Thu. Feb 22nd, 2024

Commentary by Samuel Strait – July 27, 2022

On July 26th our local 4-0 club met for the second time in July. 5-0 you
say, what’s up with that?  It seems  that for what ever reason, as I
missed the opening ceremonies, Supervisor Masten was not occupying her
usual spot on the dais.  Not to be dismayed: however, as her non
attendance did not change much in terms of the over all value to the
community as the Board stumbled and bumbled through yet another meeting
with little of any value to the community.  At the conclusion of the
opening ceremonies there was the inevitable continuance of “new hires”. 
At least the Sheriff was the star of that show with a couple of new
victims to bolster his relatively depleted staff, not that this will
make any earth shaking difference in service to the community, but at
least it shows intent, a marvelous thing if it actually produces
something positive.

The reports by individual Supervisors came next, with its listing of all
“events” and meetings attended by those present over the past two
weeks.  Again lots of words of admiration for the contents of those
interchanges, yet a continued absence of any reference to content or
what was so meritorious or beneficial to be found in the dozen or so
meetings each of the four had attended.  I suppose it is something like
that old and familiar article of clothing with which one cloaks
themselves to insure that feeling of “doing something” positive, or not,
just to have something to say when your turn comes around.  Perhaps a
word of what exactly had been accomplished that is so utterly praise
worthy just might creep into the description?  I belabor the point.

Moving on to the least discussed portion of the meeting, the “consent
agenda”, the product of the machinations of  County staff over the past
couple of weeks that generally should merit some discussion as to why
each item is to be “rubber stamped” at the near commencement of each BOS
meeting.  Nothing to see here folks, as the “experts” have flexed their
collective muscle to insure pesky little details like value and benefit
are obscured in the smoke and mirrors of good “governance”.   As per
usual there are a number of questionable items offered by Health and
Human Services regarding services that are contracted out and agreements
for services of unknown merit, closely followed by similar requests from
Administration and Community Development.  One often wonders if these
departments are capable of handling anything in house any more.

Public comments and scheduled items were up next, public comments were
brief followed by a lengthy discussion of Del Norte Ambulance’s effort
to become exclusive provider of services to Del Norte County.   This
involved a complex set of circumstances and reactions that most
certainly will involve the production of a separate article to follow
shortly in the CCTimes.  Stay tuned. Suffice it to say that when the
dust settled our illustrious four failed to be decisive and went to the
old standby of needing “more time” to clarify the issues to make them
much more cumbersome, spend more time and money, request additional
“statistics” to further cloud the issue, disregard recommendations, and
generally confirm their inability to make governance anything but the
epitomy of inefficiency.

Following two reports  about the Del Norte Ambulance, Measure “R”
certification for the November Ballot was the remaining scheduled item
which elicited a single comment from the County’s employee Union in the
form of the theatrics inevitably provided by Norma Williams, President
of the Del Norte Employees Association.  An article addressing President
William’s performance to follow in the pages of the CCTimes.  Ms.
Williams sermonizing was preceded by the aforementioned report by
a Supervisor driven “Ad Hoc Committee” of Supervisors Starkey and Short.

The final two items addressed  were the tabling of a “road” improvement
item.  Like where did that come from?  Opportunity missed for the Board
to “honor” their stated purpose of the need for Measure “R” money.  But
hey, somehow we have almost gotten to expect that of the local
governing Boards, say one thing and do another.  Perhaps the Board
members shouldn’t be quite so surprised to be called out on their
continued duplicity.   Say what, Supervisor Howard?  That’s right
adjournment, until next time for the 5-0 Club.

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