Posted by Jack
Appeal-Democrat Yuba County supervisors weren’t quite ready to embrace the idea of supporting a state of Jefferson, but they are looking into the idea.
With some 30 State of Jefferson supporters (the proposal is to have a chunk of Northern California secede from California) in the audience, supervisors formed an ad hoc committee of board members Andy Vasquez and Mary Jane Griego to look more closely at the proposal.
The move came after Mark Baird, leader of a state of Jefferson movement, outlined his organization’s reasons for wanting to create a new state in Northern California.
“We are at a place in California where we are ungovernable now,” Baird told the board. “What we would like to do is start over.”
The movement has already drawn support from Glenn, Siskiyou and Modoc counties, while Tehama County has put the question on its June primary ballot. Local supporters have said they will ask supervisors in Sutter and Yuba counties for support.
Baird explained the effort is an attempt to get better representation for northern counties. County support is being sought to add ammunition in seeking out a legislator to sponsor a bill to create the state or hold an election.
“We have a state where the counties have the least of the power,” Baird said. “We propose a state of mind where counties have the lion’s share of the power.
“We don’t have representation at all,” he said. “We are irrelevant because we are outnumbered.”
Supervisor Hal Stocker was the only board member who out-and-out embraced the idea.
“Your argument is extremely persuasive,” Stocker said. “I am in favor if it 110 percent.”
Other board members were more cautious, opting for the ad hoc committee to do more analysis on how it would effect the county.
Supervisor John Nicoletti asked what the effect of creating a new state would be on Beale Air Force Base, which he described as the largest employer in the North State.
“It would not change,” Baird said. “Our goal is not to kick the feds out.”
Nicoletti also noted that similar proposals have come forward before and asked how this one is different.
“This time it is different,” Baird said. “It is broad-based and it is apolitical. I think you will find we are not going away.”
Griego said there are questions that haven’t been answered. She said she would like to hear from business owners and educators, and get a better sense of how it would affect water issues.
“There will be a cost down the road to forming a new state,” she said.
The matter will tentatively come back to the board on April 15 with a report from Vasquez and Griego.
CONTACT Eric Vodden at 749-4769.