Tue. Mar 5th, 2024

Opinion Piece By Donna Westfall – December 14, 2021

I walked into the December 10th COC meeting a few minutes late. Almost wished I hadn’t attended because what was taking place was an argument between Citizen’s Oversight Committee (COC) Board Member Angelina Countess -Bieber and Chairman of the COC, Steve Lyon. Their argument was over the meaning of “INDEPENDENT”.


You see, Chair Lyon has been doing the School’s bidding since assuming chairmanship of the COC. That’s not the way it’s supposed to be.

The COC is actually supposed to be INDEPENDENT of the School administration and School Board even though the School Board approves the members to the COC board. Makes sense, huh?

Nope. Doesn’t make sense.

Being independent means that the COC is supposed to make those types of decisions INDEPENDENTLY of the School Administration (most notably Jeff Napier) and the School Board.


Because the COC is supposed to look out for the taxpayer’s money and be the Watch Dog over the expenditures of the School Administration/School Board on the $25 million bond that is getting tacked onto our ever increasing property taxes.

The first question:

Why isn’t the COC receiving and approving applications for new members of the COC?

Next question:

Since Chair Lyon doesn’t understand his job, why is he still in the Chairman’s position?

My analysis is that he’s been a plant or shill of the SCHOOL call it what you want, administration or board. Because a Chair of the COC would not be rubber stamping virtually everything the School Admin/Jeff Napier puts under his nose.

I lost count on the number of times Steve Lyon interrupted Angelina. She was quick to retort “stop interrupting me” after he reminded her not to interrupt him, but he kept on interrupting her.

On and on and on. It was torture to watch this meeting.

The most interesting part was when Angelina gave Chair Lyon a history lesson about our forefathers fighting for INDEPENDENCE. They didn’t look to work with the King. They fought to be independent of the King.

Sadly, I do believe Chair Lyon is neither a history buff, nor a scholar on American History and our independence.

Unable to contain myself any longer, I got the chance during public comment to express how FED UP I was with our tax dollars possibly being squandered because the COC is not doing their job. And that was one of the reasons as Secretary of the local Crescent City-Del Norte County Taxpayer’s Association is now working on repealing the sales taxes and Fire District Tax.

Just remember this: The School Board is looking at another $47 million school bond in 2022.

If we can’t rectify the problems with this $25 million school bond COC, why in the world would anyone be in favor of spending and taxing property owners over almost twice that amount?

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