Sat. Oct 31st, 2020

By Donna Westfall – July 7, 2017

On July 6th, I submitted this rebuttal to the Fornoff’s July 1st article, “My View: $38,000 bill for petty grievances and political vendettas.  Here’s his response today’s date at 10:48 am:

Donna,

Thank you for your submission. 
Unfortunately nothing has changed since your last attempt to be published in the Triplicate some months ago. 
So long as you own and operate an Internet website that purports to be in direct competition with the Triplicate, you will not be published by this credible news organization.
Best wishes and have a good day.

Robin Fornoff EDITOR

The Del Norte Triplicate
REBUTTAL TO FORNOFF’S ARTICLE AS FOLLOWS:

I’m grateful to Lori Cowan for running and defeating Martha McClure in the primary.  I supported her run for office based on certain campaign promises and indications that there would be a new voice on the BOS that would break the mold for much of what has transpired in this town over the last decade or two.

Now as President of the local taxpayers association, our board of directors discussed whether or not to support the recall against Lori Cowan.  As you may remember, our most recent successful campaign was defeating the 20% sewer rate increase at the November 2016 ballot box.  We also stand behind a man we believe is innocent and wrongly convicted of rape because he got a poor defense.

So, you can see that not only do we tackle popular issues (57% against 20% sewer rate increase), but unpopular issues as in the Ranger verdict because we have enough evidence that was never presented to the jury that the man is innocent.

As to the price tag on the recall of 2nd District Supervisor, Lori Cowan let’s go over detail by detail what that’s about prefacing this by saying some of these points are my personal opinions and some the majority vote of the Crescent City-Del Norte County Taxpayers Association.

  1. The price tag.  I was quoted $30-40,000 for the recall. Normally, we would wait for an election and piggy-back onto it rather than create an expense to the taxpayer UNLESS we thought that the price of keeping Cowan in office would wind up costing more than recalling her.
  2. The vote for chairman of BOS. Yes, I was personally surprised that Cowan nominated and voted for Chris Howard for chairman of the BOS after promising supporters she would be behind Gitlin. I’ve learned to verify information with at least three reliable sources.  I found out that some of the people who signed her nomination paperwork now had ruffled feathers over that. Some of them then signed both the Notice of Intent to Initiate Recall (published in your paper under legal notices) as well as the Petition For Recall. Others wished to remain anonymous because they know how retaliation in this town can affect their business.
  3. The Last Chance Grade fiasco.  Another disappointment when I was led to believe she would jump on board with Gitlin & Berkowitz to ram through an alternative route. Before the election she was all about their 5 year plan. Just days after the June primary she was all about it can’t be done in 5 years. This was the first flip flop.
  4. The importance of children. After volunteering for the Point in Time (counting the homeless), I ran over to Cowan’s office in the Flynn Building and had a long conversation with her about what she stood for.

(a)  I came away thinking that one of the most important things in her life centered around children.

(b) That idea that children were important to Cowan got destroyed in my mind when she acted so unprofessionally during the April 25th BOS meeting during Judy Ranger’s 3 minute public comment of the Owellian nightmare she’s lived through over the last four years. Cowan scoffed and rolled her eyes. This was the second flip-flop.

  1. Trip to Japan. Then, “ Let’s have the taxpayers pay for my trip to Japan.” No siree Bob, thank you very much.  Pay for your own trip. This smacks of being self-serving.
  2. Trip to Washington DC. Next, her motion to have her go as an alternate to Washington DC which turned out was a Brown Act violation that had to be cured and corrected in the next BOS meeting.
  3. Solid Waste and garbage rates. I’m very much in favor of dismantling the Solid Waste Authority and asked Cowan her thoughts back in January. Her response on January 31st was, “until I get all the information from attending meetings I can’t comment.” While our taxpayers group would like to see lower garbage rates because we have some of the highest tipping fees in the entire state, the most recent video of her voting on Solid Waste matters was to increase garbage rates recently. Clearly she knew enough to rubberstamp the increase, but not enough to get back to me.

The Crescent City-Del Norte County Taxpayers Association did not get involved in the recall matter until well after the Notice was served upon her. Then and only then after the Petition For Recall was approved by the County Clerk on June 8th, did the Taxpayers Association take a vote and endorse the recall.

Bottom line, the consensus is that Cowan is not a person of her word. She’ll tell you one thing to your face and when a better opportunity presents itself, she’ll flip flop, do an about face and after that, no amount of assurances mean a thing.

In my opinion, it’s not that I think she lost her moral compass, rather I don’t believe she ever had one instead choosing to play the opportunities presented to her much like her convicted child molesting friend, Chris Renner.

Self-serving, flip-flopping, unethical leader. We don’t need any more like that.

If anything, she should resign and save us all a lot of time and money.

18 thoughts on “Rebuttal to Triplicate Editor Fornoff Article”
  1. This comment is advertisement for a program the author pushing to download and install outside the official app stores, which most likely means malware infused.

  2. Donna, WTF is very disappointed in Editor Fornoff for not publishing your rebuttal. That’s not consistent with the publishing of Supervisor Berkowitz’ column, but I do give Editor Fornoff kudos for that. It seems a change in Editor is warranted.

    That being said, if you boil down your criteria for the recall of Supervisor Cowan, you speak of broken campaign promises, some votes that didn’t go the way perhaps they should have, and events that occurred outside of her official duty as Supervisor. Can’t those points all be applied to any Supervisor?

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not thrilled with her performance to date, ditto for the other Supervisors, the four Republicans at a minimum should be working together. Personal feelings be damned, there’s important work that needs to be done.

    Let’s talk about Supervisor Gitlin being nominated as Chair back in January, a position he deserved based on his seniority alone. Isn’t it true that Supervisor Berkowitz nominated Gitlin, and then changed his vote to Howard? How do you feel about that?

    An expensive recall just does not add up to me on this one.

  3. I would like to know who sits on the board of the “Del Norte Taxpayers Association” besides yourself and what type of legal entity it is. Are your meetings open to the public? If so, when and where are they held? Thank you.

    1. I hope you’re not planning to attack the only entity in Del Norte County that holds politicians and municipalities accountable. The Trip won’t do it unless it’s strictly party motivated.

      There were legitimate concerns in the notice of recall and I believe it has already served its purpose. For that reason I’ve asked the Taxpayers Association to agendize a motion to discontinue endorsement of the recall.

      If you plan to attack the Taxpayers Association for raising an issue, I’ll support your right to raise the issue, even if you don’t think the Taxpayers Association has the right to raise an issue.

      By the way, I’m on the Board of Directors of the Taxpayers Association.

      1. Wes, please elaborate, What legitimate concerns? And how has anything served a purpose at this point? I do not live in district #2 yet any bad decision that comes out of the current board effects every one in the County. I can not see any good coming from things the way they are. What are you suggesting? Input please.

      2. Hi Wes, I’m having trouble deciphering what you’re trying to say here. Are you able to concisely state what the legitimate concerns for the recall are?

        When you say the Tax Assoc is removing their endorsement of the recall, yet originally endorsed a recall, and the endorsement served its’ purpose- what does that mean?

        I for one appreciate having a taxpayer watchdog in Del Norte County. Thanks for the work you do.

        1. To Sam and to WTF, the answer is no, and you’re right. Rather than “legitimate”, a more appropriate word may be “factual basis of the allegations” or “assertions” or something to that effect. What I’m referring to as ‘legitimate’ is based on my assumption that there is some validity the allegations stated in the recall, as opposed to ‘illegitimate’ which would mean no validity at all. I don’t personally know precisely how accurate the allegations are. Sorry for the confusion. My personal belief is that there is some validity to the allegations but not enough to support or validate a recall, and that is why I voted against endorsing the recall. I also am on the board of directors of the taxpayers association who agendized a motion to withdraw endorsement of the recall. The motion will be heard at this Thursday’s meeting. Call Donna at 951-3650 for details and meeting time.

          By ‘served its purpose’, I mean that it held Lori’s feet to the fire for the particular issues. She was called on the matters and the notice served its purpose. It’s not the way I personally would have done it. I personally would usually reserve recall only for someone who shows blatant corruptive practices. I also would only support recall where at least one worthy applicant is lined up for the position.

      3. I think that if this organization states that it is working on behalf of the DNC taxpayers it should not be an issue if we wish to know who it is that is supposedly representing us. It also shouldn’t be an issue if those you represent wish to come to your meetings. You like to hammer on everyone else but still conduct your business behind closed doors? C’mon now… somehow that doesn’t seem right.

          1. I have never once seen a meeting publicized, nor an agenda, or anything of the like. So they must be newly open to the public, and it seems that there is still hesitation to state who is on the board.

            1. Read today’s article: “Will a Marsden Motion lead to a new Trial for Bryan Ranger?” and you’ll get answers to your questions about the Crescent City-Del Norte County Taxpayers Association, and yes, members of the public have attended and made an impact.

            2. You must new to this publication. I have seen the meetings posted in the events column on several occasions. The board members have been listed as well in one of the many articles related to the activities which the tax payers association gets involved.

        1. We have a meeting this Thursday. You’re invited and it’s open to the public. There will be time for public comment. Please contact Donna Westfall for the time and any other details, including agenda items. Donna at 951-3650

  4. You might send this to both the Curry Coastal Pilot, The North Coast Journal and the Eureka Times Standard. Also send it to the Lost Coast Outpost as I would think that editor Hank Sims would find it very interesting.

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