You may have heard about the recent historic meeting that took place at the Humboldt County Courthouse on January 26th. It was historic, we are told, because the Eureka City Council and the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors decided to all sit around in the same room accomplishing absolutely nothing of value or substance, rather than doing the same shit in different rooms as per usual. Huzzah, Humboldt’s leaders!
As you may have guessed, THC was eager to see what nuggets of wisdom would turn up when such a hotbed of distinguished numbskulls got together at the same time. True to form, not a single one of them disappointed. Except, perhaps, Ryan Sundberg. (Surprise.) Let us begin with a few of our favorites:
Eureka Council-member Natalie Arroyo: “I don’t want to spend any more money on Focus Strategies!” Good call Natalie. THC wonders how much was jointly spent on the Focus Strategies by Eureka and the County.
We hope it wasn’t too steep, especially for a report that essentially told the two government bodies that they need more housing. THC could have done the same job for much, much cheaper, and we could have done it in a day. The report would have gone like this: “Hey, Supes and Council-members, if you want to house a bunch of homeless people – build more housing!” Boom! THC wins. Money in the bank.
And here’s a quote from Kim Bergel: “…something to consider might be taxation to create funds for houselessness.”
Now, this one came within the last minute of the meeting, and THC’s collective jaws almost hit the floor when we heard it. Bergel ain’t the brightest, though she means well, but what the f*ck? Last we checked, a significant portion of our taxes are already being funneled to dealing with houselessness. In fact, a key component of the Focus Strategies presentation highlighted just how much our County and cities spend in dealing with the problems that come with a handling a large houseless population.
So where in the f*ck does Bergel get it in her head that taxing people even more is going to solve the problem? It’s absolutely bonkers, and a classic government response to a problem: let’s take more money from the people. How about Eureka and Humboldt band together to create more jobs, or actually take meaningful action on creating more housing, rather than holding their hands out and expecting the public to pay for the solutions to problems that are largely of their creation?
Which brings us to our next favorite quote of the meeting, and perhaps one of the only intelligent things said throughout the whole damn thing.
Said Supervisor Sundberg: “What I heard from the presentation was that we need to be together on this, and if we’re not together on this than it doesn’t work. I think there’s a gap here…there’s a huge communication gap.”
Very insightful, Mr. Humboldt Asshole 2015: a fair point, and well made. To THC’s understanding, the whole purpose of the expensive Focus Strategies farce was to bring together the City and the County in a unified action to take some meaningful steps towards resolving the homeless crisis. Sundberg’s concern cuts right to the heart of the matter.
Humboldt’s house’d citizens, and our homeless population, don’t need half-measures. We don’t need our governing bodies dicking around and holding “historic” meetings to pat each other on the back for having the same conversations they’ve been having for the past decade. And we certainly don’t need even more taxes or alternate encampments to act as band-aids for a problem that needs long-term and forward-thinking solutions.
We need decisive and concerted action from the County government and all of Humboldt’s cities and outlying communities. We need our leaders to pull their heads out of their asses and actually do something.
Extra bonus Dumb/WTF? quote provided us by one of THC’s most prolific tipsters, Rick O. This is taken from a Facebook conversation featuring Jen Kalt and our very own 3rd District Supervisor and Chair of the Board, Mark Lovelace.
Awww! What a heartening sentiment from the person we have entrusted to help see the GPU closer to completion this year. Thanks, Mark, for showing us once again how much you care about the GPU. Guess you still haven’t gotten over how you failed to force your preferred version of the GPU down Humboldt’s throat when no one was looking. Better luck in the future!