Meanwhile In Fort Bragg

by Rex Gressett, November 23, 2016

I was unable to personally attend the Fort Bragg city council meeting Monday and I missed a hell of a show.

Those who follow the city council know that David Gurney, in the face of raw contempt and gratuitous belligerence from the mayor, forced through an obvious and I thought) innocuous reform of council procedure by moving the public comments to the beginning of the meeting.

Mr. Gurney and his supporters had researched the matter and found that most municipalities did it that way. He saw the value in it, stood up to the mayor and got them to cave in to common sense, a rare occurrence.

Last Monday we saw the difference that having the consent agenda first has made in the council meetings. The public comments coming first stimulated a meaningful dialogue and engaged the council with the citizens, which is what should happen at a public meeting.

Thus it was that this council meeting afforded an opportunity for a local public venting of the nationwide dismay, depression and anxiety which now afflicts millions of Americans following the election of The Donald to the nation's highest office.

Right off the bat Charles Brandenburg made a piteous appeal alleging that the maids he employs at his Inn were afraid and much distressed. I believe him. Then up popped the redoubtable Simon Smith, our new local champion of blended gender, politically correct, authoritarian dogmatism all in one package. She really put it to them. The Obama administration, she intoned, has made the world a better place by its relentless commitment to human rights and civil liberties, and now look what we are going to have to deal with.

I thought that it was nice of her to mention the outgoing president, although I am less sanguine about the Obama administration's achievements in the sphere of civil liberties than she is. This is the administration that sent the heroic Chelsea Manning to prison for 34 years, and the great Edward Snowden to exile.

Obama has jailed or prosecuted more whistleblowers than any US president. He did not live up to his eloquence as a candidate, killed a lot of people with drones, made possible the Saudi bombing of Yemen using US tanker planes to refill the American planes sold to the Saudis and which are now dropping American bombs on desert tribesmen, etc., etc.

Obama was a great improvement over his predecessor but it is a good thing he won the Nobel Peace Prize before he took office; he would not have gotten it afterwards.

Facts be damned. Simon Smith don't care. She has him down in her book as officially enrolled among the politically correct, and for that she is willing to forgive all. She only sings one song.

The great cry Monday night was that Fort Bragg should become a sanctuary city. The looming deportation of immigrants would greatly harm our community. The mayor was ahead of the game. He'd talked to councilman Lindy Peters about forming an ad hoc committee to investigate the possibility of becoming a sanctuary city and to determine if it could be done without undue inconvenience to city funding.

I must ask Simon Smith to tell me what the allowable name for the Mexican and Latin American immigrants to our city is. She certainly will know. Whatever they are called , there is no doubt in my mind or in the minds of any person in Fort Bragg that these are our fellow citizens widely respected and deeply loved.

There is not a more hard working, more highly respected segment of our Fort Bragg bone and marrow.

If they were being deported en masse. I and not I alone, would chain myself to the bus that was removing them. I am not exaggerating.

I wonder what the immigrant community thinks. One thing is for sure they were not represented at the meeting.

Now that what we can begin to call the old city council is on the ropes they are gasping at straws. The long list of failures, the empty toxic mill site, the collapsing infrastructure, the imploded economy — to name but a few — have awakened the people and Fort Bragg has kicked the bums out almost as fast as electoral process has permitted.

And their proposed replacement clone, Scott Menzies, has been roundly rejected by the voters.

I would be more impressed with a principled stand to protect our immigrant community if it were not an easy exception to the rule of doing nothing. It is very good to act on principle, but when acting on principle is a complete novelty it is less impressive.

I am simply observing that the new city council can hide the continuance of failure behind the declaration that we are a sanctuary city and hope for a good result at the next election. It has worked before.

8 Responses to Meanwhile In Fort Bragg

  1. Alice Chouteau Reply

    November 23, 2016 at 11:54 am

    Thanks Rex, for your usual keen observations. It seems to me that Turner was enlisting the few loyal turnerites left, Smith is mainly a very vocal attention seeker, and the three backing this silly idea as well as Turner are reacting blindly to their outrage over the national election results, all being staunch coast Democrats. (The same party whose lousy choice of a candidate has cost us dearly.) The City also showed their ignorance of the fact that there is no threat to illegals here, unless they commit a serious crime, as established by the Sheriffs department and the FBPD. I got the feeling Turner hoped to cause the same bitter division of the locals wrought by the backroom deal for the Old Coast Hotel. But glad to see it failed him, as people are now wise to his methods.

  2. mr. wendal Reply

    November 24, 2016 at 6:45 am

    Where is the interest in the fact that the City Council voted to take $563,313 from the Special Sales Tax – Street Repair fund to help pay for the unnecessary Chestnut Street Corridor Project at that same meeting?

    The Street Repair sales tax money was “advertised” as a source of revenue for repairs to the streets and alleys in Fort Bragg. So the voters voted to extend it. The alleys, the only route for a lot of people in town to get to their alley homes, are still in poor shape. So think about that the next time you’re bouncing along down an alley in Fort Bragg. Taking that money from the people’s intended use was not the right thing to do.

    The fact that a lot of people are unaware of what the City Council did on the 14th is unfortunate. Doesn’t the AVA have a reporter covering the meetings or did I miss seeing it in the paper?

    Happy Thanksgiving to Little Dog and everyone else.

    • Judy Valadao Reply

      November 24, 2016 at 5:03 pm

      Mr. Wendal thank you bringing up the fact that the City Council did vote to take $563,313 from the special sales tax to us for the Chestnut St. project. Decisions like this are why I voted NO for the TOT. Sure the suggestion as to what the money would be used for was voted on also BUT it is just a suggestion, nothing more. Our neighbor went to City Hall and asked if we could get a little black top in the alley. He was told it isn’t in the budget and our alley isn’t on the list for repairs. Wonder which one’s will be repaired now?
      I would also like to remind people that the replacement clone, Scott Menzies,that Rex speaks of has been not yet been roundly rejected by the voters (although our fingers are crossed that he will be) the final vote is not in yet.

  3. Alice Chouteau Reply

    November 24, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    My memory falters from over-indulgence, but why was the alley next to Flo-Beds, the mayor’s biz, given the glam make-over, including special pavers, and how was that financed?. I seem to recall that one other alley was given the same attention.
    (The other allies can’t even have some asphalt?)
    Anyone remember the details?
    Thanks!

  4. Judy Valadao Reply

    November 25, 2016 at 12:08 am

    Using pavers was part of the conditions for the money. It’s an experiment and Fort Bragg agreed to it. The alley behind FloBeds and Hospitality House was chosen because it was supposedly one that was in really bad shape.

  5. Judy Valadao Reply

    November 25, 2016 at 5:33 am

  6. Judy Valadao Reply

    November 25, 2016 at 5:43 am

    Alice, all of your questions can be answered by following the link provided here. The project is a demonstration and the reason other alley’s were not chosen is due to the depth of utilities.

    http://city.fortbragg.com/490/Green-Alley-Project

  7. Alice Chouteau Reply

    November 26, 2016 at 8:06 am

    Thanks Judy! You always do great researxh. Funny tho, that the alleys are designated by the two markets, and not by Flo-Beds or HH….

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