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An Annotated Ukiah City Council Presser

The Ukiah City Council tonight will be asked to approve more preparation work on the proposed site for the new Mendocino County Courthouse.

The Council will vote 5-0 to rubberstamp another step towards a new County Courthouse no one wants except the 9 (!) pampered judges of the Mendo Superior Court and no one outside Ukiah knows is moving inexorably to fruition. There's nothing wrong with the existing County Courthouse that the $300 million (!) the judges will get to build their new palace three long blocks south of the existing Courthouse that couldn't totally rehab, for much less, the existing Courthouse. The new County Courthouse, we should add, will serve only as courtrooms and, natch, lavish offices for their majesties who don't dare put the new Courthouse on the ballot because it would be slamdunked NO!

According to the staff report for the March 2 meeting, that work includes a “wetland delineation study” that will be required before the necessary permits can be obtained from the US Army Corps of Engineers and the Regional Water Quality Control Board.

The usual eco-cover to reassure the three or four Ukiah environmentalists who might suddenly pop up to claim there's a wetland in the already ghastly neighborhood, an unplanned swathe of junk buildings and concrete that this project will make even uglier, cf the abandoned Willits Courthouse, which some of us will recall was also shoved down our distracted throats by these same judicial poobahs.

The State Judicial Council of California is looking to buy 4.1 acres just south of the Railroad Depot near Perkins Street and Hospital Drive, but the city is carefully preparing all 11 acres of the parcel for future development.

The State Judicial Council is a Sacto-based front group for judges funded by the extortionate fines and fees you pay to support an apparatus of life sinecures unaccountable to no one but the other politically-appointed Clintonians who sit as appellate judges. Several Ukiah-based greedheads are already in line to cash in on development around the new Courthouse.

Since the site, which is owned by the North Coast Rail Authority, “borders downtown and sits along the east side of Ukiah’s primary gateway corridor,” city staff have been working closely with the Judicial Council of California to make sure that the courthouse project supports, rather than precludes, further development on the parcel.

This project was green-lighted by the judges about five years ago. Related development will consist of privately-owned buildings leased back to the County at top rents for the ancillary office space the new Courthouse will not include. City staff periodically signs off on the deal.

To help with that goal, the city agreed to front the costs of engineering and other design work that extends both Hospital Drive and East Clay Street through the parcel, as well as integrate the build-out of the site with other city projects, such as the Rail Trail and improvements planned for East Perkins Street.

Good ol' Ukiah. Always helping to doom the city forever to bad buildings and more pavement.

NCRA has agreed to refund the money once the parcel is sold to the Judicial Council of California. City Manager Sage Sangiacomo said the Judicial Council of California may be given the go-ahead to acquire the 4.1 acre parcel this month.

The NCRA, once a functioning railroad in the days before America lost its way, is now a jobs program for the NorCal Democratic Party, several of whom will keep high-pay jobs doing absolutely nothing having to do with railroads. Or anything else except pouring wine at private spas for the elected people who keep them employed. Besides which this is all a done deal, and Sage Sangiacomo, Ukiah's half-mil a year "manager," knows that. The pure load of bullshit being dumped here is suffocating me but, for you, dear readers, I'll continue.

In the meantime, the council is being asked to approve paying consultant Rau and Associates another $11,959 to complete the “wetland delineation study,” along with “mitigation drawings and a monitoring plan, as well as an update of the five-year floristic botanical survey.”

O hell yea. Let's make sure as many locals as possible get a few bucks outta this thing, not that there's any opposition out there. But there is no wetland, and any flower that manages to raise its merrily optimistic head through the rubble and the macadam will instantly die at the sheer squalor of its surroundings.

The meeting begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the council chambers at 300 Seminary Ave.

No need to bring a rubberstamp. Five of them will already be up front in the big leather chairs.


  1. Bruni Kobbe March 11, 2016

    Thank you for putting the scam so plainly; it alleviates a little the stomach cramps I’ve felt since attending the NCRA meeting this week. There was a lot of self-congratulating going around for selling off “excess property”, thereby acknowledging that NCRA has no intention of ever bringing the railroad through Mendocino County again. The only congratulation the mealy-mouthed board deserves is for keeping the public in the dark about this sell out.
    The City of Ukiah has been in collusion, as noted, blissfully ignoring any wishes from the public expressed years ago (such as turning the site into a transportation hub, a greenway along adjacent Gibson Creek), and stone-walling at any request for information; and being proud of having snatched another project away from the County, at great cost (as they did with Costco).
    Yes, a new courthouse has about as much community value as a new prison.
    Yes, there are too few of us in town to stop this madness.
    Yes, Ukiah will get what it deserves.

  2. izzy March 12, 2016

    Well, I gave up hope years ago that a functioning rail line might ever again roll down the now-rusty tracks. But that doesn’t keep MTA buses and other deluded vehicles from making a stop at them, as though a locomotive might come barreling through at any moment. Good sense left the building long past in America, along with much else that did or did not ever happen.

  3. Kimberly Ortwein March 12, 2016

    make that kangaroo court bigger huh!

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