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Transparency Lacking in Arcata Gateway Plan 


Lack of transparency in government was last week's NCJ cover article, with examples from all over the United States ("The Foilies," March 23). But we don't have to go far to uncover transparency issues. We can look right here at Arcata's Gateway Plan.

Fourteen months ago at open house meetings we expressed our viewpoints. Hundreds of people attended. As it turned out, public input showed 97 percent wanting Gateway buildings to be four stories or under. Two percent wanted six stories. Zero percent said seven. The official "engagement report" is silent on this.

Crucial letters from the public about this plan have been hidden. They aren't seen until after the meeting the letter was written for has passed.

Do Arcatans want to see L Street — right next to the Creamery, where we come for festivals and fun — turned into a truck route? I don't think so. Nor does Arcata's Transportation Safety Committee. But that committee's voice likewise has been ignored.

The Gateway Plan's latest draft actually states it contains nothing that disagrees. Three months later a list with what's supposed to be that missing input came out. It has maybe 5 percent of what doesn't "comport."

California's Brown Act: "The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know."

Arcata's Gateway Plan specifically promises to supply housing that working people can afford to rent and buy. That is written in the document. I wish it were true. The Plan has no assurance of providing this. None.

The process is a failure in terms of listening to the people. Want transparency and better Gateway results? Visit for more information — and come to the planning commission meetings to speak your voice.

Fred Weis, Arcata

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