We promised ourselves we wouldn’t cry–with update!

The Community Development Disservices Director is no more. But be proud, Kirk Girard! Not everyone can fuck up a job so badly that your employer has to eliminate the position when you’re done with it.

From the February 28 Board of Supervisors agenda:

Job Descriptions for Director of Planning & Building and Director of Economic & Resource Development

RECOMMENDATION: That the Board of Supervisors adopt the new department head class of Director of Planning & Building (class 0832, $9,024 monthly, unit 10) into the classification plan, effective immediately; allocate one full-time equivalent (1.0 FTE) Director of Planning & Building position (class 0832, $9,024 monthly) in budget unit 277, effective April 1, 2012; adopt the new department head class of Director of Economic & Resource Development (class 0820, $8,629 monthly, unit 10) into the classification plan, effective immediately; approve the reallocation of the Director of Community Development Services position (class 0820, $9,611 monthly, position #01) in budget unit 277, currently occupied by Kirk Girard, to Director of Economic & Resource Development (class 0820, $8,629 monthly) in budget unit 275, effective April 1, 2012; and delete the classification of Director of Community Development Services (class 0820, $9,611 monthly, unit 10) from the classification plan, effective April 1, 2012.

Maybe they should allocate a full-time equivalent Director of Just Making Shit Up position to explain why it is Girard is relieved of about three-fourths of his duties but less than ten percent of his pay. Is this a demotion or a nut-scrub?

Oh, and yeah. We did mention a little somethin’-somethin’ about this a while back.

Totally not shocking update: The Times-Standard reports Sunday morning that although Kirk Girard’s current position will pay less in the future, the staff recommendation is to let him go ahead and keep one hundred percent of his salary for twenty-five or thirty percent of his job. With sound decision-making like this, how is possible we’re in a budget crisis?

Community development director packs his bags

Kirk Girard, the controversial director of the county’s Community Development Disservices Department, has accepted a similar appointment in Bell, California.

Girard told the Mirror that he will always love Humboldt County, but his beliefs and values were more consistent with those demonstrated by Bell’s leadership.

“We just think alike,” he said. “In many ways, it’s like going home.”

According to the city’s website, Girard’s starting pay will be $785,000 a year plus benefits, bonuses, performance incentives, longevity increases, bribes, payouts, payoffs, a county car and a team of skilled defense attorneys.

Kirk Girard’s ‘most accurate’ housing element rejected due to inaccuracies–with fascinating update!!

Let's see how the two human cinder blocks unfuck their way out of this one.

Alas and to no one’s surprise, the state of California has declined to certify Humboldt County’s housing element because of its inclusion of thousands of supposedly buildable lots the state determined no one would ever be able to build on.

These include lots in environmentally sensitive areas, lots zoned exclusively for agriculture and lots that would be buildable only if we had an infrastructure much better than the one we actually do have. But our favorite has to be the lots that would be buildable if gravity did not exist, such as the 1,088 lots identified as buildable in–wait for it–Shelter Cove.

Typically, news like this might occasion a bit of frivolity at the expense of the Community Disservices Development Director. But here’s what’s totally unfunny: The state’s rejection of the county’s housing element will automatically result in the forfeiture of millions of dollars in Community Development Block Grants the county would otherwise have received as a matter of course.

We’re talking about money for things we actually need–like affordable housing and necessary infrastructure upgrades–things the same supervisors who signed off on this crap plan claim to care so much about. So that’s nice.

On the bright side, at least we know who to thank.

Fascinating Update: We tried to link to the Times-Standard story–but lo, behold, etc., there isn’t one, at least not online. Is it possible they actually missed this story? Ten different people tell us about it yesterday, and not one gets word to them? Maybe they just forgot to put it online or something. Let’s hope for that. But it says something about their organization that stupid is a best-case scenario. And yes, by the way, we know this isn’t at all fascinating.

Will the record be unbroken?

An ambitious project, a big pile of dough and Kirk Girard: Never a good combination.

GirardGreatestHits

Hits, shits, whatever.

Misty water-colored memories

AEDC…. AEDC…. We wondered why that sounded so familiar–like a high school friend whose name we remember but whose face is a pimply blur.

But then–aha!! That AEDC! It all came back at once–the dust-up! the excitement! the intrigue!! the whole stenchilada of controversy and scandal! All just a few years ago, but impossible to recapture now.

Instead–your indulgence, please. Allow us to recap, and we mean briefly! In one little sentence, even: The AEDC, acting as trustee for 584,000 of the City of Arcata’s CDBG dollars, spent 194,000 of them on the AEDC, instead of on a certain Foodworks Culinary Center, and then abandoned the project and defaulted on the loan.

A keyword addendum, if we may: HUD, displeased, city, fucked. You get the idea.

Then, of course, there’s the aforementioned audit report describing a spirited race toward fiscal imprudence between AEDC management and our very own Community Development Disservices Director–a contest which, as of now, is still too close to call.

So why, then, given the history, the audit, the bad math and sloppy accounting, the opposition from the community so clearly expressed during the public comment period Tuesday–why would the Board of Supervisors seriously entertain the suggestion that the AEDC be given in excess of a million additional dollars in public funds?

But we digress. Quick unrelated question–pop quiz, as it were: Anyone know who the controller of the AEDC is? Clearly not a very good controller, given the number and severity of problems described in the audit–but still. A name, please? Anyone?

Ah, that’s right. Something else we’d forgotten, until now. AEDC’s controller, Stephanie Witzel, is–coincidentally, we’re sure–the sister-in-law of Bonnie Neely, a name we couldn’t forget if we tried.

Audits and oddities

To: Humboldt County Community Development Disservices Director Kirk Girard

Subject: Headwaters Revolving Loan Fund request

Dear Director Girard,

Thank you for your recent request for an additional $1.5 million loan to the Arcata Economic Development Corporation from the Headwaters Revolving Loan Fund account. Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate your request for the following reasons.

  1. An independent audit revealed that you mismanaged the first $1.5 million you gave to the AEDC. Specifically, the auditor noted that:
    a. You cannot account for the money.
    b. The AEDC’s independent auditor cannot account for the money but has aked to borrow some of it.
    c. AEDC staff cannot account for the money and are uncooperative when asked to try.
    d. As a result, it cannot be determined whether the county is being repaid promptly, or even repaid at all.
  2. We’re still looking for that $11 million and change in Community Development Block Grants your department gave out and didn’t keep track of.
  3. All of this was made public just last week, and we haven’t forgotten about it yet.
  4. The appropriate response to a report that rips you a redundant pooper and recommends suspending activities with the AEDC is not to say, oh, yeah, cool, so can I give them 100% more money to mismanage?
  5. I was already up to my tits in complaints about your incompetence and arrogance before this most recent example of both.
  6. The big “not recommended” with my initials next to it on the cover of the staff report? Yeah, fuckhead, that’s all me.

Oh and Kirk–funny thing. Somehow, the agenda for the July 14th meeting at which the audit was presented does not contain a link to the audit report. Funnier still, every other agenda item is properly linked to its relevant supporting documentation, and only that audit report seems to be missing. Weird, huh?

Cordially,
Loretta Nickolaus
Humboldt County Administrative Officer

Bugs give themselves fat pay raises

In a 2 – 0 vote, the Humboldt Mirror bugs voted Wednesday to give themselves gazillion percent pay increases.

The move came on the heels of a unanimous decision Tuesday by the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors to grant large pay raises to some of the highest paid people in the county.

“It’s true that we basically just sit around and suck all day, but nothing can compare with the combined suckage of, say, Kirk Girard, Paul Gallegos and Wendy Chaitin, who were just given an extra 10 Gs each per year,” the Humbug said.

“Unlike those fumbledicks, we haven’t wasted millions of taxpayer dollars on failed redevelopment plans or politically motivated litigation. That kind of incompetence costs money, and lots of it. It’s only fair that they receive a larger share of the money they’ve been primarily responsible for wasting.”

Ironically, supervisors approved the raises shortly before Chaitin’s interim county counsel performance review, during which she was given impressively low marks on virtually every aspect of her job.

One insider said Chaitin took such a beating during the evaluation that the supes had to actually take the huge stacks of extra money sitting around and fashion makeshift bandages out of the bills to staunch the flow of blood.

The pay raises are scheduled to take effect June 29, just in time for the bugs’ annual Fourth of July PBR kegger.

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