Thu. May 23rd, 2024

Commentary and Opinion by Samuel Strait – March 30, 2023

It was quite a show at the March 28th meeting of the local Board of
Supervisor’ bimonthly event.  While in this case the Board attempted to
act at least somewhat like a governing entity, some decisions are just
plain beyond their collective abilities. Nothing to be ashamed of as
governing has gotten far beyond the level of expertise that is required
to even make some decisions without some sort of trust worthy guidance. 
That often is the proverbial rub as the expert class has been tainted to
such a degree over the past several decades that is has become difficult
to determine fact from fiction.

Opening ceremonies have begun to take on a familiar pattern sans the
truncated versions of Board Member reports which no longer contain what
exactly the members do between meetings.  I suppose we can all guess or
attend the vast number of public meetings that are no longer being
discussed at the all too transparent regular Supervisor meetings.  At
last there is a movement towards making what the “hired Help” is
injecting into what passes for most often around 80% to 85% of the
Board’s governance.  Wouldn’t want the “Walmart Shoppers” to feel like
they might be missing something important hidden in the “Consent
Agenda”.  You know it as that part of the Board meeting where “No”
controversy exists.  Nothing to see here folks, nothing to discuss,
wouldn’t want to draw any attention to something so “vanilla” as to be
unworthy of discussion.

Fourteen items on this version where literally no discussion takes
place, but then oops! half of it set aside for discussion and perhaps
two more that needed further explanation, 5-0 was the tally for the
items left standing.  Still curious about items #12 and #13 where one
state of emergency was terminated and another extended for an undefined
period of time all within the County? Split personality anyone?  Item #2
was to inform us that the Board is finally aware of the fact that “child
abuse” occurs.  Must be one of the “helicopter mom’s” revaluations,
including suitable placard.   #4, review the County’s general plan on
the Consent Agenda?  #5 more hires and reclassifications at DHHS was
removed and no question that was an item for serious discussion.  #6 and
#7 regarding renewed agreements for services without knowing whether or
not they had any benefit to the County whatsoever. Never did get a
clear answer on that one, just some maybe sort of numbers.

#8 produced a few fireworks regarding an effort to seek out grants by
the US Forest Service to address “possible contamination ” of drinking
water by “legacy” mines in the County.  This particular item, is perhaps
best suited to be discussed in a future article in the CCTimes by yours
truly.  There clearly was some questions that need to be asked before
the US Forest Service is allowed to plow forward mitigating some rather
questionable “claims” of water contamination by mines that were
abandoned 100 years or more in the past.  Conflicting data, the dubious
involvement of the Smith River Alliance, the tarnished reputation of the
Forest Service particularly when it comes to mining, all need some
clarification before a disaster such as the one in Colorado surrounding
a mining intervention by the federal government.  More of that “expert”
class fall out.

#10 an undefined amount of money to the Sheriff’s department for awards,
to the tune of resolved by discussion, of $600.  Nothing like spreading
the wealth when there’s the possibility of a party.  At least there was
a discussion this time around, but there seemed to be few and even fewer
questions answered before the almost automatic 5-0 vote on every item
except those that required too much explanation in the public forum to
allow for a vote.  Table time.

The Board quickly rolled into “scheduled items” a bit tardy, but never
the less mustn’t inconvenience anyone.  Public comment, with the usual
suspects, minus the troubled property owner’s complaint regarding
vacation rentals, not that we escaped entirely.  On to a public hearing
on Block Development grants to the applause of the board, yet largely
uninforming for the public.   Senior meals and other government hand
outs, before moving on to a report on the County’s woeful communications
system phase I.  Looks like two more assessment are forth coming, can’t
do it in one fell swoop after all.   Money to be made by someone outside
of the County. Bottom line, it looks like Measure “R” funding is going
to get quite a work out with all the new staff requirements and new
communications gear.  Hold on to you wallets Del Norte County.

General government was relegated to pay raises across the board for
County employees, with special attention to the Director of Child
Support services.  Can’t leave such an important player in danger of
joining the line for the soup kitchen, her being so underpaid.  At
least that’s the perpetual whining we get from the President of the
Employees Union, Norma Williams. 

Norma Williams

You would think by her continual threats directed at the Board, that they all were on welfare.  Budget
transfers consisted of a nice tidy sum $289,734 to DHHS then on to
Legislative items.

The first item opposing a really foolish bill AB 742 regarding the use
of canines by sheriff’s departments in the State, great thinking
Sacramento.  Support for a grant for the Tolowa Nation to solve their
waste water treatment issues and the cherry on the top, Measure “R”
money to be spent on “parking lots” at the sheriff’s station and the
veteran’s hall as “vital” infrastructure projects.  Makes one wonder
what exactly isn’t “vital” on the Capital Improvement’s list?  And with
that, this version of a “Fred Flintstones” kind of meeting, the Club
rides off into the sunset.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *