Fri. Dec 9th, 2022

Opinion By Samuel Strait – January 27, 2022

While the actions of the sitting members of the County’s Board of
Supervisors at a recent meeting could be described as nauseating at
best, probably the most tone deaf comment during the proceedings was
offered by District Four Supervisor, Gerry Hemmingsen.  Following a
rather serious review of the history of the defunct Tri Agency,
Supervisor Valerie Starkey made the assessment that few people she had
actually talked to about reviving Tri Agency were in favor of the
prospect.  Following her statement that she would not be able to support
such a move on the Board’s behalf, the cheer leading began.

Very few would admit even now that the Tri Agency was a rousing
success.  Yet, for some reason known only to the three from District’s
One, Darrin Short, head cheer leader, District Three, Chris Howard,
assistant head cheer leader, and District Four, Gerry Hemmingsen, just
plain confused cheer leader find it sensible to resurrect the Tri
Agency.  Mountains of debt, bad loans and no visible economic success. 
The three have trotted out the airport, the sewer plant and the
visitor’s center, all projects that have a tenuous hold on the claim
that they are in anyway an economic success.  The airport project has
not resulted in any increased economic activity, just a decline in
ridership. Now the Border Coast Authority has another substantial
maintenance headache to show for its “economic development”.  The sewer
plant has become the “white elephant” of the City’s “economic
development” of debt.  And last but not least, during the pandemic where
no one was traveling abroad and 101 South was a mess, the County did
receive additional tourist dollars.  Only time will tell whether or not
the visitor’s center had anything to do with it.

The quintessential statement of the meeting when visibly upset Gerry
Hemmingsen, insisted that he “did in fact” listen to his constituents,
then went on to display a clear lack of knowledge regarding the Tri
Agency, his part as a member of the Board, and its history of failure,
all packaged with his support for spending general fund money to revive
it.  The question now becomes, can a past member of the Board of what he
clearly acknowledges as a failed Agency, be expected to give a
believable glowing affirmation for something he, himself was a part of. 
And, can he reasonably expect to be believed when he says that he
“listened to his constituents”?  Talk about being out of the loop!

While three of five Supervisors have no idea what a stupid idea spending
good money after bad is all about.  The Tri Agency was and will always
be a bad idea.  What was so inconceivable about the meeting time spent
in discussion, and during several public warnings about this foolish
notion of “economic disaster”, was the utter disdain displayed by the
three cheerleaders during the meeting towards any and all opposition. 
This has become a trademark attitude of the current Board.  It isn’t
reserved only for opposition from the public for their actions, but the
public in general.  The current Board has completely discarded any
notion that they represent the constituents that they serve and should
heed their wishes.  Instead, we have had the Board evolve into five
petty dictators, who have chosen bureaucracy over the people they
represent…  A good start in reversing this attitude by the Board would
be supporting the effort to repeal the City and County’s 1% sales tax
grab…  Registered voters should seek out places to sign on to the
petition for their rejection in June 2022 of this circus of clowns and
their “slush fund”. 

Say a loud “NO” to these taxes!

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