Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

Opinion Piece By Donna Westfall

Shopping carts left all over the city. Graffiti on the walls.  Urine smells in our shopping center. Couches left on the sidewalk. Sign icon’s left to rust. Weeds along the 101 corridor.

All of the above and more contribute to making our town ugly, dirty and unsightly. I recall when my 93 year old mother was alive and spent a few weeks in this town she couldn’t wait to get out.  “It’s an ugly, dirty town,” she said.

While on the City Council I organized volunteer cleaning crews and starting from the “S” curve, we cleaned and weeded block by block.

Shortly after cleaning up the unsightly parking lot at Rural Human Services, I was villified with a complaint made by former RHS Executive Director, Teri McCune-Ostra, to Council member Kelly Schellong.

Here we were, volunteers. We were cleaning up her mess and she had the gall to complain.  That is extremely weird, don’t you think?

Not for this town.

Tuesday’s, July 28th, Board of Supervisors meeting heard multi-year Supervisor 2nd District, Martha McClure, complain about Gitlin’s treatment of Safeway for his agressive persistence in wanting that place cleaned up.

Let’s listen to McClure’s whine:

  • “I shop exclusively at Safeway and I’m in Safeway and the Safeway manager comes up to me and says you can’t believe whats happening to me. And talks about I’m loosing sleep at night because I’m being harrassed and I’m afraid I’m going to lose my job. And he said I was raised here.  I was born here. I raised my children here, but Safeway corporate doesn’t care. Safeway corporate response is what in the heck did you do to anger somebody, an elected official in your community.
  • So to me, it needs to be corrected. And it’s not just a question of having passion (referring to Linda Sutter’s public comment about our multi-year supervisors once having passion for this town and getting things done), cuz I can tell you that I have lots of passion for for this community. And I’m going to continue to have passion for this community.  We have over the year, we have taken blight… I mean when I started we didn’t even have a code enforcement officer.  You know, we had incrementally made this a better place to live. But the anger, and the agression that we are seeing people receive from citizens, from regular citizens I mean, come on the guy at True Value was harrassed for graffiti on the back of his building.
  • He’s been there – he was raised here. Come on – He’s one of our… it’s gone way too far. And so I think that this is a real clear message. And I would like to send that message and I am in favor of supporting Area 1 on Aging because I’ve never seen this.  I’ve never seen this on any committee I’ve ever been involved with.”

Let’s call the wambulance.

If we have a code enforcement officer paid to do a job, and at a very decent wage, and part of that job is cleaning up this town, then why isn’t Sup. McClure complaining to Dave Mason, Code Enforcement Officer? (Oh, and by the way, Mason has still not resolved all the buried garbage, toxic waste, old cars, appliances, animals and more at Flying B Ranch, owned by Kevin Hartwick.  The complaint was made by two eye witnesses back in January of this year.)

Why does Sup. Gitlin have to be the driving force?

Why isn’t the entire BOS working together to get this dirty, ugly, smelly, unsightly town cleaned up and beautified?

Get off your high horse, McClure. Get on the phone and start calling and organizing graffiti removal crews. We should be more like other towns and have a 24 hour rule.  That’s when the graffiti crews go out within 24 hours and paint over any graffiti. Start calling business owners to weed and clean up their areas. Start working cooperatively instead of devisively.  If you don’t like the way Gitlin’s persistence and agression is getting the job done; you can take a softer approach and see if it works.

But stop the insane judging for a job well done.  And stop your whinning, McClure!







4 thoughts on “McClure Whines Cuz Gitlin is Cleaning Up This Town”
  1. Thank you all for your support. Let me be very clear to those who would demonize me and community efforts to clean up Crescent City and Del Norte County. My interactions with Safeway store manager Ridgely and Shopping Center manager Mary S. Taylor were never abusive, harassing, or disrespectfull. I never negatively spoke to any customers nor did I encourage folks to shop in Brookings, as stated by Supervisor McClure. I simply asked if manager Ridgely would corral his errant carts and please assist in helping enforce loitering ordinances in front of his store.and I was persistent, very persistent over many years..To his credit, after resisting my polite requests, he has responded and the carts are neatly organized and loitering is more seriously being addressed. To her credit, after complaining of my tactics, Ms..Taylor and the Berger Trust which owns the Center are NOW beginning to respond. The Jedidiah Smith Center and all common areas, including landscaping, edging, trash pick-up are being addressed..

    I promise you all, I will not be intimidated, I will not back down and I will not relent…But I need your support. Sometimes change is uncomfortable…but change WILL occur…the door is now open. TAKE A BITE OUT OF BLIGHT !

  2. re: Mr B’s remarks about them trying to oust Mr. Gitlin off committes etc because he has the git up and go and audacity to step forward and ‘get the job done’ on Blight, meals for seniors, etc etc

    Now, correct me if I need corrections, but now I a wondering, since I will hit the three-quarter mark in a week, if I have become a doddering old fool.

    Perhaps I should have waited for those ‘slow wheels of progress’ to move, before I began to make and give away all those hand sewn dolls, to kids with cancer, etc etc, and then I began volunteering to teach a weekly knit and crochet classes free of charge to help reach out to the community. I even wrote inspirational things in an effort to warm hearts and think of positive things for others to reach. (Posted under human interest here) OOPS…..guess that also is not politically correct.

    No federal funds or grants there. Good thing I’m not on a committee. They’d boot my behind right off of it.

    what’s your opinion…am I a doddering old fool, that should stop the nonsense I am involved in.

  3. I’m from Jackson County, Or, and I’m compiling best practices on graffiti removal in various municipalities– Across the board, people assert that the single most important thing–whether graffiti appears on blank walls, traffic signs, or on murals posted to discourage further tagging–is to remove the graffiti as soon as it appears. This discourages taggers, who are primarily interested in getting their tag shown in as many spots as possible. So, Crescent City, let your city council know, or just paint it out yourselves.

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