Michael Laybourn: Why I am voting for Dan Hamburg


I live in the 5th district and am highly interested in the outcome of this race. I spent 35 years in this county with various small businesses, some more successful than others. So I come from a background of a small business owner.

As I have watched the campaign move along, I have seen that Dan Hamburg is supported by many small business owners. He is also supported by many of the major entrepreneurs in our county that have had businesses go national to some degree. Businesses that started from ideas only and became successful.

We now have a broken economy. So what can we do here in Mendocino County?

Small business and startup businesses are the engine of our national and local economies. That is a fact.
So it follows that to repair Mendocino County’s economy, we have to work to create a local economy that is more than entry level jobs. We need startup businesses that can hire people.

We have to build an economy that can feed ourselves and make many of the things that we need. We need to support the coastal small businesses that exist. We need to use the talents and creativity in this county to build a strong local economy.

Dan Hamburg clearly understands these things.

We have a national and state economy in what I consider a depression – no matter what some fool economist says – if there are not jobs for people, then an economy cannot happen.

Here is the real difference in the 5th District Supervisor race:
Looking for solid ideas about the economy from Roberts, nowhere can I find any job producing idea in Robert’s materials, except what seems to be a hope that the economy will get better. By itself, I guess. Roberts seems to agree that more jobs are needed, but her solution is “We must not continue to hold proposed development and jobs hostage to outdated county planning documents” and wait for the economy to fix itself: “…to create a positive environment for job growth as the state’s economy recovers.”

I don’t believe we should wait for our economy to fix itself.

The real difference is that Hamburg has solid ideas about building an economy locally that will help make those jobs happen. Let me quote him: “We will emphasize local economics by buying local and establishing stronger incentives for local contracting. We will promote food localization and boost our growing reputation as leaders in green technology.”

“We need to keep our dollars here, circulating in our local economy.”

“This applies to government spending as well. Currently the County provides 5 percent preference for local contracting. We would like to see that raised to 10 percent – and it should include spending on food and energy. Contracts awarded to firms outside the County should require a statement on public record that the service is not available in-County.”

“Promote local food production using the market niches we have: organic, biodynamic and non GMO. Support our local farmers, so they can grow food and resources for Mendocino County: Grains, hops and meat, as well as winegrapes.”

These are solid creative ideas.

If Mendocino County consumers were to buy only 15% of their annual food budget on local food, another $20 million in local farm income would be realized. Think about that. Couldn’t we use another $20 million in our economy?

I believe we have to work to fix our local economy, and not wait for the feds or the state to fix themselves. The federal government will bail out big banks and insurance companies, but seems to be unable to help main street stop foreclosures. The State of California can’t even get a budget together.

Let’s get a Board of Supervisors who can work together to move towards these job building ideas. There is nothing liberal or conservative about these ideas. It’s just common sense.

I believe Dan Hamburg is a Supervisor we need.