2015 Reports

2015 District 2 Reports

By Merlin Jones

  1. November
  2. August
  3. July
  4. May
  5. March
  6. February

As I'm sitting here writing this article, the sky is cloudy and it's starting to rain, which is much needed. One of the biggest issues in the county is the tree mortality. It is predicted that we will lose about 70% of all our pine trees. If this happens it will totally change the way Mariposa County looks and the trees will not grow back in our lifetime, if ever. Normally when something like this happens the first plant that grows is the brush, which does not allow trees to ever come back. The best thing that can happen is we get a lot of rain and a very cold winter. The rainfall is supposed to be above average, but it is supposed to be a mild winter temperature wise. People talk about all sorts of things to do with the bug trees, but the cost in logging and hauling is more than the tree is worth. Also cut down bug trees lifespan is 18 to 24 months before they are worthless. People talk about biomass plants...just to get the permits is 2 to 5 years, not counting the time to find a place to locate one. The other problem is pine is one of the worst fuels to burn in a biomass plant. Another and the most important reason why I don't feel it will work is it is not profitable without government grants which can go away at any time and we are left with a big white elephant to look at. Mother-nature goes through cycles, and we need to learn it is much stronger and greater than man can control.

On September 9 we had a Coulterville-Greeley Hill advisory meeting to discuss the B&B and cottage rental requirements and what their advice was. The heads of our Building and Planning Department were both there to explain the options. Another item that was discussed was a new welcome sign in Greeley Hill. I suggested that Judy Starr draw up 3 different styles and let the people vote, at the community breakfast, on which one they most liked. So look forward to a new sign in Greeley Hill.

On September 24th, I had a meeting with Public Works about the bypass route while building 2 new bridges. One will be on Dogtown Road and the other around the corner on Bondurant Mine Road in Greeley Hill. They are coming right along and will be done by the end of the year. This will allow fire trucks to safely cross the Bondurant Mine Road then. Next year we should start work on the 2 lower bridges on Dogtown Road near Coulterville. Early spring we will start the Coulterville drainage project, which is a 1.5 million dollar grant project. This will solve all the drainage issues Coulterville has had for over 100 years.

I had a meeting with Public Works, on October 8, and one of the leaders in the homeless community about them wanting to volunteer to help clean up the town of Mariposa. I feel it would be a win-win for them and the county. At the same time, I offered them a paying job in Greeley Hill and Coulterville. I hope they take me up on it so the ones that want to get out of being homeless can.

On October 14, I met with our C.A.O., Supervisor Long and Rick Peresan, of the IT Department., on expanding our county's website to give the public more information about the county and so you, the public, can do more activity online instead of having to come over to Mariposa.

Another item that I got passed during the budget sessions, with the help of county's ag commissioner was to once again start spraying the roadway easements, so there will be less fire danger, safer roads for line of site, and also help make the roads last much longer. The weeds grow along the roads and get in the cracks which in turn breaks up the edges. This will save the county a lot of money in the long run.

People have been pushing me to run for another term as District 2 Supervisor. I have been giving it some serious thought and am leaning in that direction. I feel I have brought a lot of positive changes to our district, but with the government moving so slow, there is a number of items I would still like to accomplish. Look for my answer in next month's paper, along with a list of accomplishments and things that still need to get done to help District 2. I always remember I work for you, the people of District 2 and Mariposa County. Always feel you can call me at my office in Mariposa at 966-3222 and my Greeley Hill office at 878-3158.