BY DONNA WESTFALL
Everyone has access to the city council agenda. The agenda is the road map on the discussions and votes that will take place tonight. If you want to see a copy of an agenda, you can pick one up at City Hall located at 377 J St, Crescent City, or you can go on line at: www.crescentcity.org. Click on “city council” and then click on “agenda.”
Herein are some of the questions I’ve asked Mayor Rich Enea via e-mail this morning:
Hi Mayor Rich;
1.) I see Atty. Bob Black hired a new attorney. Is Martha Rice still on Board? Is Black going to
get his contract extended another year? Will he be asking for another up to 5% increase? Has the Council
approved any increase yet? Will there be any further discussion on conflict of interest due to his contracting with most of
the Boards around the City and County?
2.) The figures quoted in Connie Morrison’s article in www.crescentcitytimes.com about heating the pool water and Cultural Center; were those
figures accurate (in that $125,000 is over and above the $935,000 Prop 50 monies) would have to come from the general fund or ? in order to make this all work?
3.) Has the Council gotten a legal opinion on Agenda Item #12 regarding charging for emergency fees? Is this not a double taxation? Aren’t we already
paying for these services through property taxes? I do not see this exact issue addressed in any of the questions and answers put forth by Atty Bob Black. Stating
that other areas are going forth with this type of plan is not the same as a legal opinion on double taxation. Or did I miss that someplace?
4.) Check # ending in 495 for $24,000 to Animal Control…. at some point could the council have a public discussion on exactly what it is that the city is paying for?
There have been so many complaints over the last few years about animal control doing or not doing “their job” that it’s time this was clarified. Do they have a contract
with the city? If so, could you e-mail me a copy…. or rather if it becomes an agenda item, just include a copy of the contract on the agenda, please.
5.) Check # ending in 520 for $11,000 for asbestos abatement on 240 Hwy 101S… was this the same company contracted on the WWTP for asbestos
abatement? Northcoast Environmental?
6.) Agenda Item #8, Eric Wier’s proposed contract as Public Works Director looks like quite a boost in his income to $86,000 with 5% increases in 2015 and again in 2017. Question: How in good conscience can the Council entertain approving 5% increases when we’re still in a recession that doesn’t look like it’s ending anytime in the near future? Shouldn’t the wording be adjustedto something like “up to 5% increase depending upon the local economy?” This in addition to regular cost of living increases. Does the council somehow think that Eric will take another job in another city IF he doesn’t get set in stone 5% increases? Paragraph 5 (D) “Shall receive an increase in base salary…….”
Suggestion: Think about giving an increase ONLY IF Wier can reduce expenses by the same margin in other areas under his control without increasing expenses to the citizenry in any manner, shape or form.
Listen, if the city continues to increase payroll/benefits etc, don’t be surprised as more and more people continue to move out of the city;, continuing the foreclosures, short sales and decreased property values. With less income
from that avenue going into the general fund, less money to spend, how long do you think the city can continue to operate effectively? Please bring up these factors to your board as a reminder.
Is Eric still a volunteer at the Fire Dept? If yes, do you think that’s wise? Should something happen to him during a fire, who is your back-up for his position as Public Works Director?
Those are my questions. You may have other questions. Did you know that during PUBLIC COMMENT, each person has 3 minutes to talk about any subject they like. You don’t have to live in the City to get up and speak. You can live anywhere in the world and still have the right to speak about anything for 3 full minutes. That;s during public comment time. Then, each agenda item allows another 3 minutes to speak ON THAT TOPIC. IF there are 12 agenda items and you wish to speak to each issue, that means you can speak a total of 36 minutes + 3 minutes under public comment = 39 minutes.
You can probably understand why some council members might object to hearing you speak. But, in case you don’t understand, it’s because just 1 person can add 1/2 hour to a meeting at a time when there may be a football game on. Some council members are football fans. If 2 people of the public utilize their full public comment times, that can easily add an hour to a meeting. If 30 people did the same thing…… well, you get the picture.
One last thing. There is no homeless shelter in our community. NONE! Not one. Really. I’m not kidding. Last report to the city council (I believe it was last year), there were reported to be over 500 homeless in our area. Our politicians do not seem very interested in providing anything. OUR DAILY BREAD MINISTRIES located on Harrold Street near Julindra Recycling serves 3 dinners per week starting at 6 pm and they are in need of food items…. like potatoes, sugar, hamburger, chicken, turkey, powdered juice mixes, coffee, and pre-made salads.
Also, a couple of years ago I asked our then Mayor Kelly Schellong what to do as 2 men that were previously employed part time by us knocked on our door and informed us they were homeless. She said they could go to Daily Bread Ministries and pick up a tent and sleeping bag. I wondered then, as I do now, where are they supposed to go with a sleeping bag and tent? What bathroom facilities are they supposed to use? These are very practical questions that no one seems to want to address. PLUS, there are no tents or sleeping bags available anymore. With the economy in a steady decline, donations have dropped off dramatically. People will freeze to death.
Is it the intent of our city government to drive up prices, fees and costs so that the poor are driven out of this community….. along with those just at or below poverty level along with those who used to be part of the middle class but are slipping into the poorer class?