After six monthly meetings in the past seven months, Wednesday afternoon’s 23rd Congressional District’s field office visit was attended by only three constituents. The frustration expressed at the June meeting, when more than 40 attended, might be the consensus.
At that meeting, several attendees said that all the meetings were sounding like a broken record. Some Three Rivers attendees wanted to know where Congressmen McCarthy stood on issues that affected his constituents most, but left feeling that McCarthy was preoccupied with duties as Majority Leader and has chosen to ignore his rank-and-file constituents.
Cole Karr, field representative, who has been resolute in his commitment to meet with Three Rivers and communicate with locals, said he has tried to get McCarthy to schedule a Three Rivers visit. But the enthusiasm and the big turnouts of past meetings has waned, knowing the odds are slim that McCarthy will ever visit Three Rivers, even though Karr says that McCarthy highly values the national parks and other public lands in his district.
On the Giant Sequoia National Monument, a portion of which is in the 23rd District and is currently under review by the Trump Administration, McCarthy chose not to take a position or submit a comment. Karr talked at length on what is on the agenda once the congressional recess ends after Labor Day.
At the top of the agenda is a continuing funding resolution that must be passed by September 30 in order to ensure the government is funded. Karr said Congressmen McCarthy is not in favor of a government shutdown nor does he believe a border wall that is folded into one appropriations package is the solution to immigration issues.
Karr said McCarthy is pleased with the recent progress on Temperance Flat. A grant application has been submitted by the San Joaquin Valley Infrastructure Authority to procure Prop 1A funding to begin feasibility studies on the multi-billion dollar dam project that may take decades to build.
Karr said he won’t be deterred by the low turnout. He has tentatively scheduled the next meeting in Three Rivers for Wednesday, Sept. 20.