Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024

Commentary by Samuel Strait – March 2, 2023

Another Board of Supervisor’s meeting in Del Norte County and nothing
really changes.   Board Chair Darren Short must have not ingested his
“stupid pills” prior to this meeting and managed to successfully
navigate the two hour session with only a few minor insertions of foot
in mouth.  Otherwise aside from his inability to speak into his
microphone, the “opening ceremonies” went off without a hitch.   Only
five new employees this time around, three being introduced, a further
two not so lucky.  Aside from one at maintenance, the remainder were of
course being employed in the bloated Health and Human Services
Department.  One other notable change, no Board Member Reports, with the
exception of Supervisor Valerie Starkey’s desperate need to tell us
about her week long trip to Washington DC to enter into rather pointless
discussions about government efforts to combat drug abuse.  Note to
Supervisor Starkey, drug use is an age old problem that isn’t going to
change, just “because we must be seen doing something about it”,
otherwise the problem would have been solved centuries ago.  Yes, that long.

The “Consent Agenda” laughably discussed three items, not really, but it
was nice to see some effort by some members of the Board to be taking
the bureaucratic sponsorship of the County’s government a bit more
seriously.  Still 5-0 on all items.  Nothing really changes.  Two of the
items discussed were of taxpayers programs few people in the County will
either ever need, or were programs that primarily foster endless
dependency, something government is quite good at, inspite its
detrimental effects.  But hey, according to the County’s Union
President, Norma Williams, the personnel at Public Health did an
“excellent job” during the three year course of the pandemic mandating
the State’s failed policies of masking, social distancing, lockdowns,
and vaccinations. Didn’t seem to trouble her much when passing out the
local kudos, that the policies handed down by the CDC and California’s
Public Health have since been deemed completely ineffective.  Nor does
she appear to be aware of the fact that lack of local “spine” by Public
Health staff did more to set back education, business, and the over all
economy that any natural disaster ever could. Congratulations to Norma
William’s for spinning the debacle that is represented by the local
Public Health Department.   All this to learn that the local health
emergency initiated March 2020 was now at an end.  So much for a 60 day
mandated limit.

Moving on to scheduled items with public comment, such as it was.  Mr.
Branden Bieber initiated the session with what has become a regular
feature of Board meetings, pointing out the Board’s largely
ineffectiveness as a governing body and various specific examples of
their failures.  This was followed by the “Great Vacation Rental Crisis
on South Bank Road”.    Looks like the 120 some odd vacation rentals are
only managing to raise the ire of a couple of home owners in the entire
County, so the obvious solution is an Ad Hoc Committee to “study” the
problem and no doubt come up with a Valerie Starkey “government
solution”.  Of course one would hesitate to suggest that those who have
issues with vacation rentals on South Bank Road might have issues with
any sort of neighbor that did not strictly adhere to their specific
definition of what a “good neighbor” was determined to be.  Seems like
there is some kind of ancient lore that says, ” you can’t always pick
your neighbors, you just have to try to get along with them, otherwise
it will most certainly be a long winter.”

Enough said, and moving on to the next victim of the County government’s
ability to try to fund non-profits which pay no taxes, over assisting
businesses most affected by our recent three year venture into
authoritarianism.  Goodness gracious, can’t risk not having plenty of
money for non-profits to spend after three years of lavish funding by
Federal and State governments.  Whatever would we do not properly
funding the useless meddling of True North and a few other non-profits
in the County.

Next up, a rather useless presentation by the Director, Ryan Cooley, of
the Border Coast Regional Airport Authority (BCRAA) of the dire condition of the
local airport’s runways.  Of course it did not address the most obvious
problem with the whole disaster that is the current airport.  Save that
for its own article to follow shortly in the pages of the CCTimes.  
Aside from a couple of General Government items, largely indecipherable
for most, and likely for those on the Board as well, governing appears
to be in short supply.  A sure fired opportunity for another
unenforceable smoking ordinance, to cover the County’s proverbial tush. 
Just who will be enforcing this, Animal Control anyone?   Couple of
Budget transfers, another $41,100 for services likely few will find
essential to their well being, but hey, its only money.

And following up to the rear, Legislative and Budget issues, a full
slate.  Three letters of support for various actions at the State
level.  Must stand up and be counted, that is unless it really matters. 
Some State level hocus pocus about the GANN limit and the approval of
the much bally hoed legislative platform. Done in under two hours,
whew.  On to the BCRAA follies.

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