Change & Transparency

by Judy Valadao, November 2, 2016

It’s no secret that things at Fort Bragg City Council meetings have been less than pleasant over the last two years. In my opinion, enough is enough. I am fed up with City Council’s blatant disregard for their duties to us as taxpayers. It’s time for taxpayers to speak out. 

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Dear Mayor Turner and some Council Members,

Thank you for your service to the City of Fort Bragg. These last two years have been entertaining but it is time to bring this circus to a close. I believe it would be correct to say, each one of you ran on platforms that included making Fort Bragg a better place, and some of you have broken that promise to the electorate. Your own personal agendas and desires to fuel animosity and infighting have clouded your vision. Two years ago, the electorate voted you into office to be our representatives, to be the voice of the taxpayer and to serve with our best interests in mind. You are not fulfilling the duties you were elected to.

I would like to see two members of our community elected to the two vacant Council seats and be leaders for all and not just for special interest groups. In my opinion your decorum inside City Council has been deplorable and as a result, Fort Bragg has been reduced to being the ‘laughing-stock of Mendocino County’. The childish political games have made waves across the media, both in the papers and on social media and clearly show that there are no leaders among you (well there may be 2 leaders out of the five of you).

There has been little effort to improve the financial situation of the working class, little effort to bring new industry or meaningful jobs to our City. Instead, we have received half-truths, at best. We have seen self-serving ‘well-timed’ politics, aimed solely for individual political standing and a clear disrespect for the seats you were elected to be in. The seats you sit in are seats that should be shown respect. They are not seats to be sat in by those who wish to abuse the power that the electorate has bestowed upon you.

Trails and WiFi are good things but do little to help the working poor or elderly in this community.

Lack of affordable housing is a huge issue. What has been done to help those working and living from pay check to pay check? What has been done to help young families barely making ends meet? What about the elderly who are on a waiting list for years before getting an affordable place to live? Instead it seems your goal is to hand over what available housing there is to your special interest group.

The announcement on the City website of how “thrilled” Hospitality Center is to announce yet another grant is a slap in the face to the working poor of our community and to the elderly who could use a break in high rents. You may deny knowing anything about this latest grant but who knows for sure what that truth is? Perhaps another case of lack of transparency?

Fort Bragg has had the misfortune of seeing an out of control Mayor who yells at members of the community for expressing their thoughts, childish schoolyard tactics, and a clear violation of public trust. We all watched two years ago as a new Council was formed and with that always comes some rocky times. The fact remains that the issues you had on your inaugural day have not improved, instead the situation in Fort Bragg continues to decline, to the detriment of the residents. While I recognize and acknowledge that each of you have made contributions to the City, collectively the divisiveness of Council has been and will continue to be a detriment to our community.

This Council clearly has irreconcilable differences and this leaves the residents of Fort Bragg in limbo. If the next 4 years are left unchanged, I fear that the City and its residents will suffer. Mayor Turner has made it publicly known who he supports to fill one of the vacant seats but because of Political Ethics other members of council only support candidates in private. Why is this? Could it be the fear of losing control over this community has clouded his sense of ethics? Could it be his voting according to his values and not listening to the community as a whole will be brought onto the council if his choice should fill one of those seats?

It seems to me sitting on the City Council should have everyone working together for the betterment of Fort Bragg instead of being a play for power. We need a Council that work together to bring this community back together.

It is time for a change and transparency on the City Council and the way to get that done is to VOTE FOR WILL LEE AND BERNIE NORVELL.

7 Responses to Change & Transparency

  1. Mature Fort Bragg Resident Reply

    November 2, 2016 at 11:26 am

    Bring jobs? DO you mean bending over backwards for 10 jobs at a hobby Brewery, and not standing up for a retail center that would bring about 75 to 100 jobs? Not to mention the construction jobs, the money from visitor, or the taxes from sales since residents would not have to travel to a different city. Oh and those residents would save on gas and maintenance on their cars too.

    Every person that comes to town with a business plan gets run out on a rail by the residents who don’t want that job, or change.

    You get what you sow.

    • Judy Valadao Reply

      November 3, 2016 at 12:47 am

      You hit the nail on the head. No, I do not mean bend over backwards for 10 jobs, and I don’t mean a tourist gift shop either. Those things have all ready happened. As long as those who are in power remain in power nothing will change. As long as grants are handed over to non tax paying special interest groups and the city getting their share there will be no change. We need jobs as you suggest but it won’t happen until things change with those who have the final say.

      75 to 100 jobs could make a huge difference in the lives of those who live here and are barely getting by. When Harvest Market was being built we heard the same complaints from the same group of people. It is now a successful business that employs a lot of people.

      Keep in mind, if we had available jobs here we may lose our status of being a economically depressed town which could cause us to lose the grants our city seems to love. These grants are not helping us everyday working person. A retail center that could employ 75 to 100 people is a good idea. As long as zoning and codes are followed and the owners are paying to build it then I don’t see how it can be turned down.

  2. Bruce McEwen Reply

    November 3, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    Sure, you got about a thousand idle building contractors on the Coast, but guess what? None of ’em have picked up a framing hammer since the invention of the nailgun (they’ve all been growing weed since those days) — so get real! — these construction jobs will go to Out-Of-State-Interests — and — excuse’em mio — where is it exactly in the seething mass, in the Ft. B laborpool of laidback retros do you expect to find all the eager min-wage slaveys to staff a 24/7 retail op — w/ meth zombies?

    • Bruce McEwen Reply

      November 3, 2016 at 9:06 pm

      Patently, a rhetorical question.

      Answer: The Hospitality House

      Reason: The Economy

      Predictions Guaranteed

  3. Judy Valadao Reply

    November 4, 2016 at 11:06 pm

    I’m sorry yo feel that way. The contractors I know aren’t idle and certainly are not pot growers. Young people with families to care for as well as retired people trying to make ends meet would welcome jobs in Fort Bragg. You do have a point about Hospitality House people working at some of these jobs though. Perhaps the first step in turning their lives around by becoming a working member of society. You have to start somewhere.

  4. Alice Chouteau Reply

    November 5, 2016 at 9:29 am

    The construction industry in the state has had a problem finding skilled workers in the oast few years, according to news sources. This is the first time I have heard of such a thing. . Ditto finding workers for big dairy farms in Humboldt. This might be related to dope growing.
    Fact is, the City has brought us almost nothing but chain retail and formula fast food in the last 12years, since Turner became captain of our sinking ship. I have Seen zero prosperity result from this pattern of development.
    But regarding the proposed mall–any project that requires 2,000,000 gallons of municipla water annually should not be permitted. That is the bottom line, in my mind. Until a new source of water is found, the city is stuck.
    One move that should have been made years ago is to establish training for our younger people especially, in skilled trades, computer work, perhaps a culinary school, etc. otherwise, growing pot is their only option, and unlikely to remain as lucrative as it once was. Minimum wage, no-benefits jobs are a trap, and I speak from experience. I am more concerned about viable employment for local folks, not worrying about jobs for HC transients.

  5. Judy Valadao Reply

    November 5, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    I’m not even going to worry about the Hospitality Center/House people. Some are unemployable and the majority don’t want employment, just the hand outs please. If they all became employed there would be no need for the place and/or grants, heaven forbid that should happen. Those who want to work should be given the opportunity and a hand up.

    I’m waiting to see what the EIR comes up with, should be interesting.

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