Thursday, April 26, 2012

1st District Forum hosted by Humboldt Association of Realtors! Annette DeModena, Cheryl Seidner and Rex Bohn in showdown! Here comes that train!


The Humboldt Association of Realtors hosted a forum 4/25/12 at the Runeberg Hall in Eureka. I will try to dissect as much information as I can.  I had over 4 pages of notes, and I am sure you don’t want the long version. So here is a synapse.
Opening Statements:
Annette: Teacher, Grand Jury member and involved in Positive Research for Preparation of Information.
Cheryl:  Did you know that the Eel River used to be called the Weott? Her ancestors lived on the banks and also on Indian Island. Nobody in this race can claim longer linage. Champions’ local road improvement, health care, need of jobs and housing for all. “We need people talking to people as a collaborative effort!”
Rex: Said we need to create private sector jobs and be business friendly. “I like to get things done!” “This is the most beautiful place in the world!”
What is your position on the Forster Gil/Ridgewood project?
Rex: Is not happy that Cal Trans and the City of Eureka were left out of the loop. He does not feel the slopes in the area will be able to handle development.  Doesn’t like that the developers are not local.
Cheryl: New housing wouldn’t be bad, but the infrastructure needs to be dealt with. The traffic issues mitigated. Would like things to go back to the drawing board as far as water and sewage issues.
Annette: Lead agency was not addressed for project. “Lots need to be done. The streets proposed need to be widened.”
Should the General Plan Update protect right to live on TPZ land?
Cheryl: Protect landowners. Need to work together, private or not. “The County needs to work with the landowners!”
Annette: “Protect their rights to live on the lands.”
Rex: Protect property rights.  Respect the lands handed down to family members (Heritage) but respect the environment also.
Should County support Richardson Grove Project?
Annette: “Get it done as soon as possible!”
Rex: “Get it done tomorrow!”  “Needed for niche manufacturing and safer passage!”
Cheryl: “This is in litigation and out of our hands. Need to focus on local made products. This affects all of us!”
What are your feelings about the shady parcels from the planning department?
Rex: “This is a problem created in the 1970’s.” “Land owners need this to be fixed and fast tracked to allow property to be developed. That will create jobs!”
Cheryl: “You got me.” “My property was one of those shaded.” She felt this problem was handed down for generations, but the planning department was helpful. She thanked Jimmy Smith for help on this issue also.
Annette: Said that the planning commission was taking care of mitigation.
What are you feelings on the proposed Railroad going east?
Cheryl: Need a county feasibility study. Needs to be looked at vigorously.
Annette: “I am part of Prosperity 2012 and we are proposing a rail study.” She pointed out that many jobs would be created and the benefits for the harbor would be great.
Rex: “Tehema has approved feasibility. So has Trinity. Why is Humboldt the holdup?” “Having a viable deep water port could create 500 jobs.” Felt we needed to look at study because rail is environmentally friendly and takes truck off the road.
Are you a Private Property Advocate?
Annette: “Yes, I am an Advocate.” But she wanted to make sure land use decisions fit codes. Mentioned not liking the Tip Top club.
Rex: “Yes. Property rights are an intangible asset. “
Cheryl: “We own our property and should be good stewards.” “Meth labs in housing is not responsible ownership.” She would like to help people through the process and work together as a community.
How do we create affordable housing?
Rex: “Create jobs and housing will become affordable!”
Cheryl: “Every Neighborhood needs everybody!”  “Need to take of all and live together. That is a community!”
Annette: “It takes a village.” Feels that a community is responsible to do something.
What are you feelings of the restructuring of the Community Development and planning department?
Cheryl: “Sometimes offices get too big. I don’t know what happened. If that is what has been done let’s see how it works.”
Annette: “The Department grew too big.” “It is healthy.”
Rex: “It is a big ship and the Captain leading it is responsible.” “The planning staff need to know who they work for, us!” “The Department is not business friendly and plays with inventory numbers to the point that grants are misapplied for.” “The efficiency of this department has been grand jury discussion.”
How do feel about Rural lifestyle allowing Homesteading?
Annette: “It is a choice. Your right to do that. Go for it!”
Rex: “It means having a septic system instead of a sewer system.” “It is alright if you live within your means, just remember, the 1st Responder is you!”
Cheryl: I grew up in a rural community with well and septic service.” ”We’ve bee doing this for years. We are a hardy people.”
What is your opinion on the General Plan Update?
Rex: “What’s it been? Twelve years?” “Plan is unsustainable and unaffordable” “It strips away personal property rights.” “I have been to around 40 public meetings and this as a political football.” “May have to start over to anything done in Humboldt County.” Rex mentioned other counties only taking a little over 2 years to update their plans.
Cheryl: “In my opinion, it is going too slow.” “The process is huge and difficult. People were not being listened to. ““Need to vote this one in and start a new one”
Annette: “The County General Plan needs to be updated every 20 years and we are getting close to that many years.” “The process is too slow.” She feels the need to readdress the Citizen Advisory Committee, and land use issues. 
Contrast these roles, private sector vs. public in community planning decisions.
Cheryl: “Private is very important and Government needs to cooperate.” “Makes me crazy. “ “Need to get to the meat of things!”
Annette: “Currently this is being done top down with not much public input.” “There is power in the people.”
Rex: “For the people, by the people.” “Private sector pays the bills!” “You need the private sector to attract businesses.” “ Need to get things done, no cum bay a or touchy feely stuff.” “We meeting stuff to death!” “So no just having a meeting so we can say we had a meeting.”
What is the first thing you would have the new planning director address?
Annette: “How do we serve the people efficiently for all?” “Have them be part of the solution and not the problem.” She would like to help support change.
Rex: “Improve customer service.” “Run the department like a private enterprise.” When Bob cannot obtain a permit, Bob cannot work, so no jobs!” “If staff needs checks and balances, staff is limited by their Supervisors.” “Need to copy other places for customer service.”
Cheryl: “People First!” “Talk to the Director and go through right channels.”
Closing Statement:
Rex: He feels he has the Qualities to get things done. An emphasis on Public Safety, Roads, Parks and less on grants.  “I will work like there is no tomorrow!”
Cheryl: Not a stranger to hard work.  Wants to help people who can’t help themselves. “People First!” Has raised money for the community and promises that “The doors will always be open!”
Annette: Spent 24 years here in education. Been active in the community. “I do care. I can’t serve people if I don’t know who they are.”  People approached her to run for this seat.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Widen the roads in the Ridgewood project? Does Annette dislike smart growth, or not understand the point? Anyway, I was wonder the impression the project is dead, at least as planned, because of zoning. Their website is gone.

Anonymous said...

Why bother? We all know who the Humboldt Association of Realtors is going to endorse!

Anonymous said...

eek, wonder = under. Time for coffee.

Anonymous said...

Positive Research for Preparation of Information????? Tried Googling that and came up with nothing.

Anonymous said...

Personally speaking, I've getting very tired of candidates promising jobs. It just doesn't work that way! Supervisors are not job creators. Either are City Council persons, yet every campaign speaks of jobs jobs jobs!

Anonymous said...

It does not seem as if Rex is willing to spend the rest of his life in meetings, so why is he running? The Economy? The Environment? Sorry, I seem to be getting my Security National projects confused...

Eric Kirk said...

No questions on the Shell wind power proposal? Seems like that's a pretty big deal in the first district.

samoasoftball said...

Maybe the next forum they will bring up the wind power subject. Not much difference in platforms to seperate these candidates. Kind of surprised with Cheryl's views on property rights. Might be more in line with Estelle Fennell. Makes the HCDCC non endorsement of Fennell stranger.

Brianconno said...

Cheryls answer to the Richardson Grove Project is B.S.

Brianconno said...

Cheryls answer to the Richardson Grove Project is B.S.

brian connors said...

not sure what happen there, sorry.

Anonymous said...

Well...there was one significant difference pertaining to the GPU. Bohn and Modena want to go through the steps to get it right, while Seidner wants to "vote this one in" and get the next one right. I don't think kicking the problem down the road is acceptable.

I thought Bohn and Seidner muffed the response on the shaded parcel question.

Why bother but... said...

Passing the current GPU is not comparable to "kicking the problem down the road" any more than passing any other GPU has been.

TPZ Dwellers and land speculators are not the only consituency in the 1st District. Good for Cheryl!

Anonymous said...

I don't get the disconnect between Rex wanting to protect property rights, but suggesting the Ridgewood property is too steep to develop. That's a NIMBY response that flies in the face of science (e.g., the facts).

Eric Kirk said...

Kind of surprised with Cheryl's views on property rights. Might be more in line with Estelle Fennell. Makes the HCDCC non endorsement of Fennell stranger.

A key difference, if your description of the debate is accurate, is that Cheryl supports voting the proposed GPU in. Estelle wants to hit the reset button and extend the process even further - hoping that the new plan won't be much different than the one drawn up in the 1980s.

Cheryl is however, more conservative than Clif or Mark, and that probably works well for the First District. Will it be enough to earn her a runoff? I don't know.

Stu said...

Lots in Ridgewood Village will have steep, unusable rear yards, because the roadways will occupy most of the space on the relatively flat ridges that run through the area. A better plan would be larger lots with septic systems, That would take care of the sewer, which, along with traffic, is one of the biggest problems to overcome with this development.

Anonymous said...

Septic systems aren't going to fly for any increased density, and their effluent could contribute to landsliding.

The Ridgewood fiasco illustrates perfectly the consequences of not having a realistic and validated planning framework in place. I doubt the development will happen unless the planning environment changes considerably.

I thought it odd that Fennell stuck her nose into the whole Ridgewood issue with her T-S opinion piece. It was really none of her business.

Stu said...

With larger parcel sizes of 2 to 10 acres, there would be usable yards, and plenty of room for septic systems that would not cause any landslide, anonymous. This would also greatly reduce the traffic.

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