Shasta County Supervisor Moty may lose seat, unofficial recall tally shows
The latest North State and California news on our airwaves for Wednesday, Feb. 2.
Unofficial voting results show Shasta County Supervisor Leonard Moty being recalled, though mail-in ballots are still being counted
Yesterday was the last day to cast ballots in the recall election to remove Shasta County District 2 Supervisor Leonard Moty. The unofficial results reported by the Shasta County Registrar of Voters Office show Moty being recalled as supervisor.
The Redding Record Searchlight reports there are still ballots to be counted and final results won’t be tabulated for several more days. As of this morning, nearly 7,000 votes have been counted with 52.78% of voters in favor of recalling Moty. Supervisorial candidate Dale Ball is leading the race as Moty’s replacement.
Moty, who describes himself as a Reagan Republican, said yesterday he was apprehensive about the outcome of the election but appreciated the support he’d received from people who were alarmed by the tenor of the recall.
“It certainly has taken a toll on me and my family, even my extended family has felt the impact of this,” he said. “My makeup is such that I don’t quit in the middle of something. I see it through.”
The county elections department reports there are just under 22,000 registered voters eligible for this election.
— Ken Devol and Adia White, NSPR
More on the election: Shasta County voters share their thoughts
Supervisor Moty was initially criticized for upholding state mask and COVID-19 mandates, but some voters said they had other concerns.
“I just feel that he's a roadblock for the county to be able to move forward, both as a community and the things that we're going to need to do going forward,” said resident Ben Swim, who voted to recall Moty on Tuesday.
Other voters, like Sylvia Link, opposed the election.
“I believe it's a waste of taxpayer money,” Link said. “And when the people have spoken and the people have elected someone … they should serve their entire term.”
As they cast their ballots, multiple voters referenced the tense political climate surrounding the recall election.
— Alec Stutson, NSPR
Interview: Shasta County Registrar of Voters discusses challenges of contentious recall election
Tuesday’s election to recall Moty has been fraught with tension, with proponents claiming he should have done more to push back against COVID-19 restrictions implemented to protect public health.
Despite the growing divide and mistrust of public officials in many departments, Shasta County Registrar of Voters Cathy Darling Allen is working to ensure a fair and free election. NSPR’s Adia White spoke with her about the challenges. Read the full story.
— Adia White, NSPR
Yuba City changes how it elects City Council members
The Yuba City City Council adopted an ordinance Tuesday establishing district-based elections for city councilors.
The move does away with the previous at-large system where city voters could vote for all members of the City Council.
City Attorney Shannon Chaffin addressed an accusation from the public that the six-month process lacked transparency. He said five public hearings were held and tools were provided for the public to submit district maps.
“Whether or not we have met transparency requirements – that’s up to the individual to decide,” Chaffin said. “But from a legal perspective, we have met all the requirements of the California Voting Rights Act.”
Yuba City joins other cities that have moved to district-based elections in recent years. In some cases, the transitions have followed threats of lawsuits under the California Voting Rights Act.
Yuba City officials reported last year they received a letter from an attorney claiming the city’s at-large election system diluted the ability of Latinos and other minorities to elect candidates of their choice.
City voters will start electing City Council members by district in November.
— Andre Byik, NSPR
PG&E says its rate hike is largely driven by escalating natural gas prices and infrastructure improvements
Pacific Gas and Electric customers began to see higher utility bills last month; over 9% higher for the average customer. Company spokesman Paul Moreno said the utility has received a lot of complaints from customers, but the rate hike was due to factors outside of the company’s control.
“Across the country, and in parts of the world, natural gas prices have risen dramatically in the past year," he said. “Production was down considerably during the pandemic. What that means is gas prices are about 90% higher for our customers than they were a year ago.”
Moreno said rates are also increasing to pay for the utility’s improvements to its infrastructure to reduce wildfire hazards.
— Ken Devol, NSPR
In other news
- Wildfire survivors, advocates say PG&E safety certificate renewal gives utility ‘license to burn’: “Wildfire survivors and advocates learned during a virtual protest held over Zoom on Tuesday that Pacific Gas & Electric Company’s safety certificate has been renewed this year — a move they say will give the public utility a “license to burn” by letting it tap into a multi-billion dollar state wildfire fund to pay to the victims of the fires.” — The Mercury News
- California snowpack dwindles after a dry January: "California’s second snow survey of the season arrived on the heels of one of the state’s driest Januarys on record, and officials are warning that a third dry year is possible unless more rain and snow arrive soon." — Los Angeles Times
- Gavin Newsom was the face of legal cannabis. Can he fix its problems?: “The cannabis industry’s appeal for help is aggressively aimed at the heap of taxes that put it at a disadvantage with the robust illicit market in California.” — CalMatters
- Siskiyou County is planning for new ‘Compost Law.’ What does it mean for local food banks?: “Siskiyou County is moving forward with a plan to reduce perishable food waste in grocery stores by making produce, and other items, available for local food banks.” — Siskiyou Daily News
- Affordable housing development ‘Park Avenue’ set to open in 15 months: “A new affordable housing development with a working name of “Park Avenue” located at the former Jesus Center in Chico will create 59 new permanent affordable homes with supportive services.” — Chico Enterprise-Record
- Patrick Jones claims victory in effort to recall fellow Shasta County Supervisor Leonard Moty: “With the recall of Shasta County Supervisor Leonard Moty leading by more than 5%, Patrick Jones, who led the effort, claimed victory Tuesday night, saying the win will take the Board of Supervisors in a more conservative direction.” — Redding Record Searchlight
- Sutter County reports COVID-19 death as hospitalizations rise: “Health officials on Tuesday said a fully vaccinated but not boosted Sutter County resident in their mid-80s was the latest area individual to die because of COVID.” — The Appeal Democrat
In case you missed it
- Gas station reopens in Greenville following Dixie Fire — NSPR, Headlines (Feb.1)
- Proposed Tuscan Water District before LAFCO — ChicoSol
- Sierra Nevada snowpack falls below average after dry January — The Mercury News
- ICE halts new intakes at Yuba County Jail — The Appeal Democrat
- Number of COVID-19 cases in Lassen County falls slightly — Lassen County Times
- PG&E adds Clark Road to construction list in Paradise line work — Chico Enterprise-Record
- Agreement between county, Trinity PUD to be pursued — The Trinity Journal
- CSU panel recommends eliminating the use of SAT and ACT exams for admission — EdSource