Mendocino county 5th district supervisor candidates discuss issues at ukiah town hall yoga gas relief pose

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Candidates for Mendocino County 5th District Supervisor spoke at the Ukiah town hall event on Thursday night, discussing marijuana, taxes, funding increases and the need for better roads. Arthur Juhl, David Roderick, Alan Rodier, Chris Skyhawk and Ted Williams are all vying for the seat following the announcement that Dan Hamburg will be retiring.

Skyhawk says the county should use gas tax money for roads and hire more road crews to deal with understaffing and lack of work. He also noted that Mendocino County has trouble keeping people in the area because of wages and costs of housing. He proposes rezoning land so housing density can increase in the area.

“We do have the cell towers coming in from AT&T; it’s not really going to do the trick, but it’s better than what we have right now. We are going to have to continue to slog through. The carriers are not going to just come around and suddenly say, ‘sure we will give you broadband, Mendocino County.’ We really have to look at the whole package and really force them to come to the table in good faith.”

Alan Rodier Rodier is an attorney and farmer who was born in Australia. He worked as a grocery clerk in San Francisco California and started practicing law in 1979. In 1998, he bought a 40-acre farm in Mendocino County before moving to the Russian River Estates in Ukiah in 2007.

He believes the county will need hundreds of millions of dollars to help fix road problems. Although the gas tax is expected to help with revenue on roads, it won’t be enough, he said.Rodier is also a proponent of using the marijuana industry to help improve the economy of Mendocino County.

On the issue of a mental health facility in Willits, he believes that if the people of Willits are made aware of the benefits of the facility and that not all people with mental issues are dangerous as often stereotyped, they might be more willing to have the facility.

He is also critical of Measure B, which would use taxes to fund a mental health facility in Willits. To help build new roads, get better emergency services and bring projects back into the county, he proposed a sales tax to help with the increased funding because he said the gas tax will only raise $7 million at most.

He is also concerned about the apparent turnover in the CEO office that he believes is not productive for the county. He also does not see marijuana as a significant part of the county economy five years from now compared to what it was 10 years ago.

Ted Williams Williams is a Mendocino County native and a career software developer and volunteer fire chief. As part of his plan to improve the roadways in the county, he would like to see a tracking system to improve roads that could involve new technology that allows for vehicles to capture data that could give more accurate measurements for where to allocate resources.

On housing, Williams wants each community to figure out what it needs, as rural communities have different needs than larger cities like Ukiah. On the issue of marijuana, he recommends that the county form a cannabis commission with cultivators, teachers, nurses and community members to free up supervisors to deal with other issues.

Williams also agrees with the homelessness recommendations from the Marbut report and argues that homelessness is a community problem that we need to work together to solve. He says the county pays for it in lost business and the best solution would be to bring the homeless back into the system.

Arthur Juhl Juhl is a real estate broker with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering trained in Business and Environmental Law. He believes that a lot of the problems in Mendocino County can be improved through accountability and fiscal discipline. He cites administration costs and the actual amount of qualified service the county provides.

When asked about the CEO position in the county, he said that there is too much power in the CEO Office that takes away from the district supervisors. Juhl is also a strong proponent of the mental health building in Willits. However, he also wants to make sure that smaller cities and areas in Mendocino County have satellite buildings, so residents don’t have to travel all the way to Ukiah for treatment.