The Williams City Council has delayed acting on a declaration to the Legislature for the withdrawal of the city from the state of California until after the State of Jefferson town hall meeting on Saturday.
City officials – whatever their stance on the separation of California into two states – said they want residents to be more informed about the proposal before they make a decision.
Councilman Chuck Bergson said he was in general support of the State of Jefferson idea but objected to some of the language in the declaration that states “the people of Williams” have asked the council to support the resolution.
The City Council held a workshop on the Jefferson proposal last month, but only a few residents voiced their opinion on the formation of a 51st state out of the 20 northern counties.
Mark Baird, the primary proponent for the State of Jefferson movement, will speak at the public meeting beginning at 2 p.m. at Granzella’s.
The State of Jefferson proposal has been a growing movement by North State counties that believe California is ungovernable in its present form.
The current legislative system of 40 senators and 80 Assembly members – most of whom are from urban areas such as Los Angeles and the Bay Area – has left most rural counties without representation and with an undesirable result, including regulations that are better suited for urban areas, Williams officials said at the March 18 City Council meeting.
Williams Mayor John Troughton, a supporter of the Jefferson movement, said the new request to the California Public Utility Commission from Pacific Gas and Electric Co. to raise customer rates to build a $654 million network of electric vehicle charging stations to meet the state’s stringent green energy requirements is an example of charging everyone in the state for something that will ultimately provide little or no benefit to the majority of people living in rural areas.
State and federal agencies, through aggressive regulation, also deny rural counties and its citizens access to natural resources and have caused harm to the economy, he said.
“We always get the short end of the stick,” Troughton said.
The increases in electricity bills, which Williams officials plan to fight, is proposed to start in 2018 and extend until 2022.
Troughton said the burden of funding the installation of charging stations should be placed on the manufacturers of the vehicles, not PG&E customers.
Know & Go
WHAT: State of Jefferson town hall meeting.
WHEN: 2 p.m. Saturday.
WHERE: Granzella’s, 457 Seventh St., Williams.
©2015 the Colusa County Sun-Herald (Colusa, Calif.)
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