OAKHURST — At a packed restaurant venue last week in Oakhurst, Mark Reed, a candidate for Madera County Supervisor District 5, unveiled his economic policy blueprint for Eastern Madera County he calls a “Contract with the Community” should he win that supervisorial seat in the general election November 8.
“This contract is presented to preserve the mountain way of life and to give a local voice to the unique communities throughout Eastern Madera County. It is not presented to completely change the way of life in the mountains, but rather to simply preserve the uniqueness as we grow,” said Reed.
Reed delivered the contract to about 100 area residents who gathered at Pete’s Place Restaurant in Oakhurst to hear his proposal.
The eight-page contract focuses on a variety of issues in the mountain community including housing development, fire protection, tourism, commercial and industrial plans for the area, and medical services. The contract goes into considerable depth and reflection on these subjects.
Check out Reed’s “Contract with the Community” at https://supervisormarkreed.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Contract-with-the-Community-Final-Digital-Copy.pdf.
However, Reed was careful to point out that none of the ideas above can take shape until there is a solid General Plan and Area Plans for carefully managed growth, consistent with community desires and companion development that will retain the character of the historic town of Oakhurst and surrounding communities.
When queried by an audience member as to what he considered the most important thing he wanted to tackle in his contract, he answered unequivocally “the county’s general plan for the mountain community.”
“Within my first two years as your county supervisor, I will move to have the General Plan updated by the Planning Department,” Reed promised.
“The original General Plan is over 20 years old and the last time it was amended was in 2015,” he added.
Reed explained that Area Plans “drill down” into the General Plan and are the mechanisms that give true local control to communities. He said they provide a legally strong voice to the Board of Supervisors and the Planning Department.
According to Reed, there are nine Area Plans of District 5 in Eastern Madera County – Ahwahnee, Ahwahnee/Nipinnawasee, Coarsegold, North Fork/South Fork, Oakhurst, O’Neals, Raymond and Rio Mesa all of which are – on average – 24 years old.
“In my first two years as your county supervisor, I will also work to reconstitute the committees to update each of these Area Plans in District 5,” he continued.
Reed said a “primary and overriding principle” in his efforts will be citizen input. To accomplish that, Reed said he would create a large Citizens Advisory Group to meet monthly initially. Membership in the group would come from any number of existing community groups and include nonprofits and religious organizations.
“The goal will be to have more people involved with community issues. I will lean on this group for ideas and comments of pending proposals throughout the entire process,” he said.
According to Reed, California law requires that each county and city develop and adopt a General Plan or statement of development policies that sets forth objectives, principles, standards and plan proposals.
“In this sense, it is a “blueprint” for development,” said Reed.
He said the plan must contain seven state-mandated elements which are Land Use, Open Space, Conservation, Housing, Circulation, and Noise and Safety. The Madera County General Plan consists of these seven mandated elements.
By law, the legislative body of the county or city can amend any mandatory element of the General Plan only four times a year. Then, planning staff schedules four “windows” a year to consider amendments to the General Plan. By statute, the General Plan is required to be updated “periodically.” Reed said some cities and counties update their General Plans as often as every five years, while others update in portions over time.
People can watch Reed deliver his “Contract to the Community” at Pete’s Place last Wednesday (Sept. 7, 2022) at https://rumble.com/v1jf2at-contract-with-the-community.html.
For more information, contact the Mark Reed for Supervisor Committee at (559) 676-9825.
Press Release Submitted by Mark Reed for Supervisor Committee #1437553