It is another depressing morning in Calaveras County. The Butte Fire took our home, all of our family heirlooms and burnt all of our land. Contrary to a recent article, there are still families like ours that live in campers and continue to struggle for moderate restitution for PG&E’s proven negligence.

We invested our savings to rebuild our farm so it would comply with the Urgency Ordinance regulations post-fire because we were told that our participation would be the precursor to permanent regulation. This was the bait. Failure to do so would have resulted in our names being placed on a list that would have precluded us from applying for a state license. This was the large stick.

Where is this list of illegal growers that will never be allowed to apply for a cultivation license? There isn’t one, is there?

The three good ol’ boys sitting there so high and mighty on your horses, (Gary) Tofanelli, (Dennis) Mills and (Clyde) Clapp, choosing to persecute those of us that complied and followed the law, too scared to direct the sheriff to go after those that didn’t.

We paid all the Measure C taxes that were overwhelmingly approved by 67.1 percent of this county’s voters. The cannabis farmers of Calaveras County and the revenue created by our $16.8 million in taxes and fees have kept this county from defaulting on its obligations and out of bankruptcy.

The three meek and morally corrupt men on this board chose to accept these funds, instead of enacting their ban when they came into office, with full knowledge that failure to do so would have left them with an insurmountable deficit. The choice to change the scope of the environmental impact report was politically motivated and not grounded by scientifically based facts or the reality that 100 percent compliance with a ban is a farce. This was the switch.

The public was force fed a bunch of lies concocted by political operatives and admitted into evidence by a dishonest supervisor after the EIR comment period. It made no distinction between the illegals that operated however they wanted, flaunting all of the rules without consequence, and those of us that were adhering to environmental regulations and paying taxes.

As difficult as our life has been to hold together since the fire, it was the three of you men,

Tofanelli, Mills and Clapp, that have dealt the final death blow to our family’s livelihood. You are taking food right out of our children’s mouths and destroying a burgeoning industry that could benefit the county in a myriad of ways from public safety to education. You failed to provide legal agricultural farmers with reasonable workable regulation.

Bait and switch will be your legacy. The three of you will be voted out of office.

The farmers and families of Calaveras County just might be able to recover from the damage inflicted by your shortsighted and corrupt actions.

Kathinka McKeown

Mokelumne Hill

District 2 resident, business owner, farmer, mother of two


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