When: Tuesday March 4th
Where: Miner’s Inn, 122 E. Miner St., Yreka, CA
Will you have an opportunity to voice your concerns about the Karuk Casino?
Until just recently the answer was no.
This message is from Siskiyou resident, Tom Wetter:
In December of 2013 when the draft Tribal EIR was released for public comment I had some questions. So I spent some time talking with Steve Baker, the City Manager in Yreka, Greg Plucker of the County Planning Department and District 3 Supervisor Michael Kobseff, asking if there would be any kind of public meetings. The answers were more than a little disheartening. The MOU process that the State established for approving Indian Casinos does it’s best to discourage any public input or participation.
First: There aren’t any public or Yreka City Council meetings scheduled to discuss the Casino project. Nor are any meetings required by law. Although the Tribe if they want to, could hold public meetings.
Second: The City’s only option is to negotiate an Inter-Governmental Services Agreement with the Tribe. The purpose of this agreement is to quantify the services (e.g., police, fire, sewer, water, traffic, etc.) and negotiate the price for such services. The City doesn’t have the option to not provide the services. If the parties can’t reach agreement then the matter will go to binding arbitration and the City will be forced to provide the services based on the arbitrators findings and pricing.
Third: The County is in the same boat with slightly different issues. They’re responsible for Criminal Prosecutions, Court time and the Jailing of offenders. Like the City, it’s not if they want to provide the services, it’s just a matter of how much.
So, although not required in the California Casino approval process, the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors is conducting a public meeting on the casino. So please come and share your thoughts.
Here are some of mine. Over the past few years the Karuk Tribe has had a major impact on the economy of our County. Legal action by the Tribe and their affiliates has eliminated suction gold mining, stopped years of work between agricultural interests and CDF&W on protecting Coho, taken control of Dwinell reservoir (Lake Shastina) operations, killed a County initiative to restore Coho populations to the Shasta River, and forced the County to stop issuing Well permits in the Scott valley. All of these actions have been at the expense of the ranchers, tax payers, and the working class in Siskiyou County. Additionally, the Tribe is a signatory on the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA). The KBRA calls for the removal of the Klamath dams and is the reason our electricity rates have nearly doubled in the past several months. If the KBRA does become the established land use policy through secretarial determination and congressional funding, the Tribe stands to receive about a 100 million dollars in Federal and State funding.
I’m all for bringing money to the County. But not if it means wealth for a few and poverty for the many. I believe we need a diversified economy based on the resources we have; meaning it has to include ranching and harvesting of Natural Resources. But with legal costs, water rights challenges, and high electric costs, running a profitable ranch or business in Siskiyou County is a pretty tough challenge. A Casino with a hotel and restaurant might be a profitable business. However, none of the Casino operations will provide revenue for the tax base in the County and will likely take business away from local restaurant’s and hotels that do pay taxes. A couple of hundred minimum wage Casino jobs won’t make up for the loss of a hundred million dollar a year agricultural industry in the Shasta Valley.
If you and your neighbors want to at least have an opportunity to voice support, concerns, or objections, there needs to be a number of meetings where this issue can be aired out and we can have a conversation about what this means to all of the folks living in Siskiyou County. After all, once the California legislature gives final approval there won’t be any recourse.
Finally, the only opportunity to stop or change the project is by stopping the legislative authorization at the State level. That won’t happen unless a large number of County residents contact Brian Dahle and Ted Gaines and demand an opportunity to weigh in on this issue before the legislature approves the Compact Jerry Brown signed with the Tribe in December 2013.
If you are interested here is the contact information for your representative:
Office of Assemblyman Brian Dahle
280 Hemsted Dr Ste 110
Redding, CA 96001
Office of Senator Ted Gaines
Message from Louise Gliatto, resident of City of Yreka: we need to flood their offices with phone calls, emails and letters right now!!! I recommend if you send a letter or email and ask for a written reply. Put them on record for their response or lack of one. Also, post your objections on their face book pages and yours. Send this email to all on your email list and plan to attend the meeting. Let’s fill the room with standing room only. This is about the future of our economy and our county.
The Karuk leadership and their environmental friends have proven time and time again that they are not friends of the people of Siskiyou County. They mean to destroy us.