Editor’s note: This press release is from “Keep It California”:
“On Tuesday, September 15, the Trinity County Board of Supervisors voted not to join the proposed State of Jefferson. After hearing testimony from the public, the Supervisors adopted a Pro-California declaration, ‘declining to join the State of Jefferson and advocating improved representation of rural California counties.’ This declaration was proposed by Keep It California PAC, a non-partisan political action committee, as an alternative to the proposed State of Jefferson declaration.
“After hearing presentations from State of Jefferson (SOJ) proponents and Keep It California representatives during previous meetings, the Board of Supervisors scheduled a vote to take a position on this issue. The alternatives were: 1) Adopt the Declaration to the California Legislature Supporting the Withdrawal of Trinity County from the State of California; 2) Adopt a Declaration Declining to Join the State of Jefferson and Advocating Improved Representation of Rural Counties; or 3) Take No Action.
“Public comments started with the Trinity County SOJ coordinator explaining that they had collected 2,000 signatures from Trinity County residents and regardless of what the Board of Supervisors would do, the SOJ plans to introduce legislation in January 2016 to ask for approval to form a new state. If this is not approved, they will file a lawsuit due to a lack of representation and take it to the U. S. Supreme Court.
“Keep It California spokesman, Kevin Hendrick commended the Trinity Board of Supervisors for exercising due diligence in evaluating the financial impacts of separating from California.
“’You have enough information to know that the State of Jefferson is not a viable proposition for Trinity County.’ Hendrick said, ‘It simply defies logic to suggest that you can cluster all of the poorest counties in California and somehow end up with a prosperous new state.’
Hendrick went on to explain that time could be better spent finding ways to work better with the State of California. He said Keep It California recently had meetings with State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon (East LA) and with seven State Assembly members from Los Angeles and San Francisco areas to raise awareness of rural issues, and to ask that the impact on rural counties be considered when new programs, laws and regulations are enacted.
“Following public comments, the Supervisors deliberated their options when Supervisor Karl Fisher stated that joining the State of Jefferson would be a financial disaster and his top priority was to do what is best for Trinity County.
“After hearing from both sides and eager to move past the division that the issue has caused, Supervisor John Fenley said, ‘Let us do our work and deal with Sacramento. We need to get back to our job.’ When Board Chair Judy Morris expressed her agreement with Supervisors Fisher and Fenley, Supervisors Bill Burton and Keith Groves made their last attempt to sway the majority to support Jefferson, but it seemed that the die was cast.
“In an interesting sequence of procedural moves the Jefferson supporters on the Board delayed, but did not stop the inevitable vote. Finally came the vote to adopt the declaration declining to join the State of Jefferson, which passed with a majority vote by Supervisors Fisher, Fenley and Morris.
“Many rural county Boards of Supervisors have said no to the State of Jefferson by not scheduling a vote on the question. Trinity County is the first county to explicitly and definitively say ‘No’ since June 2014, when Del Norte County had an advisory ballot and 58% voted not to join the State of Jefferson.”