About the district
Madera County Supervisor District 5 includes most of the foothills and mountains of eastern Madera County, including the communities of Oakhurst, Bass Lake, Coarsegold, O’Neals and Raymond.
Who are the candidates?
Edward “Beau” Campbell Jr. has lived in the foothills where he works as a licensed general contractor and land developer and sometimes as a paralegal. He is described on his site as a “professional Political Candidate since 2021.”
Robert “Bobby” Macaulay works as chief of staff for retiring supervisor Tom Wheeler. He also works in his parents’ insurance business as a broker. He was born and raised in Oakhurst and has lived there his whole life. He graduated in Business and Economics from CSU Channel Islands.
Mark Reed is an Oakhurst resident who runs a company from his own ranch to entertain and educate children about farm animals. He says he comes from a family of farmers and ranchers and has “family, friends and business ties” that go back five decades in Madera County. He studied Architectural Drafting at Pierce Junior College and his career is in business management. He bought his first company at age 26 and has operated many businesses since.
Who is funding the candidates?
Robert Macaulay has the fundraising lead, with over half of his contributions from major developers, including Riverstone developer Tim Jones, Tesoro Viejo developer Robert McCaffrey, and public facility contractor Richard Spencer. Beau Campbell did not create a campaign committee to accept political donations.
On the issues
We asked each candidate for their views on issues impacting Madera County. Robert Macaulay and Mark Reed did not respond to multiple requests to answer the candidate survey. Below are responses from candidate Beau Campbell, Jr.
What are your top three priorities for your community and why? How would you work to achieve those priorities?
Forest and wildland fires; the homeless population; restarting the building industry.
I would first address the fire season by assessing the existing resources and immediately reallocate funding to cover the expenses of hiring enough full time firefighters.
Secondly, I would make a place at the table for a homeless advocate in order to get a full and personal understanding of their conditions and what it might take to get the majority of them reconnected to society and possibly with existing family. Mental health experts and drug counselors must be involved as well.
Thirdly, the building department is going to have to restructure the permitting process along with deferring and then consider suspending the actual collection of those fees until the buildings are completed, sold or refinanced.
What do you think the county’s role is in keeping Madera County affordable? What ideas and policy solutions would you bring to the table toward that goal?
Madera should have a firm commitment to reinvest in its most precious resources, its own people and the county’s agriculture as well as conservation and preservation of the valley’s water supply.
Following a Fresno County Grand Jury report in 2020 that criticized the lack of coordination and oversight in the Fresno/Madera region’s homelessness response, what should the county do to better coordinate homelessness response in the region?
Consolidate and coordinate the state and federal funding to treat the homeless issue as a regional condition or epidemic. In the more recent past, housing, education and employment dollars handed out by state and federal agencies have not been properly assessed to ensure the effectiveness of the Governor’s intentions.
Do you support expanding industrial and warehouse uses near residential communities, like the proposed south Madera industrial park? If yes, how should local air quality impacts be addressed?
Yes I do support safe and responsible mixed zoning as long as the light industrial companies do not negatively affect air and water quality in any way. If there is even the slightest concern that the industry poses a threat to human health or safety then force compliance with the recommendations of an environmental impact study as already required by existing state and federal law.
Do you think the county should encourage new town growth (like Riverstone or Tesoro Viejo) or push housing towards places where infrastructure and communities already exist? Do you think current Madera taxpayers should pay for water or transportation infrastructure to support new growth?
Absolutely as long as those developers of those new towns build waste treatment and ground water recharging and recycling of waste water from these developments. I have personally visited the wastewater treatment facility and observed at Tesoro Viejo.
I recommend that anyone who has concerns or constructive criticisms should visit the site first and see the water and resources.
What is the county’s responsibility to mitigate the effects of climate change?
The county does have a responsibility to encourage its citizens to engage in lifestyle changes such as recycling. Public policy should be encouraging individuals to reduce their own negative carbon footprint that is left behind by each of us.
Do you think the county should subsidize employers if they bring new jobs? What types of subsidies are appropriate, or are not appropriate?
I think that where I can support the intent of the county to draw business I would not allow those fees to go uncollected, defer them, but do not allow free play.
What do you think the county should do to improve wages for workers?
Support labor and negotiate earnestly with unions and the efforts of the working class to improve and live off of their 40-hour work week.
What projects do you think should be prioritized for state and federal infrastructure dollars? How can local workers and communities benefit?
Make every effort humanly possible to direct all monies to hire full time firefighters that will short response time improve safety and decrease the high cost of insurance for the residents within the affected areas.
What should the county do to improve job, services, and health care accessibility for those who do not have access to a reliable vehicle? Where would you like to see more transportation dollars spent, and why?
A bus route planned out to make regular stops connecting the towns of Raymond, Ahwanee, Oakhurst, North Fork and Coarsegold. This will improve healthcare accessibility.
Within the next year, what should the county’s role be in reducing the impacts of rising gas prices on people?
Lower property assessment. It would be the quickest way to grant relief.
What should the county’s role be in making sure rural communities like the Ranchos or Fairmead do not lose access to safe drinking water and keep water affordable during the drought?
Until an operable water district is established there should be a free potable l water delivery service.
How should the county work with growers who are adjusting to SGMA implementation?
The growers should make every effort to work within the prescribed guidelines to ensure that there is enough safe ground water for both homeowners and growers. Recharge basins should be allowed and required. Foothill ranchers and farmers should be allowed to establish small private stock ponds for cattle as well as aquaculture.