Yuba-Sutter Political Notes

by Lou Binninger

Longtime Sutter County Sheriff Deputy and current District Attorney (DA) Investigator David Williams plans to retire and run against his boss DA Amanda Hopper. Williams obtained a law degree while working as an investigator.

Others that may be interested in the job are Jennifer Dupre who opposed Hopper in the last election. Dupre lives in Yuba City and is a prosecutor for the Butte County DA. Defense attorney Chris Carlos who once worked in the Sutter Co DA’s office is also talking about running.

Meanwhile, Sutter County Chief Investigator Jason Parker remains on administrative leave. The county is doing an investigation to determine Parker’s sins, if any, against DA Hopper. Whether his dismissal is righteous or not, the feeling is that the taxpayers will again pick-up the tab when the government improperly fires him.

Anu Chopra, former attorney in the Sutter County District Attorney’s office who was fired for lying in court after receiving complaints from defense attorneys has a lawsuit against the county. It looks like her pay-off will be postponed until after the District Attorney election in 2018 to avoid negative publicity from the settlement.

Some in Sutter County’s $5 Million Dollar Club are expressing relief that they can return to their normal duties rather than being sidetracked on one homeless proposal after another. The $5 Million Dollar Club represents 30 Sutter County employees commissioned to solve homelessness. Their combined salaries come to about $5 million annually or nearly $3,000 per hour.

Though there is a new and more restrictive Sutter County camping ordinance to deal with squatters it is not being enforced. Yuba County Sheriff Captain Brandon Barnes, Chad Lizardo (retired Yuba City Police), Yuba City Police Sergeant Dennis Hauck and Sutter County Undersheriff Jeff Pierce are campaigning to inherit the problem since Sheriff Paul Parker is retiring.

If no one else comes forward, Wendell Anderson who oversees the detectives at Yuba County Sheriff’s Department will take over for retiring Sheriff Steven Durfor. Being Yuba County Sheriff has some unique pressures due to the terrain, extensive marijuana grows, the demographics and the jail being a deportation holding facility for ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement.)

Panhandlers, thieves and thugs continue to run loose in both cities. A high school student was stabbed in the hand recently retrieving a bike lifted from his Marysville school campus by a vagrant. As travelers approach Marysville on the E Street bridge campers and garbage can be seen scattered along the Yuba River.

Maybe the Marysville City Council, Yuba County Supervisors and Yuba County Water Agency personnel should tour the campgrounds where folks were squatting. Chances are that camping spots are being resettled after taxpayers spent hundreds of thousands to clean them up.

As many wonder about the widening of the 5th Street Bridge between Marysville and Yuba City, thousands are frustrated with Marysville becoming nearly impassable every afternoon. Hwy 70 and Hwy 20 crossing in Marysville is a fiasco with traffic backing up for miles on the Hwy 70 freeway south of the city. It is like the Lincoln, CA traffic snarl before Hwy 65 bypass was built. A bypass around Marysville is long overdue.

It pays to be a politician. After decades of neglected streets in Olivehurst, when some money is finally allotted for paving, which street gets top priority? That would be 7th Street right in front of former Yuba County Supervisor Mary Jane Griego’s restaurant.

Olivehurst Fire Department has been using an interim chief for months since Wade Harrison’s departure. There is talk of the Marysville Fire Chief leaving as well. Is it too logical to combine Linda, Olivehurst and Marysville into one fire authority under one chief, Rich Webb and overseen by one board, Linda’s? Probably, it’s only money.

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