I have written many personal letters to politicians and news pundits in the past 45 years and, this will probably come as no surprise, I have received only three personal responses. I have however, received several responses from these same "types" thanks to my column in the Sierra Star. I'm taking this opportunity to address our California District 5 Assemblyman Frank Bigelow.
Dear Assemblyman Bigelow,
During the past several weeks you have sent me questionnaires or surveys regarding the issues you face on our behalf in Sacramento. I'm taking this very public space to answer your requests.
Your most recent request was about the fire tax, whether or not I felt it unfairly targets rural communities and if I support efforts to repeal it. My answer is yes to both questions.
The reason I didn't mail it back is because at the bottom of the card it states that my "contact info will not be shared." Frank, it's a post card. Anyone who handles it between me and you will have immediate access to my response, my name, address, city, daytime phone and email address. Privacy? Someone didn't think past their hood ornament, but we're used to that from government.
Your survey titled "A voice for Rural California" has four questions with multiple choice answers requesting that we "please pick only one."
Question 1: "Which of the following sentences best describes you? I care most about " The issues range from economics, morality, water, illegal immigration, government education and health care, reducing government, and Second Amendment rights. I can only pick one answer?
Question 2: "Which of the following reforms do you believe would best help improve public education for rural communities?" Choices include teachers merit pay, how to remove ineffective teachers, increase teachers pay, add more charter schools, or state aid for home schooling.
Question 3 is a no-brainer for any taxpayer. "Are regulations on California's rural small businesses and agriculture too burdensome, just about right, or too lenient?"
And Question 4 wants to know what I think is the most pressing issue facing California's agriculture industry. Answers include water access and storage, declining farm workers, those blessed regulations like taxes, and livestock, metal and valuables theft.
You gave us only one "pick" for each of the four issues affecting what our government in Sacramento should focus on to correct a very broken system.
Frank, I hope I'm not the first to bring this to your attention but each and every one of those issues on your plate is "most" important. That's why we sent you to Sacramento. Your survey sounds like, depending which answer your "constituency" chooses the most, you'll place your focus there to please the most voters.
Every single "choice" in question 1 is of vital importance to me. Just because California's morals are in the toilet doesn't mean you should not do everything in your power to make right the immoral laws and regulations currently in place and still attend to the other issues with the same intensity.
Thanks to Washington, D.C. and Sacramento, California's economics are a mess, water is critical, and illegal (criminal) immigration's "free services" is killing our American way of life. Our government has quit listening to We the People, and our Constitutional right to bear arms is being shredded.
So Frank, you wanted the job and you got it. Roll up your sleeves and know that I have no interest in your cherry picking issues for votes. Get 'er done. God bless you, the state of California, and the United States of America.