Opinion Piece By Donna Westfall – June 13, 2018 –
Something smells very fishy about the recall effort against Supervisor Bob Berkowitz.
Jesse Davis, the Vice Chairman of the Cannabis Working Group has mailed a notice of recall against Berkowitz. Last I looked, Jesse Davis lived in McKinleyville, so what’s he doing in Del Norte County politics? I’ve known Jesse for a couple of years. I recognize him as someone that is knowledgeable about marijuana, the laws, and the history. If I understood him right, he’s a local grower of marijuana. I like Jesse and we agree on more items than we disagree. But, I have cautioned him not to call politicians names when he gets upset…. like calling Bob Berkowitz a liar. I would prefer if Jesse always acted professionally. Unfortunately, his actions did not fall in line with what I consider professionalism. So,when I saw his name and return address on the envelope being in Arcata and sent certified mail to Sup. Berkowitz, and then took the time to read the recall notification, I was wondering why he’s even involved. I was upset. I am upset.
Also, when I read over the actual notice of recall, I was baffled. I can’t see any specific reasons for a recall. He may as well have said, “Blah, blah, blah, blah and some more blah.”
Usually in a recall, there are allegations of wrongdoing like missing money. Or you’ll read accusations of the person having sex with the wrong person. Recently, a recall against Democratic Senator, Josh Newman was successful because he was in favor of the gas tax. Incidentally, he was replaced with a Republican, former Assemblywoman, Ling Ling Chang who is against the gas tax.
But there is none of that in this statement of grounds for the recall against Berkowitz. The statement says that partisan politics has no place in local government, yet there is no allegation in the statement anywhere accusing Berkowitz of being partisan. Zero, zip, nada.
So what’s the real reason for the recall? Let’s look a little deeper.
When we evaluate the 20 people who signed the recall petition, we find defeated former Supervisor Finigan’s dirty fingerprints all over this. A full one third of the signers are either family members of Finigan or signers of his petitions in previous campaigns.
The proponents of this recall will have to get 751 signatures of those who are registered in the 5th district for this to go to an election in November. If 50 plus one percent of those vote to recall Supervisor Berkowitz, there is another ballot with the names of those who would want to succeed Berkowitz. We assume that there would only be one name on that ballot. Yep, you guessed it. It would be David Finigan.
We believe that Finigan just couldn’t wait until the year 2020 to challenge Berkowitz, he would rather have a stalking horse be the titular head of the recall and then when it’s successful, Finigan would regain his seat on the board of supervisors (BOS).
When contacted for a comment, Berkowitz had this to say:
- “For the last year and a half my one goal has been to help make our county a better place to live, work and raise a family.
- I am proud of our board’s accomplishments.
- After years of inaction, we’ve begun the process of replacing Last Chance Grade.
- We have motivated Sutter Coast Hospital to find a new physicians group that will lower the prices you pay doctors.
- We’ve reworked the county budget so that we have a new funding source that will provide for more clean ups of blighted areas.
- We were successful in getting more federal dollars for our local schools and county roads.
- After months without air service, we now have regular air service via Contour Airlines.
- Our county recently won a national award for its “Daily Town Hall Meeting” where you can interact with a supervisor on a daily basis.
- This is just a small list that your board of supervisors has accomplished in the last year and a half.
- Now there are some who want to recall two supervisors and send our county back into the dark ages of no action and total paralysis. The voters of District 5 can prevent that by just saying NO to the recall.”
- We at the crescentcitytimes.com hope that the voters will see this for what it is, an attempt to steal a seat on the BOS.
After all David Finigan is no stranger to the political system having been caught and fined by the Fair Political Practices Commission already for having his hand in the cookie jar so to speak, just like Martha McClure and Lori Cowan.
While I like Finigan personally, this publication endorsed Bob Berkowitz for 5th District Supervisor in 2016 just because of the kind of sleazy politics Finigan brought to the BOS. I hated the way he treated his fellow supervisors. I don’t anticipate he would be any different if he were to regain his seat. Certainly Chair Howard is no different, if anything he’s worse since the election. And I think I’ve implied he acts more and more like a dictator. If not, I’ll put up some fresh video from the June 12th BOS meeting shortly.
There you have it. Recall smelling fishy? God yes!