Mon. May 16th, 2022

By Samuel Strait – Reporter at Large – April 13, 2022

Irregardless of the Del Norte County’s Board Of Supervisors on going
efforts to hide from the public and the voters in the Fall, there is a
growing movement and outrage over the behavior of those that feed at the
public trough and in particular those that have been elected to local
office.  As much as County Supervisor Chris Howard would like to paper
over the obstruction by the County of placing Measure “R” before the
voters, it will become public over the course of the next six months.

The effort to place Measure “R” for repeal on the June primary ballot
began in November of 2021 with the drafting of the proposal and
submission for review by County Council.  After an exceptionally long
period of review it was returned as acceptable despite all the mumbling
about the misrepresentation in the wording.   The intended purpose of
the repeal was to eliminate the County’s ability to collect a 1% sales
tax on purchases within the County for the sole intent of bolstering the
ability to pay for “vital” improvements to material situations lacking
in County Departments, repair roads, and to fix derelict County
infrastructure.  It was never intended to expand the County’s workforce,
nor pay for salaries, benefits, or raises.

The County’s representatives were made aware of this effort in January
of 2022, signatures were collected and submitted to the County’s Clerk. 
After yet an additional delay the number of signatures required was
reached and the repeal was placed in the hands of the Board Of
Supervisors who promptly instituted yet another delay allowing them to
push the repeal back to November instead of the anticipated June ballot
by requesting a thirty day period to allow for a Board review of the
consequences to the County of the repeal of Measure “R”.   After placing
the repeal measure on the ballot for November, the County’s Council, who
must be reminded had seen the proposed wording four months previously,
now concluded that it did not “have” the proper wording to repeal the
County’s ability to continue to collect the 1% sales tax due to the fact
that it did not address the County’s ordinance approving the collection
of the sales tax.  How Clever.

Unfortunately for County Council, and the Board, this will not prevent a
second measure to repeal the tax.  It has simply given repeal supporters
more ammunition from the County to show clearly how County government is
not a purveyor of “vital” services, but an obstruction to the benefit
promised by proper government to the public.  In the coming months it
will become painfully clear to even those that voted for this measure
that they were hoodwinked into believing this measure would be a
“proactive” effort by the County to provide “vital” services by
expanding government to the detriment of local wallets.

This effort is not about Measure “R” becoming one with the County’s
General Fund, although it might as well be.  It is about the deceit with
which the County “sold” the measure to the public as to its “vital”
purposes, claimed the protection of a Citizen’s Advisory Committee which
has been found to be toothless, and allowed the passage of the measure
by the narrowest of margins. This was something that would not have been
successful had the County been honest about its intentions and openly
admitted that it was intended for the specific purpose of expanding
County Government to provide services that in their eyes were not being
met.  At that point it would have been necessary to elevate the
threshold to 55% which the County did not meet.  The assurance of a COC
to “protect” the public is a device now being employed by various
governing boards throughout California to pass measures of questionable
merit and is regularly abused by the governing power once passed.  It
has elicited several repeals recently when measures proposed promised
one thing and failed to deliver.

This is precisely what Measure “R” has become in this County. Since the
tax was collected in April of 2021 it has generated approximately $1.8
million taken for the most part from local pockets.  The remaining comes
from tourists and pass through traffic that the additional tax has
prevented it from being spent as real income to local businesses rather
than flowing directly to government as a result of Measure “R”.  Those
that work in County government and do not make a six figure salary have
also contributed to this County theft from your wallets and likely makes
any improvement in your financial situation moot at this point.

County bureaucrats and your Union will tell you Measure “R” repeal will
affect your paycheck and possibly even your employment which unless your
recent MOU accounted for and was approved by Union membership, the
effect of Measure “R” repeal will not affect County employees in any
measurable way. The County is obligated to pay all increases in pay
according to contract.  Just another form of the County’s continuing
effort to deceive the public and its workforce.  This pattern is an
ongoing problem with the current occupants in public office in Del Norte
County and extends to those hired by the County’s representatives to
conduct the County’s business.  It seems to have long ago forgotten the
concept of government for the people, by the people, and of the people. 
Limited government and a responsible, independent citizenry who solve
their respective problems in a manner which benefits them and does not
require a nanny state to do it for them.

One thought on “The County’s Supervisors Continue To Hide From Voters”
  1. Vital Services?: A few years ago the BOS approved over $26,000 for a Golf Simulator. It was to be placed in some building near 9th & H Streets, possibly the Parks Dept. That was before Measure R by the way. Since I don’t golf I don’t now if they went through with it. Maybe Roger Gitlin knows. Seemed if we’re so pressed for money that was a waste and I wondered who was going to use it. But that’s the kind of stuff they get away.

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