Let me explain with an example. First you see me as you walk along a darkened alley. Then you decide I’m a threat to your safety. Perception takes over. Your heart races, and your palms get sweaty as we awkwardly pass in the night. Whew. You relax, happy to have survived an encounter with danger. Here’s the problem — the reality of that perception was all in your head because I never intended you harm. Perception is reality? No, it’s not.
For more than a year now I’ve been reporting on the problems with the redevelopment efforts in the Herlong area, the alleged mismanagement and misuse of funds for the Local Reuse Authority properties the county obtained from the U.S. Army and all the aftermath.
Talk about news — the controversy over the redevelopment effort is at the center of the Veterans of Foreign Wars efforts to obtain title to property promised to them, the unexpected resignation of the county’s economic development director, two campaigns to recall District 5 Supervisor Jack Hanson (who represents the Herlong area), a six-month advertising campaign by District 3 Supervisor Larry Wosick to replace two members of the board of supervisors and recall Hanson, a court challenge of the Lassen County Clerk by the man who said he would run against Hanson should the recall qualify, two of the tightest supervisor elections in memory, the canning of the county administrative officer and a subsequent $1 million lawsuit because he alleges he’s an illegally fired whistleblower who brought the issue to light and his wife was too involved in Tea Party politics.
A different view emerges from the recently released Lassen County Grand Jury Report, one that handily upsets this perception of corruption.
Consider this. The Grand Jury reported the redevelopment efforts in Herlong brought no positive results and cost $813,662 (not counting an additional $2.1 million in federal and state grants). The Grand Jury found “no apparent intentional mismanagement of funds, but does feel that the county has made an error in judgment in obtaining the Sierra Army Depot properties.”
It also found the project “as operated by the county shows no apparent reasonable chance of producing positive returns to the community” and recommended the county sell the property and use the proceeds to repay various loans from county budgets — a proposal that really irks some Honey Lake Valley residents.
Clearly the redevelopment effort in the Herlong area hasn’t worked, and I don’t want to diminish that failure — but without any evidence of graft could Wosick, the former CAO, the former CAO’s wife, the Tea Party and their supporters et al have developed, orchestrated and rode this perception hard because they believed it could lead them to a takeover of the board of supervisors?
One has to question the reality of this perception of corruption and the views expressed in the Grand Jury Report because they just don’t jive.
|< Prev||Next >|