By Samuel Strait – Reporter at Large – January 6, 2022
In November of 2020, both the City and the County were granted by the
voters the right to collect an additional one percent sales tax to be
deposited in their general funds. For this generosity, the voters
expected certain services, and repairs to be made by both governing
representatives. In addition, each was to establish an independent
oversight committee to monitor and advise how the money was to be
spent. Since that time there has been very little in the way of
information out of each independent committee As we have recently
learned from the antics out at the school district, their oversight
committee is neither independent, nor properly protecting the taxpayer.
Since the early spring meetings of the City’s effort to comply with
having an oversight committee, there does not appear to have been any
further meetings. The two that transpired for the City did not appear
to be independent nor was there any training for the committee offered.
Since then silence. As to the County’s Oversight committee,
applications were available early spring of 2021, then no reports the
committee was ever formed or who were the public members Since early
spring, there have been no reports offered by either committee or any
evidence of regular meetings. The question then becomes, what’s up? Is
an annual report in the offing?
Moving on, to the promises both governing representatives made to the
public. Attention to police, fire, and emergency services, fix and
repair roads in each jurisdiction, and for the City to repair and
subsidize the City’s pool. At this point it seems that the least
important priority, the City’s pool, is the only obvious project that
has gone forward. Both the County and City’s police forces remain
understaffed. Neither fire departments appear to have had much more
than a “go apply for grants” kind of advice and not much additional
funding. Emergency services seems to be some sort of catch all for
spending money that doesn’t necessarily represent “vital services”.
Finally, road repair has as usual, slipped to the bottom of the list.
Traveling on the streets of Crescent City and Del Norte County has
become some sort of a challenge. It reminds one of places in the third
word, where potholes vie with pavement to see which covers the most
road. “A” Street in the City is an obstacle course enough to challenge
the most adept driver. There are several other streets that are
comparable. Places in the County where paved road is a rather loose
term to describe many of the hole available for your car’s tire to be
swallowed up. Blame not the County or the City’s road crews for this
situation, look at the tightwads who represent us and use money that is
available from Measure’s “R” and “S” for their special priorities.
In June there is an effort to place repeal measures for “S” and “R” on
the June Ballot to curb this frivolous spending, because it appears that
the Oversight Committee’s are once again missing in action. The County
Grand Jury should be involved, but they do not appear to have met since
July 2021 either. Hence, the need to collect signatures to repeal both
taxes. Granted that won’t get roads fixed, but maybe the City can be
encouraged to spend some of Beach Front’s $5 million to fix the rest of
Front Street instead of waiting five years or some grant funded
solution. Registered voters need to find and sign the petition to get
it on the June Ballot. Repeal Measures “S” and “R”…..