Tue. Mar 5th, 2024

Commentary by Samuel Strait – May 28, 2022

One would think that our Board of Supervisors would at least show a
little sign of life at public meetings, but, no, that would likely
involve too much effort on their part.  Seems as though the County
Bureaucracy could insert a “resolution” that would allow all employees
who wear red on Fridays to automatically qualify for two weeks paid
vacation every other week on the Board’s agenda and the expected result
would be a 5-0 vote in the affirmative.  It is not as if they appear to
take anything the public comments on seriously, stone like faces in
evidence,   unless it involves a nasty swipe at one of the County’s
inviolate, on a pedestal, untouchable bureaucrats, then the claws and
excuses come out.  So why would there be any expectation that the Board
would invest much time in checking the content of the grift that appears
from the maw of the local bureaucratic tribe.

In any event, there is little to report from the latest cinematic event
in the Boardroom where the agenda stamped with, in red letters, “5-0
‘YES'” will suffice to explain any confusion as to what happened.  It
will be unlikely to change any time soon. Consent agenda 5-0, and the
parade was on.  Supervisor Howard insuring that any possibility of
mentioning the “dire” need for Measure “R” money was certain to be
inserted at every opportunity.  With much back slapping and praise
heaping at suitable intervals led by Supervisor Starkey, chief
cheerleader, it left newly appointed Supervisor Susan Masten grasping
for any space to say “look at me, I’m here too”.  Not to be left behind
was Chair Hemmingsen and Supervisor Short with additional measures of
cordial, good humored, and affable praise towards the smallest measure
of staff “doing their jobs”.

Animal Control seems to be the “gifted” of the County Departments, as
they have been endowed with multiple new employees to take on the burden
of chasing that recalcitrant pig that escaped earlier this year.  No
word as to whether or not that vile miscreant has been apprehended. 
Course with all the new man power one has to wonder why the explosion of
marauding murderous dogs in Fort Dick has not rung the bell.  Nothing to
see here seemed to be the unspoken response.  Wondering if the new hires
at Animal Control is what is meant as “law enforcement”?  No help from
the Board of Supervisors on that one.  Looks like a host of new
employees to the County ranks will be labeled as such.

One side note, it would appear that the privately hired health care
provider, Well Care, for our jail is a winner.  Those that are without
proper health care may consider getting jailed just to avail yourself of
the premium health care that our convicted receive at the expense of
local taxpayers.  After all, we wouldn’t wish a law suit by the jailed
invested on the County that struggles to pay generous salaries and
benefits to its employees, and impact on the gravy train’s continued
advance upward.

One has to say that if anything, the ready acceptance of the Del Norte
County Board of Supervisors to grow and increase the cost and amount of
local government is without parallel.  Other than the State of
California, and the Biden Administration, one would be hard pressed to
find a more stellar example.  As much as Supervisor Howard parrots the
need for the continuation of Measure”R”, it should be expected that the
County will do just fine without the paltry extra funding from the
Measure.  The new grant writer is waiting in the wings.

The call for something for the County’s “new” grant writer to become
involved with, once the Roadway Safety plan hits their desk, is
impressive.  It’s not as though the County will be spending Measure “R”
money on anything remotely connected to fixing roads, after all gotta
pay for all the “new ” hires.  In any event, yet another outside
contractor has provided Board members with a “new” priority list of
County only road projects that rise to the level of “vital”.  Clearly
those dastardly bicyclists and pedestrians need to mind their manners as
they represent a growing threat to the safety of our roads.  Not much
mention of road conditions, but signs, striping, roundabouts, and
reflective tape led the list of imperatives.  Perhaps this is a topic
for future examination.

The oblivious train to nowhere trundled down the expected pathways to
its inevitable conclusion.  That’s a wrap.  Put it in the can of the
theater of the absurd.  When government becomes beyond the ability of
the local population to understand the absolute need or benefit for many
of the operations of said government, it is past time to do a bit of
pruning, after all it is springtime.

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