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A habit of Habitat and helping


Andy Robertson of Tuolumne says he loves working to make life better for others.

His most time-consuming volunteer commitment is to the Tuolumne County affiliate of Habitat for Humanity, for which he is job site coordinator and a member of the board of directors.

Habitat for Humanity uses donated material, labor and money to build homes for people who have low incomes but good credit, are able to make low mortgage payments and are willing to help build their homes.

"I put in a lot of volunteer time," said Robertson, "but I have the time to put in, and I really enjoy it. Every day, I learn something new."

He makes sure all the building materials necessary for a project are at a building site when needed, then coordinates the work of volunteer crews.

"My only regret is I don't get a chance to put on a tool belt any more," he said. "I'm walking around supervising all the time."

He is also chairman of the Tuolumne Sanitary District Board of Directors and vice chairman of the Tuolumne Fire Protection District Board of Directors.

Robertson said this is an exciting time to be politically active in Tuolumne, since the Tuolumne band of Me-Wuk opened Black Oak Casino on North Tuolumne Road last year and bought the 300-acre-plus former West Side Lumber Company property next to downtown Tuolumne earlier this year.

The Me-Wuk have plans to dramatically expand the casino and to develop the former West Side property with a hotel, commercial area, about 100 houses and an 18-hole golf course.

"I see change coming to Tuolumne," he said. "Change will happen no matter what, and I would like to see it make Tuolumne better."

One of his goals is to see one strong political force in the incorporated town instead of the several small districts, agencies and civic groups that exist now, each working independently from the others.

"We need to combine somehow," he said, "but I don't know how. I need to talk to more people and learn how we can do this."

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