About Steve's Platform
This Platform for District 2 and our county is based on ideas collected through a series of District 2 community meetings beginning in 2003 and continuing through the present. The previous version of the platform was the basis for many of the initiatives and projects we’ve worked on over the last 3+ years.
We recognize that no single member of the Board of Supervisors can achieve all of the goals envisioned in this document. It will take highly engaged communities and a Board of Supervisors’ majority to get there. But we have made great progress since 2004 and hope to continue to convert these goals into action.
We also know that government alone cannot and should not try to make this happen. County government must be a supportive partner for community efforts already underway as well as those yet to begin.
Finally, we recognize that people may disagree with some elements of this detailed document. It is intended as a starting point for discussion and dialog. We hope this platform will help raise the level of political discourse in our communities and contribute to the development of forward-looking county policies.
We Must Keep Moving Forward
We live in a great place: Communities with character, rich natural resources and recreation opportunities, and spectacular scenic beauty. It’s no wonder powerful outside interests have an agenda for shaping our future. But instead of sitting by and letting their agenda win the day, our community should set its own course consistent with our needs and values.
The majority of people in our country have turned away from politics. Only 16 to 20 percent of the voting-age population cast ballots for the winners in each of the last several presidential elections. This is sad. Participation is the lifeblood of democracy. Each of us has an important role to play in choosing the future—and the leaders—we want. And here in District 2, unprecedented numbers of people have become involved in finding solutions for our communities’ long-standing problems.
A Grassroots Effort Is the Answer
Working together, we can continue to make a difference in Calaveras County. An active, involved citizenry during and even more important, after the elections is the only counterweight to the prevailing political scene. We must continue to take back our civic pride. We must believe that we can choose our own destiny, as our parents and grandparents of the World War II generation did. Leaders must call on the hope and idealism, latent but still legion in America. Here in the foothills, we are still small enough that a few dedicated souls can make a difference. Don’t leave it to others to make it happen. The stakes are too high. And the possibilities are too great.
We describe ways to bring this about many areas. Use the menu in the upper right corner of this page to jump directly to the topics that interest you.
How Do We Get the Resources to Do This?
We must be more efficient, effective and creative in using the resources we already have. And we need to take a hard look at ways to build on those resources, too.
- Improve our use of technology to increase efficiency.
- Build a strong, locally based economy that can provide revenues to help meet demands for county services. To accomplish this we must support local business and entrepreneurs.
- Coordinate and integrate community efforts. Our communities boast a wealth of human resources involved in an array of activities including, parks and recreation, health, human services, fire protection, emergency services, culture, and education. Coordinating county policy and community efforts would allow us to accomplish a great deal more with the resources we already have.
- Continue to secure available state, federal, and private funds through application and grant-seeking activities in partnership with community organizations.
- Coordinate the efforts of county departments with those of community organizations.
- Operate county government efficiently:
- Enhance the use of county resources.
- Implement all available technologies to provide greater efficiency in government operations.
- Promote interdepartmental cooperation and flexible sharing of staff with adequate cross-training to meet peak demand, rather than staff for the occasional peak.
- Coordinate and consolidate supply and equipment purchasing and maintenance to reduce operational costs, maximize the benefits of preventive fleet management, optimize bulk purchasing, and so forth.
- Encourage and reward the county workforce for identifying waste and opportunities for increased efficiency and savings.
- Involve government service providers and recipients in budget review.
- Eliminate redundant and overlapping efforts.
- Consolidate county administrative structures.
- Ensure that large-scale developers pay their fair share toward increased services and infrastructure required from their projects rather than passing those costs on to existing county residents.
- Hold an honest, open dialog with local residents regarding available and potential revenues, services, and infrastructure. County revenues requested and allocated should be for specific services or infrastructure that meet local residents’ needs.