Fourth District Supervisor Ray Watson explains his reasons for prohibiting elections in his proposed Municipal Advisory Council.
FRAZIER PARK, Calif. (Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2009, 8:30 a.m.)—Whether it was a boycott or merely apathy, no member of the Mountain Communities appeared to speak at the Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday, Dec. 15 when they voted unanimously to approve formation of a Municipal Advisory Council (MAC) for the Mountain Communities.
Fourth District Supervisor Ray Watson proposed that the advisory council could be involved in numerous matters, including community cleanup projects, improvement of trails, a youth and community activities center, identification of needed capital improvement projects, assistance with formation of CSAs, CSDs or other funding mechanisms, establishing an economic development strategy, development of a visitor and tourism strategy and funding for streetscape maintenance.
More than a year of discussions among community members had revealed a strong interest in having an elected body to serve as advisors on matters of local concern.
Several of the original MAC proponents dropped out of the discussions after Supervisor Watson made clear that the provision for elected members would not be allowed in the bylaws. Letters to the editor and an editorial in The Mountain Enterprise stated strong objections to the removal of elections from the bylaws draft.
All but one of the supervisor’s hand-picked appointed members to his MAC welcomed the election-free process, the dissenting member being Linda MacKay, former president of the Mountain Communities Town Council who had worked to explore a means of getting town council candidates onto local election ballots.
Watson acknowledged the controversy in his remarks, with an explanation of why he would not permit elections: “There is really no attempt to keep people from being elected, but I want to make sure we understand where we’re going, what we’re trying to accomplish, before we decide the proper organization to make that happen.”
In the past Watson has said his reason for not allowing elections was that he wanted the community to “show that they can work together to accomplish something positive.”
No members from the community stepped forward to comment.
This is part of the December 11, 2009 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
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