Saturday, June 14, 2008


County Counsel Code Enforcement Confessions

Interesting development at yesterday's code enforcement task force meeting.

Why don't they just be honest and say
"we are looking for big diesel generator grows, like the one that just spilled diesel into Hacker Creek, and the big diesel grows that are polluting the air, and could cause fires, etc., etc., etc., We could all get behind that. Leave the families alone, unless they are big diesel generator growers.
I just wish one time the T-S would get straight that there were no warrants against anyone who Desadier and his goons harassed on Elk Ridge. This is why the county cares, because there's just no excuse for Code Enforcement's behavior, and they know it. But TImes-Standard readers can't know it, or understand what has to change. Maybe we have to change the reporter first.
When they came for me I was asleep . . .
I'm shocked. Shocked I tell you.
"When they came for me I was asleep . . .".

thorn says,

"Public outrage in April centered primarily around the Woods Ranch and Elk Ridge case..."

i guess the t-s reporter, jessie faulkner, soomehow forgot that one of the most egregious cases of excessive force connected to these ill-advised code raids was at the yee-haw ranch in trinidad.

well, they ignored that incident at the time, so i suppose they're just being consistent in their incompetence and/or pro-police spin.

either way, it certainly plays into the hands of the bureaucrats and excessive-force apologists who are desperately trying to pretend that all the firepower and aggressive approach was somehow justified because of the isolated nature of some sohum properties and the prevalence of marijuana growing in that part of the county.

but the trinidad case was perhaps the most extreme case of the excessive force (with a gun pointed at a young woman with a baby in her arms and young son at her side, for absolutely no reason other than to get her to "hurry up" and vacate her home within seconds rather than a minute or two). but, of course, trinidad is neither very isolated, nor was their any marijuana whatsoever being grown at the yee-haw ranch.

so once again, the t-s coverage is both inaccurate and incomplete in a way that tends to make it appear that this is just a "so-hum pot grower" issue, and if you're not a sohum pot grower these violent code enforcement raids don't effect you.

intentional spin or the usual t-s incompetence? so, which is it jessie?

well, at least ms. chaitin finally admitted some amount of error on the part of the county. yet she continues to pursue the idiotic lawsuit against the landowner and tenants at yee-haw, the insult that was added to their injury as retaliation for their having the temerity to publicly complain about how they were treated by the bully desadier and the coward fulton, and their fellow code goons.

changing the policies is important, but it is also important to stop persecuting those individuals who were caught up in the "auto-pilot" excessive force indidents over the past year. much damage has been done to the lives of some of the families at yee-haw. yet the county is still harrassing them, suing, and threatening to bankrupt the owner of the property with millions in acumulated fines for petty-ante bullshit "violations" like greywater.

this needs to be stopped now. ms. chaitin's tiny mea culpa will not be the last apology the county will have to issue on this matter. perhaps the real apologies and real changes will only take place after there is an expensive class-action lawsuit agianst the county. it seems like that's all these clowns understand.

- thorn
Faulker is a lazy slob. She never gets details right--these guys were wandering around Elk Ridge without warrants. They searched one plae with a warrant then ran around the neighborhood searching other properties without warrants or any cause other than 'they might have unpermitted buildings they grow in'.

If cops busted a grow house in Eureka with a warrant and then went door-to-door down the block without warrants, assuming everyone on the whole block were growers too Eureka and Arcata would be outraged.

Yee Haw has *got* to get on the agenda. They are taking public comments now--they have to under the brown act. Come on in Friday the 27th and make yourselves heard!!The county has drop this ridiculous suit against Garth.
And how about that fact that their Code Enforcement's justification for not giving notice of impending visits was so the pot wouldn't be pulled before they got there??
This is supposed to be Building Code enforcement, so the only possible justification for a no-notice warrant would be that the target landowner might correct any building code violations before they got there.
But I guess since it's safe to assume the target landowners are either growers or friends of growers or live in the same watershed as growers, then they've pretty much forfeited their rights to raise any property rights issues or unlawful search and seizure issues, eh?
This is so reminiscent of the crap the county tried to pull 40 years ago.
Thankfully we had a Judge back then like Judge Thomas!
garth? huh? explain please?
It's not the SoHum first name Garth person; it is someone at YeeHaw with last name Garth.
Oh my gods, the Colonials have found Earth. And it looks like Estelle's future political prospects...
thorn says,

charles garth is the owner of the trinidad property that is home to the community known as the yee-haw ranch.

after some yee-haw residents complained on kmud about the violent code enforcement raid at yee-haw, the county retaliated by filing a lawsuit against mr. garth for "unfair business practices" for allowing some low-income families to live on his land for what the county has decreed is "substandard rent."

not satisfied with retaliating against the owner, the county also served a bunch of the yee-haw residents with "john doe" papers accusing them of being "co-conspirators" with mr. garth in this evil scheme to exchange affordable rent for modest accomodations.

as a result of the raid and the lawsuit, a number of low-income families had to move away from their homes and gardens and away from the safety and support of their friends and neighbors at yee-haw, and into...what?

some found o.k housing at a much higher rent - helping to keep them trapped in poverty. others had to move to crowded, not-kid-friendly trailer parks or low-rent city apartments. and of course a number of people were rendered entirely homeless. one man who spoke at the big board of supes meeting this spring testified how thanks to the code raider's armed efforts to improve his lifestyle he was now living in a hollow stump with his dog. so that's success according to our county bureaucrats? great.

yes, the county needs to drop their idiotic and retaliatory lawsuit against mr. garth and the residents of the yee-haw ranch.

i will certainly encourage folks from yee-haw to come to the june 27th meeting and speak during the public comment section. i don't know how many former yee-haw residents will want to come, since at this point many of them have absolutely no faith in our county government (and who could blame them), and some may feel that they will just be retaliated against even more for speaking out again.

but i'll bet that some yee-hawers will come and be heard. and i hope that some of our sohum friends will come out in support - i know that it meant a lot to the folks at yee-haw that so many other folks from around the county stood up for them at the garberville meeting and at the board of supes.

we need to keep the pressure on until we get a real change of attitude and policy, not just luke-warm apologies, a "voluntary" demotion and a few more pages of bureaucratese in the code enforcement manual.

dropping this asinine lawsuit against the yee-haw folks is an important benchmark that will let us know that the county powers-that-be understand that we will not allow our friends and neighbors to be treated the way desadier and fulton and the rest of the krazy kode kops treated them, and we're certainly not going to let them waste our tax money on lawsuits to retaliate against our friends and neighbors for speaking out against their mistreatment.

this ain't over. not by a long shot.

from the valley,

- thorn
Wait, is the Yee-Haw place where all those abandoned cars and machinery leaking petrol all over the place were kept? I drove by that place once and my God it didn't look fit to raise any kids in. Please Thorn tell me that isn't the place because if it is I can sure see why code enforcement went there. The place I am thinking of was at the edge of the road. I remember it because I passed that way to go to a local wedding. I had to drive around some of the vehicles because they stuck out into the road. There were several shacks (and I do mean shacks) scattered around. I thought to myself that this is what gave the establishment such credibility when they slung mud at the hippie movement. Please tell me this isn't the place. Please, please, please. Pretty please.
And the Earth is a wasteland......
"Wait, is the Yee-Haw place where all those abandoned cars and machinery leaking petrol all over the place were kept? I drove by that place once and my God it didn't look fit to raise any kids in. Please Thorn tell me that isn't the place because if it is I can sure see why code enforcement went there. The place I am thinking of was at the edge of the road. I remember it because I passed that way to go to a local wedding. I had to drive around some of the vehicles because they stuck out into the road. There were several shacks (and I do mean shacks) scattered around. I thought to myself that this is what gave the establishment such credibility when they slung mud at the hippie movement. Please tell me this isn't the place. Please, please, please. Pretty please."

thorn says,

sure, glad to be of help... no you didn't pass yee-haw on the way to anywhere, it's the very last thing on the road. it's definately a low-budget situation, but also quite a nice, safe, loving, friendly place to raise kids and for peaceful, down-to-earth families to live.

i don't know of any allegation at all that there was any fuel or any other substance leaking from cars, though admittedly there were a number of old cars around. these folks are pretty environmentally aware, and i'm sure any fluids had been long ago drained out of these older cars, and re-used if possible.

but again, this is definitely not the place you were describing, since there's no way to "go past" it on your way to anywhere. it's at the end of a dead-end, the living areas are not at all visible until you go well past a gate.

i'm glad to be able to set you straight.

- thorn
Yeah anon 5:13, Thats the place. Garth's ex-wife Mary was also the subject of a lengthy abatement proceeding in Blue Lake. There, neighbors bitterly complained about the nuisance. Her defense was that she liked "primitive living". That included lots of derelict vehicles and piles of debris scattered everywhere. Charles' Yee Haw place is further out of sight so has fewer "intruding eyes".
I still do not believe that the use of inspection warrants should be conducted by our county, or any other. It does not sit well with me at all in light of the wording used on the inspection warrant for the woods ranch. If memory serves me correctly it said that code enforcement could break down doors and cut locks in order to find any code violations. Not too friendly to us folks who enjoy our freedom granted to us by the constitution.
thorn says,

nice try, 6:05.

unless 5:13 was driving past yee-haw's gate and through the property to a wedding taking place some place in the woods, there's no way that the property he/she described was yee-haw. yee-haw is at the end of a dead-end road avd ove must drive past several "private property" signs to even get close. perhaps 5:13 should turn themselves in for trespassing.


again, there were no allegations of fuel spills or anything like that at yee-haw. other than that, 5:13's complaints about whatever property they were describing were that some cars were parked in a way that was sticking out into the road and there were cabins ("shacks") view of the road. neither of these is the case at yee-haw, where ample private parking exists, its a private driveway to start with, and none of the living areas are visible to the road.

and i guess a cabin is an unfit place for a child to live, then lincoln's parents must have been shockingly neglectful. same for all the parents raising kids in cabins in humboldt today...all unfit places to raise kids in your estimation i guess. i suppose they should all move into government-subsidized housing projects. i understand the living conditions and peer infulences for children there are just wonderful.

oh, and now the condition of charles garth's ex-wife's property is somehow relevant? yeah, i'm sure everyone would like to be held responsible for how their ex-husbands and ex-wives behave. no, that's not unreasonable at all...

wow, whattaloaddacrap.

- thorn
You know not everyone is out to crucify you and your opinions. I seriously wanted to know because after reading a bit more I remembered that place. It is up in Trinidad by Skyhorse Ranch Road. To get to the wedding you traveled on a well graded dirt road and right after you passed this place you turned to the left I think. Beautiful home in their with lots of flowers. It was a sohum wedding and a beautiful one.

The place I described was listed on my directions and I was told to look for it. I used a similar description to the one I got. But I remember there being piles of garbage and filth and stuff with kids running round it. I am the last person in the world to want to give the county any reason to molest parental rights either. So put that in your douche bags and smoke it. I simply wanted information and as is want in so hum you guys want to shoot the person asking questions.
Oh let me make that clearer. I feel few here are interested in learning anything new about the situation at all. What you want is your view of the world and things affirmed. Bully for you. You may be right but who cares when you only show up to do politics when it is something that puts you and your property at risk. Otherwise authorities be damned. They can do anything they want as long as it doesn't affect you. Bullshit.
Desedier is a liability to the county (remember the riotous July 4th at Shelter cove?) and has been (voluntarily I suppose) demoted before.....
Officer Fulton can be unnecessarily rough, have seen it at log gates.
The place where weddings are held in the southern part of Trinidad is off Old Wagon Road and which, I believe, is nowhere near the Yee-haw Ranch property.

I know because my friend lived on a place that bordered the wedding place (which has no provisions for sanitary anything, btw, and THAT should be checked into.) Besides not having bathrooms for a crowd they don't seem to dispose of their food waste other than putting it into a pile on the ground to attract bears &/or neighborhood dogs. My friend's dog got very very sick from something that came off that pile--perhaps the remains of marijuana butter making?

But, yes, there is a place on that road where Robert Alexander used to live that still has a lot of his trash (discarded vehicles, etc.) on it despite the fact that he has been gone for many (20+) years.

Mc Kris
I remember reading about yee-haw in the paper before the KMUD story. Seemed to me like the story om KMUD was just read straight from the paper. Weren't there actually 2-3 stories? When I read the story, I felt completely bad for the neighbors,and for the land.
4:26 I don't know the 4th of July story. Do tell!

I remember Desadier getting the county into an embarassing suit over confiscating an ounce of medical cannibis and being forced by the judge to give the guy his ounce back.

We should share all the Desadier stories and bring them to the next meeting.
only show up to do politics when it is something that puts you and your property at risk.

thorn says,


if you re-read my posts you should realize that i did not attack you at all. i simply pointed out that the place you described was not yee-haw. you asked me to please. please, please tell you that was not the place you drove by, and i was happy to oblige.

i did take 6:05 to task for claiming that the place you were describing was yee-haw, even when i had already made it clear that it wasn't. i also took him/her to task for the guilt-by-association that he/she was trying to pull off by mentioning garth's ex-wife's property in blue lake, which garth of course has no control over.

i do think that the presence of junk cars and cabins doesn't make a place an unfit home for children. perhaps you were offended by that assertion, i can't see what else you were so upset by.

i assumed you were asking in good faith whether the place you mentioned was yee-haw or not, and i gave you a straightforward answer. as you described the location more in your later post, it turns out that indeed i was right and 6:05 was wrong.

i advise you to take your own advice: "You know not everyone is out to crucify you and your opinions." that one cuts both ways my friend.

you asked an honest question, i gave you an honest answer. your later clarification of the location confirmed my answer. 6:05 was barking up the wrong tree and got taken to task for it. where's the problem between you and i? i just don't see it.


from the valley,

- thorn
thorn says,

i don't agree with your 8:44 comments. i don't have any property at risk in any of this, and neither do most of those who are upset by the code raids. but i can certainly understand why you might think that.


from the valley,

- thorn
thorn says,


fyi, the original report on kmud was the same day as the raid - the woman who had the gun pointed at her and her kids for no good reason called kmud and spoke out about her experience. then there was a follow-up i believe the next day where estelle spoke with desadier about the incident and got his side of the story.

- thorn
Another consistent pattern: Desadier punished Yee Haw for not shutting up like his victims are supposed to do. He punished them with aggravated code crapola that had better be thrown out of court in a hurry, or the County will once more be shoveling money at lawyers and plaintiffs.

Desadier punished Elk Ridge with the same code crapola after he couldn't find any pot. Seems it's a lot cheaper and safer just to grow and stay out of trouble . . .
Of course its OUR money that the county keeps shoveling into these losing lawsuits, like the Tooby Ranch lawsuit and the Pepper Spray lawsuit.

What do they care if they waste a few million more of our tax dollars on another lawsuit attempting to trample on the rights of the county residents who pay those taxes?

I'm sure our schools, social programs and health-care-for-the-poor programs can absorb the losses. They always have in the past!

After all the lawyers need the money more than kids or poor people, don't they?
Let me guess which law firm will get the honor's?
Nancy Delaney and friends?
My experience with Desadier occured in a Redway gas station, on his way out of town on the day of the Elk Ridge illegal roaming incident. Unaware of what had transpired, I was in line a few people behind a keggerbellied un-uniformed man packing a pistol on his right hip with a badge next to it. Incredulous at what I was seeing, I leaned forward to read the badge and noticed that there was no strap on the holster holding the gun in place. My behavior was less than a yard from the individual and elicited no response. My anger at seeing such poor gun safety in public by a public official immediately scripted a few scenarios in my head that would landed mild-mannered me in the pokey in my attempt to teach a goon a lesson.
My security-loving-inner Barney Fife instead said something innocuous like "I hope you don't have to use that thing down here" which cause him to smile strangely and look me in the eyes with a look that said that happy hour had arrived early for one county employee.
It would have been a service to the citizens of this county had I grabbed his gun and run away and thrown it as far as I could just to bring attention to his laxness, but I didnt. I did have a letter for the DA ready to go, but then they defanged the situation.
Desadier is scary.
but laxness in building to code or avoiding what the law may find out about you or your neighbors is just fine. Double standard...lacks credibility...and is personal observation without disclosing your own interests in the matter.
Yes it is true, I do not want to get shot for crapping in an outhouse. you may laugh at me for saying that but it may happen with the current staffing in place. It does sound like they will be notifying folks before doing the goon squad thing again. and yet another case of democracy at work.
And I don't want my kid to get cholera when your crap leaks into our watershed ground water.
thorn says,

"avoiding what the law may find out..."

well, that's one way of looking at it - another way of looking at it is that the 4th amendment clause that says "no warrants shall issue except upon probable cause" actually means what it says and exists for a reason.

or is that now considered "quaint" in this era where lowlife legal lackies in county government can decide that whenever they want to they can just lower that standard to "a reasonable perception that some non-conformity may exist" for these magical "inspection warrants" as the county counsel's office is doing?

oh, but who needs something as unimportant and old-fashioned as the 4th amendment to the constitution when we're talking about issues as crucial as doobies and greywater, right?

ah, what a brave new world you all live in!

- thorn
thorn says,

ah yes, the return of the great cholera scare of 2007-2008. i was wondering when we'd come back around to that...

so, with all the outhouses and composting toilets in rural humboldt, how many ACTUAL cases of cholera have we had in, let's say, the last 20 years?

what's that you

yep, there's nothing quite like using armed force to push expensive solutions to public health problems that don't exist. i'm sure there's no better use for all the money wasted on the code jihad.

well, perhaps if your kid swallows the crap you're peddling on this thread they might get cholera. it's certainly turning my stomach.

- thorn
First I think you should check on cholera it is making a comeback and the point wasn't literal anyhow. The point is that there is a reason for code enforcement besides invading grow houses. Ask the Chinese about a lack of building codes. Ask Louisiana. It is not very bright to think "it can't happen to me because it hasn't happened before". I am not risking my health or my kid's help for you to take that gamble. I want security and protection from your self serving needs even if I understand the basic complaint you have with the situation. You want me to see your viewpoint and support you then you had better take a look at mine. It is called compromise.
thorn says,

looking for compromise? great. then stop exaggerating the threat to you or your children's health from cholera when that has been and is a complete non-issue in rural humboldt, despite the use of plenty of composting toilets out here/

think a little harder - there are plenty of REAL rural issues to deal with, including numerous diesel spills, erosion and siltation from roads, overuse of water during the dry months, etc. yes, i am aware of all these items and many more that need attention.

the challenge is how to deal with the real issues without trampling on basic rights like those guaranteed by the 4th amendment.

so far, the county is electing to trample on these rights, abuse rural residents and use nonsense like the cholera scare to justify ignoring these rights. so when you parrot those lines, don't be surprised when your credibility drops like a rock.

got any new ideas about how to solve the real problems in a way that comports with the rights of free people in a constitutional democracy? great. share them. you'd be surprised how open to ideas most people can be when they aren't accompanied by fictitious or hypothetical cholera outbreaks or similar propaganda.

but as far as compromising on the rights guaranteed to the people in our constitution, forget it. non-negotiable. (this ain't geogre and dick's little playpen in washington, d.c. where all you have to do is say some scary words like "cholera" or "terrorist" and the bill of rights magically goes away.)

so, solutions? great.

compromise? great.

cholera scare? i call bullshit on that.

ignoring the constitution because you have an irrational fear of cholera or or greywater or marijuana or whatever? forget it.

(and don't worry, unless your kid is dumb enough to feed directly from a composting toilet, he or she will certainly avoid being the first cholera victim in rural humboldt in, what, 50 years?)

- thorn
thorn says,

by the way, the constitution doesn't say anything about the responsibility of the government in providing complete safety and security from all preventable disease.

it does say quite a bit about limiting the power of the government, including the phrase "no warrants shall issue except upon probable cause."

it's a question of priorities, and your "self-serving" concerns about cholera - or whatever you are really concerned about - aren't quite at the top of the list. so if you want to have those concerns addressed, you'll just have to find a way to do that which doesn't fly in the face of the more important issues of protection from government abuse and overreach.

- thorn
personal observations are all we have to keep cops in line once they are off the paved roads. they do what they want.
my personal observation of one individual using very poor gun safety in public lacks credibility?perhaps my sharing the fantasies that run through an ineffectual old man's mind when confronted with a poor example of a cop being a poor example of a cop discredited me observations in your eyes.
your assumption that i have something to hide reveals your bias. i am about the only one in 20
square who doesnt grow. i live in an up to code rental that was recently inspected/visited by the assessors.
disliking the illegal activities of the police does not mean i have something to hide. a different old gentleman shared his experience of having a rifle aimed at him by law enforcement as he left his outhouse at the local code enforcement bashathon in garberville. perhaps if you came out of your bathroom sometime and found a cop with a gun aimed at you, you city-slickers would take umbrage.
somehow my outhouse is a cholera threat to you? not even gonna dignify that paranoia.
the bottom line is that for a long time cops ignore the law once they are on the back roads. it is an issue of law enforcement accountability, and in the observation that i made, proper gun safety.
Why not ask yourself if you were doing a job what type of commentary about your performance you would want your bosses to listen to. It isn't that your insight is wrong or that any persons idea of keeping their private property private is wrong either. What is wrong in my view is that the grow community has a double agenda running here just as likely as the local police force does. But nobody seems to really want to talk about that side of the fence. Pointing out being objective is important if you are going to point to a lack of objectivity on the other side. You have to have credibility. Good policy isn't made by only looking at your viewpoint or forcing your viewpoint off onto everybody else or by one or two random observations I think. Oh you might get something passed if you become loud and rude enough because the local politicos are spineless. The idea should be to make a policy that works the best for everyone and not just the grow community. I want to know that all interests are being examined because that is the only way to create long term lasting rules and regulations that work and from what I've seen on this blog people don't want to look at all the facts but just the ones that tell them their hunches are right. If I offended you I am sorry but that's the way I feel about it.
thorn says,

assuming that everyone who objects to the code enforcement overreach must be part of the "grow community" or that nearly everyone in sohum or humboldt county in general is a "grower" is one of the same mistakes the cops and code clowns were making that led to this whole fiasco.

your concerns are not without merit, but your assumptions about your neighbors in sohum are. the credibility issue cuts both ways; when you stereotype and make sweeping generalizations about sohum residents or rural residents in general, your own credibility suffers.

again, if you have some positive suggestions about how to better address some of the very real issues related to rural living in humboldt, feel free to voice them. we can use as many good ideas as possible.

chances are your ideas will be better received if they are not couched in terms of, to paraphrase, "you guys are all a bunch of hypocritical pot here are my concerns and proposed solutions." that's going to tend to go over like a lead balloon.


- thorn

Just remember that code outrages have been protested in Trinidad, Willow Creek and in SoHum. No dope was involved in Trinidad, though they turned the place upside-down looking for it. It's almost like non-potheads get punished with code violations!

Down here on Elk Ridge too the code posse ran wild all day without finding one stem or seed--so they beat a dog and told a man they asked for directions that he had to burn his son's house down and replace his water system. The system is way broke. Your assumptions are unfair. If this happened to you you wouldn't say, 'Hey, what if this is about pot?'
holy crap. just when you thought it couldn't get any more absurd, the other shoe drops: they "lost" all the records pertaining to the code enforcement unit. how convenient now that the shit is hitting the fan.

check out:


i can hardly believe what i just read. if i didn't know better i would have had to believe that this latest set of revelations were some sort of sick joke.

because the toxic combination of hubris and incompetence by our county staff that was revealed in the eureka reporter article is truly stunning and stomach-turning.

just when i thought i had arrived at the point where i could no longer be surprised by anything in this through-the-looking-glass world of magical no-probable-cause "inspection warants" and made-up "open field doctrines" i once again find myself both shocked and, yes, newly enraged by the combination of county incompetence, rule-bending, rule-breaking, operating without public oversight, attempted blame-shifting and condescending doubletalk that is swirling around this mess.

the one thing that is perfectly clear is that our overpaid, self-important county bureaucrats - who are so quick to insist that we citizens follow all the rules - can't follow their own rules - hell, they can't even say what those rules are, who made them, whether they were renewed as required, or who should have been overseeing all of this, and now they say we'll never know because they lost the records? (oh yeah, and they might have them on microfiche, but they no longer have a microfiche reader, as if that was some rare cutting edge technology or as if the county library was on another planet).

this would be quite a comedy - a farce really - if it hadn't already been such a tragedy for the people targeted by the code raiders.

i had previously hoped that all of this could be resolved without the need for another expensive lawsuit against the county, which would be defended with our tax money yet again.

but at this point i'm starting to feel that this whole thing, not just the yee-haw case - needs to get in front of a judge and/or jury, and the sooner the better. the kind of mealy-mouthed verbal horsecrap our county staff is serving up to the code enforcement task force would never even pass the sniff test for any competent judge, much less hold up under cross-examination.

i think the county made a BIG mistake by taking the yee-haw folks to court, and another big mistake by not dropping the lawsuit when it became clear just how completely fucked up the c.e.u. policies and practices really were. if i was one of those who were rousted out of their homes at gunpoint in that shameful (and perhaps completely illegal?!) code enforcement raid at yee-haw, i would be thinking about countersuing the county for damages, as well as to recover any legal fees.

so the code enforcement unit was only supervised by a committee that was not open to the public and decisions of that committee were never recorded, yet wendy chaitin claims that there was nothing secret about it? and a code cop coming onto your property, past "no trespassing" signs without a warrant to "ask" if you'd mind being inspected is just like having a florist knock at the door according to richard hendry? how these people can say these absurd things with a straight face, i just can't understand. do they really believe their own bullshit to that extent? or are they just really, really well-practiced liars?

at the very least, these people need to join desadier on the "voluntary" demotion crew. meanwhile, the county had better get some real lawyers, actual competent ones, because it's going to take some pretty fancy footwork to explain to a judge how all this evidence disappeared and/or never existed, why we should believe that they ever got reauthorization for the c.e.u. when there is apparently no record of it, and why the county shouldn't pay damages to all of the people whose lives were disrupted by this massive case of governmental overreach.

perhaps they can also explain why they feel it's okay to issue warrants based on "a reasonable perception that some nonconformity may exist," when the 4th amendment to the constitution clearly states that "no warrants shall issue except upon probable cause."

incredible how they can't follow the constitution, can't follow their own rules - or even tell us what those rules are - yet we, the people, can have guns waved in our faces and be driven from our homes for some petty greywater offense or too many unregistered cars. the hypocrisy, the hubris, the incompetence, the smarmy double-talk, the buck-passing and circular finger-pointing...this is truly a bureaucratic fiasco of the highest order.

i think it's high time we made use of the public comment period that they belatedly added to the agenda of these code enforcement task force meetings.

that's next thursday, june 27th - mark your calenders, freedom-lovers.

- thorn
Great, so these incompetent schmucks are going to tell us how to provide proper shelter for ourselves and our families when they can't even prevent vital county records from being ruined in a basement flood?

Maybe we need to bring the county courthouse "up to code." Let's send a Citizens' Code Enforcement Unit up there next Thursday.

We should be able to cook up a little "inspection warrant" of our own. Surely the loss of all these records must constitute "a reasonable perception that some non-conformity may exist."
It's time for a grand jury investigation. The Task Force is limited to looking at the manual and procedures--a good way to start as they uncovered the fact that there are NONE!

But Geist and Chaiton objected to CLMP asking for all the warrants issued--CLMP is apparently wanting to uncover a pattern of increasing abuse of power. Too much work Chaiton said, for a staff that's already overworked. The county is already embarrassed and they are going to fight looing for any bigger picture. They are going to make a big show of writing a new code enforcement procedure. Don't let them get away with it! It will only continue to deflect attention from the real problem.

The problem is the county mismanagement. They want a code enforcement unit to clean up the mess created by their mismanagement. We have to clean up the county, not code enforcement.

A grand jury is empowered to get anything they want to look at.

What they need to look at is this:

The county is obligated to provide very-low income housing. So what does the same planner--Michael Richardson--who talks about this and works on the housing issues do? He unleashes code enforcement on YeeHaw, for doing what the county has failed to do. Did they work to come up with a creative solution for Yee Haw? Did they seek funding or offer to Charles Garth? No, they unleased Desadier and Fulton to point guns at young mothers and babies.

Code enforcement = County mismanagement. If we get a grand jury looking at that, we might get somewhere.

They also need to look at years of mismanagement in Planning, Building and Environmental Health and on the Board of Supes. The permit process is arbitary and crazymaking. What you get is based upon who is at the desk or answering the phone that morning. One department doesn't talk to another. You are given conflicting information and charged obscene amounts of money to be pushed around by little know-nothings in these offices, or people who decide they know what's best for you and a pit privy or a composting toilet are dangerous.

The fees alone need to be examined. Building gets 85% of its budget from fees and permits. 85%!! So you know county staff are invested in dragging out the process and making it as expensive as possible. How else will their salaries get paid? I recently talked to someone who got PG&E to his house. PG&E charged $8ooo to build and install the transformer and run the lines. The county charged $8000 in permit fees on top of that. Why? It didn't tke $8000 in staff time to say ok to PG&E and they sure the hell didn't tell PG&E how to install or build a transformer.

If you live in a rural area where there are already thousands of unpermitted homes and you can't get your composter or graywater permitted--and thus can't get any building permit at all--what do you do? Abandon your dream of a home? Live in a trailer? Or go ahead without a permit because you're paying taxes on your parcel anyway?

Are you a scofflaw? What about the Env Health dept that won't permit graywater?--that's California law they won't permit! Th County is the biggest scofflaw in this whole mess.

Grand Jury time. This County is mismanaged from top to bottom. Don't let them write a new enforcment manual. Make them reform the whole ineffectual and punative system.
Who advises the grand jury?
County Counsel. The same people who advise the planning commission along with Michael Richardson... and we know what side of the law they have shown to be on... SEIZE THAT PRIVATE PROPERTY IF YOU CAN OR IF IT MAKES US MONEY law.

What a great county government we have. NOT.
So basically the BOS and county council just keep passing the buck at TAXPAYER expense?
disgusting, but not exactly surprising.
And around and around and around it goes where the tax dollars go everybody.....
I do not believe that you should have to worry about your kids getting cholora or some other fecal related disease from your neighbors, but the county doesn't have unlimited powers, and cannot put diapers on all the animals in the woods, but they can work on a solution for all the homeless who are crapping alot closer to town and our water supply.
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