District 2 Supervisor

From Brian Roberts/Jan. 24, 2024, 9:30 a.m.

Brian D Roberts

District 2 Supervisor Candidate


Our community is very unique indeed.  We are spread out among some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world.  The volunteer emergency services that are provided all over southern Humboldt is a testament to who we are as a community.  Our history in the cannabis industry is known worldwide.  As a community we need to have better local policies to take advantage of this in post legalization.


There are many priorities as a Supervisor but I think the number one issue facing us this election is the $17.7 million dollar deficit.  County services won’t be funded and the community will suffer as a whole.  The $52 million in measure S taxes over the first five years needs to be addressed.  How did Humboldt County benefit?  Where did the money get spent?  Measure Z is a success.

Measure A could drastically change the ability of Humboldt County to generate new tax revenue in the future.  This measure has nothing to do with taxes but it does place a cap on future permits.  Permits equal tax revenue.  There are 2400 remaining permits available for all of Humboldt County.  In Dec the Board talked about an alternative measure to compete against measure A, thankfully that was canceled because it placed a cap on all future applications as well.  Measure S needs to be adjusted one more time with a more equitable solution that could generate revenue for the good of Humboldt County while respecting the legacy growers.


Economic development initiatives and policy implementation: 

Unfortunately the improvement zone in Garberville is on hold due to budget deficits.

Other ways besides improvement zones funded by local and state funds are tax cuts, tax rebates and changing the zoning in Garberville and Redway to allow other uses.  A huge economic hold back from growth will come from power issues and PG&E.  Southern Humboldt doesn’t have enough power and future regulations are going to make it worse.  The sale of new gasoline cars will be banned in California starting 2030.  Another issue is that in 2045 the state will have a zero emissions policy.  How will southern Humboldt face that issue?  The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors banned burning of fireplaces during the last holiday season.  We need a leader that will stand up to future California regulations that can’t be implemented in our rural communities. 

In the past I owned several retail stores in Los Angeles and Amsterdam. I sold merchandise to over 1,500 retail stores worldwide. I sold merchandise to Richard at Tsunami Surf prior to selling my company.  Garberville would be the ideal place to open my last shop but there are so many challenges facing that opportunity.

First the homeless population takes over Garberville after dark.  Petty crimes hurt the smallest businesses trying to succeed. The drug problem is out of control and extra funding to Humboldt County Drug Task Force instead of cannabis crimes would help.  Second, Regulations and permits tend to be just as burdensome as opening a business. Third, our infrastructure needs to be maintained and constantly improved.  Blocksburg to Garberville is an hour + drive in good conditions.  All of our outer areas have long drives to mail boxes, super markets and Doctors. The wear and tear on our cars makes it economically impossible to travel everyday and not suffer huge mechanical bills.   Fourth, looking into rezoning some areas of Gaberville and Redway could stimulate new buildings and growth.  Fifth, funding for the Humboldt County visitors bureau is huge.  No action was taken by the board in Dec 2023 except to revisit the issue in six months.  HCVB rent is $50,000 per year and Garberville has buildings for sale for under $400,000.

We need to address the situation of declining property values.  Updating the assessor’s office and automating some services would help southern Humboldt residents from having to drive two hours to file a form.  Southern Humboldt had two towns in the top ten for foreclosures in California.

Housing Authority County of Humboldt has information and a help center for those in need of affordable housing.  The safe park ordinance was extended another two years but unfortunately it wasn’t used once in its first two years on the books.  More public education and outreach could change that.

Tiny house villages with community showers, kitchens and more should be looked into if they are feasible from the planning department.  County parks that have showers are a great resource for the un-housed to stay sanitized.  Keeping them open year round could help those that suffer from a hot shower in the winter.  Creating safe place parking lots to drive in and out each night that have proper bathrooms for the public.

These are just a few ideas off the top of my head but there are so many more ideas that need to collaborate on with other Board members and the public.  My commitment to Southern Humboldt and its needs come first.  I will place my farm on hold for four years so I have zero conflict of interest when voting for Southern Humboldt’s most profitable commodity cannabis.  My measure S tax adjustment is coming next.