – then search by “sheriff” to see the salaries. Is it less than other agencies? Yes. Is it not a livable wage in Tehama County?
Below are the Tehama County SO salaries so people can quickly see the 2020 salaries. Please note that if a certain individuals salary seems to be significantly lower, it means they were not paid for the entire year, but you can get a good idea of the salaries being paid. Now – while I do agree that our entire county needs to increase wages, I also understand that we do not live in a rich county.
That MUST be taken into consideration when we address salary issues. We are not going to compete with Shasta County.
The median household income for the US is $65,712.
The median household income for Tehama County is $44,514. Shasta County is $54,667.
I personally believe our BOS and County Administrator can and should do a better job of managing the county budget and finding new ways to increase income for the county. Salary issues will not change until our county budget management changes.
In the meantime, our sheriff and his key management team are going to have to find creative ways to retain staff, hire new staff, and provide necessary services to our community.
The question we as citizens need to answer ourselves is who will be able to best utilize the current staffing and find creative ways to bring in new employees?
Talk to the men running – call them and ask to meet. Talk to ex-employees (seek them out – they’re not hard to find, Chad is one, my husband is one, there are 4 more on Chads campaign, there are several that have gone to work at the RBPD and other county agencies).
We wanted truckers going to Barstow to know we appreciate them, so we gathered on the I-5 Adobe overpass with a big “Thank You Truckers” sign and lots of flags. The response was amazing.
We also had 2 pick ups there collecting supplies to send down to the truckers. Huge thanks to both Walker family & Steve Greunwald for supporting the convoy!
With their own contributions and our supplies, the walkers filled 12 hefty tubs.
With their own contributions and our supplies, the walkers filled 12 hefty tubs.
Steve planned to go with the convoy all the way to Texas. The Walkers planned to drop supplies in Barstow on Tuesday and return home the next day. They just couldn’t come home – they went on to Arizona and now they’re going all the way to Texas too!
Natalie is sharing videos and pics along the way. The photos below are from Adobe.