LoCO interview here: https://lostcoastoutpost.com/2018/may/19/ryan-sundberg-interview/
McKinleyville resident Ken Miller responds point by point:
Yes, Ryan helps his constituents, because he has learned the lesson that doing small things in the open hides the big things behind closed doors.
And our sheriff deputies deserve more stable funding than episodic support by periodic and uncertain measures like Measure Z.
Our security and safety depend on a lot more than law enforcement, and Steve prioritizes many community-based approaches that safeguard the health and wealth of all residents.
Ryan downplays his low environmental score by pitting local control against statewide interests while insulting “the people and groups that appeal.”
Ryan appears to misunderstand the value of a statewide Commission that moderates local decisions regarding the Public Trust.
A perfect example of this value materialized when Pacific Coast Seafoods proposed to double their oyster farming operations, a project supported by this Board of Supervisors.
Ryan voted to approve Pacific’s project, despite the opposition of the Humboldt Fishermen’s Marketing Association, the Wiyot Tribe, California Waterfowl, boaters, hunters, and Audubon California.
The other Commissioners voted it down, resulting in Pacific Seafoods returning to the Commission with a scaled-back proposal that reduced, rather than increased, their footprint in the Bay, while using innovative techniques to increase their oyster productivity. The Commission then approved a vastly improved project.
Had it been left to local control, and Ryan, their original project would have compromised much of half of California’s remaining eel grass beds, a vital food source and habitat for herring, 300 species of invertebrates, 100 plant species, 100 fish species, 200 species of bird migrating birds, 60% of all migrating Black Brant, 23% of all migrating and overwintering Western Sandpiper, and 44% of all migrating and overwintering Dunlin, and the 100,000 shorebirds that come to Humboldt Bay each day in the Spring.
Ryan now criticizes an alarmed and informed public, and takes credit for saving oyster farming jobs, when the thanks belong to his fellow Commissioners and the public he criticizes.
Mercer-Fraser’s Riverfront Weed Projects (Hash Lab)
Sundberg taking credit for convincing (Justin) Zabel to withdraw the Mercer Fraser refinery is akin to taking credit for putting out a fire that he helped start.
Was Sundberg unaware of Mercer’s permit application for the refinery that had already been submitted when he promoted the land designation in the GPU that allowed the permit to be approved?
And did Sundberg say anything when his appointees to the Planning Commission voted to support the project this January, over the strenuous objections of the Water District, which was never invited by the Planning Commission to comment on the project, and an alarmed public?
In their withdrawal letter to the County of 4/17/18, Mercer’s lawyers revealed that Sundberg actually supported a revised version of the project. We see evidence of this support when he minimizes the dangers of the chemicals, as well as his reassurance in the debates that the project was “two feet” above the 100-year floodplain, despite the fact that the 1964 flood exceeded this level, and two feet is not sufficient to protect structures from undermining and debris.
A recent LTE from Scott Fraser discloses that Ryan acknowledged his support even of the original project.
The CalTrans-Trinidad Rancheria’s preliminary documents make it clear that their preferred option is a new $30-40 million interchange off 101 to the Casino and proposed Hotel and other amenities. Aside from potential eminent domain “Taking” of private property, there are other serious concerns. Ryan participated in HCAOG discussions that resulted in a $.775 million grant to evaluate the environmental impacts of the proposals. The money will go to the CA F&W Commission, where Jacque Hostler-Carmesin, Trinidad Rancheria’s chief executive officer is a member. Ryan’s uncle Garth is Chair of the Rancheria.
The casino income has indeed suffered, but primarily due to the free market competition from Blue Lake and Bear River. The Rancheria may benefit from added amenities, and improved access and connectivity among tribal lands, but since the Rancheria is embedded within the Trinidad and Westhaven communities, the issues of failing roads and local (speaking of local) transportation should be addressed by the entire community. Instead, the Rancheria and CalTrans have proceeded with a sweetheart deal for the Rancheria at public expense.
Meanwhile, the rest of the County suffers from a $200 million backlog in road repairs, and Last Chance Grade is falling into the sea.
Instead of addressing the relevant issues, Ryan accuses Madrone of racism.
Madrone’s family includes black, native, white/Hispanic among his 16 grandchildren, and he has been endorsed by three local Native Tribes.
Our regulations facilitate large nuisance grows, and the big growers can dominate not just the cannabis market, but also real estate ownership. That’s why Willow Creek is so worried, why affordable housing is impacted by indoor growing, and neighbors complain about generator noise, nighttime light pollution, noxious odors, and the risk of Sudden Oak Death spreading to the Trinity Valley from unregulated soil transfers.
The Economic Future
We in McKinleyville deserve a more vibrant economy than a few stores along Central Avenue. Ryan has obstructed attempts to develop the Town Center, because he sides with developers who resent planned developments, despite the Town Center being a key feature of the 2002 McKinleyville Plan.
This Board of Supervisors has become so unbalanced that we suffer from its wasteful decisions on a daily basis. Most recently, it was McKenny’s resignation from the Planning Commission for violating the CWA. The Mercer kerfluffle is not over, other hazardous proposals owing to poor land planning wait in the wings. Remember the Public Defender debacle? Ryan still defends the Board’s decision. And the Board’s changes to the GPU that roll back environmental protections, along with their marijuana ordinances, concentrate wealth in big operators.
Steve Madrone’s ideas envision more than a bedroom community, with a Vista Point visitors’ cultural center, an airport industrial park, sustainable forestry, trails and more. Steve thinks about developing the agricultural, industrial, forestry and fisheries economy of the Trinity Valley, from Willow Creek to Orleans.
Madrone has recognized skills that we have the opportunity to make use of on our Board of Supervisors. Now is the time for change. Ryan is still young enough to take his skills to other political venues and return the wiser in years to come.