Sun. May 19th, 2024

By Donna Westfall – April 12, 2024

There was a full agenda. The meeting lasted two hours and 43 minutes. Here’s what happened.

Under general public comment: Linda Sutter gave them an earful at 30 minutes and 51 seconds:

Remember public comments are limited to three minutes. Here are some of the excerpts from her first public comment:

“As you drive into Del Norte County going north on Hwy 101 there’s these enormous billboards. What do these billboards showcase? Rape. Murder. Sex. Trafficking. Suicide as well as kidnapping. Our billboards paint a grim picture of our community. Dilapidated buildings and economic blight throughout.”

“Don’t even get me started on the streets that are in grave disrepair. You three folks that are re-elected (Dean Wilson, Darrin Short and Valerie Starkey), this is the emphasis of your legacy of leadership.”

“I was sick to my stomach going door-to-door campaigning; feces on door steps, garbage piled high; it was disgusting. I’ve been here 34 years and I don’t see that it’s ever going to get any better.”

You can go to this site to watch the video at 30 minutes and 51 seconds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5MmRIC9Jjg

Then a presentation on the Strategic Action Plan for 2024/2025. TOO MUCH. Too vast.

Linda Sutter writes: “It is worthy to note that during the presentation of the Del Norte strategic plan that talk of an economic development department made the list. If Del Norte is planning to create an economic development agency then one has to ponder…why Tri-Agency?”

Notice that in the strategic plan one of the first action items would be to use Measure R funds for public parking improvements. Does that mean the roads may be paved? I doubt it. Probably means they will work on a parking lot.

During her second public comment Linda Sutter at 1 hour and seven minutes into the meeting asked the Board, “….. about cleanliness…. are there ordinances for keeping up your lawn and the garbage in front of your house and burned up houses that just seem to be left there and nobody cleans that up? We need to clean up our town and our county. It’s disgusting. It doesn’t send a good message.”

“We have beautiful redwoods and ocean here. And it’s disgusting how people live. I know you can’t change a person but you can put laws on the books. I’m from the state of Missouri. I was born there. You go to Missouri and if you don’t mow your lawn every week you get a citation. Green lawns, the roads are impeccable. We live in one of the most pristine and beautiful places in the United States nobody seems to give a damn about keeping it clean. You can be poor and keep things clean. You guys, shorten up your list. Do something you can do effectively.”

Then 2 hours and 22 minutes into her final public comment of the day revolved around, get this, where she reminds them that they are “…entangled in a web of inconsistency and hypocrisy.”

They were to vote on “Suspending the Rules.”

Over what?

Over the Tri-Agency and the Oceanic Wind Farms, that’s what.

Linda reminded them that when they placed restrictions back on November 21, 2023 on the Joint Powers of Authority By-Laws regarding the Oceanic Wind Farms they did so for the good of the community.

“On January 4, 2024 the Tri-Agency board expressed that the restriction on the Oceanic Wind Farm was a necessary compromise in order to ensure support of it’s member agencies.”

Fast forward to “Jan 23, 2024, the BOS effectively eliminated the off-shore wind farm project. But the Harbor and the City said, Oh No! We’re going to keep it. “

“At that point, guess what? There was no Tri-Agency because you just deleted yourselves because all three have to agree on that.”

“So with that said this is what happens in our county when we suspend the rules.”

“$73,000 embezzled by the former Harbor Master. The County Auditor and the DA suspended the rules and said it was just an internal weakness.”

“Over Easter weekend, we had a murder. What does the DA do? She releases the guy and says we’re going to suspend the rules.”

“So we’ve got murder and embezzlement and now you guys want to suspend the rules. Well, why do we even have them if you guys can’t make a decision and stand by your decision then something is very wrong.”

A motion was made by Sup. Valerie Starkey and 2nd by Sup Chris Howard to suspend the rules.

The vote was taken:

Sup Darrin Short – NO

Sup Joey Borges – NO

Sup Chris Howard – ABSTAIN

Sup Valerie Starkey – YES

Chair Dean Wilson – YES

The motion did not pass. The will not suspend the rules.

Kevin Hendricks who is president of the Democratic Central Committee walked out of the meeting miffed by the decision of not suspending the rules. That in itself speaks volumes about his character.

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