Sun. May 19th, 2024

Commentary and Opinion by Samuel Strait – March 8, 2024

I am not sure how long that I can stomach attending the meetings of the
Crescent City Council, and still retain some modicum of sanity.  The
March 4th version was a classic case of Council members wading through
the motions of a public meeting where it was evident that they are
wading some what “over their collective heads”.  It is not as if this
group being referenced as “leaders” are not well meaning or pleasant
folks, as I am sure in a social setting they would acquit themselves
quite well.  They just do not seem to have the necessary skills to know
what “productive” governance is meant to be.

Council members: Jason Greenough, Ray Altman, Mayor Blake Inscore, Kelly Schellong and Isaiah Wright

Without the usual opening ceremonial items, the reports and
presentations, the Council was off to a torrid start.  That is until the
“Public Comments” portion of the meeting arrived. Commencing with the
“white elephant” in the room, Crescent City’s Waste Water Treatment
debacle and the intent of the City to raise water and sewer rates, sure
to be the outcome of the current study into the issue, followed by
several unfortunately tone deaf comments by the Council’s Mayor.  The
fact that the “rates have not been raised for eight years and the City’s
cost have gone up” comment by the Mayor as a justification to do so now
carefully skirts the problem that governments at all levels, including
the City have had a significant part to play in the inflation of costs
not only for the City, but the entire population of the Country. Nothing
like the kettle, calling the kettle “black”, Mayor Inscore.

After a short reminder of the City’s failure to honor its pledge to use
Measure “S” funding to repair City streets, at least other than Front
Street and a few other streets that very likely could have waited,
except for the need to “play politics”, the Public Comments moved on to
a torrent of on line hate speech that neither the City’s Counsel, the
Mayor, or any other authority seemed to be able to exert some form of
leadership and bring it to a halt.  One would think after a few minutes
of what was clearly meant to be disruptive, Mayor Inscore would have
been able to figure out what was happening and moved the meeting from
what was obviously the Circus City Council meetings have become.

The Consent Agenda 5-0, No public Hearings, and we are off to a
presentation of the City’s obsession, the multi million dollar
extravaganza, Beach Front Park.  As the Council watched a largely CGI
presentation of what a portion of the Park is expected to look like, a
more tethered to the ground observation wondered just how the City Park
would fare with all of its “features” when it came to keeping the Park
pristine in the future.  A bobble headed response from the Council
assuring that the potential thousands of dollars of maintenance,
unfunded, was maybe, might be, on some ones radar?  A question as to
whom the Counsel was trying to impress and provide for, our visitors, or
the residents of Crescent City?  No Comment was offered.

Another opportunity for taxpayer grants to fund the City’s fire
department,…….     and the CFPD,  for the purchase of Self Contained
Breathing Apparatus, something I believe was on the Fire Department’s
list for Measure “S” funding.   O well saved it to perhaps fund a few
more trips for Mayor Inscore.   With all the “Buddy, Buddy”
relationships between Crescent City Fire and Rescue and the Crescent
Fire Protection District, one wonders if there is any need for separate

A report by the City’s Treasurer and a near $700,00 dollar surplus, that
can’t possibly be used to solve the City’s Waste Water Treatment Plant
woes, or perhaps fix a few of the City’s pot hole filled streets.  No,
there are other less relevant issues that may emerge, after all only the
City’s residents may benefit from “those kinds of fixes”.  Yet, another
grant to be applied for, this time to address housing issues, Fat
Chance.    Then a tone deaf Mayor who wishes his travel expenses to be
paid another $750 down the rabbit hole of the “Sister City” scam.  Don’t
worry, it passed 5-0 with propaganda offered by each of the City’s
Councilors about the relative merits of the Mayor’s attendance to a
dinner in San Francisco.  Nothing like a slot in the City’s budget
specifically for the Mayor’s travel, $1500 plus dollars for a similar
foray to Fresno for another ceremonial visit, likely dinner as well.

And we wrap up this kindergarten session with reports by the City’s
Manager, lots of back slapping, and reports of future events, to be held
in the “New and Improved” venue of Beach Front Park.  Of course a City
Council meeting could not go into the books without a conversation about
the Cost to the City of the Community Pool.  Seems that the pool
renovation has run into a bit of a snag.  The original project is now to
be pieced  together as funding appears.  $1.1 million to do the first
portion, the remainder may add as much as another million dollars for
the entire project.  Likely to be repeated in ten years or so.
Otherwise, the red ink continues to adorn the pool now at $500,000 per
year and rising.  I continue to wonder just how many of the City’s
residents continue to be invested in keeping the pool open as the rest
of the City’s infrastructure continues to disintegrate unabated. 
Clearly, the City’s Council will ride this horse until the residents can
no longer pay their water and sewer bill.  A spiffy new park with lots
of features, a fancified Front Street with “road element”, and a pool
that not enough residents use to pay for its existence.  This is your
Council Crescent City, and no one has stepped up to inject some sanity
in the Council last election cycle.  The mess continues…….

One thought on “The B Team: And It Doesn’t Get Any Better”
  1. It was obvious at the beginning of CGI’s presentation that the intent of their plan for the park is to attract visitors. Somehow they are going to lure them from the S curves. It frustrates me that with all the government we have in the city and county they have to hire outside sources for ideas and plans. I live here and see we already don’t have a problem attracting tourists. And it has gotten to the point tourist season is year round. Just check out license plates. It seems it’s all about tourism. Frankly I like the park the way it is and now it will be tacky with the wavy sculpture. I enjoyed walking my dog in the park. Now it’s going to be a crowded mess. And the whole area is getting crowded for that matter. It was not that long ago I could go about anywhere and not see anyone. Sometimes the parking lot on Endert Beach Road is so crowded one can’t find a place to park. And the area off Pebble Beach Drive west of the airport has turned into a dump. But let’s not deal with the obvious, let’s charge on with ideas of grandeur.

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