Wednesday, March 11, 2009

NCRA bullied by staff. And paranoia abounds.

The North Coast Railroad Authority had a meeting today at the Humboldt County BOS chambers. Staff of this board is supposed to make provide information, counsel and suggestions to help a public agency/board make decisions. With this bunch, it was more the staff making decisions and steering the board to comply! No kidding. I witnessed this today and commented on it publicly. They spent around 2 stinking hours to pass a motion to agree to public hearing dates for the Russian River Division Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR). It was clear that staff wanted to only hold One meeting, even though Director Tom MacDonald from Marin County said he understood from their last meeting that there would be 3 public meetings. Staff (That means CEO Mitch Stogner) said they decided one was sufficient, and that in fact, they were not bound by law to even have one. Written comments were enough. Director MacDonald of was not comfortable with this and wanted public input at this meeting which staff and Chairman Allen Hemphill were very leery of even allowing.

Public comments were pretty tame (well accept for my bantering staff for bullying the board. I reminded the board they could have as many meetings and modify meeting times as they see fit, and direct staff to do that. That is the correct order for business.) There seems to be this underlining "boogey man" war between trails advocates and rail people. They are always addressing each other without identifying the players. Getting old really.

Director Paul Kelley of Sonoma County was the creator of the original motion and was very patient in having his motion twisted and spun. Director David Colfax of Mendocino County clearly was frustrated as he felt the one meeting process was sufficient, but he would go the extra meetings for transparency issues. He said this EIR was very simple as compared to his counties General Plan EIR's and felt there was a waste of time in these meetings. (Who voted this guy in? Let's do everything back doors and just trust me. Yee, scary.) Director Bernard (Bernie) Meyers of Marin County was also for additional meetings.

Director Clif Clendenen of Humboldt lobbied for additional meetings. Director Charles Ollivier of Humboldt was silent over the subject. Both voted with the motion to have 2 meetings as an alternative. (Good for them) Whew. Two hours wasted on just a meeting time and date. No wonder the rail is slow in rolling.

But the good news is that that first 62 miles are a go. The next 142 is going to be doable this next year.

From Willits to Samoa in the next 5? I am pro rail and trail, so I hope these groups work together and are transparent with each other. We all need to work together and not war against each other. We need a healthy rail system in the long run. If we have port development. If we have product. If we have the need. You get my drift.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

"two hours wasted just on a meeting time and date"

And you wonder why people think the meetings are a waste of time? Come on Richie, THE MEETINGS ARE A WASTE OF TIME. Let it go. Find something else to pretend you have influence over.

I hate Anons said...

Why don't we all just do nothing, curl up and die cry baby Anon 7:10?

Chris said...

I'm still waiting to see the DEIR they supposedly just released. It's not on the website, and not in my inbox since requesting it two days ago.

Doris & Shirley said...

Quit starting sentences with "And".

Doris and Shirley said...

ZHow did that amp get in there?

Doris and Shirley said...

How did that Z get in there? And this is the 3rd try. See how stupid that sounds?

capdiamont said...

The only DEIR posted so far is the exective summery, or so it seems. I got it from the SR PD. I posted it here DEIR

Rambo said...

Harbor District meeting canceled
The Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District Board meeting set for tonight has been canceled due to illness. The next board meeting will be held on March 26 at 7

samoasoftball said...

7:10am- I seem to have time to do this. Can't believe you are wasting time to comment. You have no life obviously.

Thanks Cap. 59 pages. Wonder how many pages the next EIR will be when dealing with the Northern end of the line to Samoa?

Rambo: The meeting tonight was going to deal with the budget. That will be a biggie when they deal with it.

Rambo said...

Thx Rich, I am to far away to know what they are on. Just say it was canceled in the Sub Standard

Ernie Branscomb said...

I was just wondering...

The criteria for deciding if we should build a railroad is whether or not it will pay for itself. How will the trails pay for themselves?

Rose said...

Good question, Ernie. I think the answer is business would pay for it - but if you kill off all the businesses, and prevent any ideas for developing more, for developing things like the port, ain't gonna be anybody left to be payin' for anything.

capdiamont said...

looks like the posted the full DEIR now on their website.

Carson Park Ranger said...

"I think the answer is business would pay for it"

Sure. Let's see the arithmetic on that one.

Mike Buettner said...

The trails will most likely get funding from tax payer dollars... just like the railroad. The trails require very little maintenance compared to the railroad. Funding for trails is readily available.

Personally, I would bet a trail from Eureka to Arcata will see a greater usage than the tourist train.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I can make the meeting. I think it conflicts with the CC&PHCC (clear cut and pave Humboldt County coalition) at the Flemming residence that same evening!!!

Anonymous said...

Where the heck is Mostranski?