Tweedledee and Tweedledumb, and even freakin’ dumber

tweedledeeThe 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.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uEkeLt_LxM
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

 

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39 thoughts on “Tweedledee and Tweedledumb, and even freakin’ dumber

  1. From John Chivs post today:

    “I asked the people attending why they support the Zoo. “The zoo is the crown jewel of Eureka,” said John Fullerton.”

    See TE, you got it wrong. The zoo isn’t the “golden calf”, it’s the “crown jewel” of the local Eureka conservatives. Get your stories straight.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I hate to admit it but I eagerly supported Kim in her race against Newman. I’m still glad that ragging asshole was defeated. I am equally disappointed in the job Kim is doing. I guess you never know about people your voting for until they’re in office.

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  3. I went to this hearing on the first afternoon and it was so crowded with people in support of public safety, I thought no way can they let these budget cuts stand. I see how wrong I was. This council doesn’t give a shit what their constituents think!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Absolutely. The support for fully funding police and fire was ovewhelming. Not just at the meeting, but at the ballot box. This has been nothing less than a complete farce.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. But how can Kim and Natalie not be changing things? They both have such pretty smiles!

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  5. I give Bergel credit for calling out the fire chief on why he chose the most painful way to cut. Instead of closing Station 4 and trimming the overtime, which would maintain PPE, keep Station 3 open, and maintain the volunteer program, he decided to make this as painful as he could. He makes it sound as if they are the ambulance service, and he doesn’t even usually staff Station 4 with paramedics now, Very dishonest and not looking out for the public. I don’t think Bergel trusts him, so whatever her IQ, she had the instincts to call baloney in that deal.

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    • You are completely wrong about Chief Woods I have worked with him in the past and he is an excellent Fire Chief. He’s not about politics, and he’s got the respect of all the people in his department.

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      • I don’t know much about Chief Woods, but I did hear him election night with Rob Arkley, Supervisor Bohn and Brian Papstein. Is he really not about politics? Maybe in the same vein that people argue Eureka politics shouldn’t be partisan.

        There is politics there, if nothing else he has a department to run and that is inherently political.

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      • That’s not what some of his senior staff says. I’ve heard directly that Woods is more interested in keeping people happy with overtime for sleeping than actually solving problems. I think that was evident at the meeting in his responses to Kim’s questions. Even a blind hog finds an acorn now and then.And the million dollars in OT is pretty compelling. http://thclive.net/2015/06/05/city-of-eureka-says-here-fire-fighters-have-an-extra-1-million-dollars-for-sleeping-on-the-job/. PS: Take care of law enforcement need and have of your fire department responses will go away. Less labs to explode.

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    • Huh? Bergel didn’t understand almost anything about the fire department. Her questions were, not to be to harsh, stupid. Woods explained staffing, how trucks and engines work, and the impossibility at this time for running just paramedic service out of station 4. Bergel showed that she had never been to a fire station (except to hold measures q signs). Why didn’t she take just a little time to understand how the FD actually worked?

      Instead, she asked a bunch of repetitive questions which showed her true lack of being able to pay attention during a meeting, or doing any research prior.

      In 3 years many won’t remember the utter betrayal of campaign promises that Natalie and Kim seemed to be displaying this week. The local conservatives looking for office will. If or when they successfully bring back the Brady bunch, look no further than this budget.

      The Zoo was cut in a very insubstantial way, parks and receive had some cuts, but actually expanded many programs. The police and fire took MAJOR cuts. This is exactly what would have been expected under a conservative majority, not a “progressive” majority many of whom campaigned on the promises of fully funded public safety.

      Politics as usual, I guess.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s just like a family budget where there’s 6 kids, but you only count 2 of them. Until Eureka is rightfully recognized and funded as a city of 60,000, there will need to be many more cuts.

    Being happy over the historic milestone of the right-wing losing their first choice for Eureka city council in 2014, doesn’t make the victors “progressive”.

    The right-wing has won their second choice.

    With the exception of the first city council meeting that included a public hearing on homelessness….where’s the progress?

    A 20% cut in subsidizing the second-wealthiest private club in Eureka?

    Is the Chamber’s free property not enough?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What percentage of the general fund would the TE like to see go to police and fire? What other sources of revenue other than the most regressive sales tax is viable in a community where the common narrative between the anti-government conservative right which makes up 90% of their movement and the anti-government left which has the backing of our most marketable economic product?

    Would cutting all Chamber of Commerce funds (which I agree with) and the Zoo fund (which I don’t, but if am willing to go along with if necessary) go a long way toward solving public safety issues?

    Is it just that extra – what 2.5 mill that will save us? What if that doesn’t either? Of course, then it’s the pensions and the higher salaries for those in leadership positions, etc. etc.

    Also, btw, Marian Brady didn’t break any campaign promises because she didn’t have an opponent (thus, if you need the dots connected, no campaign).

    JP says “In 3 years many won’t remember the utter betrayal of campaign promises that Natalie and Kim seemed to be displaying this week. The local conservatives looking for office will. If or when they successfully bring back the Brady bunch, look no further than this budget.”

    Well, if you have even more conservative expectations of your progressive/liberal/democratic representatives, you might want to take a bit of responsibility for your public views (from, of course, another anon).

    And yes, these incompatible expectations of no taxes and top notch public safety customer service will be helping to bring back those you seem to say you are against. But maybe you are not.

    BTW, good on you Councilwoman Bergel for asking questions and please don’t be shy to in the future. If these people, whoever they are, feel so passionately they could do a better job, they could have run too. I’m guessing at least one person who is giving you a hard time lives in the 1st Ward.

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    • If regressive taxes are enacted, they should benefit those most effected.

      Police and fire touch those that have the least. That is an unfortunate fact.

      The EC council should have prioritized the needs of the less fortunate in the community, not given more money for “exhibits” and “drinking get togethers” that this council supports.

      10% to 20% cut for Fullertons Chamber of Commerce? Lj, to support that fake cut is sad for “progressives” and “liberals”, and your blind support for council members pushing that agenda shows that you are not a “liberal jon” but a “follow the local party line jon”.

      Now I will await your long dialogue which answers nothing, but I’m sorry that you haven’t seen to EVER question any HDCC endorsed candidate. That’s includes BASS, who was OK with you until it was clear she was going to be kicked out. Your politics are clear…..status quo.

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      • I would like a greater cut to the Chamber of Commerce, duh!

        It’s not blind support, it is an understanding that politics is fluid and a politician can do exactly what her base AND what reality allows.

        If there is not money b/c the Goldwater/Reagan anti-FDR revolution is continuing on it’s quest to destroy government, there is no money.

        What we should be focused on is not destroying those walking us back to sustainability and to smart and real government, but focused on changing the narrative.

        I understand that is not easy to get, but we are caught right now expecting the impossible and mis-understanding politics.

        The end result will be more of what we are both worried about – more of the Brady bunch.

        What we should not forget is we didn’t even run against the Brady in the Brady Bunch. That means our political system is broken and yes, it is in large part b/c Mathew Owen no longer has a Republican Party to go to b/c Democrats win by 25% and he is too smart to run his candidates as one.

        What we need is more of the progressives to get involved with the Party (of “party line”) and move that line.

        If you get involved, obviously you and I will disagree on a lot, but we will be disagree a whole bunch less than either of us would with Matthew Owen.

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      • LMOB there was a challenger for Ms. Brady, but City Clerk Pam Powell disqualified her on a technicality based on the corrupt ward system.

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      • TE….wasn’t that “challenger” being pushed by local goldenboy Kerrigan, and it was determined she didn’t live in the 1st ward? Simple rule. But if we can elect a Kenyan as POTUS, she should have been allowed to run against Brady.

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      • She had just bought a house in the first ward, but according to the city clerk, not in time to qualify to run in that ward. Unlike Brady who uses her business address as her home address and lives across town with her boy friend.
        You need you get that Obama derangement syndrome treated, may we suggest a heavy dose of bath salts.

        Liked by 2 people

    • “BTW, good on you Councilwoman Bergel for asking questions and please don’t be shy to in the future. If these people, whoever they are, feel so passionately they could do a better job, they could have run too. I’m guessing at least one person who is giving you a hard time lives in the 1st Ward.”

      Yup…just like George Bush. If someone could do a better job, they should have run for president!!!!

      Bergel is the THIRD ward councilmember. But who needs research or knowledge when the HDCC provides it for you. Is Matthew Owen still a member?

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      • “At least Marian Brady didn’t technically break any campaign promises….she never really endorsed Measure Q.”

        Sorry to confuse the one person taking the time to read my comments.

        The person who ran unopposed was Brady from the first. No one was going to run against Newman and Bergel. The TE progressive’s commentary would have more credibility if they had the gumption to stand up for their values of at the very least help find someone who could have.

        No one even ran against Brady or Jäger for that matter. Maybe the better place to focus our righteous anger is at ourselves rather than politics who are at least taking us in the right direction.

        But I get it, it’s easier to yell and call people asking questions stupid and the blame them when conservatives regain the reigns in a town that votes Democratic by 25%.

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      • Jonboy ….after starting your rant by blaming Reagan and Goldwater for today’s economic problems in Eureka, it’s not surprising that few finish reading to the end, much less get confused.

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  8. ” If these people, whoever they are, feel so passionately they could do a better job, they could have run too. I’m guessing at least one person who is giving you a hard time lives in the 1st Ward”.

    Why stop there?

    “Why don’t those people whining about homelessness invite them into their own homes if they’re serious?”

    If only I had a dollar every time I’ve heard a republican utter such gratuitous nonsense. Since it’s coming from a “progressive” demonstrates its effectiveness.

    The majority of eligible voters do not vote and will eagerly tell you, rightfully, that the system is corrupt.

    Significant changes to the status-quo do not occur before the language of change permeates a community and that language includes many angry, critical voices. We no longer have the community interest media required to keep people informed, so it’s up to “whoever those people are” and many more, to redouble their critical voices. It’s unfortunate, but that’s where we’re at politically.

    You’re obsession with individual’s identity on the anonymous blogs is absurd and petty. If you are annoyed by anon opinions you can either ignore them or respond intelligently.

    “Anonymity for individuals, transparency for government and corporations”, (Julian Assange).

    I voted for Bergel, and have no problem lamenting her and the other’s fearful inaction. We were warned what to expect when Bergel ‘s campaign literature advocated for requiring business licenses for beggars…but, that’s what it takes to win in a corrupt political environment wherein all the major parties remain utterly silent.

    Not even one editorial from a single HCDCC member?

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  9. Although I disagree with LMOB, most of the time on LoCO, I applaud his comment here. Thanks LMOB!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Although I’d like to agree with Lee, I have no idea what Lee is agreeing with.

    Or why.

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  11. JW: top marginal tax rate under Eisenhower, 90%. Where were we after Reagan? 28%.

    No, there is no trickle down effect to local governments. You are right. My bad.

    What about eliminating our mental health institutions?

    Nah, still wrong to draw connections.

    This is a problem on its own to be solved by Councilmember Bergel just asking the right questions and stopping with all the broken campaign promises.

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  12. TE. Yes, I met her while she was making calls for Councilwoman Bergel. She would have won with a landslide akin to Councilmember Arroyo. Young, smart, and awesome.

    Still, Brady never had to make promises, b/c SHE DID NOT RUN AGAINST ANYONE. Just FYI.

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  13. The city is now getting it’s just reward, an inept council, a totally uninformed electorate, and fools backing things like the zoo rather than police and fire, the two most basic needs of any sane community. This stuff has been batted around at council meetings for the last twenty years plus, to no reasonable solution. In Michigan the governor finally kicked out the Detroit city government and installed a state manager to clean up the mess. I hope Jerry Brown jumps into the breach. Any bets?However, he is probably looking for the last glass of clean water in the state. Have fun Eurekans and enjoy the nest you have all made for your selves.

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    • How is democracy doing when the governor kicks out a democratically elected government? Was there a racial component? I do agree with you on one point. Humanity has been there and we have done that. We are now working with a Democratic Republic, thank…God?

      TE, been there is with you on this. Did you happen to follow any of what Michigan is going through and the extreme right wing politics been there represents?

      What percent of the general fund should be spent on police and fire? How to we raise obviously needed revenues with regressive taxes?

      Instead of calling allies dumb, maybe we can work together to advocate for other revenue streams for the city. All the while still arguing for continued cuts in whatever are important to you to remove.

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      • LMOB:

        “Other revenue streams”? The Taxpayer’s League won’t like that.

        Then again, they are cool with taxes and fees that penalize the poor.

        But since the poor are benefactors of all the trickling-down going on they have no right to complain, do they?

        Anyway, you should be ashamed down to your toes that you would even suggest a fair system for paying for our government.

        As to comparing Eureka with Detroit (been there/done that)… well as bad as things are, Eureka has a long way to go to get as bad as that.

        Liked by 2 people

    • If Moonbeam has the balls, he can follow Gov. Christie’s lead on getting a handle on bloated pension payments.

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  14. Actually, I was born and raised in Michigan. I follow what happens there and don’t necessarily agree with the governors approach. However Detroit was in a very big hole because of the auto industry. Jobs with good pay were hemorrhaging, Just like Humboldt county. Just switch timber and fishing and the same problem is here. Revenue streams are hard to increase but sales tax is one of the best. I don’t advocate an increase in the percent charged, but in supporting agencies that actually can increase sales tax dollars. An example is the “Visitors and Convention Bureau”. They aggressively push tourism in the County. To decrease what the city gives them for promotion is shooting the city’s objectives in the foot. Eureka receives the most in tourist dollars of anyone in the county. Tourism is the second biggest industry in Humboldt and the bureau spends all their money to increase the numbers. I know the Chamber of “COMMERCE” can not say that. The “Main Street” program can’t say that. The city’s sewage debacle and adding new water meters to catch all that ‘water’ not caught by the old meters certainly didn’t pan out or help the city budget. My accessment of the city council and higher management positions is as follows, BLIND IN ONE EYE AND CAN’T SEE OUT OF THE OTHER.

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  15. Eureka Police Chief Mills and the City Manager have both said the current financial problem is due in large part to pension costs, so I don’t understand why the Eureka City Council isn’t addressing the biggest elephant in the room and dealing with this issue.

    There are 459 cities in California. It was recently reported that Eureka is 10th out of 459 in what it pays toward pension obligations. It’s surprising, how a small city with only a few hundred employees could take such a dubious title.

    The County Deputy Sheriff’s association set a new retirement formula for new hires of 2.7 percent with benefits payable at the age of 57. This was a worse deal than was previously in place, when it was 3 percent at 55.

    Eureka, on the other hand, kept their police officer new hires at 3 percent with benefits payable at the age of 50. Doesn’t sound to me as if Eureka is serious about reducing their deficits.

    Why isn’t the council, the public, and the media addressing this important disparity?

    And I have also never understood why a city supports a zoo and the Chamber of Commerce receives supporting money from government. Meanwhile, the public streets stay in miserable shape.

    Eureka is a hungry municipal beast that serves to feed it’s own. I believe the city has had a structural financial deficit for quite some time that they’ve never come clean about to the public.

    The tax-measure money came all too easy and the comment above hit the target: “The city is now getting its just reward, an inept council, a totally uninformed electorate, and fools backing things…”

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  16. Boy, did you hit it on the head skips. My information on the way the city conducts it business comes from years of observation, sitting on boards and committees, and meeting regularly with a small group of concerned and well informed citizens. We tried to move the city in a better, more fiscally sane direction, but it was like trying to move a very stubborn elephant with a memory of where all the skeletons are buried. I had to break away from from being inside the loop and the frustration of literally no change in the powers that runs Eureka. It was also time for me to retire two years ago and get on with my own life. Glad I did, but I enjoy keeping in touch through this blog and sharing what institutional knowledge I still have. It is good to read current thoughts of those folks who really care about Eureka, the still unpolished gem of the north coast.

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  17. “The County Deputy Sheriff’s association set a new retirement formula for new hires of 2.7 percent with benefits payable at the age of 57. This was a
    worse deal than was previously in place, when it was 3 percent at 55.”

    Skips, ALL State agencies, including the City of Eureka, have new retirement formulas that came with the PEPRA pension reforms from a couple of years ago. Given that you run the Humboldt Sentinel, I thought you would know this.

    Real pension reform, along the lines of what Alan Dollison spoke of in his LOCO article a week or so ago is what the City as well as ALL State agencies need – a 401k type Defined Contribution retirement plan as opposed to the gold plated Defined Benefit plans currently offered by CalPers

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  18. “Skips” you have an alarming lack of knowledge and spew out things as though they are fact, which is alarming, given that you are the purveyor of a local “news” source, the Humboldt Sentinel.

    “The County Deputy Sheriff’s association set a new retirement formula for new hires of 2.7 percent with benefits payable at the age of 57. This was a worse deal than was previously in place, when it was 3 percent at 55.” The Employee group did not “Set a new retirement formula”, the State of California did a couple of years ago and they apply to all Pers participant agencies.

    “Eureka Police Chief Mills and the City Manager have both said the current financial problem is due in large part to pension costs, so I don’t understand why the Eureka City Council isn’t addressing the biggest elephant in the room and dealing with this issue.” See the above Sklps – the new PEPRA rates apply to the City of Eureka and their new hires as well.

    As I earlier posted (and for whatever reason, it never posted), the only way out of this mess are not lower rates for Defined Benefit plans but 401k type Defined Contribution plans that most of us, if we are lucky enough to have retirement plans, have.

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    • Very creative getting a capital “EC” in your name. BRAVO! (and you actually wondered why your post got deleted?).

      Like

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