Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Mel Smith - 5th District Supervisor Yolo County

If you live in the 5th District here in Yolo County, its a pretty safe bet you know who Duane Chamberlain is. Duane is the 5th District's County Supervisor. You can usually see him checking on his cows along road 27 in the mornings in his pick up. If you ever attend a Yolo County Board of Supervisor's meeting, Duane is easy to spot, he is the one who doesn't look like a politician.

Exibit A

I will admit up front that I know Duane and I like the job that he is doing as Supervisor. When hair-brained ideas come before the board, if they pass, there will always be one no vote. That vote is almost always Duane. Sometimes its two no votes, Matt Rexroad is another no nonsense guy on the board.

Duane doesn't care much for going with the flow or going along to gain favor or popularity, if it is a bad idea for the 5th District, Duane will let you know. If it is something that will benefit the district, without spending money the County doesn't have, he will vote for it.

So that is Duane Chamberlain in a nut shell; business owner, farmer and opposed to hair-brained ideas everywhere.

So who you may ask, is running against Duane this fall for Supervisor?
Mel Smith.

Again you may ask, who is Mel Smith? I don't know, is the short answer. But I looked at his website after I received his glossy, mint green mailer today.

Here is the platform he seems to be running on.
  • Hide the fact you are a Democrat, the 5th is still pretty red and that is saying something when in comes to Republican politics today.
  • If you belong to a Union, he is your guy, or at least he is getting part of your paycheck even if you don't want your dues going to partisan political races.
  • He can train horses very well. One point for Mr. Smith.
  • If you need a mobile home or RV park built in your town, Mel Smith is your man.
  • The words, Ethenol and BioDiesel seem to be his solution to everything. I'm not kidding.
  • Smart Planning. I think that means more ag land being converted to mobile home parks, but I may be wrong.
  • He seems very upset at property setbacks on one acre land parcels, hmm. A real estate developer who is upset at setbacks. Hmm.

I think his own website says it best.
Mel's credentials are simple. He is a member of the National Stock Horse Association, the American Quarter Horse Association, the National Reined Cow Horse Association, a successfull small businessman, member of the Dunnigan Advisory Committee and a problem solver.

I have no doubts that Mel Smith is a likable guy, he seems to have a good tan and he looks fine in a suit. However, more mobile home and RV parks, I mean affordable senior housing developments, in our rural towns is not something I would consider a pressing issue for the 5th District, but I may be wrong. As for Ethenol and Biofuels; Corn Ethenol is a terrible idea on so many levels. It takes almost as much energy to convert corn into the end product it produces. Not very efficient is it? Plus the fact that the US exports 70% of the world's corn and taking 12% of that off the market is one of the factors causing starvation across the third world. Brazil runs on Ethenol, and they make it with sugar cane biomass, the stuff left in the fields after harvest.

It is pet peeve of mine, but if they moved the Iowa caucuses to May instead of being the first major Presidential prize, Corn Ethonol would be just another competing biofuel, and a poor one at that.

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