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A number of organizations and interests have coalesced around an effort to toss all of the work which has been done over the past 10 years into the bin and start over for what they say has been a lack of public input prior to the framework drafts (certainly everyone must agree that there has been an abundance of input since). Heraldo has a post with an extensive thread on tomorrow’s BOS meeting where that proposal will be discussed.
Dennis has covered the issue over the past couple of week’s on KMUD’s Monday Morning Magazine. Last week he had Peter Childs on to discuss the public participation requirements of the old General Plan, which he helped draft. This week he had Healthy Humboldt representatives. Both shows are available online.
I have some thoughts on the issue, which I’ll share tonight. It does appear that the County dropped the ball in failing to create Citizens Advisory Committees early on as required by local law, but I given that the framework for the GPU remains fluid (is constantly being updated) I don’t see any reason to start over, and I don’t think we can wait another ten years as I believe the old plan to be seriously outdated.
The cynical view is that developers want to delay as much as possible to slip through proposals under the old plan, and perhaps to change the make-up of the Board as Clif Clendenen, Jimmy Smith, and Mark Lovelace (all currently perceived by some as beholden to environmental and smart growth advocates – I mean really, Jimmy Smith?) all come up for re-election this next cycle. I doubt Mark and Jimmy are going to be vulnerable, but I am told that a great deal of money is going to be put into defeating Clif. I have heard rumors of three potential challengers, but I don’t expect anyone to formally declare until this summer or fall.
In the last campaign all three candidates ran exceptionally positive campaigns, even if some of the supporters crossed lines here and there. I’m wondering if this race will be as cordial. I will expect a much more detailed debate over the General Plan Update, both in terms of process and substance. I expect the rails-to-trails issue will be big again. Since all three candidates last time around supported the Richardson Grove project, I’m wondering if the opposition group will field its own candidate this time around. And soon the medical marijuana dispensary ordinance will be in place, and depending on the form it could be an issue as well.
More on the GPU issue and tomorrow’s BOS meeting later.
On the Monday Morning Magazine this Monday morning at 7:30 a.m. Afterward Clif will be giving Sundberg the Sohum tour.
As much as I respect Estelle on many levels, this is one of those times I’m really glad we have Clif in office as Estelle had stated opposition to IZ during the campaign. It passed 3-2, with Clif, Mark Lovelace, and Bonnie Neeley voting for, Jill Duffy and Jimmy Smith against. One vote. Elections matter.
There’s no mention of it on the Times Standard website today. Lot’s of burglaries, car crashes, and murder trials, but no mention of this major aspect of the housing element of the GPU. Fortunately, Heraldo is on it.
I don’t know precisely in what form it was passed, but here are some links which describe and evaluate IZ around the country.
Bonnie had Clif and Martha Spencer on KMUD to answer questions about the GPU. The show got bogged down a little when one woman asked a series of loaded questions about the Community Park, but the rest of the show was informative and productive. You can access the archives here. The show was on at 7:00.
That was the mantra of tonight’s meeting. There was a good turnout to hear Senior Planner Martha Spencer present the GPU options for land use policy, filling the dance room at the Vets Hall. I’d say about 1/4 the crowd was wearing HumCPR buttons, some of them coming from the Fortuna and other northern areas. Healthy Humboldt reportedly sent a couple of people to “observe,” but nobody I recognized.
Roby and I probably should have clarified with the CLMP Board as to what we were trying to accomplish. The original idea as billed was to have Planning Department representatives and Clif Clendenden explain the GPU process and the details of each option. The crowd politely listened to the opening presentation, then we invited people to ask questions. We hadn’t set time limits and the first few questioners asked quite a few questions before Roby and I became concerned about the time in relation to a list of about 25 people who wanted to speak. At one point a well-known speaker had been at it for about 15 minutes (Peter reports that it was considerably less), but when I tried to nudge him towards some closure about a third of the crowd started yelling “let him speak.” I looked at Roby who shrugged, and from then on the meeting was primarily audience members talking to Clif and two Planning Department staff rather than information coming the other way. It’s apparently what the crowd wanted, except that several people came up to me following the event to complain that it had become just another “bitch session” (one person’s words), including with irony he himself acknowledged, the well-known speaker during whose presentation I’d tried to moderate. Nobody told me they came out of the meeting much more educated, except one person who found Martha’s demonstration of the navigation of the GPU website helpful. Read the rest of this entry »
A few voices are bringing down the park. The County will very likely be issuing an order to shut down the Community Park, including the Tooby Park playground because the usage does not conform to strict agricultural standards and apparently because the County is under the impression that this small group of people speaks for the Sohum community.
The Park is holding a meeting at Healy Center at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday evening. Now is the time to be heard. The County is reportedly hesitant to incorporate any changes in Park zoning and regulation into the General Plan Update because it wants to avoid controversies which might hamper the process. The group opposed to the park, or certain aspects of it, have showed up at every agency meeting, no matter how insignificant, and they have made extremely serious allegations against the volunteers who have devoted their time on the Park Board.
I know it’s not as sexy as the Reggae War, Code Enforcement, or whether you have to test your septic system once every five years. But the park has been a terrific community asset for several years. It has been the venue for many family-friendly events for which there are no adequate alternative locations.
Now is the time to be heard. Letters to the Planning Department. Attendance of planning meetings. Letters to newspapers. If not, you’re letting an enormous asset slip away.
Addendum: I’m told that Steven Lazar (no idea if I’m spelling that correctly) and Supervisor Clif Clendenen (who wants to help make the park happen) will attend the meeting on Tuesday. If you support the park, that’s where you want to be Tuesday evening.
I missed this one. Thanx to Heraldo for covering it.
Considering that he has been skeptical of proposals to revive the Eel River Valley passage, it’ll be interesting to see what he can do with the position.
I couldn’t see it because I got there late (I had to park and I’d completely forgotten about the new security screening) and the room was packed, however, my wife and kids managed to get in before me. By the time I got there Lilith was already in Clif’s arms getting the grand tour of the room. Mark Lovelace was also sworn in, and Jimmy Smith was sworn in for yet another term.
It was very uplifting, and probably a much different crowd from previous ceremonies. There was a decent sized contingent from Southern Humboldt. Also lots of well-dressed jubilant environmental activists.
Tomorrow morning they get down to work.
Addendum: Heraldo was there as well, incognito of course.
Second addendum: The Times Standard reports that the transition this morning was “quick and uncontested.” What did they imagine was going to happen? Jimmy Smith is the new chair. Clif is vice-chair.
PDF file (warning to dial-uppers)
Thanks to Not a Native for bringing my attention to it in the thread below. S/he has already taken a look at the numbers and has some interesting thoughts as they apply to Sohum.
I’ll take a look at the numbers later on and add some of my own thoughts if I have any. First off I’d like to compare the results to June. The comparison could be instructive for future campaigns.
Addendum: Well, it’s pretty much as expected. You can find the results on pages 46 to 48. Clif won big in Fortuna. Estelle had a commanding lead in Sohum. Johanna won in Hydesville, Carlotta, and big time in Scotia.
Clif did edge Estelle out in one Sohum precinct – 2SH3. I have no idea where that is.
The June results are here and you can find the precinct totals on pages 680 to 682.
The format isn’t friendly to the eyes. More later.
Second addendum: Well, check out what Hank did! Very easy on the eyes.
SUPERVISOR, DISTRICT TWO
Number of Precincts 27
Precincts Reporting 27 100.0 %
Total Votes 12,640.
CLIF CLENDENEN 5,009 39.63%
Write-in Votes 4,003 31.67%
ESTELLE FENNEL 3,628 28.70%
Addendum: The County Election Results also show Ed Smiith the second place winner for the Healthcare District, and confirm Susan Ornelas over Michael Machi for the third city council spot in Arcata. The precinct summaries aren’t ready yet.