Opinion Piece By Linda Sutter – October 15, 2017
Let’s talk some hard numbers here.
Del Norte County should give credit to our former local government Board of Supervisors, Dave Finigan, Martha McClure, and current Chris Howard, and Gerry Hemmingsen, (who desperately need to be replaced) for signing that $2.8 million dollar contract for the shiny new terminal few will be able to afford. It “only” costs we, the taxpayers, $100,000 dollars per year because the Border Coast Regional Airport Authority (BRCAA pronounced BIK RA) is supposed to be the ones paying this bill. But they have not contributed one dollar towards the $2.8 million dollar price tag. Why do we even need them? In the meantime our pot holes are filled with gravel. And our non-country maintained roads are hard pressed to have mail delivery unless they want their transmissions to fall out.
Crescent City is in the hole for $44 million dollars and wants another $36 million more to do Phase 2 for the waste water treatment project. In the meantime the city streets resemble third world countries, the downtown stores are prevalent with mold, and economic depression is blindly overlooked.
The Harbor District is in the hole for $5.3 million dollars, it needs $11.6 million dollars to fix it. It is incomprehensible how it got to where it is today. Poor management of the gate keepers.
The Fair District, we were all swindled into believing we needed to cough up one quarter of a cent to “save the fair,” only to discover Governor Brown had not signed a lease agreement for us to receive money for the fair. So, now every year out of the $600,000 dollars the Fair District gets from that added sales tax, the fair board only spends $120,000 per year, and the rest allegedly goes in a “reserve” account. Might want to ask Kevin Hartwick about that one.
On September 26, 2017, Supervisor/Chairman Chris Howard mentioned that our property taxes or sales tax will need to be raised. HA! Sup. Howard, why would you think the residents of Del Norte County, the City of Crescent City, as well as Klamath, Smith River, Hiouchi, and Gasquet, would trust you to continue to mismanage taxpayers money? I don’t know anyone in town that wants to continue bailing the government out, I certainly don’t.
In the meantime the taxpayers are now paying for the Board of Supervisors new vision plan, we pay for Chris Howard’s VALET PARKING, because he can’t get his ass to work on time during CSAC meetings. Hey, it’s only $30 dollars you might say. Yes, People of Del Norte County, It’s only $100 million dollars of mismanagement, what’s $30 dollars in the scheme of things?
The fat needs to be trimmed somewhere, but not from our pockets. Maybe we should cut back on employees with high wages and replace them with college students who have fresh minds. People such as Jay Sarina who makes $181,000 dollars per year, his wife who also works for the county at $83,000 per year. A kid fresh out of college could replace Sarina and we would save $100 thousand a year, (that would pay for the new terminal). Everyone is expendable. The price this county will have to pay out alone for their retirement is enormous.
Three former supervisors made $70,000 per year including benefits and stipends, how much are we paying former supervisors for retirement? The Supervisors get a stipend of $150 dollars every 6 months just for showing up to their two meetings a month and it is for “inspecting the roads.” Oh yes, and the stipend is under a government code. Maybe since they all got new vision plans they can get their eyes checked and see that the roads throughout our county and city are in ridiculous disrepair. After all they are “inspecting” them wink wink. But it’s only $300 dollars a year times 5 supervisors not $100 million.
If Del Norte County and Crescent City ends up having to file bankruptcy due to the continuous mismanagement of funds, all city and county workers would lose their pension, and current retirees would be cut in half. Isn’t that something they should be worrying about?
Isn’t it about time to vote in people who understand we can’t be taxed to death any longer? Isn’t it about time we voted in people who know how to slash spending on the highest earning employees? After all, they’re not bringing anything new to the table except their increased salaries/benefits.