I take this opportunity to thank Julie Osburn for her illuminating Letter to the Editor, which graphically displays the mindset of the State of Jefferson (SOJ) supporters. In her letter, she states that â€œOver â…“ of the County citizens signed a statement of support to join the State of Jefferson movementâ€¦.â€ (There are several unanswered questions about this â€œpetitionâ€, as is usual with the SOJ folk: Was there any verification of the signatures? Is it certain that all the signatures were from Sierra County citizens? How many of the signers were registered to vote? How many of the signers truly understood what they were signing?) She then goes on to rail against the three county supervisors who dared to vote â€œâ€¦AGAINST the State of Jeffersonâ€¦â€ And, for at least one of those supervisors, she declares that he â€œâ€¦could not give a reasonâ€¦â€ for his vote. Later in her letter, she has the audacity (irony?) to state that â€œThe State of Jefferson is all about representation.â€
So, letâ€™s take a look at what the SOJ mindset considers fair or adequate representation. Since she doesnâ€™t state how much â€œoverâ€ one-third of the countyâ€™s citizens signed the statement, Iâ€™ll just use one-third as the operative figure. Another way to say that is â€œ33%â€. Now, apparently, when this came to a vote before the Board of Supervisors, two of those â€œrepresentativesâ€ voted with the 33% of the county who purportedly signed the petition. Two out of five supervisors is 40%. Therefore, the signers actually received a larger portion of supervisorial votes than they seemingly deserved.
As to why the three other supervisors (representing 60% of the Board) voted in opposition to the SOJ position, one doesnâ€™t have to go very far for an explanation. If 33% of county citizens supported the SOJ, that means that 67% did not (or, at least, didnâ€™t sign the statement of support). Three supervisors took into account that the vast majority of the people in the county donâ€™t want to be part of a state which truly doesnâ€™t believe in fair representation (their â€œplatformâ€, after all, declares that a smaller number of state residents deserves a larger-than-their-fair-share representation in the state legislature and the federal House of Representatives), and voted accordingly. The real question is why two of the supervisors ignored the will of the majority, and voted otherwise?
If the SOJ folk truly want their own â€œhomelandâ€, I would suggest that they find a nice, uninhabited, low-lying island somewhere in the middle of the ocean,
where they can set up their very own KOJ.
Paul Guffin, Downieville