Merced River Property Owners Group
May 28, 2008
Update to River Property Owners and District 4 Citizens:
The purpose of this letter is to encourage you to vote for Claudine Sherron for Merced County Supervisor in District 4.
Support of Claudine Sherron has grown out of the following issues:
1. The Amsterdam/Hopeton area is a large part of District 4 and contains the most significant natural resource in the County, the Merced River. Under the auspices of the current District 4 Supervisor, the citizens of the Amsterdam and Hopeton areas (and the River) totally lack representation. The Supervisor’s website does not even list us as being part of her constituency.
2. The manner in which the Farm Bureau endorsement was secured for the current Supervisor, while consistent with Farm Bureau’s bylaws, had the perception of impropriety: The current Supervisor’s husband is a member of the Board and was present during the vote. Only the Board members (and their special invited guests) heard the presentations by the candidates. Only seven of 28 board members were required to be present to constitute a quorum. The written remarks of all candidates who spoke at the Board meeting were published, except for those of Claudine Sherron. District 4 is the only District in which the Board made an endorsement, despite a hotly-contested race in District 2.
3. The current Supervisor, Ms. Kelsey, is widely credited for being the only Supervisor who opposed the Riverside Motor Park project; in fact, Ms. Kelsey approached a member of our community who has an interest in racing and assured him that she was in support of RMP. Only when it became evident that there was a groundswell of community opposition to this project, did Ms. Kelsey adopt her anti-RMP stance.
4. A letter (copy, attached), which has been widely circulated, raises troubling questions about Ms. Kelsey’s support of the San Joaquin Raptor Rescue Center (SJRRC), a well-known environmental group. This appears to represent a major conflict of interest. In essence, Ms. Kelsey, through the Kelsey Family donations, was supporting the action of SJRRC in bringing suits against the County.
5. A review of Ms. Kelsey’s financial campaign statements shows a significant dollar amount of contributions from out-of-town developers and construction related companies. Why were developers in Carmel, Monterey, Danville, Del Mar, Fresno, Sacramento, and Pleasanton motivated to support a Merced County supervisor. Do you think those developers will come back and clean up the mess in our County? [An interesting related issue: Ms. Kelsey supports a housing development which would add 3,880 homes to the tiny town of Stevinson, population 400.]
6. Each Supervisor receives an annual discretionary fund, raised from $25,000 each to $100,000 each in 2005/2006.
District 4 has paid $2,000 for UC-Merced Student Development costs; $12,500 toward restoration of the Snelling Courthouse (which project has since been abandoned); $1,500 toward the Atwater High School Hawaii Invitational Band Trip; $4,400 for 4th of July celebrations in Gustine and Delhi; and $25,000 for the City of Gustine Economic Development projects among $269,000 in projects favored by Ms. Kelsey since FY 2004. There were no funds allocated for Amsterdam or Hopeton. Private donations were solicited when the Merced River School Multi-purpose room needed improvements which the students use every day.
It appears that this is how politics are conducted in 2008. We think Merced County deserves better!
‚ Every citizen deserves representation: Each of us pays taxes; what do we have to pay to get the representation afforded the out-of-town developers?
‚ Farmers are generally fair-minded and want the organizations which represent them to provide a level playing field based on issues, not favoritism.
‚ Citizens deserve a consistent response to issues which affect them, a response based on careful evaluation of available information not changeable depending on what the voter wants to hear.
‚ After 13 years it is time for a new perspective from a Supervisor with no agenda except to do what is best for District 4 and Merced County. It is time to start fresh.
Pat Bettencourt Ferrigno, Coordinator
Merced River Property Owners Group
Claudine Sherron has no discretionary fund or election war chest. If you would like to make a financial contribution, please send your check payable to “Claudine Sherron, Candidate for Supervisor” to Claudine at P. O. Box 185, Ballico, CA 95303.
The next meeting of the Merced River Stakeholders will be on the third Monday in July; watch for agenda to be circulated.