DERAILED: Is ethics complaint the end of the line for Clendenen as NCRA director?

Supervisor Clif Clendenen's NCRA votes may come back to bite him in the caboose.

District 2 Supervisor Clif Clendenen is the subject of a fresh Fair Political Practices Commission complaint alleging the North Coast Railroad Authority director’s opposition to a revived rail system could possibly be related to the fact that the rail in question abuts his Fortuna property.

According to the complaint, the Clifster hasn’t been working against the railroad just to pass the time away:

Clif Clendenen continues to express his opposition to restoring freight rail service from Willits in Mendocino County Humboldt Bay. Instead he has informed his constituents that he favors ‘rail-banking’ that portion of the NCRA line through the Eel River canyon. Such a goal would eliminate nearly all of the freight traffic that would pass by Clendenen’s Cider Works thereby having an effect on the utility and value of the real property owned by Clif Clendenen’s family.

Clendenen, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisor’s lone NCRA representative, was named a director in January 2009, meaning he’s had only two and a half years to point out this potential conflict of interest.

Have you met Clif? That’s actually not very long for him. Like the blink of an eye.

But still. Busy man that he is, certainly he could have taken a minute to note that his opposition to a revived rail system could increase the value of his family’s property.

Click here to see a portion of the FPPC complaint. We’ll try to link up to the whole document later so you can decide for yourself whether Clif’s tenure as NCRA director should be fee-fi-fiddly-i-over.

69 Responses

  1. Ah, ethics shmethics. Ya know?

  2. What’s the negative impact of freight cars passing by an orchard? If the complaint said he had a house next to the rails, I’d understand. The picture painted is that of disgruntled apple trees.

  3. Ruh-roh. This could be an entertaining board of supes meeting. Isn’t an NCRA vacancy being filled or something like that?

  4. I know, Anonymous. Nothing a prog has ever done is wrong. My question would be somewhat different: If there isn’t a problem, why didn’t he inform anyone that his property line happens to be the railroad he keeps making decisions about?

  5. Both questions are good ones, but I do find the lack of disclosure puzzling. I’d like to hear what he has to say for himself.

  6. Seriously,

    After repeatedly voting on something for which he had a conflict of interest, Clif could be facing more than just having to resign…

    I guess this explains his crazy actions at the last BOS meeting during which he mentioned some mysterious “other interest” in the NCRA appointment.

  7. If the FPPC does anything with this besides round-file it I’ll tweet you a shot of my chest.

  8. All eyes will be on Clif today. I don’t think he is going to have a very good day. 😦

  9. The Clendenon house IS next to the tracks. Hmmmm and he’s not the only prog public official to be in trouble.

  10. Such a goal would eliminate nearly all of the freight traffic that would pass by Clendenen’s Cider Works thereby having an effect on the utility and value of the real property owned by Clif Clendenen’s family.

    Oh, so that’s what eliminated all that freight traffic!

  11. You probably know the technical term for this, being the big shot journalist that you are, but I think the FPPC complaint is using contingent verbs. I have no doubts however that you will find other reasons to mock it.

  12. Pay no attention to Mr. Sims. He’s always a little bitch when he gets scooped.

  13. Did Andy Bird just threaten to show someone his rack?

    Is it possible to be grossed out and intrigued at the same time?

  14. My goodness, everyone is up early this morning! Lets review, a local businessperson/elected official has decided what’s best based on pure self-interest. Good Golly Miss Molly, the very thing that another local business person(s) is routinely castigated for in blogs and other forms of media.

    I am sure that the irony is not lost on the erudite Mr. Sims, however grumpy he may be today (not a morning person, I guess) As for Andy Bird and his ‘rack’, please spare us, because if he starts flashing his concave chest, it is only a matter of time before he finds some reason to send out photos of his tiny, little penis. And we all know how well that has turned out for other semi-famous Dems.

  15. Andy Bird has three nipples.

  16. Didn’t Dendra Dengler of the Manial Community Service District get caught in a similar conflict? Cost her thousands of dollars. How many votes has Clif participated while on the NCRA?

  17. In Clif’s defense, he probably didn’t know what those rail thingys were right next to his house. Can the FPPC declare someone incompetent to stand trial?

  18. Is the railroad important in Rob’s grand scheme for Humboldt County?

  19. I don’t believe that the railroad is comming back either. I also don’t think Clif had the intent to vote on issues that financially affect him. That still doesn’t make it okay for Clif to have a business and own property next door and then vote on matters affecting that same next door property.

    Look at it this way. Local progressives consistantly say the Marina Center is never going to happen. Now, imagine Frank Jaeger had a rental next door to the Baloon Tract. Think it would be okay for Frank to vote on it?

    Just because someone doesn’t think a project is likely to be sucessful doesn’t mean that they get to vote on it.

    btw, here is a link to Clif’s 700 filing showing that he does in fact have a substantial interest in the property directly next door to the railroad he has been voting on.“clendenen”


  20. Next door or across town, everything has a financial impact on everyone, positive or negative. Why the train going by would have any negative impact on apple orchards or the value of anyone’s property has yet to be explained.

  21. Imagine if a politician received large campaign contributions from businesses and property owners with a well known stake in the balloon track. Should they recuse themselves due to the huge benefit they receive for voting the way their political benefactors demand in exchange for their support? This complaint is just a smear, but what else can be expected from the Arkley Smeared Mirror?

  22. I know, right? But all those elected officials who took huge piles of campaign cash from Bill Pierson keep voting to obstruct his competitors. It’s unconscionable, really. So nice to see we agree on something.

  23. “Next door or across town, everything has a financial impact on everyone, positive or negative.”

    Kinda true. Maybe thats why the FPPC picked 500 feet. So for better or worse thats the law. Zero feet (immediately next door) is a lot less than the legal limit of 500. You can try to change the law, but until then the law is the law, and it appears Clif violated it in a major way.

  24. And Richard Salzman has three dicks.

  25. You’re right Hank, nothing to see here. Move along. Go back to your pods and take your Prozium.

  26. You should start a contest to see who can predict how many or how few comments it takes for someone to make everything about Rob Arkley. It could be kind of a spin-off of the reductio ad Hitlerum.

    I don’t know why people waste time talking about progs. They certainly pose no intellectual threat.

  27. Might just get a letter from the FPPC but then they decided for someone else that had a complaint filed that they were “new” and just didn’t know.

  28. Why isnt this about the HUGE public sector cost savings on building and maintenance that foregoing the futile revival of rail travel through untenible terrain rather than the little harm that a train passing apple trees would afford Clendenen personally?

  29. I think it’s important that any representative who is appointed to the NCRA be pragmatic about the costs of reviving the railroad. However, it seems counterproductive to have Clif sit on a commission whose purpose is to revive the railroad when he is against it.

    Railroad is probably the best, most green and cost-effective mode of transporting goods. Although there may not be the goods being manufacturing or grown here NOW to support railroad, but saying the line is dead and turning it over to bikes is not the solution either.

  30. Umm, same type of soil as 101.

  31. Having a balance of railroad enthusiasts as well as those concerned with the public’s pocket book seems reasonable. It’s not a dictatorship. Railroad is the best, most green and cost-effective mode of transporting goods and people. If you have a stable bed on which to run it.

  32. This is really astounding. How many ethics-training classes has he attended? They go over stuff like this quite explicitly. And there are dozens, if not thousands of boards the Sups split up, he should immediately get off this one and trade it for another where he has no conflict.

    I didn’t watch the Board proceedings today, hopefully he recused himself from any further votes.

  33. Anybody can file an FPPC complaint. They are meaningless unless the FPPC initiates an investigation. I’m betting these complainants will receive a letter from the FPPC in 60-90 days informing them there is no violation to investigate. I won’t bother working out.

  34. That sounds an awful lot like what everyone said about that woman from the Manila Community Services District, right up until she was hit with that fine. Yes it’s true anyone can file them. It’s also true that the most egregious ones result in fines. I predict Clif isn’t going to want to roll the dice on this and instead will soon find himself too busy to continue on the NCRA and politely bow out.

    And Andy, you haven’t bothered working out for 45 years.

  35. the railroad did run for something like 100 years. somehow in the early 1900’s they kept it open.

  36. Is Mo the ex of Peter Martin? Regardless is it ok Mo to F off conflict of interest laws just because you can use the “public’s interest” as an excuse? If so you progs are seriously fucked up.

  37. Who is Humbug’s number one target? Lovelace? Pierson? The CCC?

  38. I don’t think anyone is number one. The motto is “do good look good, do bad look out”.

    Ps Andrew Bird you are an autocratic and meaningless fucktard. If that’s your considered opinion you are a total waste of our taxpayer money.

  39. You, shit for brains prog. Your on here constantly with your little bitch comments and shots at RA. Is your head just full of snot or is there a brain in there. No matter what happens he will have more money than you, just live with it. Is not what defines people. Problem is your to stupid to realize it. Get on with life, do something positive instead of this whiney mental masturbation.

    Bird boy, how stupid can you be, it is an ethics violation if this is true. What, just cause your a half- assed journalist you don’t know about ethics. OH, I forgot your in with the team at prog central.

  40. ??????? Huh? That’s cryptic bugs. Explain cause I got lost. Bad me.

  41. Another guy struggles to grasp the basics. Back to second grade for you.

  42. Whatever happened to Bill Wennerholm? I miss his comments.

  43. I loved second grade. Lusted seriously for the grand dame oh well. Hmmmmm. Soooo much for great memories.

    And Andy you really suck!!!!

  44. I think Clifton is going to get himself rail spanked.

  45. This is not a smear. It is a real issue. It may end up being small and a slap on the wrist for mr appleseed. Mark the midget’s attack on planning comish Herman was a smear. The horrid imp is still attacking the honest citizens. Be afraid any time the little poops mouth is moving.

  46. Mo, why do you only care about ethics violations when people you politically oppose commit them?

  47. Why did County Counsel decide that Denver Nelson couldn’t vote on the Forster-Gill Development? Anybody?

  48. Wait a minute! He’s been hiding the location of his property all this time?! Damn him! Now he’ll kill the railroad so that he can sell his farm property for high end development – you know, the people with lots of money who don’t want their freeway noise being drowned out by the sound of an occasional train.

    But his role is derailed because, ….. some guy filed a complaint.

    I love your satire Humbug. This may be one of your best!

  49. Eric is the same lame excuse-tard as always. Guess a leopard can’t change its spots. Mo is still irrational (maybe too much to drink again gal pal?) SOSDD.

  50. Fucktard…I love that word. Trader Joes…Walmart…Home Depot…Olive Garden. Please Fortuna give us what we want. Fuck Eureka!

  51. Isn’t Eric a lawyer? No wonder he can’t get steady work. Laws don’t matter, and if some people know something it doesn’t need to be disclosed. Brilliant. Remind me to hire him next time I want to lose.

  52. Kiss My Aura Dora…It’s Real Angora. Just Kidding!

  53. Good luck at the BT appeal hearing tomorrow!

  54. Censoring posts is pathetic.

    @DynamoHum – Fuck local Fortuna businesses too!, right?

  55. Notice that every cogent argument gets deleted? Pathetic!

  56. Dierdra Dengler’s address was in her candidate forms. So why did she have to pay a fine?

  57. Nothing has been deleted, douche. If there are no cogent arguments here it’s because you haven’t made any. The management is not responsible for your banality. Thank you.

  58. If you want to see what deletions are all about, swing by Heraldo way and watch the utter terror that results from informed disagreement.

  59. Maybe the douche pickle doesn’t know what “cogent” means.

  60. I love Fortuna,,,Glad to be gone from Tulsa Del Mar (McKinleyville). I just think we should have a choice and maybe a road that’s wide enough to drive on. I love redwoods too, just think it might be worth our wile to make this place a little more accessaible. Don’t mean any harm. God Bless!

  61. Maybe we don’t know what “douche pickle” means.

  62. We can’t have all those evil building materials reaching Humboldt……. Derail it! Derail it! Rotten apples on the tracks!

  63. Most folks believe that the railroad will only take goods out of the county – probably like garbage and wood products – but the fact is that there are people who in past years wanted to create a business – like the guy with the gypsum board plant on the north spit for export. He need to import vast amounts of gypsum and t he most economical way is by rail. No rail, goodbye. There have been other inquiries through the years, but that is one I know about. How scary it is to create private sector jobs here. And beside, the railroad annoys some people, and that makes it all the more worthwhile. What would Humboldt do without us vs. them.

  64. If the rail is economically feasible, why don’t the businesses that would benefit from it put up the money to rebuild the tracks and stabilize the Eel River canyon? I thought you guys were all about privatization and the free market.

  65. Jane. By that reasoning why do you and your unemployed friends depend on “grant” money from everything from toilets to speed boats? “We” end up paying taxes for grant money. I don’t use your shit so pay for your pet projects yourself. Now disappear over to the defunct HH site you troll.

  66. The best quote of the day could be best quote of the month and then at year end we can vote for best quote of the year – just could win. Can he stand trial for ……… That was funny. I have learned not to drink coffee while cruising through the blogs or I would have had either repairs to computer or had to buy a new one. Hugs bugs!

    What is PJ doing over here? Maybe not enough for her to complain about on HH? Go home PJ as this is supposed to be a fun blog and at times even gets real info about what is going on the HH just won’t post.

    Does PJ understand sic em from come here? Buh bye PJ.

  67. Sorry I was on vacation and missed the more elevated parts of this discussion. Although it is a heap o’fun to catch up and see how it devolves. Anyway, the original accusation is pure-D crap. Clendenen’s property values won’t be affected whether there is or isn’t a “working” railroad, whatever that may consist of. Here’s why, if you’all are cable of reading more than 2 sentences. 1) When the supervisor’s grandfather established this orchard, several trains a day were going past it. Steam trains, then diesels. Did no harm to the orchard. 2) The supervisor’s son is already taking more responsibility for day to day operations of the family business and it looks as if the orchard, cider, and produce store will go on for at least another generation, and I doubt trains v. hikers will have any affect at all; 3) As for railbanking — if the railroad is not “banked,” it will continue to cost the NCRA mountains of $$ and eventually will have to be abandoned, at which point the easements that make the line possible will revert to the original property owners, and the railroad will never come back. If it is banked, some other organization will accept the responsibility, taxes, liability, etc. and if freight rail again becomes feasible, the railroad has the right to take the line back over again. 4) I attended an NCRA meeting at which Clendenen said he would support railbanking for reason (3), NOT because he wanted to stop freight trains or because he prefers a trail — he wants to be sure the railroad does not lose rights to its easement; he has never, to my knowledge, said he supports the trail idea, only that it’s an idea that needs more consideration; 5) I don’t understand how anyone, including John Woolley, whom I otherwise admire, can seriously think that the line through the Eel R canyon could possibly be restored so as to support freight traffic, even if there is any freight traffic; it’s insanely unstable and costly to maintain and was from the VERY FIRST day of operations, when a slide near Alderpoint delayed the VERY FIRST train on its way from SF to Eureka for the big drive-the -golden-spike celebration; 6) Other members of the NCRA board also own property along the rail line, that’s one of the reasons they’re interested enough to serve on the board. It’s not a conflict to serve on the board because you own property next to the line; a conflict of interest occurs if you are likely to significantly benefit or lose financially from a specific project. Thanks for your time, and now you’all can go back to swapping insults.

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