By Samuel Strait, Reporter at Large – January 11, 2021
On the agenda of the next regular meeting of the Del Norte Board of
Supervisors is an item which allows the board to select the next
chairman of that body. Let me make a prediction as to who that might
be. Since Lori Cowan was going to be the next chairman of the board,
but failed to be re elected, the next chairman will be…. wait for it,
There are five members of the Board of Supervisors. Since 2016 the
chairmanship has been rotated between only three.
2016 Gerry Hemmingsen
2017 Chris Howard,
2018 Chris Howard again,
2019 Lori Cowan,
2020 Gerry Hemmingsen again,
So the next chairman will be Chris Howard, Lori Cowan being replaced. Neither of the two new Board members will be considered, and Bob Berkowitz who has not been the chair for his entire time on the Board will not be considered. It will be a quick nomination, a second and a swift 5-0 vote. UNLESS….. three of the supervisors decide that they want their constituents to have a voice and DEMAND someone else be the chair. Why not Bob Berkowitz? They use to rotate so everyone had a chance. But not anymore.
Surprised, why should you be if you have paid any attention what so
ever, that the County has been a board of three for sometime. In spite
of the fact that the Board has two new members, the Board going forward
will consist of two. The new members of the board will now have no
doubt received their marching orders via a quiet heads up telephone
conversation. The Board with its agenda set by the chairman will
proceed in lock step going forward with little concern for the niceties
of good government and it will continue in the corrupt fashion it has
for the last eight or more years.
The Brown Act, the First Amendment are all meaningless words easily ignored when sheltered by zoom meetings where little attention is paid. Ask the State to step in, fat chance. Legal ramifications nonexistent.
Time for Eye on Del Norte to spring to action if only to put the spot
light on this glaring example of the “Good Old Boy Network”. Del Norte
County deserves a more transparent government and THIS IS NOT IT!
4 thoughts on “They’re at it again. Chris Howard wants to be Chair…again. This is how you allow corruption to exist.”
WTH could not agree more. It is outrageous that you can have a single supervisor serve several times as chair when others have not. There should be a rotation each year based on seniority. If you have more than one newbie, go alphabetically. It is incredible that a two term supervisor such as Supervisor Gitlin did not serve one time as chair. How in the hell could he have done any worse than the previous chairs?
Chris Howard wants to chair again on the Board of Supervisors. This is a bad idea and this is why.
In the last several years the chair has either been Chris Howard, or Gerry Hemmingsen, with one year given to Lori Cowan. Neither of the other Districts were allowed to chair.
This gives rise to concern for the corruption taking place on this level of local Government. Last year, Jay Sarina went behind the backs of the public, utilizing $40,000.00 dollars of public money without bringing it to the attention of the public, “because he could.” Our County allows him to write checks up to 50, 000.00 dollars without Supervisor approval or informing the public. Hence we are all stuck with the 8.5% sales tax indefinitely which goes into a general fund not the intended advertisement that was sent out by the county, which stated, Law enforcement, Fire district, Covid, and roads. The County received 463,000.00 for COVID with more to come.
Secondly, If Chris Howard becomes the Chair, he will be a potential liability to the County due to his alleged affair with the former city clerk, who is now working under his indirect Supervision. This County has enough black eyes Sexual harassment should not be a concern.
Chris Howard is still under investigation by the FPPC for several conflict of interest charges because he accepted trips to Japan which was worth several thousand dollars, and voted on items that were related to Japan, and continued to vote on agenda items that were Japan related as well as spent and continues to have a budget to travel to Japan today.
With this said, the only person actually qualified to represent the Board of Supervisors is Bob Berkowitz who has not been allowed to chair since he was voted in not once but now twice.
There has been a constant misrepresentation of the districts when three people continue to vote each other in. This does raise questions regarding corruptive practices since there have been daisy chain meetings already occurring Since December of 2020, which is a violation of the Brown Act.
Daisy Chain meetings, allows one person to coordinate messages and create a concerted plan to engage in public business through a series of communications that violates the Brown Act. “The daisy-chain meeting occurs when one member calls another to discuss business and the second member calls a third to discuss the conversation, and so on.” Gov. Code §54952.2; 63 Opps.Atty.Gen. 820 (1980); Stockton Newspapers v. Redevelopment Agency (1985) 171 Cal.App.3d 95.
Tomorrow the Board of Supervisors will convene at 10:00 a.m. please call and speak regarding Chris Howard becoming Chair.
EYE ON DEL NORTE is on this sadly-predictable result. Until there is change on this Board of Supervisors, Del Norte County will languish in a sea of mediocrity
EYE ON DEL NORTE
What a excellent response to the information on who will end up being Board Chairman on theBoard of Supervisors! This should be on a ROTATION basis so that all Supervisors get a chance to be Chair for the Board Of Supervisors like it always was prior to 8 years ago! The Chairman sets the Agenda and that way each District gets to be represented! It also more Transparency and Objectivity!!