Opinion Piece by Linda Sutter – October 13, 2016 –
I can see why there is not much public participation to the Local Transportation meetings, you will find it hard pressed to remain awake. As Sebastian Cohen gave his presentation on the LAST CHANCE GRADE, I looked around the room and it looked like even Commissioner, Chris Howard, had a hard time keeping his eyes open. Newly elected Supervisor 2nd District, Lori Cowan, was struggling as well. And for good reason.
Sebastian Cohen went on and on and on and on about the studies needed to be done by CEQA ( California Environmental Quality Act and NEPA, ( National Environmental Policy Act) and where the money come from. But was clearly pointed out that it would take more than 3-5 years to complete the new studies and get the money before a design could be completed and a new road installed. However, the real point of interest. If the road gave way tomorrow we could bypass CEQA and NEPA. Does anyone have any dynamite?
So now came the public participation time. I asked the formidable question. Why can’t we utilize and set up ferries for transportation? In Sebastian’s infinite wisdom and the only answer he could come up with is, “it’s not feasible.” When I asked why, Commissioner Finigan, who is current chair to this transportation meeting, in open public forum told Sebastian Cohen he did not have to answer that.
Ok, let’s get this right. I have the floor, I ask a question. I get a curt response which is not to answer my question. As a citizen as well as a taxpayer of this county I don’t have the right to know the answer to my question?
I decided to interview Sebastian Cohen after the meeting had concluded. “So, Sebastian, why is it not feasible to utilize ferries to transport vehicles from Crescent City to Klamath?” I asked. Chuck Blackburn interrupts and states, “I’ve been a fisherman on that river for 30 years and it’s not feasible”. Well, Mr. Blackburn, you are absolutely right. I doubt I could load up my small car on your fishing boat much less a fleet of vehicles and have you transport me from Crescent City to Klamath. But, the fact remains, it would be far cheaper to build and utilize two ferry transporting ships coming from each direction then it would to take out a mountain that cannot withstand going over it or around it or through it due to the geological make-up of the mountain. Anyone listening yet?
I have looked into the price of the ships that we would need to make this job come to fruition and it is a fraction of the cost compared to the billion dollars plus that is needed to fix this problem.
Then there was the “Community Advisor,” Kevin Tucker, who informed me “we” have discussed this option and concluded it was not feasible.” Who in the hell is “we?” Do you have a mouse in your pocket? If that was discussed publicly I don’t know how I missed it. Actually, the last public discussion ended in fiasco, whereby you folks split the crowd so no one could get any information and it was to divide and conquer the community. Now the commissioners pick Kevin Tucker to represent the community wants and desires. I think not.
The only creatures allowed to speak their public minds are people like Blackburn who gets up and tells them how great of a job they are doing, all the while constantly rubbing the brown stuff off his nose. Does anyone give a damn that this behavior by our officially elected is outrageously lacking in performance?
After the 20 minute meaningless dissertation provided by Cohen who states in his own words to expect the same, and it’s gonna be a long time, only one Commissioner, Dave Finigan, had something to say, which wasn’t much, because Finigan takes pleasure in demeaning the public by refusing to have questions answered. This is our Public process or lack of.
Tamara Leighton, came to the meeting unprepared. Good God why should I expect anything any different. Her idea to bring to the table in regards to the acquiring of information regarding HWY 199 and Elk Valley Cross Road intersection, “ I think we should get on our cell phones and call in anything we see regarding this matter so we can collect valuable information from the public regarding this matter.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME…
Whoop. whoop, whoop, the red lights flashing because the officer pulls you over for being on your cell phone. “Yes officer, well, I was at a meeting where Director of Transportation, Tamara Leighton, told me to report anything good or bad in regards to HWY 199 and Elk Valley crossroads.” In all fairness, in the meeting they did tell us to pull over before we made that call, but how many people actually heard that? Actually there were only 20 people if even that at the meeting today and 6 of them were on the board.
Oh well, just another meaningless meeting with no teeth, no hope, and no resolution with the same old people who do what they have been doing best for the last 20 years. NOTHING.