One needn’t be a rocket scientist to recognize the wide schism and profound disconnect between Lassen County and Sacramento. It isn’t anything new.
Republicans, Democrats and independents alike recognize we live in the very reddest county in one of the nation’s bluest states. We get that, and we understand it. There simply aren’t enough voters up here in our corner of Northeastern California for us to have much clout in the state capitol.
Now the bureaucrats in Sacramento apparently have made an untenable decision that is going to affect our prisons, our schools and our entire community. One of the old saws in politics is to follow the money, so here we go. For some reason the powers that be at the California Prison Industry Authority have decided not to renew waivers to Susanville’s two state prisons allowing them to purchase milk and eggs from Susanville’s Morning Glory Dairy — ending a relationship that reaches back 55 years to the construction of the California Correctional Center.
Instead of purchasing product from the local dairy, the state agency has decided to purchase milk and eggs from CALPIA instead, but get this — that decision will cost the two prisons an estimated $110,000 more annually.
Losing these large accounts will hurt the diary, force it to lay off half its employees, increase the cost of milk at local schools and eventually raise the price we all pay for milk at local grocery stores — just to satisfy some bureaucrats in Sacramento, not to mention violating the good neighbor policy of using local vendors promised to us when we agreed to let the prisons join our community.
Lassen County Supervisor David Teeter and Assemblyman Brian Dahle are fighting the good fight, but there are few answers coming from the bureaucrats and their handlers. We hope there are some adults in the room who can pull their heads out of the darkness, put an end to this pointless waste of taxpayer dollars and do the right thing for everyone involved when the CALPIA board meets later this month.
New county officials
We join the community in welcoming Lassen County’s newest elected officials who officially began their new terms last week — Dean Growdon, Lassen County Sheriff; Susan Rios, Lassen County District Attorney; Diana Wemple, Lassen County Auditor; Nancy Cardenas, Lassen County Treasurer-Tax Collector; Julie Bustamante, Lassen County Clerk-Recorder; Patty Gunderson, Lassen County Superintendent of Schools; Nick Ceaglio, Lassen County Assessor; Jeff Hemphill, Lassen County District 3 Supervisor; and Tom Hammond, Lassen County District 5 Supervisor.
In last week’s editorial we opined commercial cannabis activities are banned in Lassen County, and a couple of county officials pointed out that isn’t exactly the case. While both the county and the city have banned commercial cannabis activities in their respective jurisdictions, the county officials point out if a company (such as a cannabis delivery service) possesses a state commercial cannabis license, that company would legally be able to deliver in Lassen County despite the local ban. We thank them for their comments, and appreciate the opportunity to set the record straight.