Tuesday, May 20, 2008 • Chapman brings years of experience to the job

Publisher’s note: This story originally appeared in the Tuesday, May 20, 2008 edition of the Lassen County Times.

Jim Chapman brings many years of experience to the Lassen County District 2 Board of Supervisors seat.

Chapman, who has served on the Susanville City Council, was once the youngest mayor in the state of California and served on the Lassen Community College Board of Trustees, is vying for his eighth term as a county supervisor. Chapman has dedicated himself to public service in Lassen County since he was just 19 years old way back in 1974.

Jim Chapman seeks re-election to a seventh consecutive term as Lassen County Supervisor. Chapman has served as an elected official in Lassen County since 1974 with stints on the board of supervisors, the Susanville City Council and the Lassen Community College board.

Chapman said the wealth of his experience, his “institutional memory and long-term, historical perspective” make him uniquely qualified to serve as supervisor.

“I’ve seen a lot of change and growth over the years,” Chapman said.

He also said the population has grown and changed in the 30-some years he’s been involved in public service.

The seven-time supervisor pointed out many projects take years to develop and come to fruition.

He cited the Bizz Johnson Trail as an example, and the Paul Bunyan Road extension to Hall Street — which was originally planned in the 1970s and took 15 years to complete.

Another 15-year project is the new Skyline Extension set to open this June. He said the Skyline project will open a huge new area of economic activity.

But Chapman said he’s uncomfortable trying to take the credit for the county’s successes and prefers “working in the trenches” to get things done.

Securing funding for such large projects takes time, and it’s one of the reasons they take so long to complete, he said.

Working on the county’s infrastructure is the key to success, according to Chapman.

“The best way to develop an economic base is to develop the infrastructure,” Chapman said.

One of Chapman’s goals has always been to make Lassen County “a destination point” and “make the community attractive.”

New residents will come to Susanville because of good parks, schools, roads, shopping and recreational opportunities.

Once the people are here, Chapman said the county can’t create jobs for them, but it can create a business-friendly environment.

The supervisor said that can be difficult because California is one of the most business-unfriendly states, and nothing the supervisors say will change that.

“We have to do what we can to work within that environment,” said Chapman — the owner of a small business himself.

He said the county also needs to do more to recognize the economic benefits of home-based businesses in its zoning and planning.

And he’s also proud of 13 miles of new trails currently being developed at Susanville Ranch Park.

“My role is to work to try to facilitate big, long-term projects,” Chapman said. “I’ve still got a few vital years left in me to offer the voters. My agenda is the community. My passion is to work for the community, especially senior citizens. I’m trying to maximize our opportunities and make this a better place to live.”