Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
To Cheryl Hukill,
We couldn't agree with you more about the importance of reading the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement. Most our our Klamath Project district board members, who already voted to support this agreement before they allowed the public or their constituents to glimpse at the latest drafts, have not read the entire latest draft themselves.
Unfortunately the only draft formally released to the public was January 2008; the final signing on by our secret negotiators/ "leaders" is Sept 1. We are still awaiting the final document of several hundred pages of legal jargon, which took dozens of government agencies, environmental groups, a few others along with dozens of attorneys to write in several years. We're not sure how long before we'll be allowed to see the final document, but those at the table vote by Sept 1; that leaves days at best to glimpse at their document.
You talk about threats, manipulation and coercion? I personally have been fired, kicked out of a water user meeting, and also yelled at by an irrigation district board member and told I was not welcomed at that public meeting because of articles I've written (1st Amendment) and my opposition to the KBRA, and my "alliances." KBC's alliances are Klamath Resource Users; farmers, ranchers, miners, loggers, fishermen, as well as tribal members; not the environmental groups posing as resource users. We allow a Voice to these resource users on KBC whether they are in the Klamath Project or Off Project, in Klamath, Modoc and Siskiyou Counties. We are one community with state and county lines between us.
We also be believe in equal rights for all races. I've also been called names by a Congressional Rep for allies opposing the 'agreement.' I've been to farmer meetings and town hall meetings where the only ones officially invited were supporters of the KBRA, and left out of others because of our opposition. This "mentality" you speak of works both ways.
Your constituents' property rights and water rights will be effected, and their tax dollars used against their well-being, however they are not privy to the secret non-transparent negotiations and are not allowed at the table. You know that irrigation will be downsized, land permanently retired, wetlands placed on private property with no permission from the neighbors and the government and districts are not liable for the damages, dams will be removed, if there is storage most of the water must flow to the ocean rather than on farms, the 100-year purpose of the Project will be changed to include wildlife and other uses, endangered fish will be planted here and expected to survive the naturally warm and mineral laden water, our groundwater use will be measured and controlled by this unelected group, and the Endangered Species Act and Biological Opinions will remain in control. Yes, thank you for committing to reading the entire document if it comes out in time. Please talk with those who have concerns and not just those belittling or rejecting us for our concerns, as most supporters have done.
You said in the United States, "the majority vote wins."
Early on in this KBRA we were told by our KWUA director that the people must be onboard with this 'agreement" for it to move ahead.
Now we are told we have no vote; they know what's good for us. A district board member told me last year when I inquired about getting to vote, "do you really think these farmers are informed enough to make an intelligent decision?" When we asked questions about the KBRA, we were called "bellyachers." When I've brought up concerns I was told they weren't true, such as the same groups "new friends" on the KBRA table are some of the ones who sued against us keeping an affordable power rate, and I have the court records and articles to document these concerns
In total desperation, Klamath County elected representatives conducted a poll which showed only 5% favor the KBRA. The Klamath County Resource Advisory Committee unanimously voted against the KBRA as written. Klamath Off-Project Resource Conservancy representing 125,000 acres and Siskiyou County oppose the KBRA. These people's lives will be severely impacted, and many of them have read the KBRA. 1850 people including tribal members signed petitions opposing the KBRA.
The little town councils who voted to support the agreement did so without reading it, and some signed on at the same meeting that they were told to by farmers who "knew best."
In a recent audio you stated you'd probably vote to support the KBRA. AUDIO - Klamath Water User Association unadvertised 'public' meeting with Klamath Falls County Commissioners Al Switzer and Cheryl Hukill, explaining Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement to the Commissioners. <this takes awhile to download.
When I vote for an elected official, I vote for someone to represent the will of the majority of their constituents, and not to decide what they "feel is best for the majority of the citizens." I vote for someone to "represent" and not "dictate".
If all our elected officials were to represent their own best judgment of what's best for us and not the will/voices of their constituents, is that democracy?
"If you disagree with an issue (supported by the majority of your constituents), take the time to come and discuss it. There are always two sides. Have an open mind to look at all the aspects of the situation. And, if by some reason, whether state, federal, or local laws, the outcome is not what you would have liked, accept it; look for ways to work within the parameters, and maybe look for legislative ways to change the law."
Please represent the will of your constituents, and your constituents will support you. If you devalue their will and intelligence and choose to decide what's best for the dumb constituents contradictory to their will, you might want to reconsider your purpose as a "representative."
Hukill: Group threatens recall over restoration agreement
Its members are also ready to ‘initiate another attempt’ to institute a charter form of government
By Cheryl Hukill, Guest columnist August 5, 2009
Unlike some of our elected officials in Washington, D.C., I plan on reading the final draft of the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement before casting my vote.
I am very much aware that the same people who failed at their attempt to change our form of county government to a charter form of government last November, are demanding that I take a position on the restoration agreement now; but not only a position, but their position. And if I do not take their position and vote against the restoration agreement, they are ready to launch a recall and initiate another attempt to bring a charter form of government so that our current board will be dismantled.
When the time comes for me to take a public position, it will be what I feel is best for the majority of the citizens of Klamath County, after I have read the restoration agreement, and not for a special interest group.
I have a message to this group: I will not be threatened, manipulated, or coerced into voting your way, in order to keep my job. If this is your mode of operation, than you had better be prepared to initiate recalls every month.
So, in any particular week, a decision by the board of commissioners goes against your wishes. So, what do you do? You begin to threaten with: recall, recall, recall! But, wait a minute. What happens next week when a decision by the same board pleases you? Now what?
With this mentality, this county could see new leadership every few months because someone is always going to be disappointed in a particular vote.
Living in the United States is a privilege because each one of us can cast a vote for the person we would like to see hold that elected position. The majority vote wins. If our candidate does not win, then we must look for ways to work with those who were elected, for the betterment of Klamath County.
How can you decide that an elected official is unfit for the job they were elected to, by just one decision? During this past election, there were several candidates who I voted for who did not win. Now what? I choose to work with those who won, on the issues that affect Klamath County. To inform them about our needs and work on legislation that will benefit all of us.
We, as a community, are much bigger people than this. It is time to let hatred, bitterness, and offenses go by the wayside and find ways to be a part of making our county a wonderful place to live.
If you disagree with an issue, take the time to come and discuss it. There are always two sides. Have an open mind to look at all the aspects of the situation. And, if by some reason, whether state, federal, or local laws, the outcome is not what you would have liked, accept it; look for ways to work within the parameters, and maybe look for legislative ways to change the law.
Page Updated: Friday August 07, 2009 04:32 AM Pacific
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