How important is it that the coroner’s office retain some independence from law enforcement? Maybe it’s not all that big of an issue, but in national news a coroner’s report bucked the police account in designating Eric Garner’s death a homicide. Obviously it didn’t phase the Grand Jury, but it certainly has been cited in public discourse and callst for police reform. If the NYPD had oversight of the report, would the word “homicide” have survived to public release? Who knows?
What I do know is that when the issue of coroner independence came up five years ago, it had been an issue in the 2008 Supervisor campaign and there was considerable opposition to it when it came up. I was accused of suppression of the issue on this blog to protect Clif even though, as stated, it was one issue on which I opposed Clif and sided with Estelle. If you read the thread through the link, you’ll find that anonymous posters accused Clif of being in Bonnie Neely’s pocket on the issue. But when it came to the vote, Clif, and only Clif, voted for the consolidation.
But both Estelle and Mark reversed their positions last week, and the opposition seems rather quiet. Yes, it’s a downtime in politics. But someone posted anonymously way back when and said:
clendenan (sic) showed what kind of supervisor he will be on his first major vote.
He BLEW IT. He was the only supervisor to Vote for consolidation……he was completely OUT of TOUCH with the people of Humboldt county and voted on behalf of his special interests
So, to that poster and the others, what’s changed? Have you changed your minds as well?
Also reported in the LCO article – there was some whining from Supervisors about having to release prisoners under Proposition 47, with at least two Supervisors suggesting that the voters really didn’t know what they were voting for. One of the Supervisors suggested that if we hadn’t passed Measures Z and Q there would be a “tsunami of desperation by our public.” For the record, it passed in Humboldt County 66 percent to 34.
Basically, the comments came as it was reported that petty criminals had been released – not quite at the numbers reported by Supervisor Bohn, but significant. No discussion of the money we’ll save, and it’s not like perennial incarceration has kept property crime rates down.
Seriously, they sound like Queen (“Lady”) Jane’s council must have sounded as she was releasing all the prisoners… about 3 minutes 50 seconds into the clip of an excellent movie which has unfortunately fallen into obscurity.
Speaking of Measure Z, the Board also voted to create a nine member “citizen’s” advisory committee to advise the Board on how to spend the Prop Z money pursuant to the measure. I put “citizen’s” in quotes, because the Board decided to give voting representation to the fire and Sheriff interests. I really think it’s a conflict of interest to give voting representation to agencies who are going to receive those funds. And given the force by which these agencies lobbied for representation, I expect that their participation will be equally forceful.
But, nobody asked me.