By Samuel Strait, Reporter at Large – April 20, 2021

It appears that our local Board of Supervisors is taking great umbrage
over the possibility of more openness at their twice a month meetings. 
Seems that an enhancement to the Brown Act, AB 339, is opening the
possibility for citizens to participate in Board meetings via call-in or
web based services.  Of course this belies the fact that most meetings
already violate the Brown Act in a number of ways, as well as the First
Amendment violations that routinely occur.  Not that the State is in any
way concerned about such missteps by the Board, as Del Norte County is
much too toothless in Sacramento for anyone to care.

Aside from the fact that Board meetings are still conducted via zoom, it
seems that our esteemed leaders are concerned about logistics, and for
once in their lives cost.  Of course the idea of accessibility and
government transparency are nowhere to be found in the Board’s
considerations.  I am not quite sure what the concern of the Board is as
the Brown Act hasn’t been much of a factor at Board meetings for some
time.  Perhaps a suggestion;  if AB 339 comes to pass, just ignore it
like all other troublesome regulations that require Del Norte County
government to be responsive to its citizens.  Problem solved.

The Board of Supervisors is not the only aspect of County government
that remains hunker down behind shields of plexiglass. I was recently
visiting the County’s Tax Collector where it felt like I was trespassing
on the entrance to the Sheriff’s Office. I am quite sure that all other
County offices are also suitably “armored up” over the minuscule
possibility of becoming infected by the virus.  In case anyone with a
modicum of intelligence might realize that for the past fifteen months
we have been brow beaten with “wear a mask, social distance, wash your
hands, do not conduct anything but essential business.”  As a result it
is reported that over ninety percent of people are obeying the
conditions.   Of course, it does not appear to be working very well as
we continue to see regular “reports of positive cases, fourteen, I
believe is the most recent tally.”

It seems that California, and no doubt Del Norte County Public Health,
do not understand that the mandates did little if anything but shut
down some of the County’s economy.  Currently twenty two of the
Country’s fifty states do not have a state wide mandate for wearing
masks, having realized it was having little effect on controlling the
spread of the virus.  Those states have chosen to believe that people
have the right to individually chose what “safety” is required for
themselves.

So when will the Board of Supervisors restore open and in person public
meetings?  When will local government offices cease to look like the
entrance to our local jail?  After all, masks work don’t they?  Social
distancing works doesn’t it?  Washing of one’s hands works doesn’t it? 
What does government have to fear?

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