By Donna Westfall – October 16, 2017 – There were three priorities:
- Increase Code Enforcement funding by $14,500;
- Increase funding to Klamath Chamber of Commerce with a clear goal of increasing tourism; and
- Fix non-maintained County roads.
Per Supervisor 1st District, Roger Gitlin:
- “It is with disappointment I report to you the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors declined to secure addtional funding for Code Enforcement and blight abatement. Despite the hard work, findings, and recommendations of the 19 members of the 2016/17 Del Norte County Grand Jury, the Board of Supervisors on a 3-2 vote refused to allocate addtional funding to the modest $14,500 the Board currently allocates in an effort to address the blight problem. Supervisors Bob Berkowitz and I were the two members who voted in favor of addressing the Grand Jury Report with additional funding of $14,500 (total: $29,000) for the upcoming fiscal year. Instead, the prevailing Board of three (Supervisors Gerry Hemmingsen, Chris Howard and Lori Cowan) declined to find the funds and instead voted to retain a $96,000 annual payment for the next 480 months (40 years) to payback a nearly $3 million loan to the Border Coast Regional Airport Authority for the new Airport Terminal. There were no additional partners on the Airport Authority who voted to participate in Phase II, of the Airport Terminal. Our Board could have deferred the payment, essentially, a payment back to itself, for the upcoming year. My observation is a simple one: The Fishing and Timber industries from yersteryear are gone. Only tourism remains with a viable growth opportunity. Help folks NOW! Clean, up our community, fix non-maintained County roads, and develop our tourism in Klamath. Del Norte County needs healthy, managed growth.
- I hope you will join Supervisor Berkowitz and I in establishing new priorities for the place we ALL call home: Del Norte County.”
There is a message here. If you want to see change, people will have to step up and run for office. Only by changing the chemistry on the Board of Supervisors to one of having a Chairman who can work towards unity instead of continuing the pettiness and discord will there be change. Chris Howard and Gerry Hemmingsen need some stiff competition in the 2018 election. One person can make all the difference. Please consider running for office if you live in Districts 3 and 4.