Honest, Accountable Leadership for Butte County
Groundwater for Butte has endorsed Joanna Warrens for Butte County Supervisor, District 4. She is a serious, well-spoken person with many creative ideas for improving Butte County's quality of life and meeting its challenges.
As owner (with husband Wade) of a small walnut orchard outside Durham, Joanna knows first-hand the issues and challenges Butte County farmers face in attempting to achieve groundwater sustainability.
Unlike her opponent Tod Kimmelshue, however, she wants that effort conducted out in the open.
Government, she feels, should be effective, efficient, transparent, and accountable.
“If it’s not transparent or accountable,” she told us, “it’s not likely to be effective or efficient either.”
Her opponent, Tod Kimmelshue, has been the key elected official pushing the Tuscan Water District since he took office in 2020 and, apparently, before that.
Like many others with family ties to the land here, Ms. Warrens is alarmed at the slow takeover of agricultural land by corporate entities with deep pockets.
Our experience fighting the advent of TWD, and monitoring local water politics more generally, lead us to suspect Mr. Kimmelshue is beholden to agricultural businesses whose interests in groundwater diverge considerably from those of the general public.
Many have noticed a pattern with Mr. Kimmelshue. He is nothing if not affable. He shakes your hand, smiles, and listens. He tends to win people over and give them confidence that he wants only what is best for you and for Butte County.
Then when it comes time to vote on something, he inevitably chooses big business.
Joanna Warrens told us she will use her position on the Butte County Board of Supervisors to act on behalf of those who do not have piles of money with which to influence politicians.
Like us, she is aghast at the reckless and arrogant manner in which Mr. Kimmelshue and his allies on the Board gerrymandered Butte County in their favor two years ago, driving Debra Lucero from office.
A three-to-one "conservative" majority pushed through Mr. Kimmelshue’s plan, which he presented at the last minute. This, in the face of recommendations by Redistricting Partners, to whom they paid $80,000 to guide them through the complicated standards of the Fair Maps Act.
The episode triggered an investigation by the State Attorney General; if its conclusions arrive before the March 5 voting deadline, it could upend the race.
Government, Ms. Warrens says, should be done by law, not by lawsuit. We couldn’t agree more.