Kirk Girard’s GPU Monkeyfuck dies with a wimper

What? General Plan shocker!! Who saw this coming?

Other than everyone, of course.

We saw it coming, and we’re not even smart.

Anyone who thought this board was going to blithely accept the Kirk Girard General Plan Update needs to be issued an encephalitic helmet so he or she can walk down that hall without further injury to the brain. Elections have consequences. The progs flogged the dog on the GPU for more than a dozen years in a process that was, most of the time, laughably fucked, and now they’ve lost control of the process. This is commonly referred to as the will of the voters, the way of the world. Sometimes one side wins, sometimes another. And anyone who can’t hack that basic political fact should go back to working for Ken Miller. He’s always just about one idiot shy of a quorum, and it looks like in this case there are two up for grabs.

Lovelace’s GPU assessment just doesn’t measure up

Warning: Objects in The Mirror may appear larger than they actually are.

Third District Supervisor Marky Mark Lovelace was in damage control mode in a recent T-S article and quoted trying to diminish the most recent bungle discovered in the General Plan Update process.

The massive decade-long debacle overseen by the now departed Planning Director Kirk Girard has been mired in delays, controversy, more delays, staff infighting, yet more delays, and a shocking amount of wasted time by the county’s planning commissioners who have been stuck with sorting out the mess before it goes to the Board of Supervisors for approval.

And now community concerns over a paragraph linking unplanned pregnancies to global warming that was cut and pasted into the GPU’s environmental supporting document are “overblown,” according to Lovelace.

He also noted that it’s not surprising there would be “typos” because the EIR’s appendices were 10-inches thick. We’re left seriously doubting whether Mark even knows what 10 inches looks like.

Tears of joy?

The Times-Standard’s Megan Hansen reports that the county staffers who recommended keeping Kirk Girard as director of one small piece of the former Community Development Disservices Department and continuing to pay him the same fat salary for a fraction of the work were in for a bit of a surprise yesterday at the Board of Supervisors meeting. Turns out District 5 Supervisor Ryan Sundberg didn’t see the brilliance of those proposals. Spoilsport!

Anyhoo, for now it looks like Girard will have to apply for a position–or at least pretend to. Because according to CAO Phillip Smith-Hanes, we may have to keep paying the guy whether or not we have anything for him to do. If Girard were not given the position, Smith-Hanes said,

We’d have an interesting quandary of what to do with that person. Just because a position goes away, doesn’t mean the person in that position goes away.

Interesting indeed, and a statement that beautifully captures the essence of government employment.

So here’s a thought: We could make “that person” the county’s first $9,000-a-month dogcatcher, and please understand that I mean no disrespect to dogs.

Any other ideas?

Special interest group urges supes to ignore special interest groups

"Hypocrisy is a fashionable vice, and all fashionable vices pass for virtue.”

Anti-development special interest group Healthy Humboldt sent a guest opinion piece to the Times-Standard exhorting the board of supervisors to disregard input from special interest groups.

Using similar logic, the authors–Dan Ehresman and the ubiquitous Jen Kalt–argued that removal of the man who has bollixed the General Plan Update for the last 12 years could bollix the General Plan Update.

Encouraged by the letter’s publication, the two decided their well developed sense of dramatic irony would be better employed writing French farce, so they departed at once for the 17th Century.

Okay okay, not really.

Preschool teacher hands Girard his ass

A quick word of advice to (current) Community Development Disservices Director Kirk Girard: Don’t piss off the smart people.

An example thereof is one Hilary Mosher, a woman whose attempt to open a preschool in McKinleyville reads like something from a Kafka novel. Her story, which she tells in a Times-Standard guest op, goes something like this: She asks planning staff if she needs a permit, the planner doesn’t know, asks two other planners, one says yes, one no, the original planner says she trusts the judgment of the one who said no, so Ms. Mosher begins construction.

Easy enough! So let’s just go to the game film and see how that worked out for her:

When I contacted Girard after a “stop work” order was posted on the school gate, and told him that I was following the direction I’d been given by his staff, he said: “If you were a professional, you would’ve gotten that in writing.” Appalled, I said, “I am a professional educator. I pay taxes and should be able to expect that when I contact my government office for crucial information, it will be correct.” Girard retorted, “You know, I could reverse the decision for your penalty fee [he levied thousands in penalties] if I found that my office was at fault … but I won’t because I don’t believe that’s what happened.” Then he said that he had ordered a training for all his junior staff to “avoid the situation from recurring.” I said, “Wait–you don’t believe that it happened, but conducted a training to prevent it from happening again?” and he laughed. It was obvious that he knew I was telling the truth and was enjoying unfairly exerting power over me.

Girard would subsequently say that there were “zones she could set up her facility in without requiring a permit and she did not choose one of those zones.” Mosher says the only problem with that answer is that there are no zones for preschools in Humboldt County.

After spending thousands of dollars, Mosher finally got her permit–along with a condescending reprimand from the Planning Commission for intentionally building outside a zone that didn’t exist.

Yeah. That story’s likely to leave a mark on the ol’ performance eval. So good luck with that, Kirk.

EMPIRE FALLS: Kirk Girard out at Building and Planning?

Inside sources say longtime Community Development Disservices Director Kirk Girard will no longer run the Building and Planning Divisions. He will retain control of Economic Development and Natural Resources, at least for now.

No specific reasons were given for the change–probably because the list is too damn long. Girard’s recent cock-up over the multifamily housing rezone was likely just the last straw.

So what does this mean for the Community Development Disservices Department? Will Girard continue to draw a full salary for half the job?

And who will run the Building and Planning Divisions? Will those functions be outsourced to the private sector as some have suggested?

Most important–What will become of the General Plan Update? No one’s ever accused us of being very smart, but the answer to this one seems obvious even to us:

It’s game on, bitches.

Update:

The matter might be tied to this item on the Supervisors’ closed session agenda for Tuesday:

“It is the intention of the Board of Supervisors to meet in closed session to consider the Public Employee Performance Evaluation for the position of Director of Community Development Services pursuant to Government Code Sections 54954.5 and 54957.

New and Improved Update:

After hearing two McKinleyville and Cutten residents remind the Supervisors of their personal experiences dealing with a rude Girard and his inability to actually hear the people he is forced to listen to, County Counsel Wendy Chaitin reported in the afternoon meeting that the board met in closed session to discuss Girard and unanimously voted to punt the issue to the Oct. 11 meeting.

 

BREAKING: Lovelace, Girard do their jobs

This headline comes straight from the Will Wonders Never Cease Department:

Lovelace, county help Cypress Grove find new dairy site

That the headline isn’t exactly true diminishes our amazement but little. According to the Times-Standard article, District 3 Supervisor Mark Lovelace and Community Disservices Development Director Kirk Girard are helping Cypress Grove look for a new dairy site. Hopefully their uncharacteristic public support of business will persist all the way through to the finding stage of this endeavor. Fingers crossed!

Also from the Times-Standard is a story yesterday about beginning the search for a new EPD chief. Curiously, even inexplicably, our favorite local daily chose to illustrate the article with a photo of former EPD chief Garr Nielsen.

What, exactly, might that be about? Were they trying to depict the last person on earth who might get hired for the job? Or does someone need to break out the Andrea Bocelli cassettes and tell poor, sad Mr. Greenson over there that it is, in fact, time to say goodbye?

Tan triste, amigos!!

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