On Sunday, June 14, the Caspar Community heard back from the Steering Committee that it appointed at last month's town meeting. The Committee was charged with organizing the effort to preserve Caspar in the face of the potential sale of almost 300 acres of Caspar, including most of the open lands surrounding the downtown village, and the north headlands, the beach, and riparian areas of Caspar Creek.
The Committee met its charge by coming up with recommendations to the community to adopt a mission statement, hire a community coordinator, continue development of a village plan, and okay a budget for the next year of $100,000. In a well-organized two-hour session, Judy Tarbell gave an overview and history of the Caspar effort, Patty Madigan presented the mission statement ("To preserve and enhance all life in Caspar"), Mike Dell'Ara gave the reasons why a full-time Community Coordinator was needed, Vince Taylor described the proposed village planning contract and the status of efforts to preserve the Caspar coastal lands, Meridian Green described the options being considered for acquiring rights to the Caspar Cattle Company holdings, Patty Madigan presented the proposed $100,000 budget, and Michael Potts started off the fund-raising effort.
In introducing the set of recommendations, Vince Taylor emphasized that the Steering Committee was presenting a "plan designed for success." He stated that, taken together, the recommendations would make the Caspar Community an important factor in the future of the town. "We wanted a budget that was big enough so that we didn't fail for lack of money to do what is needed."
After being assured that the budget request did not bind those present to supply the funds, but only authorized the Steering Committee to raise the money, the small but supportive audience Okayed all of the Committee's requests without dissent. Among those in the audience was County Supervisor Patty Campbell, who applauded the group for seeking to gain control of its future before development occurred, rather than afterwards.
Given the go ahead, the Committee will negotiate this week with Randy Hester of UC Berkeley to continue the village planning process and will begin the search for a Community Coordinator. Mike Dell'Ara urged anyone who might be interested in the position to contact the Committee.
The Committee is launching a campaign to marshal political support for state acquisition of the "Caspar Preserve", which consists of the headlands, beach, and riparian areas of Caspar Creek. The audience was told that $25 million has been added to the state budget for coastal acquisitions and $75 million for stream protection. "Now we need to convince our legislators and public agencies to allocate $5 million for the Caspar Preserve," said Vince Taylor.
Michael Potts told the audience that tax-deductible contributions can be made to the "Caspar Community Fund." He said, "You are not giving to a charity, but to protecting your home and way of life." His message must have hit home, because the group came up with donations and pledges of nearly $10,000, a good start toward the ambitious budget.
Those wishing to donate or submit their pledge of help may use the accompanying Pledge Form, or may contact the Committee by mail at PO Box 84, Caspar, CA, 95420.
written by Vince Taylor for Andarin Arvola
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