Supervisors, activists oust Planning Commission bully for…Arkley’s right hand man?

As THC is sure you’ve read and/or heard about if you’ve even vaguely been keeping track of local politics, the Board of Supervisors and a coalition of local activists and members of the community successfully ousted Planning Commission bogeyman Lee Ulansey after he served just one term.

On the surface, this seems pretty kick ass. By all accounts, Ulansey was an asshole.  Plenty of folks showed up to the Supervisors’meeting to share their thoughts on Ulansey – and the accusations got pretty harsh. (THC highly encourages you to check out the public comments on Ulansey’s potential reappointment – they’re pure gold. You can see that here: Board of Supervisors Regular Meeting 1-24-2017. Skip ahead to 1:35:45 for the dirt.) We’d like to apologize to all of you for not including Ulansey in our recent Biggest Asshole Award, and will surely consider granting him Honorary Asshole status alongside Matt Owen.

Of course, people somehow managed to avoid commenting on Ulansey’s habitual choice of wardrobe, the tacky Hawaiian shirt, which reminds us of our Uncle Lester and pretty much screams “shady as f***” about anyone who wears them. But we digress.

In all, getting rid of Ulansey is a big win for local interests; THC thinks that this might be the first tangible step in a big swing in a different direction for our area, politically speaking.

But the wind really gets taken out of our collective sails when we consider that the Board of Supervisors somehow managed to appoint – and therefore attach themselves to – the one person in our area that is more politically tainted than Ulansey apparently was. Of course, this is Brian Mitchell – who as you might recall – was (is?) Robin Arkley’s right-hand man.

What the f***? Talk about a boondoggle! Just a few years ago, Arkley was undoubtedly the most reviled local character when it came to politics, and now the Supervisor’s have put his lackey in charge of land use decisions in the County? Clearly, they are not too concerned with re-election. If appointing Ulansey was a bad look for them, how the hell are they going to justify Mitchell?

What’s worse is that there was a plethora of qualified candidates to choose from who would have made excellent additions to the commission and were not beholden to any major development or financial interests locally (which were the most glaring complaints about Ulansey.) THC couldn’t believe it, but our representatives in the Supervisors’ chambers even found themselves in agreement with Mike Wilson’s spiel on diversity in the Commission. (That also might have just been our agents nodding off due to the Mike’s Hard Mimosa breakfast they enjoyed.)

Instead, the Supervisors’ showed blatant disregard for the public input which specifically noted that the next at-large Commissioner should be someone who represented the interests of the people. Instead, we get an acolyte of Arkley? Sheesh.

It remains to be seen just what Brian Mitchell will do on the Planning Commission, but one thing is already abundantly clear from his appointment – your Supervisors are not listening to you, and they are willing to jump into bed with whatever devil they can find so long as they think there are some dollars to go along with it.

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9 Responses to Supervisors, activists oust Planning Commission bully for…Arkley’s right hand man?

  1. William P. says:

    Ulansey was the first Commissioner to stand up for the little guys in decades. He will be sorely missed.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Just a Taxpayer says:

    I usually like most of the positions you take but you got this one wrong. Try cutting out the lemonade next time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. activists oust Planning Commission bully for…Arkley’s right hand man?

    Number 1. Activists were not trying to elect Mitchell. People were working hard to elect someone who wouldn’t be a shill for commercial interests or focused on property “rights” over, say, ecosystem values. I think the consensus nominee for those who believe in a balanced, thoughtful and long-term approach with an emphasis on “planning” would have been Nicole Sager. Just for the record.

    Number 2. Supervisor Bass made clear exactly where those would would like to take a long term view of “planning” stand with her. From LoCO ” Her second recommendation was Sager. “Kind of surprising myself with this one,” she said.” Something to keep in mind this upcoming election season as Supervisor Bass attempts to Democrat-wash her record. We may be able to help her surprise herself in nominating FOR SECOND PLACE a strong candidate for a public position. I can just imagine all the good work Ms. Sager will be doing from the alternate chair set up behind Mr. Mitchell.
    with whatever devil they can find so long as they think there are some dollars to go along with it

    Number 3 and most important. I agree with Mr. Taxpayer and William P. if I was to take your prior words and positions seriously THC. There is absolutely no substance here other than Mr. Ulansey wears a uniform you don’t like.

    What does this “getting rid of Ulansey is a big win for local interests” even mean? First of all, you are no booster for local v outside interests yourself (see 2016’s Measure V). And secondly, for all you (or I!) can say against Lee, I don’t know of anything that would make him a shill for outside interests. From his actions, he has put his heart and soul into defending the most powerful of LOCAL interests and making sure their interests do not lose power.

    I’ve been quite on this because, I haven’t had the time, but also because of something I heard Lee say during a PC meeting. As an offhanded remark, he was talking about one of his days which included a trip to his Temple. My jaw metaphorically dropped at that point because at that moment I realized that everything I had been writing about Lee fell into an anti-Semitic trope. Collusion with Weed Inc. and local Money Inc. etc. After that meeting I for the most part stopped focusing with such intensity on Mr. Ulansey in my blogging. Not that I didn’t still disagree just as much with his policies, I was no longer comfortable taking the tact I had prior to knowing his religion and/or ethnicity.

    For all his faults, along with another former HumCPR member Commissioner Morris and former HumCPR President Supervisor Fennell, former Commissioner Ulansey was formidable behind the dais and was an effective defender and supporter of what the HumCPR movement was able to sell as “the little guys”. (To quote William P. above)

    So my question is this. How did we as a community (especially those on the right) drop support for Commissioner Ulansey so quickly? Why the focus on him and not one other similarly biased Commissioners? I don’t have any inside knowledge of antisemitism from the left, I don’t think that this has even ever come up. Maybe one can count this as the first evidence of this. Having said that, please expand more on what makes Ulansey a member of your annual gender-neutral private parts survey? Is it really his choice of wardrobe? When have you ever taken anything a “regressive” public says seriously before outside of Mr. Ulansey?

    That’s all we seem to have from you in the post and the two first commenters point out that this is not generally the political tact you would take. What gives? Maybe this has nothing to do with antisemitism, but does the pre-alcohol critical thinker in you allow for the possibility it might have something to do with how this went down and how easy the removal ultimately became?

    Just wondering, and these are questions I will be asking of myself and those regressives as well as our movements must be inclusive, not only to be fair and gracious and because it’s the right thing to do, but also because our pluralistic society is how we MAG today and tomorrow.

    I guess the ultimate question should go to Mr. Ulansey himself. If he ever happens across this comment. Mr. Ulansey, do you feel there was antisemitism involved with the public criticism you received during your stint as Planning Commissioner?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Shocked says:

    Incredibile, only Liberal Jon could be so dense as to put an anti-semitic spin on this.

    The real reason is the left targeted Ulansey as the boogie man because he was the most informed & effective member of the Planning Commission. Certainly more knowledgeable than any Supervisor and sometimes the staff. Once targeted one Supervisor, trying to appeal to the left for the 2018 elections, threw him under the bus.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “The real reason is the left targeted Ulansey as the boogie man because he was the most informed & effective member of the Planning Commission.”

    Clearly not true. Really, do you really believe this? That the reason the left targeted Ulansey was he was just so darn informed? That isn’t it. The reason is he was the heart and soul of an agenda to focus the work of Planning Commissioners on one thing, the property rights of individuals who contributed to and where members of HumCPR.

    Don’t believe me, here is an example of the language from a proposed principle of the Humboldt County General Plan… #7: “honor landowners’ rights to live in urban, suburban, rural or remote areas of the county while using a balanced approach to protect natural resources“”.

    And you know what Shocked, I don’t believe it is about property rights as much as it is about property values. And you know what else, the political agenda has worked* and this is one of the real reasons the middle class and lower middle class is struggling in Humboldt.

    It’s not unions, it’s not regressives, it’s not the supposed monied Democrats, it’s that we live in a county where people have a great deal of value tied up in their land. They’d like to have those investments continue to grow in value and/or make them a tidy profit.

    Maybe you find idea itself “uninformed” but let’s be clear, the left did not target Ulansey because he was the most informed & effective member of the Planning Commission. BTW, if that was true, why was the left united behind Ralph Faust?

    Regarding anti-semitism? It’s a question, and remember, yes the left was strongly against PC Ulansey, but those who nominated him to the board surprisingly dropped him with no problem. Now add AB THC to the list. Why this take? AB THC just wrote (as one example of policy) about how important reduced development fees were to him. This is something, from when I was able to watch PC Ulansey and the PC board, that he was consistently working to reduce. In other words he was part of what was in 2014 Supervisor Bass’ clarion call for her campaign – to return “customer service” to Humboldt County’s Planning and Building Department.

    What changed? Why wasn’t Commissioner Ulansey defensible, but I’m all but certain (aren’t you) that Bongio, Morris, McKenny, would get a stronger defense? Maybe I’m completely wrong. Maybe there isn’t a hint of anti-semitism anywhere, left or right. Maybe people really are that offended by Hawaiian shirts. Or maybe the 4 Supervisors on the board are paying attention to the strength of the recent political winds in Humboldt County and are happy to find a scape-goat to help deflect some of the heat.

    Maybe. Who knows. I just find this post superficial and curious. Why begin listening to regressives now? Why join the bandwagon against a clear hero to recent property-rights advocates? This wasn’t addressed in the post at all.

    All we got is a wardrobe critiques and personality comparisons to gender-neutral private parts. Yes, with the addition of a focus on clothing choices, this represents an improvement on most of AB THC’s political commentaries, but I’d like something a little more…informed.

    And common, this ” and they are willing to jump into bed with whatever devil they can find so long as they think there are some dollars to go along with it”. How is this OK on any level?



  6. Just Watchin says:

    jonboy….I just checked out your brother’s bio (alex). Very impressive. It’s good that your folks had at least one son that did them proud. But I’m curious….were they so disappointed in you that they made you change your last name from Hanafi to Yalcinkaya?


    • I know right? I’m very proud of my little bros. And yes, my parents express the shame they feel in my SAD! life each time I seen them.

      But no worries JW, thngs are looking up! I have you as reader #8. I appreciate it and wouldn’t have gotten here without you.

      You are the best!


  7. Ned says:

    Watch out THC, you’re likely to piss off 3/4 of your readership who still bows to Mr. Arklwy


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