Supervisor needs to answer new residency question

Tuesday, March 4, 2014 — Lassen County District 3 Supervisor Larry Wosick may be his own worst enemy right now, and statements he and county officials made to the newspaper last week beg the real question that needs to be answered — Where do you live, Mr. Wosick?

When asked last Thursday morning about rumors he had sold his ranch in Milford and was no longer living in his district, he provided the newspaper with two differing accounts of his residency status.

First Wosick acknowledged he had sold part of his ranch and no longer lived here. He even said if the matter became an issue he would resign and save himself the trouble of driving into Susanville every day.

The newspaper then called Lassen County Clerk Julie Bustamante and Lassen County Counsel Rhetta Vander Ploeg to get an official, on-the-record statement regarding the impact of Wosick’s revelations.

Both Bustamante and Vander Ploeg offered legalistic interpretations of the situation. They both cited Wosick’s voter registration form as proof of his residency in district 3 — the sole qualification to hold his office is that he is a registered voter in the district he represents. Bustamante said she cannot dispute the information a voter provides under penalty of perjury on the voter registration form. Bustamante and Vander Ploeg both said they had not heard Wosick no longer lived in district 3.

Wosick then called the newspaper again and attempted to clarify his previous statement. He also sent the newspaper an email that made four points. First, Wosick acknowledges he sold a portion of his ranch. Second, he retains ownership of a large portion of his ranch and spends the majority of his time in Lassen County and Milford. Third, he considers Milford his home. Fourth, he is a registered voter in his district. He asks the newspaper to refer any further questions regarding his “eligibility to serve as district 3 supervisor to our county clerk and/or our county counsel.”

The issue of Wosick’s residency is not new. It has been raised repeatedly during the course of his career as a county supervisor. His family maintains a residence in Reno where his children go to school. He’s also been questioned for driving a vehicle with Nevada license plates. As Wosick knows, the newspaper has asked him this question repeatedly in the past, and we have always accepted his answer when he said he lives at his ranch in Milford.

But it’s impossible to reconcile the two differing and mutually incongruent accounts of his residency he gave to the newspaper last Thursday — first he doesn’t live here anymore, but then he’s going to live in a second house on the property he sold after the ownership of the property changes hands at the end of this month.

While one can understand the legalistic responses from the county clerk and county counsel regarding Wosick’s residency, the district 3 supervisor is the only one who can put this matter to rest because he’s the one who’s offered two conflicting accounts. In his email response he fails to answer the real question that’s at the bottom of this latest controversy regarding his residency.

The answer isn’t what’s on Wosick’s voter registration form or which property he considers his home. The real, simple and straightforward question the supervisor should answer is where do you actually reside now — at your ranch in Milford or with your family in Reno? 


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