Joe Neves deserves another term as Kings supervisor

By Ed Martin, Editor
Supervisor Joe Neves
Supervisor Joe Neves

It’s really easy to like Joe Neves and his wife, Kathy. They are Kings County’s “power couple,” a pair of Stratford’s caring citizens who have served their community well. Yes, it’s certainly not difficult to like the easy-going pair, both of whom have given a significant portion of their adult lives to serving their community.

While Kathy has since retired from her long tenure as a member of the Lemoore Union High School Board of Trustees, her husband Joe seeks yet another term on the Kings County Board of Supervisors. He’s been there for 28 years, having easily overcome several challengers since winning his first campaign in 1994.

Neves has always put his trust in the community. Unfortunately, one of his opponents has decided to place his in the hands of an outside oligarch, who, with his financial resources, spreads political influence, not in the people's interest but it seems his own pocketbook.

According to the Kings County Department of Elections, Neves’ opponent, Martin Chavez, has raised nearly $45,000 for his campaign against the longtime supervisor, $30,500 of that total coming from one individual, his organization, and family members.

The California developer and water buyer, John Vidovich, has become well known as a water marketer. Earlier this year, he proposed constructing an 826-acre cattle feedlot and slaughterhouse just south of Highway 198 and west of Highway 41, which didn’t go over well with the local populace and Lemoore officials.

He originally proposed a 12,600-animal feedlot and beef-harvesting plant designed to be built directly adjacent to Lemoore’s city limits and across the highway from West Hills College Lemoore.

According to city officials, Vidovich has since altered his plans, responding to city and county officials saying that he will not pursue the large feedlot but instead would pursue a beef processing facility.

As a former Lemoore councilmember and eight-year mayor, I haven’t experienced the kind of politics going on in Kings County’s District 1. It’s easy to spot and relatively evident once you see where much of Chavez’s money is coming from.

Neves is determined to prevent Kings County’s valuable resources, including water, from being shipped out of our part of the Valley. Water should be used as a resource for local growers and farmers, he says, not as a commodity, shipped off to the highest bidder in Los Angles or elsewhere.

“I think that as a region, we have to make some regional controls,” said Neves, who wants to ensure the water stays in the San Joaquin Valley and is not shipped elsewhere. “We really have  to come together with Fresno and Tulare County and come up with an export ordinance.”  

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