The 2 day workshop regarding the dire financial straits in Eureka ended Thursday night. There were one or two semi reasonable discussions. A potential of 20% cuts to the Chamber of Commerce and other “community organizations”. A small cut is a drop in the bucket and not all that encouraging. At Councilwoman Atkins suggestion, the City will again study the potential for an “assessment district” for the zoo(first done in 2009). That was very encouraging, and even the City Manager thought that was a good idea. However, being that the Zoo is the golden calf and third rail of Eureka politics, no other councilmember supported Atkins, and no major cuts to the Zoo were proposed.
One of the most dumbfounding performances of the night came from Kim Bergel. Kim showed herself in these budget discussions to be not only horribly ill-informed, but a complete empty suit. In fact, Kim spoke and supported the same ideas as another complete doofus……Marian Brady. At the end of the discussion Kim had a Freudian slip when she asked the City Manager, “Can you clarify what you’ve come up with tonight? I mean, what we, as a council, came up with. I’m really not clear.” (really! Ya think?)
Kim Bergel campaigned on the back of Measure Q. Now, she has said that “preventative care”, such as Parks and Recreation should really be a priority in this budget. Both Marian and Kim said that they supported the fire and police chiefs “wishes” to cut the departments. That’s right…..in these budget sessions Marian and Kim completely missed the fact that the Chief’s were being forced to cut their budgets, and were only proposing their least worse options for a really shitty situation.
Sorry, but we can’t help ourselves….we told you so! Police and Fire are getting cut. The Zoo and other non-essential city funded pet projects are still intact. Politics in Eureka continues in the great traditions of……baloney.
Although Kim’s city council website no longer displays the large pictures of her standing by Eureka Police and and Fire, holding the big yellow sign which read “Yes on Q. Maintaining Public Safety”, here is a video from news channel 3 showing her (supposed) support.
Linda Atkins, Kim Bergel, Natalie Arroyo and Melinda Ciarabellini were all listed as endorsers of Measure Q. At least Marian Brady didn’t technically break any campaign promises….she never really endorsed Measure Q. The tax extension that was supposed to prevent the exact draconian cuts like these; right from the Measure Q propaganda pamphlet:
What does the public stand to lose if Measure Q does not pass?:
There could be up to 40 people laid off citywide.
Eureka Police Department will see a cut to all of their Police Service Officers. PSO’s take care of most of the non-emergency law enforcement calls throughout the city. Their loss would greatly impact the community by forcing Patrol Officers to handle those calls, which delays them from being able to respond to emergency calls.
Humboldt Bay Fire Department will cut six firefighters forcing the closure of station 4 located at Myrtle and West. If this station closes it will increase the ISO rating of Eureka which means higher insurance premiums for citizens! This also equates to longer Fire Department response times and a decreased level of service. For example, on a typical house fire we send three engines, a ladder truck, and two Chief Officers. Each plays a vital role in extinguishing the fire and saving lives. One engine commits to fire attack (putting out the fire), one engine searches the residence for victims who may have become trapped inside, the truck ventilates the structure providing relief from heat and smoke to firefighters and/or citizens trapped inside, and the fourth apparatus remains outside for firefighter safety (which is required by law), remaining ready at all times for firefighter rescue in case anything goes wrong. Measure Q not passing effectively eliminates and/or delays one of these vital components, thereby having a drastic effect on the outcome of the incident, which may equate to more lives and property lost.
Well…the cuts appear to be poised to pass. The new so called “progressive” council has seen fit to back away from promises, and cut the essential services in Eureka. Wow. No wonder Eureka’s population continues to shrink.
Preview YouTube video Proponents of Eureka Measure Q kick off their campaign on Tuesday. Without the .5% continued added s