By Samuel Strait, Reporter at Large – June 29, 2021

It is a rare occasion when the grifters in this community come out on
the losing end of things and the Taxpayer/Ratepayers actually get a
break from the near constant reach into their collective pockets by
various members of our bureaucratic class. It probably won’t be long
before our current grifters are in front of other boards with their
hands out, the fair board, the airport authority, or the harbor
district.  It only takes one to fall for the preposterous notion that
the “Kamome Foundation” merits anything but a swift exit out the door.

The four men responsible for what is being referred as the “Japanese
Annual Vacation Club” are making the rounds of government bureaucracies
in the hopes that some one will relieve them of the responsibility of
reaching into their own pockets to come up with the necessary funding to
launch their pipe dream.  If not the taxpayer, perhaps an easy mark for
a con from the private donor,  should pleading in front of the County’s
various Boards fail.  Keeping in mind Chris Howard, Blake Inscore, and
Jeff Harris all make six figure salaries, much of it from the Taxpayer,
as well as from other sources,  Bill Steven, the group’s front man, who
spent many years at the Sheriff’s Department is no doubt quite
comfortable in his retired years continuing to feed at the public
retirement trough.  All men who can quite comfortably pay their own way
to Japan as often as they wish to go, and, could no doubt come up with
the funds to form the foundation without resorting to using the
taxpayer.  So what’s up with these four clowns?

In the most recent appeal in front of the Del Norte Solid Waste
Authority, Mr. Steven was asked what the “foundation’s” mission was, and
he responded with what has been used to justify government involvement
in the sister city relationship with Rikuzentakata, Japan.  Cultural
exchanges which up to this point have produced little in the way of
benefit to the local community other than providing the local “in-crowd”
vacations to Japan. Keeping in mind that the DNSWMA’s staff headed by
Tedd Ward was responsible for allowing this traveling circus to appear
on the Authority’s agenda.  Unfortunately for Mr. Steven, Supervisor
Valerie Starkey pointed out once again the fact that the yet to be
formally formed “Kamome Foundation” had little to benefit the public to
justify the expense of fronting the cost for the foundation’s
application for non profit status.  Mayor Pro Tem Blake Inscore, who is
also on the Authority’s Board and an officer on the yet to be formed
foundation’s board, was kind enough to recuse himself.  The Authority
then actually took the matter seriously and voted 4-0-1 to deny the
request. Taxpayer/Ratepayer  2  Gang of Four/Kamome Foundation  0.

What should be embarrassing for men who are purported to be leaders in
this community, is their jarring disconnect with the sentiment of the
community towards spending anything further on “cultural exchanges” with
Japan using public money and should be a wake up call to the community
about what kind of leadership these men provide.  Because the DNSWMA’s
director, Tedd Ward is on board with this nonsense and tried to tie this
some how into concern over “ocean waste” should raise a huge “red flag”
over his administration of the Waste Authority itself.  Keep in mind
Director Ward was recently responsible for a significant increase in
your waste removal bill because of his obsession with recycling which
has become insanely expensive.  The bottom line is, that as long as
Chris Howard, Blake Inscore, and Jeff Harris are in positions of
responsibility, this notion that the connection to Rikuzentakata, Japan
is somehow essential to the citizens of this County they will continue
to reach into local pockets.  These four men need to reach into their
own pockets if they wish to continue to front for the “Japanese Annual
Vacation Club”.

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