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.