Over-taxed Fortuna reeling from 500% tax hike, and the County wants them to pay even more

Just about a year ago, the Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department pushed through an anything-but-voluntary 500% increase in property tax for fire protection.

By all accounts, the people of Fortuna were more than satisfied with their level of service before the massive tax increase. Also keep in mind that the entire process of submitting ballots for the increase was morally and legally questionable, not to mention downright wonky. Read about how the FVD bullied old ladies and coerced people into voting in front of the whole town to tip the scales in their favor here:

Fortuna Fire District completely torches the democratic process, cooks the book on tax vote

THC isn’t just imagining that people aren’t pleased with the increase. We’ve heard it from multiple Fortuna residents. For example, take this post in the wild west that is Craigslist’s Rants and Raves section, in which a Fortuna-n laments his bill rising from $17.00 to $72.00 (Be forewarned – rants and raves is a sometimes terrifying place.)

Fortuna’s property tax FIRE TAX (Fortuna) hide this posting

Today I got my Humboldt County property tax assessment. Lo and behold the 2015’s passed Fire District tax increase (for 20 years too) is glaring out at me. It was $17.00 the last years and now its $72.00. WTF.
For those of you lazy complacent sorry ass excuses for a citizen who voted this thru last year-go to HELL! There’s no excuse for not having voted against this unless you thought the fire department wouldn’t save your house because they saved your no vote and address. Whatever the excuse, you are sheeple and should be ashamed of being spineless to say NO to Winburn’s Holy Grail vision.
Ask him-how’s membership? DOWN and no retention! Training? DOWN and no attendance! How’s that new fire hall in Campton Heights? Never going to happen because there’s no land to build it! And the new trucks and equipment for Campton Heights? NOT!
The public is now being cashed out for 20 years with promises not met. Complain to him-its your God given right to speak as you feel. Oh, I forgot-you have no spine! Sorry

We sure feel his pain – and the rest of Fortuna surely will too. In case you’ve forgotten, Fortuna is set to consider as many new tax assessments on the November ballot than anywhere else in the state of California. Read about that here:

Supervisors, County: “We’re so excited for November Tax-a-palooza!”

Unfortunately, it seems this upset citizen’s only recourse was to rant and rave about the tax increase online, But you, Humboldt citizens, have a fantastic opportunity to avoid the same fate.

This coming November 8th, you can shoot down the County’s attempts to levy higher taxes on you. We’ve said it before – think very, very carefully about how much tax you’re willing to pay and what you’re willing to pay it for. Don’t end up like the poor saps in Fortuna who got swindled by the people who are supposed to be looking out for their best interests instead of cash-grabbing to give themselves raises and fancy new trucks.

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Public records reveal Humboldt County steals jobs from private companies – and uses your tax money to do it!

Sure, the general incompetence that the County of Humboldt shows when it comes to creating jobs for the folks around here is par for the course. No one is surprised when total employment numbers, and the number of jobs with decent pay, don’t go up in a significant manner.

But the County has also developed a disturbing trend for taking jobs that could easily, and at less cost to the taxpayer, go to private employers.

And Measure U is a prime example of the County taking away the potential for private employers to make a significant difference in the county.

You can listen to the Supervisors and their staff lackeys talk about the specifics of Measure U in the video of their September 13th meeting – or you can take a look at this email between Tom Mattson, Director of Public Works, and Supervisor Ryan Sundberg, which your friends at THC obtained for you via Public Records request. Check it!

Measure U Expenditure Plan

If you watch the video, Mattson describes that  a significant amount of the County’s cost in fixing the roads with Measure U funds will be transporting work crews to and from job sites. So why not hire jobs out to companies who don’t have that problem? We could fix our roads for cheaper,

Of course, what he fails to mention explicitly is the added cost of having County employees on the payroll. As we all know, it’s almost impossible to get rid of County employees once you’ve got ’em. So, unfreezing the 23 road worker positions comes with the added cost of keeping them on beyond the expiration of Measure U – as if they’ll ever let that funding go once they get their greedy hands on it! (cough*Measure Z*cough). And it’s not just the salaries and benefits – it’s the pensions the County’s tax payers will be saddled with, like, forever. Remember how bad our pension situation already is?

Well, go ahead and thank your Supervisors for making things even worse with every hire!

Of course, that could all be avoided if the County expressly stated their intention to use any Measure U funds to contract out the road work. But, alas, Mattson and the crony crew are dead-set on hiring new County workers. We’re not certain if this is out of pure ignorance or willfully trying to f*ck residents of Humboldt out of their money, but at this point it’s starting to look like a pretty malicious and on-going trend at the County level.

According to the document we linked above (and did again right here), $1.5 million of the County’s Measure U takings will go towards bringing on an additional 23 staff. In case you’re wondering, that comes out to $65,217.39 per new worker. (Yes, we are talking about road maintenance workers.) That also doesn’t take into account the money that goes into their pensions, nor does it take into account the satellite costs of managing those new workers.

Also worth noting is the money that will go towards trail – we love to say we told you so!

Of course, all of this assumes that Measure U will pass. THC would say there’s no likelihood of people getting hoodwinked into paying for another tax, but then again Measure Z got passed, so who knows? THC will say this: think very, very carefully about how much tax you’re actually willing to pay, and then think about how the County intends to spend those taxes.

If you think it’s a great idea for the County to make a negligible impact on the state of our roads, while at the same time worsening the overall budget and pension liabilities and taking more jobs from the private sector…well, by all means, go ahead and vote for Measure U.

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Humboldt Area Foundation joins City of Eureka in protesting ND oil pipeline

We’ve been taking it easy on our old pals over at HAF for a while now, mostly because they stuck their heads in the sand. And, you know, mostly were sticking to what their charter says about “not getting involved in politics.”

But, predictably, they just couldn’t keep their grubby little hands out of our area’s political scene. And just like the City of Eureka, they couldn’t keep their hands out of other areas’ political scenes either.

We reported Tuesday on how the Eureka City Council took some feel-good, stroke-their-own-ego action by writing a letter about the North Dakota oil pipeline dispute (read about it here, or below).

That was a bad idea, too, but at least the City Council is an expressly political organization. Unlike our friends at HAF, who really like to stir shit up in our communities while operating under the guise of an organization that benefits the entire community instead of just the part of the community that agrees with their social-engineering views.

Take the protest organized by True North Organizing Network in Klamath, the political troupe that’s not-so-loosely affiliated with and funded by HAF. (Not to mention that True North is housed in the same building as HAF – remember?) Sounds like there was a big brouhaha – you can check their facebook page to see what types of new, politically motivated events they’ll be hosting next.

They’ve even got a new out-of-area transplant running the organizing show and getting people to protest, a woman with the last name of Helton from Pennsylvania. No word on our old pal Renee Saucedo – looks like she bailed long ago, right about when they hired Terry Supahan to the True North Head Honcho.

Now, THC thinks it’s damn encouraging, in fact, that tribal youth here are getting riled up and taking a stand. Lord knows We like it, in general, when people get riled up for a cause. But not when the people doing the rile-ing are agents of HAF.

Previously on THC:

Urgent Call to Action: Help Eureka put an end to North Dakota oil pipeline!

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Urgent Call to Action: Help Eureka put an end to North Dakota oil pipeline!

Quick! Get your asses down to the Eureka City Council chambers and help your local leaders – paragons of justice, equality, and the never-ending fight against oppression – single-handedly put a stop to the construction of an oil pipeline in North Dakota.

Yes, that’s right. The currently sitting Eureka City Council will take a courageous stand against the tyranny of evil men by….writing a letter!

No, seriously! Get down to the City Council Chambers and let them know how pleased you are that – in the midst of all the bullshit going on in Eureka which they are supposed to be working on – they’re taking up valuable time to write a letter about an issue that has zero bearing on our City. (Here’s a hint – they’re not doing it for the City, nor for beleaguered folks in North Dakota.)

This isn’t about how you or we feel about the construction of the pipeline and the battle against it. (You’d likely be surprised at THC’s thoughts on that issue.)

What this is about, however, is that the City Council apparently lacks any sense of self-awareness when it comes to protecting human rights and social justice, because their record is laughably bad. Remember when they kicked all those poor homeless people out of the marsh and put them into large garbage bins, just so they could build a trail? And then threw a damn party on the ashes of the former settlement?

At the end of the day, this just seems like some extreme politically correct social justice warrior bullshit. Maybe they should start a Facebook petition, too? Then they can go back to doing nothing while feeling even better about how socially progressive and groovy they are.

You know, maybe we are just being pricks. (Actually that’s almost a certainty.) But it strikes us as not only extremely tone-deaf for the Council to be wasting public-paid time on a freaking letter rather than doing what they can to address issues here, but pretty darn self-serving too. They’re not helping anyone in North Dakota – and they’re not helping anyone here, either.

And just in case you really don’t think they’re wasting time…look at this snippet from today’s agenda (which can be found in full here):

pipelineThat’s right – this is literally the only “action item” for the day. Good job, Eureka City Council. You really stepped out on a limb on this one.

 

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HCDCC endorses candidates, ballot measures that will help them continue their unethical racket

It comes as no surprise that at their recent meeting, the HCDCC elected to endorse various candidates that will toe the party line and parrot all the hot progressive talking points.

Austin Allison, 4th Ward city council candidate, Humboldt County new-comer, and progressive puppet extraordinaire, announced his intent to do whatever-the-hell Allen McCloskey and the progressive powers that be in a cute little campaign party this week. (Not to be confused with the time he got multiple current Council members to sign his candidacy papers while posing for the cameras on City property, which is of questionable legality concerning you can’t campaign on City property.)

What did he have to say? Well, nothing interesting. (That’s not his fault – should he be elected, he’ll be in good company with the rest of the City council who also don’t know a damn thing.) Allison is a wonderful poster child for political candidates thrust into the race solely for the purpose of being exploited by the parties and people who want to dictate his policy decisions.. We kinda feel bad for the kid, too.

But it’s the HCDCC’s endorsement that really speaks the loudest to THC. Compound their support of Allison with their support of Measure P – the initiative to create a true ward system in Eureka – and we can boil their interests down to a very simple point: the HCDCC, and progressives, are making a hard push to wipe out any semblance of opposing ideologies in the City.

While the HCDCC says Measure P is aimed at creating a more equal election process by being more inclusive, and that Measure P’s passage would create a more equal playing field, THC must beg to differ.

Last we counted, there’s already a progressive majority on the City Council. (Which has been no more effective than the previous and more conservative Council, it must be noted.) So…just what under-represented sector is Measure P supposed to help?

THC personally thinks it’s great for the entire City to be able to elect all of their representatives. Is that not a more accurate reflection . True ward systems may be more representative of the population in large metropolitan areas, like Los Angeles, but true ward is ill-suited to Eureka. The city simply doesn’t have the population to justify the idea that people who want to vote are not having their voices heard or are not having an impact on elections.

Nope, Measure P is, plain and simple, an HCDCC and progressive power play to have even more control over Eureka. And that’s fine – it’s what politics are really all about, after all.

But don’t be fooled when the HCDCC says Measure P is designed to take “big money” out of local politics; as THC has discussed before, the HCDCC is big money in politics.

(UDPATE) Eureka Democrats pushing for election reform, ward redistricting; have they forgotten their own money laundering scheme?

And don’t be fooled into thinking that Measure P will give you more of a voice in subsequent elections – it will give you less of one.

 

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Supervisor’s Quote of the Week: “There’s no reason for people to support the government”

Tuesday’s Supervisor meeting was chock full of the recurring and infuriating governmental actions that have come to typify the way the County does business – or fails to, at least. (Governmental “actions” can be a misleading term, since nothing gets done.)

Whether it’s County planning staff derailing a project and hijacking the timeline for the GPU, or the maddening amounts of pointless bullshit they waste time discussing, or Supervisors bowing down to the marijuana gods, you can always be sure of one thing – the local government isn’t earning the money they keep begging us for via continually increasing taxes.

And guess what? County Supervisor Rex Bohn completely agrees with us! (We know – tough to imagine.)

Don’t take it just from THC, though. Take it from the video of this week’s meeting, in which Bohn-head uttered a very insightful sentence: “…there’s no reason for people to support the government.”

To be fair, Bohn’s comments in that vein started at 2:00:45 in the video we linked above, and the entire comment went like this: “We’re asking people to spend more money for government every time we turn around, and if government doesn’t do it efficiently, then there’s no reason for people to support the government.”

Oh, actually that makes even more sense. Cool, Rex. THC – and the rest of the county – were wondering just what in the hell the County was doing to justify the ridiculous series of taxes it wants to levy against us, and we thank you for providing us the answer: they simply aren’t doing anything to justify us forking over more money.

You see, Rex’s comments come at the tail end of County planning staff describing how the GPU process has fallen way behind schedule due to, in general, the Planning department abandoning their normal duties to focus solely on cannabis and, well, not being able to work effectively. Much of the fault lies with our Supervisors, of course, for allowing cannabis to take over all functions of the department. To top that off, the EIR process for the GPU and the EIR process for the cannabis ordinance are both going to open the County up to legal challenges – which, as history has shown, they will lose.

In fact, Rex actually wins two Top Quote awards this week, though the second is more dubious. THC hereby also awards Rex the “Completely Delusional and Out-of-Touch” Quote of the Week award, for when he said, regarding County policies and processes, “Marijuana isn’t driving the bus.” Bless his heart, but clearly marijuana is driving the local government bus.

That’s why the Planning department was allowed to abandon their normal work in order to focus solely on the cannabis ordinance. Even then, the idiots and whiners in place couldn’t even get a handle on that. And get this – they gave the EIR work for the GPU to an outside agency, and they still found a way to screw it all up. The County did not provide necessary materials to the out-of-county consultants to begin work on the EIR until well into August, per Interim Director Rob Wall earlier in the meeting. So it actually shouldn’t be a surprise that the consultants were unable to get it done in less than a month. And so, as Supervisor Sundberg so petulantly pointed out, it might have been a good idea for County staff to actually tell their bosses how far they were behind schedule.

But that’s County government for you – the employees aren’t held accountable for doing a bad job, and the Supervisors just nod their heads and take it.

Now the GPU is pushed back at least 6 months according to the official timeline (the same official timeline that once pegged the GPU’s passage in 2004), and Supervisor Lovelace said he’d be very surprised to see the completion of the EIR review before August of next year.

That’s because the Board’s budget considerations come in June and July, and it’s just completely unreasonable to expect the Board to completely f*** up two big issues at the same time. No, they need to consider how to ruin the budget and then the GPU at different times. The whole “there’s too much work” refrain is kind of catchy when the Supervisors and County staff are singing the same tune, don’t you think?

So this brings us back to Bohn’s comments about the people supporting the government. Just what exactly are we paying for, again? Ill-informed policy decisions that are rife with inconsistencies and in all probability legally unsound? Staff and Supervisors who can’t see a project through to completion to save their damn lives?

Remember that when it comes time to vote in November. Probably better to keep your money then fritter it away on a government that continually fails to meet the needs and demands of its constituents.

 

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Supervisors need to stop cannabis applications, pull back red carpet for criminal element they’ve welcomed to our County

There are a lot of reasons that the County of Humboldt, and more specifically our sack of shit Supervisors, need to put a stop to new cannabis applications coming in to the Planning and Building department.

It’s quite a laundry list, really. First off, the ordinance they passed this year is a mess rife with inconsistencies, loopholes, and policies crafted into the ordinance that allow for way to much cannabis on far too large of a scale.

Then you have the fact that the ordinance is bound to face multiple legal challenges, both from those who hate the idea of cannabis in Humboldt and from those who feel like the Supervisors didn’t just roll over and give them everything they wanted. (Though, from THC’s perspective, it sure seems like it’d be tough for growers – excuse us, farmers – to ask for a whole heck of a lot more.)

The potential for environmental catastrophe has not been reined in by this ordinance. No, it’s just opened the way for even more of it. (Big thanks to our area’s environmental groups for bowing down to their marijuana masters and keeping mum on the adverse effects Humboldt’s environment. More on how they encouraged and protect the green rush here, here, and here.)

Perhaps most troubling of all is the fact that the Supervisor’s essentially rolled out the red carpet for big growers – and particularly those of the criminal element – to come in to Humboldt and blow up the countryside with enormous grows that are only dubiously legal yet still recognized by the County as being in good standing because they’ve begun the process of applying for permits. The big-time players that regularly degrade the environment and destroy the social fabric of our communities are only going bigger now, rather than responding to the “punitive” measures the County put in place to restrict such over-zealous growers, and more like them are arriving every day.

Visit any unincorporated area of the county with a little bit of tree cover, and you’ll hear from any and every local resident that things have gone from bad to worse. Whether it’s rumors of Mexican cartels, Bulgarian crime syndicates, or the Lillyputians, there’s no denying that crime associated cannabis is on the rise.

And the Supervisor’s just don’t seem to give a shit. It’s one thing to try and capitalize on a valuable revenue source from an untapped industry that isn’t going anywhere. (Until even more criminal/corporate interests out-compete them in the Central Valley, of course.) But it’s another thing entirely to welcome violent criminals and criminal organizations to take root in our backyards, threatening the safety of our communities all the while.

An easy, and boy do we mean easy, step to alleviate some of this would be to place a firm moratorium on accepting new cannabis applications and permitting new grows beyond the 2,300 or so people who have already put in their papers.

The newly created Cannabis Division in the County is just another dysfunctional extension of the bureaucratic mess that is our County’s Planning and Building department, and there’s absolutely no indication that the Division’s creation has alleviated any of the problems the Planning department whined about a few months back. (See the video of today’s Supervisor’s meeting if you want to hear about how the marijuana back-log is jamming up the County’s legitimate business and further screwing growers and non-growers alike.)

No new grows would allow the County to at least attempt to take stock of the mess they’ve placed us all in, and allow some . Now, we are absolutely not fans of the term enforcement or some of the terrible injustices that have been carried out in its name against many of Humboldt’s well-meaning citizens, but until our County, State, and Federal officials responsible for enforcement show that our ordinance has some teeth, then the crime that comes with cannabis won’t slow down.

If the Supervisors don’t take such an action, well, just take it as an indication that they don’t care about Humboldt’s safety, or the communities that have to deal with the fallout of marijuana gone wild. They just want the money from pot, and to hell with everything else.

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(UDPATE) Eureka Democrats pushing for election reform, ward redistricting; have they forgotten their own money laundering scheme?

THC thought it especially worth while to point out the below article from the Sacramento Bee, originally published on February 6th of last year, which goes in depth about how political parties abuse funneling money through their committees.

You might notice some familiar names in the story – Eureka’s own Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee is the star of the article. What did they do to earn such an honor? Why, they laundered a shit ton of money! Read more below:

A legal use of power: Parties funnel millions to California candidates


There’s a lot of people talking these days about Measure P, the Eureka ballot measure that would fragment the City into distinct wards for the purpose of ensuring that only those living within the confines of said district can vote for the City Council member who will represent them.

Earlier this morning, we were on the fence about the whole thing. THC’s brain trust argued back and forth, saying things like “Who gives a shit? The liberals already have a majority, what’s this going to accomplish?” and (predictably) “it’s pointless and costs money!” to “No the last Mike’s Hard in the fridge is mine!”

But that was until we started reading some of the letters to the editor submitted by folks on both sides of the equation, some in favor of Measure P and some against. (We did notice there was a lot more in favor of – seems like the Measure P folks are good at organizing.)

One of our favorite letters to the editor of the Times Standard – and the one that ultimately made up our minds – was a letter submitted by Pam Service, of Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee fame. In the great Measure P debate, she starts off by dissing on Tom Hannah for being an out-of-date old curmudgeon who’s politics are way out of touch with the times.

That’s actually why we started reading, because Tom Hannah is a tool and we love us some mud-slingin’. But then we got to this sentence from Pam’s passionate anti-City wide election argument: “True Ward would take big money out of elections.”

And we thought to ourselves, hold the gosh darned phone.

What about the damn money laundering scheme the Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee ran in a major election to funnel a shit ton of money to critical races in California? You know, that whole thing where majorly wealthy interests from around the state funnel money into the HCDCC coffers, which in turn donates it to hotly contested political races in California. Yeah, so, that part about “big money”…

Don’t take it from us, either, because we don’t know how the shady inner mind of the HCDCC beast works. Take it from Liberal Jon aka Jon Yalcinkaya, former HCDCC Treasurer and City Council almost-ran. He’s written about how sickened he felt by the dishonest tactic:

Humboldt’s HCDCC 497

Hell, he even compares HCDCC’s political donations to the donations made by boogeyman and “feudal overlord” Rob Arkley  in this piece:

Are Arkley Political Donations the Same Thing as HCDCC Political Donations?

Here’s one of our favorite excerpts from the first article:

“A 497 is the report the $25,000 we received on 1/6/16 would have been reported on if received 1/7/16.  The HCDCC has received this money and it is theirs to keep and spend as it likes (in theory).  Turns out, each year we receive this money we also happen to feel very generous and spend money in the most competitive statewide races.  In the end, we generally don’t spend approximately 7% of what we received in these donations.

That’s from my experience.  I’ve never been privy to these conversations even as Treasurer for the last year plus so I don’t know how the decisions are made expect that they include members of the Executive Committee without the Treasurer.”

So the HCDCC is not only funneling money to out of area elections, but there not even including their Treasurer in talks about major cash transfers? Jon Boy has, to his credit, since stepped down (at least last we checked) – but there’s no doubt that the HCDCC has not stopped their money laundering.

Heck, here’s an article by Liberal Jon that details some of their past donations: The Stories 460s Tell: HCDCC Edition

Or if you don’t want to read at his site, go to the Secretary of State website (conveniently linked below) and see for yourself. (THC has queued up the pertinent info so you don’t have to!). This is for contributions of over $5,000 just for this year:

Campaign Finance:
HUMBOLDT COUNTY DEMOCRATIC CENTRAL COMMITTEE

That’s a lot of cheddar! We’d have pulled it all out into an image for you, but the list is too damn long.

So, all of this is to say that people like Pam Service – and Gregory Conners, another HCDCC alum who writes in favor of Measure P  – aren’t pushing for a True Ward system because it’s more democratic. They aren’t doing it to get big money out of elections (because, as you read above, they are big money in politics.)

They are doing it to gain a political advantage. And that’s all well and good. Just don’t buy the dog and pony show they’re trying to sell you on how they’re doing it for the good of the people of Eureka.

As a point of contention, one could also argue that not allowing the entire city to vote for the Council members that represent them is in fact less democratic than a True Ward system, but that’s none of our business.

On the merit of Measure P and the motivations behind it, we even saw this cool article (thanks to a comment left on a post at Fred’s Humboldt Blog) which expands further on the notion that ward redistricting isn’t at all aimed at creating a more democratic election process. Admittedly, the piece trends a little closer to the conspiracy theory kind of things, but food for thought nonetheless. (Might we remind you that HCDCC and their supporters have brushed off claims that they are laundering money as “conspiracy” too.) Check it:

Chino Hills: Activists Say No to Council Districts

We particularly liked the simile that compared what a True Ward City of Eureka would look like with a broken pane of glass. Sorry, guys, we’re just not that literar-ary.

THC, personally, hopes that you vote according to your heart’s desire when it comes to Measure P. We also hope that you ask yourself whether you want to have a say on who the entire City Council, or whether you want only one chance every 4 years to effect a change given the chance a Council isn’t representing you the way that you ought to be.

THC thinks that more chances to vote and have a say in your City’s future is better – turns out that the Measure P folks definitely don’t.

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THC Poll: Is using County Measure Z funds to purchase armored vehicle a good idea?

Yesterday, the County of Humboldt approved the use of leftover Measure Z funds to buy a fancy new toy. A toy aimed at reducing the threat to the public as a result of active shooter situations like up in McKinleyville last month. (Yes, using Measure Z funds for threats to public safety may seem like a novel idea in the County – but it’s true!)

Of all places, KMUD has a great piece on the Supervisors’ decision to fund the vehicle at a cost of $175,000. Have a listen: KMUD: Shooting siege prompts funding of armored vehicle.

The KMUD piece notes that none other than Major Douchebag himself, Mark Lovelace, cites concerns over the militarization of the police force. And that good ol’ boy Rex Bohn didn’t like it one bit. Hehe.

The vehicle is none too cheap, but THC thinks most would say that such an expenditure is just what people expected their tax money to provide when they approved Measure Z. Of course, as the paranoid (and Lovelace) will remember, armored vehicles like EPD’s Mine Resistant Armored Personnel Carrier are trigger issues for people afraid of the militarization of police forces.

We personally are looking forward to when the Bearcat goes and cleans out some illegal growers, but that’s just us.

illegal-grow

Geez, cannabis farmers sure have changed their look these days, huh?

Of course, marijuana growers won’t like that.

Yes, we know how you feel about us from your many, many messages.

Yes, we know how you feel about us from your many, many messages.

Topically, we thought this memo passed around the City of Eureka, when the City Council considered letting their  MRAP vehicle go, to be particularly interesting:

Memorandum: Return the Mine Resistant Armored Personnel carrier

Excerpted from the memo: “The general consensus of the committee does support the acquisition of an armored vehicle to be used in conjunction with the Humboldt County Joint SWAT Team.”

Turns out that John Dalby and the rest of Chief Andy Mills’ brain trust/Chief’s Advisory Panel thinks the County needs an armored vehicle.

But what about you? Take the poll and we’ll compile the results from round Humboldt for you!

 

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Rio Dell City Council predictably tells residents to piss off, denies them democratic process

So…remember how a bunch of Rio Dell City Councillors were upset that they couldn’t force a commercial cannabis ordinance through the City Council? And how they widely broadcast their desire to have the public vote on such an ordinance because the public deserved a say in the future of their city?

Well, turns out that ensuring the people had a voice in the decision to welcome commercial cannabis into the City wasn’t what they were concerned about at all.

Nope, they just wanted to slam an ordinance through the pipe that is more beneficial to the folks who apparently have their ear.

So, rather than let the ordinance go to a vote – which was the previously stated goal of those in favor of the ordinance – Rio Dell now gets a rail-roaded cannabis ordinance without the say-so of the people who live there.

Admittedly, the ordinance’s currently proposed form differs drastically from the previous version, and now “prohibits all marijuana dispensaries from opening in city limits, prohibits all outdoor growing in city limit and the saw mill, requires businesses to eliminate all associated odors from escaping their buildings and causing a nuisance to neighbors, requires employees to wear safety gear and requires businesses to have security cameras and alarms.”

Councilmember Debra Garnes celebrated how well she brow-beat the rest of the Council into their miraculous reversal, saying that “What we’re really talking about is businesses that want to invest in our city.” Of course, the question of who actually wants those businesses to invest will be left up to interpretation, as, again, the Council did a complete about-face on cannabis in Rio Dell without allowing City residents the opportunity to vote on it. (Let’s add here that a vote on the ordinance is precisely what Garnes advocated for in the really whiny op-ed she published on LoCO.)

Kevin Caldwell, the lackey of would-be pot impresario Dennis Wendt, chimed in too, saying “If approved, the consensus of the council was to limit all marijuana activities to north of the river.” Which might come as a bummer to his friend Dennis Wendt, who was very keen to develop some of the old sawmill into a big ol’ cannabis facility. (Cannery, anyone?)

Here’s a link to the Times Standard Article that originally ran the story:

Rio Dell City Council advances commercial pot ordinance

And here are some links to previously ran THC goodness that delve into the travails of Rio Dell’s “people first” City Council.

(UPDATE) Dennis Wendt in cahoots with Rio Dell’s Development Director?

(UPDATE) Will Rio Dell City Council take a stand against marijuana ordinance or cave to special interests?

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