Meet the Candidate: Jeana McClendon Running for Second District Supervisor

In partnership with KMUD News, Redheaded Blackbelt is publishing a Meet the Candidate interview series with the candidates and incumbents running for Board of Supervisor in the First, Second, and Third Districts of Humboldt County. Each candidate, interviewed by the KMUD News Department, was asked the same series of questions. None were given the questions in advance, and each were allotted 15 minutes to answer all five questions and provide their closing statement. 

KMUD aired the candidates’ answers in rotating alphabetical order by district. We will be featuring one candidate per day, and in the name of fairness, in reverse alphabetical order. Today we are featuring Second District Board of Supervisors candidate, Jeana McClendon. 

Meet the candidate feature logo

Second District Board of Supervisor candidate, Jeana McClendon.

KMUD News: Introduce yourself and share a little overview and background on who you are as a person and who you would like to be as a candidate. 

I am Jeana McClendon. I’m a wife, a mother, a business owner, an animal lover and a proud daughter of a Vietnam veteran. My husband and I have owned businesses here on the North Coast in Humboldt County for the last 22 years. I have two boys that we are very proud of that are currently going to Fortuna High School. I grew up in Carlotta. I currently reside in Hydesville. I have owned businesses in Fortuna, Ferndale, Eureka, [and] Arcata, so I’m pretty familiar with [the] county and the citizens that live here. 

KMUD News: What inspired you to run for the Second District’s Board of Supervisors position?

Absolutely. So many people have approached me over the years and asked me to run for positions that have served our community in different ways. I’ve served on the school board, both Fortuna Union High School and Cuddeback Elementary. I’ve served on the Fortuna Planning Commission, as well as the Headwaters Fund board. …This opportunity for District Two Supervisor is no different–I have been asked, and I have answered the call. 

I believe that I have a unique skill set through my work and life experiences. I have unique leadership qualities and, especially, the right temperament to work with, and serve the people and communities within my district, and Humboldt County as a whole. 

KMUD News: What do you think are the top five issues facing Humboldt County? And how are you hoping to address them if elected?

First of all, I’ll start with my district, District Two. I think that …my number one priority for my district is public safety: fire, police, and emergency services. We are a rural district, so it is extremely important that we are funding these positions to make sure that we can provide those essential services to these rural districts. Growing up in rural Carlotta, and now in Hydesville—which isn’t as rural–-but growing up in rural Carlotta, I understood how important these volunteer fire departments were to the communities. They’re the lifeblood of the communities. I understood that back when I was young. In Carlotta, we didn’t have a resident deputy so, during an emergency, it could be a half an hour – 45 minutes, before someone responded. So, I definitely understand that for some, for my district, District Two, my number one priority is public safety. 

Also, let’s talk about the cannabis industry. This is a very important industry to our district. We need this industry; it creates jobs and provides a good living to people. These farms are owned by our neighbors and community members, their kids go to school with our kids. Yet, seven years later, we are still trying to figure out the rules and the taxes and the regulations. And I think that what we owe to the cannabis farmers is a level playing field, and a reasonable playing field, so they can succeed. 

I think what we owe to the other residents that live around these cannabis Farms is the same thing. We need to come to the table and agree on what is reasonable, but also what is viable for this industry. We are in California; cannabis is a legal product here. So, we need to make sure that we are operating in a space that works for farmers, and also works for residents. 

And then the third.  The third, I think, highest priority thing in my district, for District Two, would be the Vets Hall that needs to be completed in Garberville. I can appreciate the work that the previous supervisors have put forth in getting the ball rolling on that project. Because it’s …a very important project. We owe it to our community, and to our veterans, to complete that project. And if elected Supervisor of the Second District, I will be steadfast in making sure that project is completed, and I will commit to conquering every obstacle that is thrown our way until that is completed. 

So those are the three things I think for my district that are the most important to me, but overall Humboldt County overall, I think that we have some of the same priorities. I definitely think overall, as a county, we need to make sure that we are putting public safety as a priority. 

Number two, I also think that we need to make sure we’re running our government efficiently and effectively. We need to make sure that we are solving problems before they become a big issue. We cannot continue to ignore problems. We need to get some things done. We need to make some tough decisions. We’re in a …budget deficit, so we need to come to the table and figure out what we need to cut in order to balance our budget. 

I also think that we need to talk about our housing problem. I don’t think there’s a quick fix. However, I think that we will not fix this problem until we all come to the table and get serious about making it happen. 

We also need to address homelessness and mental health issues within our community. I think that we are doing a good job at making sure that we are providing services, but I think that what we can improve on, is making sure what we are providing is effective and the best use of our money, to make sure that we are not exacerbating the problem …and we’re actually working towards solutions and pathways to decrease homelessness in our community and not giving a handout if you will. I am big on giving a hand up, but not a handout. 

So, I think that those are probably some of the biggest issues that I see as a county, and if I’m elected as supervisor, I am ready to get to work.

KMUD News: Can you share an overview on how you plan to engage with the community if elected?

As a supervisor, I think that my number one job would be to govern on the dias. Our job as supervisors is to set policy, make policy decisions, make those tough decisions to make sure that our government is running as it should. So that would be my number one priority, to make sure that I’m effective at doing that, because that is …the number one job of a supervisor. 

But number two, how I would connect with my community, is going to be the same way that I’ve connected with my community over the last 22 years of working, and living, and raising my family here. I think that going to different events as a supervisor, Chamber mixers, and Chamber meetings and fundraisers, I think that is amazing, and I think that’s a perk of the job, I do not think that is the job. The job is governing and setting policy and making tough decisions. 

But connecting with my community would be the fun part, and the part that I would just absolutely love. But yes, …you do need to be out there. The district too is very large; Redway, Garberville, Shelter Cove, out to Blocksburg, Bridgeville, Dinsmore, and then Fortuna, …where I own a business here. Currently, I live in Hydesville, Carlotta. I have connections with the people that I govern on the school board, …in Rio Dell. …So, just being out there in the community, and being present through the different service organizations and volunteer work that I do, I would just continue on doing that as supervisor.

KMUD News: What makes you the ideal candidate for this job? And do you believe you would do a better job than the other candidates?

…I would say that what I bring to the table is a unique skill set based on my life experiences over the last 22 years. I have been dealing with the public, boots-on-the-ground, if you will, in my community. So …I understand the struggles, I understand …the wins of the residents of our community, but what I think makes me stand out is the philosophy and approach in which I use to get things done. I am a doer. And I like to get things done in an efficient manner. I like to make friends along the way and create relationships and bring people together. 

I also think that one thing that makes me unique is I am not a cannabis farmer. So any decisions or policies that are made regarding the cannabis industry, I will not be required to recuse myself from. So, I think that’s a big difference. 

And then finally, I’ll go back to that background and experience, with many, many, many years on the school board, many, many, many years leading teams of people in small business, serving on different boards, doing different volunteer work. I truly believe in people. I believe in sitting down at the table and having the tough conversations in a respectful way, and coming up with solutions that work for everyone. That’s what democracy is about. And I truly believe that you can compromise without giving up your personal, or your foundational values, and beliefs, for the betterment of the community.

KMUD News: With your remaining time would you like to share additional information about yourself or any closing remarks? 

I think that when people are making the tough decision on which candidate to vote for this election season, I think they need to keep in mind that there is some really promising developments ahead for Humboldt County. I don’t think there’s ever been a more opportune moment to choose a candidate that shows enthusiasm, and positivity, and a fresh perspective, and a leader that’s capable of guiding us towards these goals. 

At this time, when there is so much division, …what I bring to the table is this: I am looking to improve the quality of life in my community. I believe in democracy, the foundation that we are built on. I believe in very fair, but firm, leadership. I operate with integrity. I believe in being fiscally responsible and do not support short term fixes. I feel like we need to play the long game, and that is our job, as a county supervisor, if elected. 

We need to take care of our community infrastructure so we can welcome growth. And then we also need to take care of our biggest asset with which is …our county workforce. They are the lifeblood of our county, and we need to make sure that we are creating a culture, at the county level, that attracts people and keeps people working, because that is what will propel us forward.

Candidate answers were transcribed from an audio interview, and lightly edited for reading clarification where noted. 

For more information on Jeana McClendon’s campaign visit the Jeana McClendon for Supervisor website and/or Facebook page, or contact McClendon by email at [email protected] or by phone at 707-499-9370.

For additional election coverage, Live Candidate Forums will be aired on KMUD News:

During the fourth and fifth weeks of January, KMUD News will be hosting live candidate forums for the upcoming elections that have a direct impact on Humboldt County residents.  Tune in to special editions of KMUD Local News from January 23rd to January 30th. 

The schedule for the forums is as follows: 

  • Superior Court Judge: Tuesday, January 23rd, from 6 to 7 pm. 
  • First Supervisorial District: Wednesday, January 24th, from 5 to 7 pm.
  • Second Supervisorial District: Thursday, January 25th, from 5 pm to 7 pm.
  • Third Supervisorial District: Friday, January 26th, from 6 to 7 pm (Please note that candidate Roy Gomez has declined to participate). 
  • Measure A: Monday, January 29th, from 5 to 6:30 pm. Gain insights from both proponents and opponents. 
  • Assembly District 2: Tuesday, January 30th, from 6 to 8 pm. 

To stay informed, tune in to listen kmud.org, watch live on the @KMUDNews Facebook page, or on the @LaurenSchmittreports YouTube channel. We encourage voters to submit their questions in advance to [email protected]. Your active participation ensures a robust democratic process.

NOTE: A previous version misspelled Jeana and Hydesville. Our apologies for any confusion this may have caused.

Humboldt County Meet the Candidate Forums:

1st District Candidates:

2nd District Candidates:

3rd District Candidates:

Superior Court Judge:

 

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38 Comments
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Ernie Branscomb
Guest
Ernie Branscomb
5 months ago

I just word searched “Roads”. Not one word about roads. Garberville hasn’t seen new pavement on Redwood Drive since 1987! when the Garberville Soroptimists Club had a hissy-fit and dragged Supervisor Harry Pritchard to town by the ear and got the street paved.

All that I hear in South SoHum is B.S. about funding. SoHum got a trailer house for the library and and Sheriff’s substation on an inaccessible back street, while Eureka got a Taj Mahal library and solid concrete waterfront.

Yeah, I know, wha, wha, poor Sohum. We pay taxes and get nothing!

sohumjoe
Member
sohumjoe
5 months ago

Well said Ernie!!

I like stars
Guest
I like stars
5 months ago

To me it’s a shame SoHum gets lumped in with Fortuna to make a district. I wonder when was the last time McClendon did anything south of highway 36 beyond passing through on a trip to elsewhere.

Do some research
Guest
Do some research
5 months ago
Reply to  I like stars

McClendon operates a mobile repair out of Garberville once a week so that residents down there have options for glass repair and don’t have to spend hours traveling to Fortuna for service. So I’d say “Within the last few days” would be an adequate answer to your question.

I like stars
Guest
I like stars
5 months ago

She comes down herself and does this work?

I like stars
Guest
I like stars
5 months ago
Reply to  I like stars

Oops. Wrong spot…

Last edited 5 months ago
Ben Round
Guest
Ben Round
5 months ago

I am still grieving the loss of what was a nice, downtown/’main street’ library in Garberville. Not sure what machinations went on that ended up with it becoming part of the credit union. (Do you know, Ernie?). But whatever it was, I wished it never changed!

Last edited 5 months ago
Joe
Guest
Joe
5 months ago

Most people in sohum don’t pay income tax. Lol

Lost Croat OutburstD
Member
Lost Croat Outburst
5 months ago
Reply to  Joe

In days of yore, some folks filed taxes under fake business names. Reasonable taxes were paid and many people escaped IRS scrutiny if the paperwork looked good and the check cashed. All happy now. I don’t wannabe a buzzkill or anything. Geez.

Trout Fisher
Guest
Trout Fisher
5 months ago

You can barely turn around in the badly designed library parking lot, without fear of dinging the sheriff’s vehicle, who always park half in, half out of their alloted parking space

Trout Fisher
Guest
Trout Fisher
5 months ago

Redwood drive thru gville is not in bad shape. It would be low on my priority list of necessary road repairs. Briceland rd , now that has some major potholes that will send your vehicle to the mechanic for an alignment.

Dave Kahan
Guest
Dave Kahan
5 months ago

The county spent $2 million on the library and now it has about 10% of the capacity it had previously. No wonder there’s not enough left over for roads. SMH. I will say that I’m pleased to see that the road crew has put more effort into maintaining drainage lately, at least on Alderpoint, Bell Springs, and Briceland roads. Keeping up on that is smart and crucial to saving repair $ down the road (yes, pun intended).
But sorry, Ernie; I perceive no axle busters on Redwood Drive, compared to what’s all over the hills. A couple of semi-rough spots, but nothing to write home about. Driving slow enough to avoid damage from one end of town to the other adds about 30 seconds to my drive time.

This Is My Name
Guest
This Is My Name
5 months ago

“Proud daughter of a Vietnam Veteran….”

WHAT relevance does this have to anything? Maybe a slim chance she’ll have a much needed soft spot for the vet population…?

If she’s having to appeal to the heartstrings before even getting her message out, then what will she be good for?

Ernie Branscomb
Guest
Ernie Branscomb
5 months ago

Michelle has been doing her best for the Vets. There would not be the progres so far if it weren’t for Michell. Wilson tried to monkey wrench the whole thing. Say what you will about Rex Bohn, if he hadn’t spoke up for the Vets and the obligation that the county had created by ignoring the old building it would have not been funded.

I don’t know if Wilson is that ignorant or if he was just pretending to be ignorant to stop the funding. We just barely squeaked past a deadline on funding.

I was pleased to see that one million of Measure Z dollars will be spent on road repairs. It is too bad that it will all be spent in NoHum, but at least somebody will get a road.

Jeffersonian
Guest
Jeffersonian
5 months ago

Hes that ignorant

Ernie Branscomb
Guest
Ernie Branscomb
5 months ago
Reply to  Jeffersonian

I was trying to be polite. But, I think you are right.

Lost Croat OutburstD
Member
Lost Croat Outburst
5 months ago

Military service is absolutely NOT a requirement for public office. However, being proud of her father’s military service is part of her personality and family experience. It suggests sensitivity to veterans’ issues, which IS political. Perfectly OK to mention it. Vietnam was my war, instigated by LBJ, a Democrat who otherwise was a good President. The war was a travesty but those of us who served believed in this nation and went anyway.
When I see the contempt for American service members and veterans expressed by extremists on the Left and Right (such as Donald John Trump) I despair for the fate of the nation.

sawmill
Guest
sawmill
5 months ago

Now that the old Vet’s hall has been torn down, I can see the size of the lot. I don’t know the actual dimensions, but it looks awfully small. The new building will be limited by the space and there will be no room for parking. It would be great if we could find a bigger spot.

The Real Guest
Guest
The Real Guest
5 months ago

…”because ‘our’ kids go to school with ‘their’ kids”…???

-Jeanna McClendon-

………………

Really…???

What on Earth is that supposed to mean…???

An, “Us” vs. “Them”, mindset…???

That’s a red flag.

Someone needs to ask Jeanna McClendon to clarify just exactly what she means by that.

A good candidate for Second District Supervisor must be inclusive, representing everyone in the Second District equally, not dividing us, into one “side” or the “other”.

Especially, OUR KIDS…

Kids are kids. That’s IT.

They are all “OUR kids”.

Period.

They are not either, …” ‘our kids’, or, ‘their kids’ “…

Let’s not be making a move in the wrong direction.

Iliketables
Guest
Iliketables
5 months ago
Reply to  The Real Guest

They are not all OUR kids. That is some really weird, possessive, red flag language right there. My kids are MY kids and your kids are YOUR kids. Her language was correct and respectful towards parents, not some collectivist insanity. I think you should be the one clarifying your language.

The Real Guest
Guest
The Real Guest
5 months ago
Reply to  Iliketables

She was differentiating between the kids of non growers and the kids of growers, as of they were different species or ethnicities…

The old redneck kid vs hippy kid thing…

Her language was not correct, they are all second district kids.

Don’t kid yourself, the misunderstanding is yours, not mine…

Farmer
Guest
Farmer
5 months ago
Reply to  The Real Guest

You might be right, mainly because the demographics in Fortuna and the surrounding areas are changing rapidly. Many kids in these areas have been taught the opposite of tolerance, and we need to provide a safe place in schools where that kind of behavior is not acceptable. I know teachers who even speak candidly out of school about their biases concerning Latino and Indigenous kids. We need a supervisor who will have a zero-tolerance policy to hatred, violence, or bigotry to keep all our children safe.When there have been so many incidences of staff within our school systems in Fortuna being out of line, and this candidate has been entrenched in allowing/defending it to continue, I don’t see this candidate being able to be strong enough to stop that bullshit. Fortuna needs a leader who will unify the community, not further agitate bias.

Farmer
Guest
Farmer
5 months ago
Reply to  Farmer

*I also wanted to clarify I understand that the majority of Latinos are indigenous as well or mestizo.

Iliketables
Guest
Iliketables
5 months ago
Reply to  Farmer

You aren’t a Latino if you don’t have indigenous blood. Latinos are the product of the mixing of the Latin American indigenous people’s bloodlines and the Spanish bloodlines. The few, very very small indigenous populations left in Latin America aren’t Latino, due to the fact they don’t have Spanish blood.

Farmer
Guest
Farmer
5 months ago
Reply to  Iliketables

Nope. Just no

Lost Croat OutburstD
Member
Lost Croat Outburst
5 months ago
Reply to  The Real Guest

Seems a bit pedantic and picayune to get worked up over our kids vs, their kids. An innocuous statement at worst. I don’t have a firm opinion yet, but why not worry about substantial issues?

I am a robot
Guest
I am a robot
5 months ago

Hyattsville?
The first and biggest concern of your constituents ma’am, is access to quality health & medical care. There is no place to give birth in your district. What do you hve to say about he abyssmal lack of medical care here?

Lisa Music
Admin
5 months ago
Reply to  I am a robot

That was an error on my part. The audio translator changed her name spelling to Gina and Hydesville to Hyattsville. I thought I had corrected them all, but I was wrong. My apologies to candidate Jeana McClendon from Hydesville.

Humboldt
Member
Humboldt
5 months ago

I didn’t read anything about rent control.

We desperately need rent control for the entire county.

Her statement about “hand outs” is dubious.

She sounds like Ronald Reagan. Republican values.

She sounds cold and lacking empathy.

But that might just be in print.

Heart
Guest
Heart
5 months ago
Reply to  Humboldt

Rent control would be a bandage
How about -world banker Control
Feels to me like were are ready for a new economic system, rather than the Fiat currency we now have

North westCertain license plate out of thousands c
Guest
North westCertain license plate out of thousands c
5 months ago

Is she a democrat, republican or a trumper?

BudD
Member
Bud
5 months ago

I am guessing she in not a democrat; too good looking, married, has worked her whole life and owned several businesses…

Kym Kemp
Admin
5 months ago
Reply to  Bud

Damn that sounds like me…Especially the good-looking part.

BudD
Member
Bud
5 months ago
Reply to  Kym Kemp

Oh for sure…

gazoo
Member
5 months ago
Reply to  Bud

I take it she identifies as an independent;
Too pretty to be a Republican
Too smart to be a Republican.
She’s married to the same man for over 20 years. Def. Not a Republican and owned many businesses, can’t possibly be a republican.

See what I did here?

Lost Croat OutburstD
Member
Lost Croat Outburst
5 months ago
Reply to  Bud

Always a charmer, Bud. Smooth operator! Tell us more about your stolen-election theories. I still can’t figure it out. We win; it’s a fraud, you win; God’s Will be done.

Jacob
Guest
Jacob
5 months ago

We need a representative that is a SoHum resident. Living an hour plus drive from the area your trying to represent is too far. The cutoff line should be the forks of the Eel River.

Trout Fisher
Guest
Trout Fisher
5 months ago

Good, I’m glad we’re going to have more options with candidates. Can’t wait for the debates. I’m going to keep an open mind.