John W. Corbett: All community groups must be involved in governing McKinleyville

Sungnome Madrone of Trinidad should be complimented for his civil tone and thoughtful article about future governmental structures for McKinleyville. My personal view is that the consideration of future governance for McKinleyville’s needs to be broadly based in the community so as to include all major community groups and relevant governmental entities.

I was surprised his discussion had no mention of the elected McKinleyville Community Services District (MCSD) and other community groups but only the advisory McKinleyville Municipal Advisory Committee.

At the governmental level the existing entity that most resembles a  functioning city is the McKinleyville Community Services District. It is a publicly elected body voted on by all the citizens of McKinleyville.

It delivers most of the same services as a city. There is water, sewer, open space easements, storm water drainage discharge areas, and as delegated from the county approving tree removal and replacement permits on Central Avenue. The district is in charge of street lighting.  Thanks to the community district providing a law enforcement building there is increased law enforcement centered in McKinleyville in a joint effort with the county Sheriff’s department.

The district has a similar shared relationship to provide on site library services. The recreational department is exceptional in the breadth and multi age groups it serves.  McKinleyville has hiking trails, benches for older folks, bocci ball, a botanical garden, a community garden, soccer, baseball, basketball, a dog park, riparian zone view parks, roller skating, and a skate board park is in the works.

The district provides a teen center and dance hall as well as Azalea Hall community meeting center.   

The MCSD has coordinated emergency services with the county and American Red Cross.  The district has been working on a community forest for two years and expects completion by 2020. The district is in the planning stages for selected former sewer ponds to be converted into coho rearing areas.

The district participates as well with the county on major capital projects. A cogent first step would be to determine what municipal services the MCSD is or is not providing so a focus can be made on the best way to move forward.

It is vitally important to include other community groups as well.

The McKinleyville Municipal Advisory Committee was placed in the County General Plan to facilitate general local land use input. It languished for many years. About eight years ago the district began lobbing the county to establish the McKMAC and properly fund it.

Supervisor Ryan Sundberg was outstanding in being  able to get the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors as a whole to take action and immediately thereafter the  McKMAC was created.

Most political pundits believe that a key element in the creation of the McKMAC was this concerted push by MCSD and our supervisor.   

As a matter of personal opinion, McKinleyville future political planning needs to include all major parties to be successful.

The MCSD as a well developed elected body representing many McKinleyville interests is a necessary contributor to the process. It is vitally important to include other community groups as well.

Our ballparks, sports fields, law enforcement and library buildings would never have been possible for the district without the help and partnership of local community groups.

John W. Corbett is a resident of McKinleyville and is a member of the McKinleyville Community Services District Board of Directors.

 







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