Our field of candidates for Sonoma County Supervisor falls into two categories:
First – there are what I call the exploiters — these “business as usual” types talk about fiscal responsibility and jobs, as if the old departing supervisors (who are cut from exactly the same cloth) were fiscally irresponsible spendthrifts who didn’t represent the people.
In fact, this whole crew never has represented the people — they’ve represented the interests of those who have paid their way in this political board game. They say things like “we have to consider the broader interests of our business community in order to insure the well-being of the county.”
These are the “mitigators” — those willing (and eager) to trade off horrific impacts on Sonoma County resources of land, water, air, and quality of life, for cash money in the pockets of their benefactors – the developers and direct exploiters of resources that belong to all of us.
Second – there are the “care-takers” – those few who have grown to see a larger picture. These few see that the exploitation of resources for quick cash in the present inevitably leaves devastation, along with impossibly expensive clean-ups, for those to come.
These are truly conservative individuals, in the most old-fashioned sense of the word, because they care about conserving our resources, and, they care about the quality of life of future generations who will live here in Sonoma County.
We’re fortunate to have a visionary “care-taker” running for Supervisor – Pamela Torliatt. Along with seeing the big picture, Pamela is an adept and capable manager of both people and resources. She’s a breath of fresh air in the tired world of politicians gaming us with promises they never intend to keep.
Another high quality person, who in my opinion sees the big picture and is not under the spell of development money, is Deborah Fudge – also running for County Supervisor, in District 4, in the Northern part of the County.
OK – am I saying that the “exploiters” are bad people?
Not really. They’re just doing what has always been done. Our Western civilization (if you can call it that) has grown and prospered from the exploitation of resources.
But, as the Gulf BP oil disaster has demonstrated, the corporate exploitation mindset cares less about consequences than about the immediate gratification of profits. That BP and other oil producers were paying off individuals in governmental agencies responsible for overseeing their conduct and operations should not surprise you.
The “exploiters” honestly think that “business as usual” should continue, because that’s the way it has always been.
The real problem for these politicians who in fact represent the interests of the exploiters, is that if things were to change, they would lose their place at the cash trough that their fellow politicos at every level of government feed at.
It doesn’t make them bad people, but it does show them to be self-serving and short sighted in a way that we can no longer afford.
Obviously, things have to change! Here and now, in our community, the time has arrived to give the exploiters the boot, and to elect a person who has a heart, along with a compassionate regard for the long-range consequences of decisions made in the present.
Your vote has never been more important. That we have the opportunity to elect someone as highly qualified as Pamela Torliatt to represent us is already a welcome positive step in the right direction.
But now, we actually have to get out and vote for her!