We are happy to agree with Publisher Judy Hodgson's statement: "Boards of Supervisors come and go. Public policy is made and remade." We were less impressed with the remaining portion of your editorial (Publisher, June 13).
We supported four of the five members duly elected to the current board, and we continue to support them. You are so angered at some straw vote taken in general plan deliberations — yet such refining/revising is the prerogative of every board. We don't see a need to become so incensed with a board trying to make some sense out of a 12-year draft general plan preparation exercise. This is precisely the time language negotiations get on the table so that the document can be adopted. Getting a general plan adopted after so much public involvement is going to be a dance where no group will get all it wants. We hope this doesn't come as a shock to you, but it's a political process.
We support your idea of people discussing issues and thereby becoming more involved. We dislike the hit-piece style of how you represent your perspectives as fact and irreversible gospel, and vilifying others while trying to round up support for your goals.
The board meeting we saw had about 40 people speak, and all of them were respectful in providing their testimony. We wish the Journal had been respectful as well.
Lora and Joel Canzoneri, Arcata
Having reviewed all the letters, and your editorial of the past two weeks about the recent action by the Board of Supervisors in regard to the General Plan, I thought I would weigh in on the subject. Although it's like blowing into the wind in your publication, I have to fully agree with Jessica Bittner's letter supporting the changes the board made. There were reasons why the voters elected the current board, and the General Plan mess is one of them. To infer that these board members are in the bag, or incompetent, is uncalled for mudslinging. I believe that what they did was long overdue and had been fully vetted in the many public hearings in the past, ergo no more public whining was necessary. Now, enough talk, let's get on with the update!
Gerald Spellenberg, McKinleyville
It was shocking to see the disregard for public process and for the efforts of the Planning Commission, the attendees at years of Planning Commission meetings, and the work of the Planning Department staff demonstrated by the Board of Supervisors in the straw poll vote taken on the "revised" General Plan Guiding Principles.
How is it even possible that a vote of such importance could be announced with merely three days' notice? How is it possible that these "revised" principles could be cooked-up behind closed doors and then sprung on the public in such a manner?
These are not minor edits but are major revisions, particularly eliminating all reference to protecting forests and farmland from further subdivision. In addition, the board voted to remove a key principle that spoke to the importance of including actionable plans for funding critical infrastructure needs.
As a member of the board of the Weott Community Services District I can tell you that our outdated and grossly underfunded water and sewer systems in our community and other small communities like ours are in desperate financial straits. For these reasons and many others, the board must reconsider the decision to adopt revised General Plan Guiding Principles to allow sufficient time for public participation and to remedy these and other gross omissions.
Barbara Kennedy, Weott
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