Opinion Piece by Donna Westfall
Do any of you remember when City Attorney Bob Black talked so smoothly to the Crescent City, City Council back in 2009 about establishing a Code of Ethics? Do you remember anyone saying, “It’s just a gentle reminder.”
And then do you remember when I would ask question after question about corruption and fraud that I alleged was taking place at the wastewater treatement project?
Instead of an investigation into my allegation, the sledgehammer of the City Council censured me by removing me from committees, not allowing me to talk to contractors and on and on. (Council members Charles Slert, Kathryn Murray, Dennis Burns and Kelly Schellong in a 4-1 vote.)
That’s what I call, “Pulling a Westfall.”
Now, the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors are trying to do the same thing to Supervisor 1st District, Roger Gitlin on today’s agenda:
Agenda Item #29: Consider and take action to appoint a new representative to the Area 1 Agency on Aging Committee as requested by the Area 1 Agency on Aging and 2) Consider and take action to appoint a new representative to the Chamber of Commerce Committee.**
What has Gitlin got to say about Area 1 Agency on Aging?
- “Director Maggie Kraft wrote a letter asking for my removal after I wrote her an email to help me justify a $25,000 annual County contribution to this Eureka-based governance.”
- “I asked Director Kraft to help support the interrupted Meals on Wheels program to Smith River. A recent survey revealed there is indeed a real need to help a few Seniors who are not receiving these meals. I have been in contact with Smith River Baptist Church to locate volunteers to provide transportation from Ft. Dick, the farthest drop off location, to Smith River.”
- “Director Kraft became quite indignant and stated to me ‘…that’s not we do.’ As an Advisory Board member, I have a fiduciary responsibility to do all I can to help those in need, especially the vulnerable Seniors population in Del Norte County. I thought that’s what an Advisory Board is tasked to do: Advise.”
As far as I can tell, the only thing Gitlin has done that may be overreaching is the work of Sup. 3rd District, Chris Howard. Why isn’t Sup. Howard looking after his seniors who are going hungry?
With the County running a $2.5 million deficit on the General Fund, doesn’t it make sense to get an explanation on needing $25,000 from Director Kraft?
Of course it does.
So the question remains, why isn’t she providing it?
Are the BOS going to pull a Westfall?
UPDATE: The vote was 3-2 to retain Gitlin on the boards.