Candidate for the 5th District Supervisor of Mendocino County, Ted Williams
Returning from managing an Albion /Little River Fire Department dispatch call, Ted joins Marianne McGee to discuss the campaign and his experiences.
I’ve known Ted for 20 years or more. I provided the basic trunk lines for internet in my position working for the Special Services Dept of Pacific Bell. Ted was the first commercial / private internet service provider on the Mendocino Coast. His business, ert.com, came online during the same period mcn.org, (Mendocino Community Network) was established. Ted’s ISP was the reliable provider, with more up time and more bandwidth. I had lost track of Ted over the years until my son, Andrew, Mary and Ted started hanging out in the past few years. While Ted’s matter of fact deadpan approach to solutions is somewhat disconcerting at first, as you get to know him you realize that he is a very efficient individual. He allocates attention strategically, so there isn’t s lot of chit chat when he is detailing his platforms.
I worked for 30 years in the Special Services Department installing private data, voice and signal circuits connecting to the outside world. Ted’s idea of having the County developing and zoning broadband proactively is spot on! The biggest problem with the zoning issues regarding Cell Tower siting is always reactive, with never enough time to meet FCC guidelines of an expedited 30 day review period. That isn’t enough time for any government department to react. If the County were to develop sites that have fiber access to a County mainframe, they could develop a co-location lease for these mountain top sites to all of the cell companies. This could become a major revenue stream while easing citizens concerns regarding excessive radiation, by developing reasonable sites. This would support the new 5g network that will be faster than your measly little dsl / cable connection. This opportunity needs to be done now, before AT&T uses the Telecommunications Act of 1939, deploying their own version of 5g on all of the telephone poles throughout the county. Since there exists no franchise agreement with AT&T to provide television services in Mendocino County, that exclusive franchise belongs to Comcast. So, AT&T will deploy a service that costs the same as elsewhere but is missing a critical component of U-Verse, television channels. The Supervisors should be negotiating a franchise fee structure right now as the state PUC is taking over these types of franchises. This is one of the ideas he espouses that resonate with me.
As I said in Alan Rodier’s post, I’m an ex Mountain Bike Event Promoter. I truly believe that we need 2 more legs towards supporting the current tourism model for economic development. Events and Recreation give the visitors a reason to return. It’s a different type of economy beyond tourism. When they come, will they have something to do? It’s critical that participation with activities creates an experience that is unique. I would love a performance venue on the coast. Abalone divers bring 60,000 visitors to the coast, each of them spending money here. Soccer Tournaments are awesome, which is why we need fields. The new Off Road Park off of Highway 20 has the potential to bring thousands of visitors a year.
A message that has been lost in the controversy regarding Measure V, which Ted supported and was passed in the past election, is that it is not an abstract political issue.. This came to light when Roderick commented on things that he came to learn, while on the campaign trail. “I’ve come to learn how passionate the people on Albion Ridge are about measure V. (Roderick has stated he won’t spend the huge attorney fees to defend the measure against the deep pockets of MRC.)
Most people don’t understand that there are thousands of people living on that ridge. There is no alternative fire escape road on that ridge. There is a gated fire road out near Table Mountain, but that whole ridge has only one escape route. So yes they live in fear every day of fire consuming everything in it’s path like what happened last year in Redwood Valley, where lives were lost. Ted is exercising leadership as Fire Chief of his community to constantly harp on the fuel load increase in his fire district. It’s the responsible thing to do.
I agree with Ted and think county government has become too cumbersome. I like Ted’s idea of actually simplifying the bureaucratic process. Getting the government out of the cannabis industry and using block-chain technology for security, keeps transactions between cultivators and the County anonymous. Ted creates elegant solutions to complex situations.
Ted Williams, like the other 4 Candidates, would make a fine Supervisor for Fifth District in my opinion.