Robin and I went to the Humboldt County Planning Commission (HCPC) meeting last night. The whole Reggae on the River fiasco was on the fore-front. Here are some of my observations from the sidelines:
If the Mateel Community Center (MCC) and Peoples Production (PP) did not become public with their grievances, the HCPC would have systematically accepted their event permit as they have for years without protest. Even though they have violated the permit for years as far as attendance. It was never a huge issue before. Now the subject is public and the Planning Commission is accountable. So the HCPC have to make a public stand.
Drugs have been an issue for years at ROR. Now it is “highly” public. The HCPC has to address the issue now. They never had to in the past. The squabble between MCC and PP has caused this to be a problem and be public. They both claim they can fix it. Ha! There were people giving testimony that they did not witness a drug problem. I am not kidding! It was almost comical, if not pathetic.
Commissioner Jeff Smith held some public comments to 3 minute, but let others drone on for around 10 minutes. Why he did this is beyond me. I think he felt he needed to let the “stake holders” be allowed more time. Hey Jeff, it is called “public comments” for a reason. It’s to give all the public equal opportunity to speak, not pick and choose who is to be given preferential time.
The Planning Commission has no idea who is holding the event. They have publicly stated that there will not be 2 events. Unless there is some agreement quickly between the MCC and PP there may be no Reggae on the River period.
While counsel for PP Brad Floyd was addressing the Commission, MCC Director Tayna Stapp and MCC counsel Allison Jackson were shaking their heads no, and looked in total disagreement with his testimony about a “referee” from San Francisco mediating or rendering a final judgment quickly.
Listen to the money talk. Venue owner Tom Dimmick and his neighbor with the 2,500 campsites are going to rake in the cash. They were there to give weak testimony on PP’s behalf. Cha-ching. Show me the bling! At least some lawyers are getting some work out of this. It might be sad for the non-profits that use this venue for fund raising. Oh, what greed will do.