Few words will be devoted here to any individual’s personal choices of diversion. Humans commonly choose countless forms of escape; today few care what anyone else thinks or does about it.

Government attempts at interfering for a century have resulted in failure for all, unless they were members of law enforcement or organized crime. In the meantime, our tax dollars and taxpayer-paid personnel are distracted to the point to where necessary government functions are not being performed. That is exactly what is happening within Calaveras County government.

The cannabis issue divides the citizenry in half almost down the middle. Nothing short of a vote at the polls will carry any credibility. No person can tell you how that vote would go today. So Calaveras County government efforts to eradicate or regulate cannabis without a vote will be seen as tyranny by what is more or less half the population – a formula for failure.

The Board of Supervisors is wasting any time it devotes to the cannabis issue and is way overdue completing major projects including foremost the General Plan update and associated rezoning process. Ten years ago we citizens of many Calaveras County communities submitted detailed community plans for inclusion in the General Plan update. For a decade since then, all our community, business and personal plans have been held hostage in a government failure to perform. A correctly done General Plan update and rezoning process can allow citizens to create real wealth that is not tainted with federal felony status and other problems.

Calaveras County government only deserves authority if it is properly functioning. The General Plan update and rezoning process are the highest priority indicators of whether our government is working. Focus and progress will only be achieved when all new business waits its turn while the overdue business of the General Plan update and rezoning process finishes.

The actions I observed at a recent Calaveras County Planning Commission meeting will evidence why prioritizing the General Plan update is necessary. Instead of working on the General Plan, which is currently holding back much of the citizens’ ability to create economically viable communities in which they live, the entire Planning Department and Planning Commission assembled to micromanage down on citizens one at a time. Taxpayers were forced to run the gauntlet of credentialed con men selling a failing dogma of fragmenting communities in a micromanaged manner. Although I attended the meeting concerned with a land-use issue unrelated to cannabis, my survey of the room convinced me that time would be wasted on cannabis issues. Obviously there is plenty of staff available at the Planning Department, because they proposed a very detailed micromanagement plan, which they desired to inflict on the taxpayers. And that must have been costly for us to pay them to produce.

The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors should direct the Planning Department to prioritize all assignments according to the following criteria: Is this action serving the largest number of taxpayers possible? Who are they and how are they measurably served? If not, stop immediately and refocus.

Only by clearly focusing can citizens get past the smokescreens, lights and mirrors, and the dangerous distraction of drugs.

Chris Niebur is a Calaveras County taxpayer. Reach him at chris.niebur.enterprises@gmail.com


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