Thu. Feb 29th, 2024

Commentary and Opinion by Samuel Strait – February 1, 2024

Another delightful meeting of the local County Board of Supervisors
without the presence of “the government can solve all your problems, no
matter how small or insignificant they are”, Supervisor Valerie
Starkey.  This time around there was the additional presence of many of
the local virtue signalers, no doubt to grace us with their intimate
lack of knowledge about the subject with which they wish to indoctrinate
us.  I could hardly wait.  Not that they regularly attend such meetings,
in fact for the most part it has been my experience that they only
appear to voice the talking points of the Left, often about such topics
that have generated a litany of failure, often propelled by generous
amounts of taxpayer funding with little or no benefit to those that bear
the burden.  This is compounded by the fact that few in power on our BOS
comprehend the utter insanity of spending one thin dime on anything this
crowd proposes.

One would think that the recent and  impending train wreck of spending
millions of dollars on the County’s homeless population would penetrate
our leadership’s vacancy above their respective shoulders and force them
to be more circumspect when the virtue signalers appear in numbers of
more than two.  Such was the case when the Board chambers were occupied
on the January 23rd meeting of the Board with more than the usual
handful of members of the public.  I could hardly suppress my excitement
over the complete drivel I could sense was forthcoming.

Chair Wilson got this version of the Board’s desperate attempt to remain
relevant and succeeded in wending his way through the opening ceremonies
without much difficulty.  Nothing from “closed session”, what a
surprise, no change to the agenda, no new employees for once, and the
reports of the Board member’s activities for the preceding two weeks. 
The only surprise from the reports that generally include vain attempts
to convince those in attendance of their value to the community was a
report from District Four’s Supervisor Borges.

On to the Consent Agenda where a 22 item list provided by the
County’s bureaucracy was quickly dispatched by a 4-0 vote with little to
no discussion.  I continue to be mystified as to how the public can
possibly comment on more than a few items in the time frame allotted
when the Consent Agenda far outstrips anything else considered
government business in nearly every meeting of the Board.  Lets just say
that this is hardly the view that a completely transparent governing
board would wish to display.  It completely negates the ability of the
public to be involved with a bulk of the biweekly business of their
government and should be addressed as soon as possible.  Many of the
items on the consent agenda need a much greater discussion to allow the
public to understand the need for many of the actions buried in the
agenda which are rarely obvious or not in need of some very pointed
questioning.  Since this is rarely the case, many items get swept along
with very little understanding of their respective merits to the
County’s residents.  Certainly not a good look by the Board’s members
and it should be no wonder why there is very little attendance at Board
meeting or participation.  The Board is operating in a vacuum which is
also not a good look.

The scheduled items consisted of the public comments, a report on older
adults, a missing in action report by the Smith River Alliance/Forest
Service likely trying scare everyone over legacy mining and contaminated
water, again, and the County’s Treasurer’s report.  While the public
comments were entertaining, I very much doubt it had any impact on the
County’s Supervisors.  The report on Older Adults may have been
interesting to Supervisor Starkey. It failed to hold the attention of
the Board for the most part, but the question that should have been
asked was how much did this cost the Taxpayer?   And finally the
Treasurers report, which painted a rather flush financial picture in
spite of the fact that the County’s government could blow through such a
healthy portfolio in a heartbeat.

A Board of Equalization item and the virtue signaling began.  The Tri-
Agency  which for all practical purposes is a waste of public money was
before the Board to approve their amended Joint Powers Agreement which
is unlikely to allow for any value to the County’s economic development,
but will likely consume a fair amount of taxpayer funding.  Already off
to a rocky start with the way they handle their public meetings and a
pending lawsuit to contend with, the JPA is excluding a foray into “Off
Shore Wind Power” in their bylaws, much to the horror of the virtue
signaling crowd in attendance.  Not that very many of the public
comments on the subject of “Off Shore Wind Power” had any real merit, we
were assured that “it was coming” and we shouldn’t exclude it from the
ability of the JPA to “get us a seat at the table”.

In spite of a nearly half billion dollars of taxpayer money being
injected into the Humboldt effort it will be very unlikely that anything
will come to fruition in the Humboldt off shore wind project.  Similar
efforts on the East Coat of the United States have been entirely
unsuccessful.   The Pacific Coast effort which would need a far greater
injection of capital than the current half billion dollars of public
money is far less likely to attract the money necessary to complete the
project resulting in millions of dollars of local expense, “just to have
a seat at the table”. Hopefully, our JPA who is tasked with “economic
development” will not be lured into the disaster that will become
Humboldt’s when the “great off shore wind project” disappears out from
under them.  And, No, “Climate Change” as a result of human activities
is a fable and wind power will not change that.  With that the Board
passed the JPA’s agreement without “Wind Power” and the virtue signalers
departed.  So much for public participation.

The remaining portions of General Government consisted of reducing the
speed limit on Boulder Avenue by five miles an hour, establishing a
policy for selecting and repairing non County roads,  and a change in
policy for grading the County’s roads. All real important things to
consider, I guess.    Then on to Budget Transfers of a little over
$200,000, a bulk of it to fund a “Pandemic Preparedness Plan”. 
Apparently the Office of Emergency Services needs something to occupy
their inability to explain why they even exist.  But hey, we are still
spending money on COVID-19 as if it was still 2020.

And to wrap this meeting up are a couple of legislative items. One, a
letter to our Federal Government’s representative regarding the
Northwest Forest Plan, another of Supervisor Howard’s hot button
issues.  The remaining item, another wish list to State and Federal
advocates that hopefully may even be read by some staffer before being
filed away.  And that is way of the County’s continuing decline into
obscurity.  Of course if we had somebody other than Supervisor Short as
our RCRC representative maybe a revolt from rural County’s could be
fomented, and Sacramento may wake up to the fact that they are our
biggest liability.  Till next time….

One thought on “The 5-0 Club, Sans Supervisor Starkey”

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