WE ARE WEEKS AWAY FROM HAVING A FANTASTIC CHILDCARE FACILITY AT THE COMMUNITY CHEST IN V.C.
GOODBYE AND HELLO AS RECORDER JEN CHAPMAN LEAVES THE RECORDERS OFFICE AND JOINS TEAM STOREY AS THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER. CONGRATS TO MARNEY MARTINEZ IN REPLACING JEN AS INTERIM RECORDER
STOREY COUNTY WILL NOT BE GOING TO THE DOGS AS THE 10 DOG ZONING AMENDMENT WAS DENIED
IN A CASE OF THE POT CALLING THE KETTLE BLACK, COMMISSIONER LANCE GILMAN’S EMPLOYEE KRIS THOMPSON SAYS THAT ANYONE WITH A BANKRUPTCY ISN’T QUALIFIED TO COMMENT ON COUNTY FINANCES—HEAR THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP? MARK TWAIN? THOMAS JEFFERSON?
You can find the Agenda HERE, County manager Austin Osborn’s Summary HERE, and the recording HERE. Commissioner Carmona’s post was not available at the time of this post. I will post it when it arrives.
The meeting was fairly procedural and the key items pretty well covered in Austin’s summary.
I’d like to reiterate a couple of items.
Eric Schoen, Executive Director of Community Chest said that they are looking to open the childcare facility in September. He also noted that the organization will be approaching its 30th anniversary and that they are planning a celebration in the near future. He said that the last 5 years, in particular, has seen remarkable progress. For example, youth involvement in programs was at about 20 people 5 years ago, today it is 52.
Martin Azavedo, Community Development, said that the Delta will be opening the bar by the end of August and hopefully the whole facility by January 1st.
Jason Wierzbiki, Public Works, said that phase 1 of the drainage project in Mark Twain will soon commence. There is a meeting on August 14th in Mark Twain to go over the details of the project.
Austin Osborn, County manager, said that the I.T. department has reported that they spent 40 hours on a public records request. Austin has requested that all departments keep a log of how much time they spend on these requests to get a handle on what the burden is to the county.
SIDENOTE– NO it was not me or Sam Toll……there is another person and other entities who make these requests….there always has been….. we did NOT cost the county $100k as previously announced by Commissioner Carmona. Talk about fake news!
Back to business….
Austin also announced that outgoing Recorder Jen Chapman has been hired to replace him in one of his many prior jobs….that of Administrative Officer. Later in the agenda, Marney Martinez was approved to replace Jen in the interim.
Austin also talked about his plan to hold “Coffee with the County” meetings in each community. The first one is Wednesday, August 7th at 8 am at the Roasting Company with Deny Dotson, VCTC, in attendance. Austin hopes to hear from the merchants and residents what their concerns are.
SIDENOTE- I commend Austin for doing this. This is a first as far as I can tell for a County Manager….oh…we only had the one, and Whitten didn’t do it. It is good to be available to the residents and answer their questions. So kudos for doing it Austin. I hope that this isn’t just a new chapter in the same old book……I hope that it is a whole new open book. Maybe we can stop awarding highly paid county employees big bonuses, giving away taxpayer dollars to multi-billion dollar companies, re-hiring highly paid county employees as more highly paid consultants….oh wait…..Austin rehired Pat Whitten. Sigh……
But I digress…..
There were several items on the Agenda which were pushed out to future meetings. One was the $ 85k contract with a company to help develop the Water Master Plan for the Comstock, Mark Twain and Highlands areas…they are still working the language of the contract.
Another item that was pushed out was a contract for assistance in planning any planned unit development and/or large land subdivision.
SIDENOTE- Read Painted Rock and whatever “campus” concept that BLOCKCHAINS and/or Switch has in mind in TRIC. Getting professional help is a smart move since little ole Storey County simply doesn’t have the ability to do these types of complex projects.
NDOT was moved up to the beginning of the agenda due to their time constraints and gave a presentation on some Storey County statistics as well as to verify the top two projects for Storey County. You can find that presentation in the packet.
Lastly, the approval to refund the $71,266 in permit overcharges in Community Development was pushed out indefinitely.
SIDENOTE– These overcharges were done by former highly paid and highly bonused county employee, Gary Hames, during his time in Community Development as a re-hired more highly paid contractor and why he was perp walked off the premises. Ostensibly he was terminated because he increased the fees without Commission approval. If you read the Storey Teller’s story HERE you’ll see that Gary contends that he had approval thru the D.A’s office for implementing a fee increase that he says was previously approved. Gary has filed a wrongful termination suit against the County. Meanwhile, it seems that until there is a resolution to the Hames firing the refunds can’t happen.
This is confusing to me since he is just a contractor like any other contractor and his contract can be terminated for any reason with 30 days notice…he was paid for two months of no work after he was perp walked so I can’t understand the legal leg he is trying to stand on for the termination.
This will be interesting to watch unfold since things rarely make it out of the D.A’s office once it goes in there for investigation. Meanwhile, people were overcharged and will be waiting until forever to get their money back. Wonder if any of them are going to sue the county for that money?
Pucker up more digression ahead………
The zoning amendment to allow for 10 dogs in those areas zoned ‘Estates” ( typically 10 plus acres) was not approved. The current zoning allows for up to 6 dogs and is already more generous than surrounding counties and the need for increasing it ( for one resident) wasn’t compelling enough to get approval.
Lastly, during the correspondence update, the request by Sam Toll to add an agenda item to discuss moving Public Comment to the beginning of the meeting so people can come in, say their piece and go back to work was denied.
During Public Comment Sam Toll, Editor of The Storey Teller, got up to express his disappointment in the denial of his agenda request.
His point these many months has been that other public meetings have Public Comment at the beginning and at the end of the agenda. That by relegating it to the end of the agenda the Commission shown that it’s intent is to put people last and to stifle public involvement and comment during these meetings. No one has the time to wait 2-4 hours until they are allowed to speak. He also congratulated Jen Chapman as the new Administrative Officer and asked if she was also going to be the Public Information Officer handling public records requests. He wanted to meet with Austin, now perhaps her, in order to understand how he could make the requests needed for him to do his job and not put an undue burden on the County.
His last comment was to say that he had asked Commissioner Carmona, in writing, to substantiate his charge that he was the one who cost the county $100k as a result of his requests and that Commissioner Carmona has not answered his request with any factual evidence to support that claim.
Kris Thompson, Lance Gilman employee got up to say that he was opposed to moving Public Comment to the beginning of the meeting. He said that NDOT would have had to wait until this front end public comment was complete until they could go on. He said that pushing those on the agenda aside so that someone can smear the County was wrong. He was referencing Sam Toll when he said that and then he further stated that it is ironic that someone with two bankruptcy filings comments on County finances.
I got up to say that agenda’s get tweaked all the time if companies have time constraints, the Commission accommodated the NDOT request to be up first. I said that other public meetings have public comment at the beginning for the convenience of their residents…..those in Lockwood and other communities would like to make comments but just can’t sit thru the entire meeting to do so.
I then stated that there were people in that room who fail to pay their bills and their taxes and that I find THAT worse than a bankruptcy.
SIDENOTE-………………. Sam Toll has a bankruptcy in his past…that is no secret. He’ll tell you about it…just ask him.
The relish with which Kris Thompson launched what he thought of as a torpedo in a public forum laughing as he did it was very telling and unfortunately a sign of his being out of touch. He thought it would be an embarrassment to Sam…it wasn’t. Sam is just another resident who has a bankruptcy.
I think that most, if not all of us, know people who have had to file bankruptcy…they learned from the experience and became successful…..there is no shame in it….I mean….the President of the United States makes a habit of it. Here are just some of the scumbags who have a bankruptcy in their history:
- Mark Twain….yes…our guy..what a slacker
- Abraham Lincoln…what a dolt
- Ulysses S. Grant…..alcoholic boob
- Thomas Jefferson…dumb as a bucket of rocks
- Walt Disney….mousey and lacked imagination
- Donald Trump…..bankruptcy icon…you gotta admit that….
I think I can safely say that they would ALL be qualified to comment on County finances.
For Thompson to claim that bankruptcy somehow makes you fiscally incompetent is an insult to millions of people…..and tone deaf to what happened in the great recession that affected so many families in this county. They were NOT stupid…they got caught in it and they have the right to comment on the county’s finances despite their own past situations….and so does Sam Toll.
What is more interesting to me is that Kris Thompson’s “ revelation” about Sam would be said by a person who has been disbarred by the California Bar Association, also no secret…you can read the gory details about his drug and alcohol-related traffic offenses and repeated failure to comply with the Bar Associations orders HERE.
Additionally, if you look at his background report HERE you will see 8 criminal records, small claims judgments, evictions and a litany of tax liens totaling over a million dollars. I have to wonder how a person who apparently has a problem handling money, has a pattern of not paying his bills and doesn’t seem to learn from his own mistakes is in any position to point a finger at ANYONE or to conduct business on behalf of anyone. I mean…..how do you trust someone like that?
In full disclosure, I have to say that MY background report is really boring since I have none of the above….well…..except for the pesky speeding ticket…….