By Linda Sutter – April 12, 2016 –
Good Lord! Running for Board of Supervisors is like opening Pandora’s box. So, I go through each item on the Board of Supervisor (BOS) agenda, especially ones that require handing out money to agencies outside our County. Not only that, but it appears the BOS have a new way in dealing with the consent items. In the past we would go through each and every item listed on the Agenda. Now, under Chair Hemmingsen, although there are 14 items listed on the agenda, he makes an announcement:
“Is there anyone here who wishes to speak on any of the Consent Agenda Item?
If no one says anything then everything is rubber stamped and the public knows nothing.
On the April 12th agenda I noticed a couple of interesting items.
Item number 7:
“Approve and authorize the appointment Neal Lopez, Assistant County Administrative Officer as the primary Del Norte County Representative Board Member to the Trindel Board of Directors as requested by the County Administrative Officer.”
To that I say this, well hmm, it’s about time. After all the person who previously sat on the Trindel Board of Directors was convicted child molester, Joey Young. How long ago was the conviction? And why did the Board of Supervisors wait until now before replacing him?
Item number 9:
“Approve and authorize the chair to sign the first amendment to agreement with Bayside Realty for a single family residence at 367 Del Monte Street located in Crescent City, Ca on a month to month basis beginning May 1, 2016 for an amount not to exceed $950.00 per month or $11,400 per year as requested by the Assistant Director of Health and Human Services (DHHS).”
After looking into this matter, this does not come out of the county general fund but the funds of DHHS. It was not revealed how many people will benefit from this, and if only one person what was the criteria for that one person to receive this benefit? The question is, if it is only one person receiving this benefit, how many more are affected who cannot receive this benefit?
Item number 10:
“Approve and authorize the chair to sign the First Amendment to Agreement with Restpadd, Inc. in Redding, Ca to provide acute inpatient psychiatric services from July 1, 2015 through June 30 2016, not to exceed $360,000 as requested by the Assistant Director of Health and Human Services.”
Ok, so when DHHS is sending this kind of money out of our county to provide psychiatric services to our community members do you want to know that it is a safe facility without any allegations of improprieties, of neglect or abuse?
Although this allegedly occurred in 2013 this is what a woman wrote in regards to Restpadd Inc.
“ A woman was taken to Restpadd Psychiatric Inc. 2750 Eureka Way Redding, Ca., and was admitted. When she arrived she was heavily medicated, disoriented, and tried to leave the facility. Staff tried to subdue her using undue force causing several lacerations, a cracked rib and severe bruising. A witness that had gone with her was standing outside of a locked glass door and saw 3 employees knock the woman to the floor, kicking, punching, and scratching her.
The witness managed to reach a phone and call for help. When she was taken to the emergency room a police officer from Redding, Ca. Was called. The officer stated that even though the woman had a cracked rib, a bruise the shape of a fist in center of her chest, and a bruise the shape of a boot imprint on the left side of her stomach, the officer indicated the injuries were not serious.”
Allegedly there is a video of the attack yet law enforcement stated they did not have the legal right to attain the video without the incorporations consent. The woman abused was 5’6” and weighed 125 pounds.”
I read this to the BOS. I have concerns whether the allegations are true or not true; the allegations are out there. What I got for reading this is smirked faces from the Board of Supervisors. Really? I ask the community members is this where you would send one of your family or community members?
Last month the Board of Supervisors allotted $199,000 to Willow Glen Residential Care Facility. Here is what is said about that facility:
“I am a friend of a resident. The facility is newer and more modern than many. Individual resident rooms are more spacious and have a private bathroom to be shared by 2 people. The facility is locked. For those with dementia/cognitive disabilities. The residents are locked inside, without adequate supervision or assistance, and without enough trained/licensed personnel o provide oversight for their care. There are not enough caregivers for so many residents there. Since the doors are locked and the windows blacked out from the outside, the public is none the wiser. The medical complications and high death rate are telling evidence but too often families and friends of the residents are not allowed to see what occurs there. The poor hygiene and personal care for those with obvious dementia, and those same patients sleeping in filthy soiled sheets that are only changed infrequently, despite patients being incontinent. I believe this represents inhumane care for any human being.”
Let’s talk about item number 11.
Approve the District Attorney to extend an employment offer to Justin Gill for the position of District Attorney Investigator III, as step 3 as requested by the District Attorney, Dale Trigg.
No discussion of this rubber stamp. So let’s look at this for a minute. Hopefully this is not the well known Gill by all Public Defenders whose reputation is questionable. Was he not involved with the Black Hawk Pistol Story which is currently in litigation starring Civil Rights Attorney, Brian Claypool?
Why would the BOS give a member of the public only 3 minutes to discuss 14 consent agenda items? Are the BOS so worried about how much time it takes to attend their two public meetings per month? I understand they attend more meetings, but it is equally important for the public to see and hear what is going on in this county through the Board of Supervisors, and you can’t get that by rubber stamping every item on the agenda.
Here’s one for you; now this is a classic. Last week I attended the Border Coast Regional Airport Authority meeting. Dave Finigan is the Chair of this Committee. There are six people who sit on this Board/Committee, one happened not to be there this particular day, leaving only five people on the board.
One of the Agenda Items was awarding Tidewater Construction a contract. Gerry Hemmingsen is also a board member and had to recluse himself. Now there needed to be a vote, BUT, there were only four board members which did not equal a quorum.
So what does Dave Finigan do? What any good Chairperson in Del Norte County would do. Call a public member at large to come in so a vote could be taken and Tidewater could get the contract. Who was this public member at large??? Why none other than Matt Fearing. Should be pointed out to the public that these meetings are not televised. What lurk’s behind closed doors. I can tell you this, it isn’t transparency.
So folks, this is our local government at it’s best. It is not what I like to call the best. It is what has been going on for years and needs to stop.
RUBBER STAMPING IS NOT GOOD GOVERNMENT!!!