Oh THAT explains it

Yeah. Guess who teaches the Coastal Commission about bias and conflicts of interest? They're definitely learning from the best!!

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Neely family circle-jerk continues

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Bonnie Neely: Had enough of her yet?

Each time we think Bonnie Neely’s unscrupulousness has reached its peak, she comes up with something new and altogether breathtaking.

Latest case in point: Her shoving through the hiring of an on-call independent police auditor to investigate the Sheriff’s Office following critical incidents.

Any guesses how much this expansion of powers might cost? Well no, actually, because the idea was proposed for the first time that morning, so it was not vetted by staff and not reviewed by the sheriff, but it was fought for tooth and nail by the board’s delegate to the Human Rights Commission.

That said delegate is Ms. Neely, and that the chair of the commission and person who pulled the last-minute bait-and-switch is Neely’s brother-in-law Neal Sanders, and that this family tie went unacknowledged throughout the unusually contentious debate–that’s all just icing on the cake.

But the decorations on top of the frosting–the stars and sprinkles and those little rose-petal candies–that has to be the statement by County Counsel Wendy Chaitin that Neely’s relationship with Sanders does not constitute a conflict of interest, because Neely would not benefit financially from rewarding her family members while punishing her enemies, like Sheriff Philp, who was a loyal supporter of Neely nemesis Roger Rodoni, among his other atrocities.

Maybe Chaitin can next issue an opinion on whether being asked to review the ethical propriety of the person to whom Chaitin owes her own job would be considered a conflict of interest.

Better yet, maybe we should skip this shit entirely and retain an independent auditor to review these kinds of critical incidents on the board of supervisors. If it’s good enough for one elected official, it certainly ought to be good for five more.

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.