Sunday, July 10, 2005

Conflicts Of Interest

Glenn Goldan had a My Word column in today's Times Standard. This was pretty much along the same line of his comments at the Humboldt Taxpayer's League meeting last Thursday. He makes a good point although I'm sure many will still say developers shouldn't be on redevelopment boards. Who knows? Not sure there's any easy answer to the question, at least in my mind.

8 Comments:

At 9:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wolves watching the hen house. The issue is crystal clear in my mind.

 
At 7:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting article about John Frame and his long-time lawsuits with Trinidad:
http://www.times-standard.com/Stories/0,1413,127~2896~2960258,00.html

From the article: "I like to spend time with something before I make a decision. I spent two years trying to work with the city before I filed one of these suits. I gave the city a clear message, too, what this is all about, what the issues were, and what it could do."

Huh. The guy did all the right things, unlike HTL (in your eyes), and yet he is still reviled as a villain. PR or no PR, lawsuits are the one remaining avenue for justice.

 
At 8:08 AM, Blogger Fred said...

I believe he's reviled as a villian, by some, because he shut down a trail that a lot of people were using. Of course, I haven't followed that story closely, if at all. The news article makes it sound like he's some conservationist doing the right thing. I don't know.

There will always be someone pissed because of a lawsuit but some come out looking ok. A couple of local papers mentioned the suit against Eureka by Don(?) Davenport over that Veterans Whatever it was,as an example of how it should have been done. He raised a lot of hell outside of court, first, then went to court and won.

Keep in mind that part of the issue among League members is whether the League should be involved in litigation in the first place. Some members don't think that should be a League function. I'm not sure I agree with that but we need to remember that other individuals or groups could file the same lawsuit. It's not exclusively a League option.

If you really want to see the lawsuit take place, get hold of that ambulance chaser the Taxpayer's League is using. I'm sure he doesn't care who files the suit. He just wants the money.

 
At 10:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What good is an advocacy group with no teeth? Oh, suggest things and then do nothing? Please. The courts are a citizen's tool to seek justice. I applaud the HTL board. OF COURSE it's their role to decide whether to file a lawsuit. OF COURSE members will be upset. I'm sure the HTL membership is just like any other membership -- very detached from what the organization is actually doing. Then all of a sudden they wake up and cry because they haven't been attending the meetings. Well, boo hoo.

 
At 8:18 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Well, one thing you'll have to explain is what this proposed lawsuit has to do with taxes, which is what the Taxpayer's League generally deals with?

Not even the proponents of this lawsuit suggest that the taxpayers are being ripped off by the proposed development. I understand most, if not all, are in favor of the developments.

Certainly the situation of conflict of interest could affect the taxpayer somewhere along the line, but no one is saying that happened here. Certainly spending government money for redevelopment does affect the taxpayer, but they're not saying that happened in this instance, other than whatever money the City or County paid to subsidize this development. Seems to me they're just complaining about a conflict of interest that hasn't harmed anyone, at least no one I know of.

 
At 12:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sure thing. A quote from a Eureka Reporter article:

"Goldan has an exclusive-right-to-negotiate agreement with the city for the purchase of its Waterfront parcel between C and D streets, on which he plans to construct Seaport Village and Square."

http://www.eurekareporter.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?ArticleID=2164

In other words, the parcel at issue is owned by the city. From that I deduce the parcel at issue is public property. And from that I deduce the parcel at issue really belongs to the public, i.e., the tax-paying citizens of Eureka.

Looking at the organization bringing the lawsuit, the "Humboldt Taxpayer's League," I deduce the group's intent is to advocate on behalf of taxpayers.

Or am I horribly mistaken? Is HTL just a recreation club where taxpayers get together to drink beer and shoot pool? If that's the case, I apologize for misunderstanding an issue that seemed clear as crystal.

 
At 8:23 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Advocate doensn't necessarily mean litigate, although as I've mentioned before, I'm open to the question of whether they should be involved in litigation.

From where you're coming from, everything the City of Eureka is involved in should involve the Taxpayer's League since everything's paid for with taxes.

 
At 6:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Advocating without potential for litigation means you have no teeth. People in seats of power do what they want unless there is someone able to stop them. Period. Without the court system the average citizen has no power, no rights.

From where I'm coming from, yes, a taxpayer advocacy organization should be a watchdog for all of city government. A gadfly is needed to keep any organization honest.

I sit back and see everyone complaining about how HTL went about approaching this issue, instead of debating the merits of the lawsuit. That tells me EVERYTHING I need to know about what's really going on.

 

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