On Saturday Linda Atkins wrote “The Greater Eureka Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors recently announced that it is going to get involved in local elections” then asked “why now?” Well, it seems pretty clear to us. The good ol’ boys had lost their majority to the all woman progressive (actually centrist) leaning City Council and now they all going all in to get it back. Matthew Owen and John Fullerton are the Chamber candidates and then there’s the very scary (to the good ol boys) “true ward true voice” ballot measure that would actually facilitate someone from your neighborhood or maybe even you, to be elected. Now that scares the crap out of the Eureka Chamber, Robin Arkley and Rob Mcbeth types.
Linda also says “, the city of Eureka supports the Chamber with about $120,000 a year from city coffers for them to do visitor services. In addition, the chamber’s headquarters located on land owned by the city of Eureka and leased to the chamber for $1. (prime real estate worth over a million dollars) The headquarters is the location where chamber board meetings occur and where chamber offices are located. Does this mean that the city of Eureka is subsidizing an organization that will be campaigning against candidates and issues that will affect the future of our city?” Ya think?
The ol’ boys are so scared that Tom Hannah (the God father of our current screwed up city charter and corrupt ward system) in a near hysterical diatribe in today’s Time Standard went so far has to invoke the name of the dreaded former city councilor Larry Glass…twice. The mere mention of his name is a dog whistle for the powers that be in this town striking terror in their hearts. Hannah goes on to say “This would be detrimental to the quality of life in Eureka. Implementing a ward election could only lay the groundwork to undermine the current council-manager format municipal government chosen by voters in 1950, and mandated by your city charter.” He forgot to mention that he and Eureka’s power brokers wrote the charter to keep themselves in power for perpetuity.
This year brings a chance for Eureka voters to choose a system of election which would bring an inclusive neighborhood based City Council…..and maybe take a step in breaking the stranglehold on local politics which the good ol’ boys are desperately holding on to.