Wahl, Merkel, square off at public forum in Chico

May 15, 2014 12:26 AM

In the third and final forum hosted by the Butte County's League of Women voters tonight, District Two Candidates Andrew Merkel and Larry Wahl introduce themselves to Butte County voters.

“I do have an open door policy,” said Butte County District Two Supervisor Larry Wahl. “I encourage people from all over the county, not just in District Two, to come and visit or to call.”

“[I] tried to deal with Larry Wahl,” said Butte County District Candidate Andrew Merkel. “He does not have an open door policy, I can promise you that. I have an open door policy to make this county a better place.”

Both Butte County District Two candidates want to make the county a better place.

Wahl said the county has lived within its means since he's taken office.

Merkel, vying for his seat, sees the county as a mess.

“It’s easy to say the county takes in money and spends as little as possible,” Merkel said. “But I realize that our roads are falling apart, our sewer plant needs work…”

He also sees Wahl as part of the county's good old boys network, but promises, if elected, to make that network crumble.

“There is no good old boy network around here that I know of and I'm certainly not part of it if there is,” Wahl said. “So he's barking up the wrong tree on that one.”

Merkel wants accountability on that good old boys network within the county, more emphasis on public health, and the regulation, not restriction, of medical marijuana.

Wahl wants fiscal accountability, better public safety, and good tech jobs, not pot jobs.

But that's exactly where Merkel sees growth, saying if we don't regulate pot, we'll be missing out on a $400 million dollar economy.

“[Wahl] wants to make marijuana an issue. It's a job builder.”

“The peace and quiet has taken a second fiddle to profits for pot, and that's just patently wrong and needs to be fixed,” Wahl said.

One thing is certain: There's no peace and quiet between these two, and there probably never will be.

There were a wide-ranging host of topics discussed by the two Wednesday night, not just pot, but everything from fracking to the State of Jefferson.

The District Two Supervisor race will be decided on June 3rd.


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