Tuesday, 18 June 2024

The year ahead: Rushing lists goals for 2007

As I prepare to take office as District 3 Supervisor on Jan. 9,  I reflect on what I’ve heard from citizens in the community and what the Board of Supervisors can achieve in the months ahead. I’ve been asked to share my thoughts on what I hope to accomplish in my first year in office.


To begin, I enter this new role mindful of the principles that were the cornerstone of my campaign:

  1. Bring integrity and openness to government.

  2. Create a thriving local economy without sacrificing the common good.

  3. Safeguard our local resources: Water, land, open space and people.

  4. Get the basics of government right: make sure that our infrastructure, public safety and resources can support our communities

Any specific decisions require the vote of the Lake County Board of Supervisors, so the primary task in my first year is to build relationships with other members of the board, understand what the issues are in each of their districts and learn what they hope to accomplish over time for the citizens of their district and for the county as a whole.

Recently, I published a set of specific initial goals and objectives for District 3 and the county in general. These are still available online at www.DeniseRushing.org. What follows are the first year highlights.



Bring integrity and openness to government.

Given the high level of disenfranchisement among citizens with government in general (only 50 percent of eligible adults are even registered to vote!), I believe that all levels of government need to do a better job of reaching out and involving people in important decisions that affect their lives.

In the first year, I plan to sponsor town hall meetings and forums – one or more in each community in District 3. By the end of the first year, my goal is to offer a "State of the County" report to constituents. This will include a summary of budget, priorities and key upcoming decisions. I regularly evaluate how the county communicates and involves the public in decision-making processes and will actively promote involvement and dialog on important issues.

Create a thriving local economy without sacrificing the common good.

There are three main approaches to economic development: attracting extra money in (inward investment), stopping money from leaving (import substitution) and earning more from outside (export promotion).

Historically most efforts at economic development focus on only one of these – attracting large businesses (tourism related or otherwise) to establish themselves in a local area. The profit from these businesses often leaves the local community immediately and the quality of the “created” jobs varies. This can reduce the amount of money staying and circulating locally and thus limit the positive economic benefit of the decision. To make matters worse, some of these projects exploit local resources in the process. An innovative “Plugging the Leaks” approach to economic development builds upon the resources, strengths and skills that our community already has within it so that we can take control of our own economy.

In my first year in office, I will approach economic development decisions with this “Plugging the Leaks” concept in mind. With the Lakeport Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Redevelopment Agency, I hope to sponsor a workshop for citizens and stakeholders where we identify the money and resource flows in and out of our individual communities and ways to keep more money circulating locally. The ultimate goal would be to develop and promote policies and actions within county government and among key stakeholders that increase local vitality in the communities that most need economic boost and for the county in general. An example of such policies would be to identify new ways to encourage more local purchasing and to cultivate local capabilities in areas where large economic leaks exist.

Safeguard our local resources: water, land, open space, and people.

The county must focus on updating and abiding by the General Plan – ensuring that citizen input is valued and primary in the process. This is a critical tool for safeguarding our local resources and many decisions and policies flow from the work done on this plan. As the Board adopts a new General Plan, my focus in the first year will be to ensure that the new General Plan incorporates Smart Growth principles (see www.DeniseRushing.org/smart.htm) and that high-level policies support the General Plan, ensuring infrastructure, public safety and resources can support our communities.

The General Plan and related Area Plan elements are important because they set the stage for our collective future – not only how and where we grow, but the very nature of our communities and surrounding open space. I encourage active public involvement. The draft plan is available online at www.co.lake.ca.us/.

Get the basics of government right: make sure that our infrastructure, public safety and resources can support our communities.

I advocate linking development decisions with infrastructure and public safety’s ability to serve the community – while urging the board and staff to correct the decision-making processes and mechanisms that have led to regular water moratoriums throughout the county.

In addition, I plan to personally review flood control plans, processes, accountability and implementation progress for each district 3 community that experienced difficulty last winter to make sure we’ve done everything we can to prevent future disasters. I support assisting Lucerne with their analysis of water options and will ask the board to explore ways of supporting all of the Northshore community’s water quality and capacity goals.

In closing, I encourage dialog and your involvement. I’ve just launched a regular update (blog) at DeniseRushing.org where you can track what I am up to, learn of ways to get involved and sign-up for informal email updates.

Again, it is an honor to be entering public service. I expect that my efforts will evolve as I learn through observation and from YOU, the citizens of our community.

Denise Rushing will take the oath of office as District 3's new supervisor on Jan. 9.


Upcoming Calendar

06.18.2024 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Lakeport City Council
06.19.2024 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Free veterans dinner
06.22.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
06.22.2024 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Love of the Land Dinner
06.25.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
06.29.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
07.02.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park

Mini Calendar



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