Florez’s proposed bill SB719 that supports board reform in the San Juaquin Valley Air District has been hailed as a great idea by many. Except the board, who think they are doing a great job.
Dean Florez attended the hearing when the board voted to oppose the addition of public health experts to a public health agency.
He writes in the Fresno Bee about what exactly happened at the hearing.
What gets me about this whole thing, is that the board spend many hours debating this issue. The vote opposing SB719 means absolutely nothing. It is not binding to anything. They might as well have voted to oppose the making of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at their grandmothers house. So, not only is the board wasting their own time, and our tax payers money in looking at inconsequential matters, but they are also dallying around on the issues they are meant to address as a public health agency.
Well, that is if they even realize they are a public health agency. It seems that some members of the board are under the impression that the Air District has nothing to do with Public Health. As Alicia Bohlke said in her op-ed, perhaps they should read their own mission statement.
Here in lies the problem. The board are in charge of cleaning up the air for all Valley residents. And they know little to nothing about the issues they are dealing with. They even display a severe lack of understanding of the purpose board they sit on! Mike Nelson, Merced County Supervisor who sits on the Air Board is always beginning his statements with comments such as “Now, I am not an expert…”. So, with this in mind, you would think that they would want the help.
Oh no. They explain, that as Doctors are idiots who cannot tie their own shoelaces, they should not have anything to do with the air district. (Unfortunately, the above is almost a direct quote from a board member).
The board also stated that besides this, the 2 new positions would be appointed not elected! Erm, can anyone tell me the last time a board member got voted into that position? The answer is never – board members are always appointed.
What is their objection? What is it they are concerned about? What is their real motivation?
They are not interested in having health and environmental experts assist them in making decisions, as they just voted against this.
They are not interested in cleaning up the air, as they consistently have voted to postpone attainment dates in the valley.
They are not interested in obtaining funding to help clean up the air, as by voting to oppose SB719 they are opposing millions of state dollars worth of help. (Talk about shooting yourself in the foot).
I think some members of the board are not grasping reality anymore, and it is high time we saw some change. SB719 proposes to jump start this process.