|Get Involved Today! Make
a Donation! Get
Paul Gallegos, Humboldt County District Attorney (6 mins)
Kaitlin-Sopoci-Belknap, Campaign Co-Manager for Measure T (19 mins)
John Bonifaz, Attorney and Founder of the National Voting Rights Institute (17 mins)
Corporate Initiative Set for June Ballot
James Faulk, Times-Standard
The measure, with more signatures than any other ballot measure in county history, has already stirred much debate. Some believe it to be unconstitutional, while others think it's necessary to restore the public's faith in the democratic process.
Sara Senger, a McKinleyville attorney and former supervisorial candidate, said that while she strongly believes in campaign finance reform, this is the wrong way to go about it.
"This is illegal on its face," she said. "It is discriminatory."
The proper solution would be to limit contributions, she said.
The law may also have unintended consequences, she said, like excluding participation from groups like Sierra Club while allowing the continued participation of rich locals who may not agree with the organizers' political beliefs.
Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, campaign manager for the Humboldt Coalition for Community Rights, said the law is legal and it falls squarely within language set out by the U.S. Supreme Court.
She said organizers worked for a year to craft the language of the ordinance and that they are firmly aware of its consequences.
The county had two options: Either adopt the measure as an ordinance or put it on the ballot. At the request of organizers, the board chose to put it on the ballot. It had the required number of signatures.
In other business, the board heard from Community Development Services Director Kirk Girard on the general plan update process.
Late last year, the board directed its staff to evaluate the growth potential and infrastructure requirements for urban study areas.
"The goal of the project is to increase housing production by increasing land availability and infrastructure capacity countywide," a staff report read.
Girard has been working with state officials to develop legislative reforms for addressing housing issues within the state. One idea that has gained some steam is the development of specific housing plans to define what land is available, the infrastructure needs and plans to pay for it, among other things.
The county will seek to be the pilot program for this kind of effort, Girard said.
It would coordinate the efforts of the county, the cities and the special districts for developing an inventory of what can be developed over the course of 20 years. The board gave the concept its approval.
"Ideally, specific housing plans would also guide annexation feasibility evaluations, municipal service elements and capital improvement plans," the staff report said.
They will proceed concurrently with the general plan update, Girard said.
Julie Williams of the Northern California Association of Homebuilders criticized the county, saying the association's earlier offer to help the county fine-tune its housing figures and development potential seems to have been ignored.
"The (association) is deeply concerned that our willingness to cooperate with the county in its effort to plan accurately for the next 20 years not be overlooked," she said in a letter to Girard.
Girard, at the meeting, said the homebuilders' services could be used by a consultant who will likely be hired to flesh out details of the planning areas.
Williams pointed out that her group's services would not be a drain on taxpayer funds.
This planning process will engage the county with all the area's cities and special districts, and it's going to be a challenge to get all of them on board, said Art Nellison, especially in the timeline forwarded by Girard.
The board also decided to send a letter in support of a grant application under the U.S. Department of Agriculture for money to help some residents of an area next to a deteriorating bluff near McKinleyville.
The county would not be the applicant, 5th District Supervisor Jill Geist said, and would likely only pay a portion of the 25 percent match for the $650,000 grant. A portion of the county's right of way is affected.
The board also heard from Barbara Shults, an animal advocate and radio show
The board referred the issue to its staff.
Humboldt County Leaders Endorse Measure T!
Democratic Party of Humboldt County
Green Party of Humboldt County
Central Labor Council of Humboldt and Del Norte Counties
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local #1684
Building and Construction Trades of Humboldt and Del Norte Counties
Carpenters Union Local #751
Operating Engineers Union Local #3 AFL-CIO
Paul Gallegos, Humboldt County District Attorney
Peter LaVallee, Eureka Mayor
Chris Kerrigan, Eureka City Council
Dave Meserve, Arcata City Council
Harmony Groves, Arcata City Council
Paul Pitino, Arcata City Council
Bob Ornelas, Former Arcata Mayor
Connie Stewart, Former Arcata Mayor
Elizabeth Conner, Former Arcata City Council
Julie Fulkerson, Former Humboldt County Board of Supervisors
... and hundreds of other individuals and local businesses! Join us today!
Learn more about Measure T in a Pros and Cons Video, produced by Eileen McGee (51 mins)
Humboldt Coalition for Community Rights