Wednesday, May. 28, 2008
Letter: Stevinson left out
Editor: The Hilmar/Stevinson MAC (Municipal Advisory Council) Board is my town's only official connection to the Merced County Board of Supervisors. Without a MAC board, small communities cannot discuss and vote on issues of a local nature with a collective voice. A MAC board only serves in an advisory capacity, but its importance cannot be denied. If an individual complains of a problem to his or her supervisor it can fall on deaf ears. If a board of citizens in a public place complains of a problem to its supervisor then many people have witnessed the event and it cannot be denied or simply brushed aside.
In 2005, I noticed a real problem on the MAC Board representing my town. Stevinson has just two seats on the Hilmar/Stevinson MAC. One of the gentlemen representing Stevinson was only attending the monthly meetings two or three times a year. The other gentleman rarely came because of health issues, and when he did, he almost never spoke a word.
On Aug. 25, 2005, I wrote an e-mail to my supervisor, Deidre Kelsey, asking that the problem of virtually no representation for Stevinson on the MAC Board be rectified. My letter was polite and kind. I received no reply on this issue. I followed this up with a phone call where she said she would think about the situation. Still nothing came of it. I then made a request at a MAC Board meeting. Nothing came of that either. The MAC Board itself has questioned the Stevinson representation issue with Kelsey as well. Again ... nothing happened.
The problem had existed for months before I called attention to it. So, for three years or more there has been virtually no representation for the town of Stevinson under Kelsey's watch, even though she was made aware of it many times.
Please bear in mind that during this time period of no MAC board representation, Stevinson has been under the pressure of a 3,880-unit gated residential development proposal. Also during this time period a steering committee was formed by Kelsey to shape a general plan for Stevinson that would bump our population from 400 to 19,000 people. Every single one of the steering committee meetings was held at the Stevinson Ranch Clubhouse, and they all violated the Brown Act. No guidance package was submitted to the MAC Board for comment on this development project, again, during this time period.
I do not believe that Kelsey has done her job well in Stevinson. The injustices done to this tiny town by Kelsey and the Merced County Planning Department are intolerable.
I have met with Claudine Sherron who is running against Kelsey for the seat of supervisor for District 4. I am astounded by Sherron's intelligence, handle on the issues, honesty and integrity. I am proud to say that I am going to vote for Claudine Sherron for supervisor on June 3. I hope that all of you will take into careful consideration the above events and vote for a change in leadership as well.