The Measure Q Conundrum

The Measure Q Conundrum

As this election approaches, the Examiner staff wanted to make sure we were clear with our readers about

Eureka's cute little  trick turning "O" to "Q". Just don't question the magic.

Eureka’s cute little trick turning “O” to “Q”. Just don’t question the magic.

where we stand on Measure Q. This continuation of Measure O is a tough issue to grapple with. When Measure O was put to the voters in 2010, the City of Eureka was facing huge deficits and we were led to believe that public safety positions would be cut. Although the Examiner isn’t in favor of regressive taxes such as Measure O/Q, sometimes they may be necessary or expedient to ensure that services (like Police and Fire) continue to be maintained.

But Measure O monies weren’t allocated in the way that the tax was sold to the public. The mismanagement of the tax money and the deceit with which the City engaged in has shown us that this money was nothing more than a slush fund for the well connected in Eureka and Humboldt. Police hasn’t been fully staffed since the inception of Measure O, took a pay cut in 2014 and have given back millions of dollars over the life of the tax. Fire has given back huge amounts of money, based on the consolidation with Humboldt Fire and the pay cuts that they’ve had to endure. The Zoo has done well. City Hall administrators and management have gotten pay raises. Millions in settlements and judgements against the City have been paid either through higher insurance costs, or through direct payments.

When the Examiner started asking tough questions about the potential of Measure Q, staff at the city got

Which way E-town?

Which way to a sustainable future Eureka?

nervous. After several of our posts, which were responded to by the former Finance Director, the City finally put up their version of how Measure O had been spent (we’re not so sure their correct). The City justified not being transparent with the funds and having an independent citizens review of expenditures by referring to the fine print in the statute allowing for the Finance Advisory Committee to have that role (run by Dave Parris, former EPD, Coroner and relative of Dave Tyson by marriage). We kept up the pressure and the Finance Director resigned from his position (to go work with his buddy Dave Tyson).

We have tried to be clear that if Measure Q was managed in a clear, transparent way with money being prioritized for public safety that we would support the tax. However, as it stands now Measure Q will be handled exactly the same as Measure O. None of the City Council candidates has taken issue with how Measure O was handled, and it seems pretty clear that whomever is elected will continue with the past practice’s of this council.

The Examiner is not against taxes. We are not against taxes clearly earmarked for infrastructure, quality of life, schools, etc. However, we do not support a regressive tax being falsely sold to support public safety in a transparent way with accountability to the public. In reality Measure Q will only be partially used for public safety and the rest will be spent on pet projects. There won’t be an independent audit and the Jager nominated Finance Advisory Committee will rubber stamp whatever the City spends the funds on.

Therefore the Examiner does NOT endorse Measure Q.

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14 thoughts on “The Measure Q Conundrum

  1. I wonder if Paul really left in fear of a true audit of Measure O expenditures?

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  2. A little bird told me last week that due to ethically debatable allocations of this fund away from its intended goal (public safety positions), he resigned from the Finance Advisry Committee. The lack of clear restictions on the use of these funds will continue to result in their misuse. Clearly verbal commitments, when it comes to these folk who control how these funds will be used, are not to be trusted. Might be time for a FOIA request.

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  3. “We kept up the pressure and the Finance Director resigned from his position (to go work with his buddy Dave Tyson).”

    Laughable. Paul’s wife died very unexpectedly, he takes a less stressful position in order to get some semblance of his life back together and take care of his four kids and you want to try and take credit for his leaving?

    I read earlier in the year on this very blog where he practically begged those with questions to call him, come visit him at the City, or bring your concerns to a City Council meeting. I doubt any of you have taken him or his successor up on it, as you are more interested in hurling baseless accusations and smearing people.

    “I wonder if Paul really left in fear of a true audit of Measure O expenditures?”

    Well, if Paul did anything illegal that a “true audit” revealed, it’s not like he doesn’t still live in the area, he just changed jobs. Knock yourselves out – call for just that, a “true audit” and let’s see what it reveals. I imagine that the former Finance Director would welcome it – In fact, the City’s books get audited every year.

    You should be ashamed of yourselves. You are not journalists, you are anonymous bloggers making baseless accusations, taking credit for something (his changing jobs) that he already told Thad Greenson at the NCJ he was doing in order to better take care of his kids in the wake of losing his beloved wife.

    You are not journalists, you don’t have “staff”, all you do is take anonymous potshots.

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  4. Thanks for staying on this, it’s pretty obvious that all the questions asked here played a role in his hasty departure. Pay no attention to the rantings of “hm”

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  5. “Rantings”, lol that’s a good one. Pointing out that the TE is taking credit for the former Finance Director leaving his job at the city is hardly a rant.

    It is in fact, shameful behavior, and what is expected based upon past behavior of this blog. Please, by all means, point out Jonesy, where I am wrong in my post. You don want to pay attention to my “rantings” because I am correct.

    The TE has a history of putting out mistruths. This is just one in a long line of them.

    Keep sharing the your distorted views, they are comical, and realize that they are shared by literally two or three like minded folks intent on not having a dialogue but who would rather distort the facts.

    Measure O/Q will pass overwhelmingly, despite your silly efforts to defame.

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  6. Yes, you are. With your constant personal attacks you are losing progressives who see the smears for what they are.

    Perhaps there is hope for you Mola.

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  7. Snark doesn’t do it for you M, but when that’s all you have, then you’ve lost.

    You consistently try and put yourself above the fray of personal attacks, but when the BS is called as I have in the TE’s attempts to smear former city staff with falsehoods, you can’t help yourself and you jump right in. Please, I beg you, tell me where I am wrong in calling BS on these smear jobs.

    I’m laughing at you, not with you as you try and snark it off, but the fact remains that O/Q is polling well and is more than likely going to win by double digits.

    There are no candidates opposed to Q. The incumbents and challengers all favor Q. Personally, like you, I don’t live in Eureka so it doesn’t matter to me. Unlike you, however, I hate personal attacks and falsehoods no matter what side of the political spectrum it comes from.

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    • Well… somehow I remember that I haven’t called B.S. on your… well, maintaining the moral high ground. I don’t necessarily disagree with you.

      But you left yourself open with a bit a hyperbole and I took advantage of it.

      If that is snark… then I am guilty. In that regard… there is no hope.

      Laugh all you like… any way you like.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Hm’s must be on the payroll. I would venture a guess that hm is either in Public Works or the Zoo. Those are the two departments that have benefited disproportionally from measure O, the “supposed public safety” funding measure.
    No one dare question where the money has gone. Hm attacks the examiner and it’s commenters as a way of deflecting.
    It’s not working with me.
    Hm is right about one thing. Measure Q will probably pass because of the over the top fear campaign conducted by the city.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hm also claims that the TE staff aren’t journalists. When did the TE make that claim? This is a blog and they are bloggers! Keep it up TE. When people like Hm respond to a post it means the folks with power are getting nervous!!!

      Liked by 2 people

  9. It would be helpful to republish the supporting docs for how this $ was spent.

    David Ogden, a competent accountant and former longtime member of the city’s finance committee, often lamented how the city’s financial reporting was nearly impossible to explain.

    Only a whistle blower can “out” financial shenanigans. Audits are a statistical analysis that rarely turn up anything. Banks are one of the most audited institutions and look what they get away with.

    Eureka/Humboldt have had a large turnover of executive positions and a long history of corruption.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right “Only a whistle blower can “out” financial shenanigans.” We lost Dave Ogden after Brady was elected and even Leo Sears eventually quit and is questioning Measure Q. There’s nobody with integrity left to “blow a whistle”!

      Liked by 2 people

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