I wish I could be surprised any more by what goes on around here. Nepotism and cronyism is the rule of the game here for years now. They protect their own at all costs. If you want a good read, check out the investigative report into public works that found felony level embezzlement of public resources (http://www.riodelltimes.com/FreedomofInfor…). Notice how many witnesses were interviewed and knew all about it. Worst kept secret in town. The well-known activities involved many more people than just the public works director but was covered up by city hall, including the police chief and his brother in law no doubt.
It is up to every citizen to participate in their government; democracry relies on this. Whether or not there is a better option for the water tank is a fairly basic question that should be clearly answered before going forward. It shouldn't take court actions to get the answer. It isn't uncommon for the municipalities to stonewall public information requests, almost as a threat to their authority. Buring your opponent in paper is also a common technique used as a delay tactic when you are forced to turn over information.
The Rio Dell wastewater treatment plant project is a perfect example of not fully considering all options right off the bat rather than just the new plant that they already wanted. After spending thousands of dollars on studies by Winzler & Kelly and holding numerous public meetings, the city has reversed course on the project entirely. Rather than put the wastewater treatment plant at the old Eel River Sawmill site, as the city has been planning for years now, and after annexing the area specifically for this project, the city decided they will improve the existing site which will save millions (they will still dishcarge the treated effluent on the Mozzetti property in Metropolitan). The very few citizens that have attended meetings over the years have been asking why we didn't just improve the existing plant (which everyone agrees is in terrible condition) and the city has always said that it wasn't feasible. The city had high aspirations for grant money that hasn't all come through as planned. At the last city council meeting, the council reversed direction completely due to cost (the new plant was projected to cost $16.7 million). Improving the existing site is an appropriate option for repairing the plant but that decision could have been made years ago. The Fortuna City Council needs to re-consider every possible option in consideration of the current economy and determine what is in the best interests of the citizens. The council is charged with making these hard decisions based on what is best overall and should be able to clearly explain why it is the best possible choice. It is a shame that more individuals don't ask these types of questions and participate in their local government.
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In Print This Week:
Apr 28, 2016
vol XXVII issue 17
The North Coast Journal Weekly
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