Mariposa County Issues

Current Issues

See this page on my recent efforts on tree mortality, fire safety and fire insurance.  

Mariposa County Proposed Code Enforcement Ordinance.   One of our key priorities is to protect the health and safety of our citizens.  Please read my FAQ on this issue.

Please see my recent work on housing in Mariposa County.

In response to the considerable community discussion regarding PG&E policies on vegetation management and tree removal, I invited PG&E to make a presentation to the Board of Supervisors. You can see and hear that presentation with the links provided here.

The Mariposa Gazette recently asked all candidates for Supervisor to answer 8 questions. Those questions and my responses are shown below.

1. Code compliance is a huge issue in the county right now, can you give your thoughts on code compliance — and more importantly, on code enforcement.

The county codes are simply the rules we all agree to so we can live comfortably with each other. They are how we protect the health and safety of all of us and preserve the beauty of our rural areas. It isn't a surprise that there is sometimes conflict – how many horses on five acres, how many junked cars, how large a new building, what kind of industrial business in which areas. What matters is that our rules must be developed transparently with our residents’ input, and open to reason and change. We try always to resolve the differences and find agreements that work for property owners. And, the Code Compliance Advisory Committee is now working on suggestions to make the system work better.

2. A few years ago, the voters of Mariposa County cast their ballots in favor of recreational marijuana. The board voted to not allow dispensaries in the county, which also means no revenue. What is your position on recreational marijuana and do you think dispensaries should be allowed in the county?

The reported experience with marijuana dispensaries by other small counties has been that they may cost more to oversee and protect than they bring in with taxes and fees. For example, under current law dispensaries handle large amounts of cash but are limited in their use of banks. Local residents already purchase marijuana from other places in California and that creates hardships for some. I don't want Mariposa to lose money while California figures out these licensing and operational issues. I will insist that Mariposa be part of working out solutions so this service can be provided here legally, and so that the economic value stays in our county.

3. Fire protection is always a major concern in the county. At this time, the county has moved to having more firefighters, but still relies heavily on volunteers. Do you think there will come a time when a full-time firefighting force is needed and if so, how would you propose funding such a force?

We may be moving in the direction of a full-time firefighting force, but there are a number of strategies available in the interim. The County is working to provide more opportunities for volunteers to assist and has created new employment opportunities. I’ve worked with constituents and staff to develop medical only responder positions since about 70-80% of calls are emergency medical. We’ve also found ways to address building and equipment maintenance.

Fire protection doesn't just mean sending a truck to put out the blaze. Home hardening, defensible space, maintaining fire breaks through-out Mariposa, encouragement and support for those who need help trimming grasses around their homes, all are things we can and should do. I have worked since I took office on making sure insurance is available to us in Mariposa. Just as we need capable response to fires, affordable coverage is vital to the economic future of our community.

4. Tourism is the bread and butter for the county coffers. Transient Occupancy Taxes fund the majority of the general fund budget. Many say the county should diversify more when it comes to revenue. What is your opinion on this and how do you think the county is handling the issue of tourism?

A thriving, diverse business environment is an alternative to relying on TOT. Visitors to Mariposa are important, and they help us pay the bills, but we aren't and shouldn't be simply a tourist destination. Locally focused businesses employ us, provide services and goods, and pay taxes. They already include construction firms, cattle raising and other agriculture, JC Fremont hospital, other public and non-profit agencies, and manufacturing concerns. As we move forward, we are encouraging new initiatives including – in cooperation with the Governor’s Office and other Central Sierra counties -- utilizing woody materials, especially for energy production, but also for other businesses.

To be clear, as we plan Mariposa's future, I do not believe we should be tempted to rely only on a bed tax for income growth.

5. Measure O – On the ballot during this election is Measure O, which would be a 1 percent sales tax to help fund a new hospital. What is your opinion on Measure O and how important do you think quality medical care is to county residents?

I hope Mariposa residents vote to approve Measure O. Our hospital was identified as important/very important to support local well-being and emergency care by about three-quarters of our residents. The Hospital’s 222 employees and a $12 Million payroll significantly contribute to Mariposa’s economy. Some employees live in Mariposa and many purchase goods and services in our stores. If this not-for-profit Hospital closes, some residents will leave Mariposa for areas with more adequate health care. And, it’s difficult to imagine that the Ewing Wing would continue, which would mean our oldest, most vulnerable residents would be sent to care facilities many miles from their families and friends.

I strongly support all voters carefully considering the full impacts and voting yes on Measure O.

6. Housing, housing, housing. It may be the biggest issue facing the county. What do you think the county government can do to improve the housing situation, including the fact rent in the county has soared in the past few years?

Most of the issues we've talked about here are also at least partly about housing, and we will simply not have a prosperous community unless each of us has a secure, affordable home to live in. The housing crisis is acute in California and has reached us. The job now is to make sure that the cost of a home here is in line with local resources.

The county is not a house builder, but we have found state and federal grants for new homes – 42 new apartments at Creekside will open July 5, the first in 24 years. The County, Park and Yosemite Conservancy are investigating new development sites. We’re looking at the number of homes converted to vacation rentals. MPUD can expand hook ups around Mariposa Town to lower the cost of new construction. There is growing interest in a housing trust fund to support new development.

7. Roads are always a big issue and Mariposa County is no exception. What would be your plan to improve the roads in the county and how would you fund such a plan?

We need to have public workshops so our residents can understand the condition of our roads and how much money it will take to keep them in their current condition, let alone pay for road improvements. I hope we can talk about the difficult decisions based on data developed for our Public Works Department and on county-wide priorities. For example, should fire evacuation routes and major traffic routes be higher priority to fix than more local roads? The County currently uses Federal and State funding but we need to explore other sources such as Federal Emergency Management Agency and Caltrans support for funds to improve evacuation routes. As we have done in the past, we should continue to work through partner organizations to ensure legislation is passed that provides additional funding for road work in our area.

8. Tell the public why you are the best candidate for this position and why you decided to run?

The solution to every question we've talked about here takes a commitment to study, to listening and asking questions, to working with private businesses, other public agencies and non-profit partners. It takes time and care to meet people and learn about systems that make things work and more time to develop productive relationships with them. I formed the County Tree Mortality Working Group and continue to serve on the State’s Wildfire and Forest Resilience Task Force. With neighboring counties I've begun a new project to expand internet access to residents and businesses. I have helped focus State level attention on home insurance availability and affordability. I am working now on increasing housing and making it affordable for all of us. Mariposa continues to attract visitors and I am focused on creating recreation opportunities for them here.

I'm not just ready to start. I'm already at it.

The J.C. Fremont Healthcare District has had financial challenges in the 2013 because of Medi-Cal budget cuts. Find out how Rosemarie helped the Healthcare District in this crisis.


Issue from 2015

Mining in Mariposa County and the Conditional Use Permit

The items below are what was on this page during the 2014 campaign.

Here are some of the issues I would like to discuss during my campaign for District 1 Supervisor. Click on a topic for more details

Fuel Reduction

Economic Development

Conference Center/Four Star Hotel

NPS Visitors Center

Mariposa Biomass Project

Increase Jobs

Williamson Act

Increase Grant Writing Capability

Merced River


County Services


Midpines Community Plan

Recognition of Union Contracts