By CLAIRE MAMAKOS
As a community our hearts go out to the family of Andrew Holland, the young man who died a year and a half ago in the San Luis Obispo County Jail. Shortly after the details of Andrew’s death became public, the Holland family voiced plans to promote changes in the way the mentally ill are treated in our county.
While we all agree on the need for better treatment for the mentally ill in the county jail, and mental health care instead of prosecution for those suffering a mental crisis, there are other issues facing this county too.
As a small farming family in North County, we find water rights and access just as important. Several wealthy landowners have been working to create private water districts that could lead to wealthy water barons controlling our North County water rights. They ignore that fact that 74% of the residents showed their opposition through their vote in 2016.
Unfortunately, two county supervisor candidates, the two to whom the Holland family donated large sums of money, are in favor of giving voting rights to private water districts in North County.
Losing a family member is tragic, but we find it wrong that the Holland family is backing candidates based on how they converse with them about the loss of Andrew. There are other issues –like our water– that are just as important for the residents of this county to consider before voting.