Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Opinion and Commentary By Donna Westfall – January 31, 2024

Dean Wilson is running for re-election. He ran in 2022 and won against Susan Masten who was appointed to the seat after the death of Bob Berkowitz.

Last year, staff at Crescent City Times interviewed Wilson. You can read about it published on February 24, 2023. In follow-up to those questions, this year we asked Wilson to update his responses:

Dean Wilson looking spiffy in his suit and pink tie

First: The Consent Agenda. Realize that 10-22 items more or less can be placed on the consent agenda. If you are a member of the public you have three minutes to speak to an issue. Why? Because the Consent Agenda is looked upon as ONE item. So, if there are 20 items and you want to address anywhere from 2-20 items, you only get 3 minutes TOTAL PERIOD. This seems wholly unfair and against a process that supposedly welcomes public comment but in reality does not. It doesn’t speak well for transparency.

Last year, January 10, 2023, Smith River resident Branden Bieber went over 3 minutes. He was warned by Chair Darrin Short several times. Finally Short stopped the meeting and had a deputy escort Mr. Bieber out of the chamber. You can read about the incident in the Triplicate by Roger Gitlin dated January 25, 2023 titled, “Eye on Del Norte: A failure to communicate.”

Also, hundreds of pages of back-up documentation is presented with the Consent Agenda. It’s hard to impossible to believe that Supervisors take the time to read through each page.

BACK TO WILSON’S RESPONSE:  “I have in the past year pulled those items on the consent agenda that I felt need more comment or that I opposed.  Many times issues I had questions about I was able to talk with the agency head that requested the item and clarify my issues prior to the meeting.”

No one on Crescent City Times staff can recall any instance in the last year wherein Wilson didn’t vote for all the consent agenda items even after pulling some off for discussion. Sometimes 2-4 staff members are present at the Board of Supervisors meetings. Sam Strait regularly writes about them.

Branden Bieber continues to try to address issues on the Consent Agenda. Something needs to change.

Next: Should dysfunctional government agencies be eliminated or downsized before raising taxes?

He said yes last year. In our follow-up question we asked, “Which ones?” His answer:
This question is one that I hope will be addressed in the strategic plan that will be going forward in the next 3 months.

Then: What would he do to cut waste in Del Norte’s Budget? He was pushing towards closure of Juvenile Hall. Did he/they accomplish that?

“We closed the juvenile hall and have established contracts in Humboldt and Shasta counties to hold those juveniles as needed.  It will be in the strategic plan that we need to look at the whole organization and determine where our priorities lie.”

Question #4: Eliminate 1 executive position making $250,000/year or 5 boots-on-the-ground making $50,000/year? His answer: Eliminate 1 executive. Follow-up: Were any eliminated?

Answer: Again the strategic planning process will help determine.

Question #5: Supporting secession of California. Join Idaho or create State of Jefferson?  He prefers State of Jefferson since Idaho is not contiguous.

Update: “Nothing has changed here, I do not believe that Sacramento is governing for the needs and concerns of rural counties and never will.  We have to deal with all the legislation that is passed that negatively impacts our county.”

Questions #6, 7 and 8: Support a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary (which prevents confiscation of guns and ammunition) declaration for Del Norte County. Bring back gun safety classes to schools and did he work within his budget while sheriff.

Answer: Yes to all and nothing has changed.

Question #9: Support a Declaration in Del Norte County refusing to comply with California’s blanket illegal immigration sanctuary status?

Answer. YES. Follow-up question this year. Has it been agendized? Answer: No it has not.

Question #10: The Department of Health and Human Services is the lion’s share of the budget. Any suggestions?

Answer: Most of that budget comes from the State. I would be in favor of breaking up DHHS into welfare and mental health.

Follow-up question: Have you done anything to suggest breaking up DHHS?

Updated response: DHHS has been restructured so it should be better managed, but we will see.

Again that is why we will be having a strategic plan , so that it will be the board on an annual basis that will be setting priorities and goals not just reacting to what is presented before them at the meeting.

6 thoughts on “Incumbent Dean Wilson – District 5 Supervisor”
  1. Good Day Everyone in 5th District. What could easily be clarified with the consent agenda is placing a date on the item where an actual public meeting was held and that item was discussed and afforded public comment. If no such meeting was held then the Board of Supervisors are in violation of the Brown Act.

    As far as public members walking off the street to discuss matters with CEO Lopez and other Supervisors you need to be up on your game. I remember conducting such a meeting with Neal Lopez and Chris Howard. The discussion was regarding Measure R. I was given a hard copy of what Measure R was going to be spent on. I noticed $600,000.00 for 6 new patrol cars was questionable. “OH” Lopez said, ” that is probably a mistake.” Some of these people can’t be trusted. And, they tend to flock together.

    The Trio this public needs to worry about is Chris Howard, Darrin Short, and Dean Wilson.

    Short is running unopposed which is unfortunate. When I pulled the RCRC records from these meetings held in Sacramento, I was disgusted and dismayed by my discovery. Darrin Short had gone to 6 meetings in 2023 and spoke about Del Norte County 1 time. In other words Del Norte County paid thousands of dollars for Darrin Shorts lunch in Sacramento and Del Norte County had no representation. And we wonder why we are excluded.

    Dean Wilson has already proven in 1 year that he goes against his constituents. That he doesn’t conduct his due diligence in issues facing this county and goes along to get along even when those decisions negatively effect Del Norte County. The most recent blunder was the mere fact Wilson and Short did not request a business plan from HHS for $10.8 million dollars regarding the homeless shelter and pallet homes. After monitoring HHS Director Brown’s travel expenses 8 months of 2022, she managed to use $60,000.00 of public dollars to travel 1 week out of each month for some “important” training. I can only imagine how that $10.8 million dollars will be squandered and ten years from now there will still be no plan. By the way $800,000.00 of that money is supposed to be for the pallet homes. The rest is for “professional services.”

    Yes, Dean Wilson needs to go. The Trio needs to be broken up so that Del Norte County can have a chance to clean itself up, fix our crumbling infrastructure, specifically the streets and roads, begin placing indigenous plants such as rhododendrons, azaleas, California Poppies to line our highways and streets, giving our city and county a wow factor from beauty instead of wow how do we get out of here.

    The issue with economic blight is very bad. Currently nothing can be done with the downtown area because most of those buildings are tied up in probate. That may take up to 2 more years before that is settled. Once settled the owner has some ideas to enhance the empty buildings and bring more business to this county and city. I feel the county should offer a 2 year tax exemption for all New businesses.

    DEAN WILSON says he supports 2nd Amendment rights however, I submitted a resolution to each board member to protect our 2nd Amendment. This particular resolution had been adopted by Shasta County July 25th 2023 and I took out the elements of Shasta County replacing them with Del Norte County. Dean Wilson went ghost on the matter. This was in light of the County parks wanting to prevent their park host from having a weapon for protection in their RV.

    Well there are 2 other people vying for 5th District Supervisor. Linda Sutter who has been attending and participating local government meetings for 16 years and Heather Polen who recently started attending these meetings.

  2. It just sounds like a lot of kicking the can down the road to me. Strategic plans make great toilet paper or handy excuses.

  3. Wilson should never be “elected” for any public office again. He is the wrong person to hold authority. He has established and managed much of the crime in the county and has never been held accountable for his failures and criminal activity as Sheriff.
    I have experienced first-hand the abuse and disgusting attitudes of the deputies who are part of the cabal of criminals who have infiltrated the Sheriff’s Dept. I have spoken to many citizens here who don’t have confidence in him, and don’t want him to be in charge of anything. A lot of DN residents have been abused by him, his ring of cohorts, and his criminal associates.
    It’s time for a change and time for the good people of DN to take the leadership of their community seriously.

    1. Reply to above : NOBODY Knows the Injustice better than I!! Google it! “Blackhawk Del Norte County. The Series put this website on the Map! NOW Homeless as a Direct Result of the “Beat Down” of 12 YEARS of Financial ,Health ,Friends LOSS of the Criminal Acts ,8/18/11 perpetrated upon myself and kids. All could have been remedied via DEAN WILSON! He Further perpetrated the criminal acts with Glee! I don’t throw around the word “Criminal” lightly in regards ! (Ie) “Gerigos & Gerigos” extensively reviewed after the fact at Great Expense to myself, and assured Me I received a “RawDeal” via Del Norte Supervisors Refusing to Compensate myself for Del Norte County Sheriffs Dept. criminal acts 8/18/11.

      Instead the County lost hundreds of thousands of Dollars of Your Monies Hiring “Hit Man”,John Vrieze attorney and lying to the Courts in full impunity of his State BAR License. Now Fully Disabled as a Result of the Criminal Acts of 8/18/11 while Dean Wilson whom was Fully Culpable was at the Helm as they say! My “Friend”, Roger Gitlin” talked me into assisting Wilson win his current position on Wilson’s personal promise of coercing current Sheriff to return some of My Remaining Property Stolen by D.N.S.D. 8/18/11. YEA …LAST I heard Gitlin told myself the current Sheriff was in communication with myself to resolve. NEVER HAPPENED! LIES again. The exact reason any of this happened to myself. A “Barber & Fleishman” Show, As local Criminal Defense Attorney coined all those years ago! I lived on the busiest corner in Del Norte. Any and everyone I allowed a Campaign Sign to be erected WON each and Every time INCLUDING but Not Limited to …… Dean Wilson and His pal Roger Gitlin. Anyone including the FBI is welcome to Contact myself as I have time on my hands now becoming Homeless as a Direct Result of the above. So yea, by all means Vote Linda Sutter for Supervisor!

  4. This is something I don’t think a lot of people realize, especially Branden Bieber: “Many times issues I had questions about I was able to talk with the agency head that requested the item and clarify my issues prior to the meeting.”
    The supervisors aren’t just rubber stamping the consent agenda. They spend a considerable amount of time discussing these items with department heads prior to the meeting.
    If you want them to wait until the meeting to start those discussions with department heads, then the next thing you know you’d have people like Mr. Bieber complaining about how long the meetings are and how THAT is a waste of taxpayer money. He is the very definition of someone you’ll never be able to make happy.

    1. That is all well and good Mr. McNamara, that board members have “their” concerns met, but the unwashed may have an entirely different set of concerns that aren’t being met. Just how is that being okay in your rather limited world? As a regular participant at most board meetings the board seems to have a significant lack of appreciation for the fact that the majority of the residents in the County very often get the short shift of things when addressing issues found in tiny fractions of the County’s population. Massive amounts of the public’s money is being spent in the “consent agenda” that does not benefit virtually the largest percentage of the population and the public has three minutes to flush that spending into the public’s view. Is that the way you see a governing body acting? I think that when a government acts, it should be the most benefit for the largest part of the constituency, and not the fewest. Think of all the major infrastructure issues that the County has that affect a majority of the population . And that is only the tip of the iceberg. While the board is addressing.a five mile an hour speed limit reduction on Boulder Avenue and the fantasy world of off shore wind power, the public is addressing across the board how to deal with high crime, inflation, bad local tax policy, a large and more expensive local government, the impact of Sacramento’s regulation and insane policies, just to give you a heads up. The board has accomplished almost zero progress in addressing any of these issues. In fact the board is responsible for making many of these problems worse. So maybe you ought to cut Mr Bieber a bit of slack. He after all at least has asked the board some clearly uncomfortable questions that I haven’t seen much in the way of any satisfactory answers.

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