Wed. Apr 24th, 2024

February 26, 2017 – Here are the three pages of his proposed projects totaling $100 billion. Click on each picture to enlarge it.


9 thoughts on “Gov. Brown’s 3 page $100 Billion wish list with not one cent for Del Norte County”
  1. Good points, but the problem has been and continues to be that should California get 1T/50 states which equals $20 billion, Del Norte County doesn’t get anything because it would be paid to the State to distribute. You saw the Governor’s list of $100 billion in infrastructure projects and was Last Chance Grade on it? The answer is NO. Its not even to be found in the $187 billion list. A lot of other small county’s are facing exactly the same kind of behavior out of their states. Bob’s plan would be in the form of legislation which would make the Federal Government pay the $322 million directly to the County which can spend the money for large otherwise unaffordable infrastructure projects that they can’t get their respective states to pay for. Think about it in these terms. In the recent election small rural Counties up to 100,000 population voted for attention by electing our current President. He lost the popular vote in California by around 3.5 million votes and nation wide by about the same margin. The Electoral College served as a balance by giving small populations a voice in this election that they don’t have in most State elections. Ordinarily large urban populations elect officials who in turn dole out the goodies. Granted large populations wouldn’t get their population based share, but they already get the biggest slice of every financial pie offered at any political level. Small populations, many in number, have needs too. This, if it had been successful, is a way for that to happen, just as small populations were a large factor in the election of Donald Trump.

    Looks like the $1 trillion might just be on the table. It is too bad, that we here locally, have three Supervisors with limited skills in leadership.

    As far as the trust issue, that most certainly can be a factor, but doesn’t appear to be the case in this particular board dynamic. Supervisors Hemmingsen, Cowan and Howard are displaying the same kind of dysfunction that plagued the previous board dynamic. While I can understand where they might be coming from, their recent decisions are not beneficial to the over all health of Del Norte County. Supervisor Cowan was specifically elected to change that dysfunction, but now elected is merely prolonging it. I hope that one of the three recognizes this dysfunction and starts voting in a responsible manner. Supervisor Howard had better realize that when the liberal Democrats in this County put on a “Show” at board meetings, it is just a show and is not representative of most of our residents. Supervisor Hemmingsen, sad to say I don’t see any path for you to be very helpful with this dynamic and maybe it is time for you to step down.

    1. I meant to specify that the math be done first, then the money would be paid by the fed directly to county and city governments to fight over, bypassing any state effort to capture the funds. Perhaps a way to refine the math to make it more palatable to the House of Reps would be: 1T/535 reps, sent to each of the congressional districts to be divided equally among the local governments in that district. That’s about 2B/6 counties (our district cuts through Sonoma)= about 320M for Del Norte. It’s interesting how the dollar figure for Del Norte comes out similar with three different ways of cutting up the pie. This would best mirror the representation of the electoral college.

  2. Actually, Jesse this is a wish list for us here in California from Governor Brown and not the one he sent to the feds. The $187 billion list is what has been identified, but has yet to attract any funding. Only the important stuff in Governor Brown’s mind made the $100 billion list. We the taxpayers will no doubt be on the hook for the $187 billion list?

    1. The governor’s $100 billion list sent to the feds was described as an INITIAL list. Again, I am wondering what is being done by our supervisors to add L.C.G. to this list before it is finalized. The fact that L.C.G. is missing from the list, does not mean that it can’t be added with some communication. I expect an answer that addresses why this is not happening. Did the governor tell us ‘no’ because we don’t vote for his party. It looks like no one is trying to inform the governor’s office of the situation. I hope partisanship is not preventing us from reaching out to Sacramento just because some believe they’re not willing or obligated to invest here.

      1. Jesse, the list that you are referring to has been in the process for some time. The $100 billion list is fairly recent. Supervisors Gitlan and Berkowitz tried recently to move the topic of Last Chance Grade ahead and it was shot down by Supervisors Cowan, Howard and Hemmingsen. You will have to ask them if it was political or not. They were asked at the time if they had an alternative plan and were non responsive. That’s like not having a plan. They, Cowan, Hemmingsen, and Howard seem to be of a mind that the current effort at placing the project of Last Chance Grade in the hands of Caltrans and their effort to place it in Federal Emergency Status will get the job done. But no one is saying how long, unless it is the 2031-2039 time frame. Seems that they, Cowan, Hemmingsen, and Howard are willing to roll the dice and see if the Grade will hold up until all the hoops have been jumped and quite possibly be told that it doesn’t fit the parameters of this Federal Emergency Program. Something Tamara Leighton let slip at the last Board meeting. Supervisor Berkowitz has offered a path to gaining the funds for Last Chance Grade that could have resulted in Federal legislation which if passed would provide a way to get the job done. It was rejected by Supervisors Cowan, Hemmingsen, and Howard at the last meeting! Some kind of leadership on display there. Keep in mind that both State Representatives are aware of this issue and Congressman Huffman formed a Stakeholders Group, yet none of the three men have made any effort to get this project on either list. Yet, Sonoma County, which seems to have no trouble getting two lesser projects on the recent list and three on the $187 Billion dollar list, is rather telling about just how important Del Norte County is to these three men.

        The Berkowitz proposal on the other hand recognizes this behavior by our State and Federal representatives, bypasses them, and goes straight to the Federal Government. The place where the funding will ultimately have to come from. One thing to keep in mind is that this route will only be available for the time period of as long as it takes for the current administration to develop the $1 trillion infrastructure plan and place it in play. Those that aren’t at the table will very likely either lose out, or be forced into accepting the crumbs from the money given to California at large. And, we are back at Governor Brown’s list where “not one cent comes to Del Norte County”.

        One other thing to note, if the Berkowitz plan could have been moved along, the Federal Bill offered could have included various exemptions for a great variety of regulations that obstruct many projects here in California, as well as limiting or eliminating the need to over come frivolous lawsuits that will inevitably be forth coming from Friends and other environmental groups. It is a practice that our current Governor has used on his pet projects within the State. Something that apparently, we here in this County are not allowed to do.

        A final offering, at the last BOS meeting a prominent member of Friends was over heard saying that no matter which bypass plan was in the offering, they would be inhibiting progress with lawsuits at every turn. They are NOT the friends of this County and should be treated as such. Something Supervisors Cowan, Hemmingsen, and Howard should have known before casting their ill advised “NO” votes…..

        1. Thank you Sam, for the explanation, your time is not wasted. If it is true that our state reps are unable to get L.C.G. on Brown’s list then that is a serious issue to be focused on. I am a constitutional purist insofar as my limited education allows me to be. I like our representative republic and the electoral college system and how they integrate with the spirit of democracy. I DO expect to see more infrastructure money spent per capita here than in the city. I do NOT expect to see the same total amount of money spent here as counties with millions of people. I see Bob’s plan as utilizing the same phenomenon that elected our President; a shift of focus to rural communities. The idea of spreading federal money evenly by county would be as divisive as the presidential election itself. Few of the more populated counties would support it. Perhaps I should be more comfortable with division as long as my view dominates. I am young and new to small scale local politics. Is all the world a court room where each side must fight with no regard for anything but the letter of the law and their own self interest in order for true justice to prevail? If you’re found not guilty then who cares what anyone thinks. The board and this county seem so much stronger when unified on common problems. There is an obvious lack of trust between team GB and C&HH. Bob should have been able to bring his idea to the board for a discussion, expecting input and opinions that would develop into something that everyone can get behind, before asking them to vote. I asked Bob this and he said that he needed a vote before he could share the details of his plan. This is not my understanding of the rules of the board. Either Bob feared the others would not consider his idea, and was looking for a third vote without trying to unify the board; or, predicting the outcome, he was trying to put team C&HH on record voting against progress. Team C&HH assumed the latter and got defensive and condescending toward Bob right from the beginning, as did Fornoff. I don’t know what’s better, a divided board that votes my way, or a unified board that works to become greater than the sum of it’s parts. Roger tells me the story of the tortoise and the snake, a story a mistaken trust, what do you think Sam?

          1. A couple of things, Jesse, There are far more small population counties in the US than large population counties. If counties with more modest populations were to cast a vote, the result wouldn’t even be in question. This last electoral map by counties was conclusive proof of that. Right now there is a strong push by those “forgotten” people to reassert their collective political power to turn attention by governing authority away from favoring large populations. Rural counties have long been abused in their respective states by representatives who go where the “votes” are. As a result rural counties have many needs that are not being addressed. The current administration is expected to address that disparity in a big time way. Now we will see if that happens.

            As far as trust being a factor at the local level, I don’t think that is all that there is to it. Much goes on in this County as I am sure that it does in others, that neither benefits the local population or even holds serve. That seems to be the norm in most political circles. Not something that you would expect from a truly constitutional and representative republic, but people are after all people. Sometimes cooperation is a highly over rated human attribute, where people motivated by individual needs can produce miracles or disasters.

            As far as your statement “There is an obvious lack of trust between team GB and C&HH” probably isn’t a very accurate description of what is going on. There seems to be more of the element of Team C&HH not being willing to entertain any notion of something different than what has previously taken place. More along the lines of two competing schools of thought, one side being unable to understand that there might just be another way. The fear that seems to be coming from C&HH is that a new approach may spoil their efforts and therefore can’t even be considered on its own separate merits. This very same scenario has been played out so many times in history that you would think leaders would be aware of it. There is a lot of fear on the C&HH side that their path is facing certain obvious difficulties (see the Tamera Leighton video) that may not provide any success, particularly in light of the fact that success or failure may not come until 2039, but lets face it Bob’s proposal may not succeed either. What is truly unfortunate is that there is no down side to trying both paths, other than both might come up short. This is an inevitable problem that seems to hobble all sorts of human activity when a break from the comfortable comes up against the raw newness of a different approach to a problem.

            You are right that this proposal was put on the agenda to see who was in favor of breaking out of the mold to move the bypass forward. I think that question has been answered. Now it becomes a question of how local citizens view a NO vote on this proposal sits with the electorate, particularly since there doesn’t seem to be any other alternatives offered by C&HH. They have kind of placed all their collective eggs in one rather suspect basket.

            1. This isn’t really fair Sam; I think you have more time for this than I do. You are right about the small counties outnumbering larger ones. 1T/3144 counties = 322M. 1T/300M people = $3333. The breaking point for a ‘yes’ vote in a county would be about a 100K population. Only 592 counties have more than 100K people. What happens when New Jersey with it’s 21 counties, or Arizona with only 15, gets hosed compared to Georgia with it’s 159 counties; Texas with 254 vs CA with 54. Two states with similar population getting a vastly different paycheck would be far too disproportionate even for this congress to approve. Maybe: 1T/50 states =20B/#of counties in the state. That’s about $400M for Del Norte.

              In my life, the inability to admit that another idea may work comes from distrust of the motives or experience of the individual. Competing schools of thought are healthy when there is an element of trust between the competitors. This is where great human achievements are born.

  3. I listened to the governor speak about this and it’s now totaling 187 billion with state input. I would like to see ANY of our supervisors find out how to get L.C.G. on the list, if it hasn’t been added already, and if not, why. If no one looks in to this, and we hear no report to the public, then it would seem everyone is playing politics instead of finding solutions.

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