The council remained undecided feeling there is a lack of communication with the acceptance of this movement.
“I believe in the spirit of this, but I represent the City of Williams and for me to assume that the majority of the citizens want this is not within my capacity to come to that conclusion, and I am hesitant to move on this,” said Williams Mayor John Troughton Jr.
Council member Chuck Bergson agreed with Troughton and added that he wasn’t sure if the Williams community was fully on board with this.
Bergson asked State of Jefferson representative Keith Hathaway if the County Supervisors have made a decision on this matter, and Hathaway responded that the group would be approaching them in May.
Mayor Troughton commented that he would like to know what the State Senators think about the movement.
“I want to know if there is someway to find out if a significant amount of our citizens support this matter before we make a decision,” said Mayor Troughton.
Hathaway commented that about 70 people attended the State of Jefferson Town Hall Meeting on Sunday, March 28th.
Although, 70 attended the meeting, approximately a third of attendees were from the City of Williams.
“We have collected a great number of signatures in our petition,” said Hathaway.
However, this wasn’t enough for the council, and they questioned on the possibility of an informal ballot measure. Councilmember Santos Jauregui asked about state funding, and grants would still be available to the city if the state split.
Hathaway commented that he believed the Cities would still receive the grants and funding that is promised to them in the event of a state split but was unsure.
Currently, the State of Jefferson movement has a total of 8 counties declaring a state split.
In addition to county governments numerous of organizations and cities, including the City of Colusa have signed and submitted a declaration.
“Keep in mind about the declaration that it’s a declaration saying that you believe that you are underrepresented,” said State of Jefferson representative, Ken Welborn.
Councilmember Kent Boes added, “The basis of the movement is that we are under-represented and if we sent this to the state they may give us that representation.
Speaking for our constituents, I think that a majority of them would agree that we are under-represented, and I would be comfortable saying we are under-represented; but, I believe that creating a new state is a little presumptuous.”
Williams resident, Lonnie Moore commented that he knew very little about what the State of Jefferson group is trying to do as he has missed all of their meetings and added that there are lots of misconceptions over the control of water.
Mayor Troughton commented that he would bring the item back on the agenda in the next couple of months if there were an increase in interest or if the group would like to provide more information.
Councilmember Jauregui commented that he would like to see a meeting in Spanish as the population within the City of Williams is primarily Hispanic, and there wasn’t a great Hispanic turnout at the last meeting.
If you are a resident of the City of Williams and would like to express your concern, approval or disapproval towards the State of Jefferson declaration please send your letters to: Mayor John Troughton Jr., City of Williams, PO Box 310, Williams, CA 95987