The Lovelace-Arkley Papers, Vol. 2

Hank Sims / Wednesday, May 18, 2011 @ 2:01 p.m. / Inquiries

Did Mark Lovelace flip off Randy Gans? Does he really have a college degree, or is he just pretending? These and other not-so-burning questions were kicked around in emails between the supervisor and Eureka businessman Rob Arkley over several months between the fall of 2010 and April of this month. The Lost Coast Outpost received these emails as part of the Public Records Act request it filed last month.

Unlike the exchange between Arkley and Supervisor Jimmy Smith we posted on Monday, the Arkley-Lovelace correspondence bears all the hallmarks of a classic flame war. Matters of state can perhaps be located deeply in the backdrop of these exchanges, but by and large they’re all personal, with Arkley on the attack against his left-leaning opponent and Lovelace on the defense – attempting, at least, to give back some of what he’s getting. In that, they resemble the Arkley-Lovelace e-mails released earlier this month, which this batch both precedes and succeeds. There are some notable exceptions. Once in awhile, the combatants reach across the divide to share a human moment. It is an odd relationship.

There are a couple of loose ends in the conversations that follow, and the Lost Coast Outpost put them to Lovelace a few moments ago. He said that he received a Bachelor of Arts degree (Industrial Design) from San Jose State University in 1989, and that the fact has appeared on his campaign literature and resumes in the past. He has never served on the board of the Northcoast Environmental Center. As for the Sacramento trip that Arkley often references: Lovelace said that as always, he had “five or six” public matters to attend to in Sacramento at the time, including a meeting of the California State Association of Counties – he is the county’s delegate to that body – and stopped by the State Lands Commission on his down time. He did pick up a document relating to the Marina Center development and ended up chatting about the project with staff members with whom he had only met by phone, back before he was elected to the board.

“It’s an ongoing conversation that we’ve had for years, even before I was running for office,” Lovelace said about the conversations with Arkley that follow. “I’ve continually tried to engage, and while we may differ on things, as I said again and again I look forward to an opportunity to work together on things.” (Arkley blanket-declined to speak to the LoCO on Sunday.)

Programming note: If everything goes according to plan, the totality of the county’s response to the Lost Coast Outpost – 374 PDF documents – will be posted tomorrow. We’re going to set up some sort of system whereby people can page through these files, search them, comment upon them, note their relative importance and/or recommend them to others, but since we want to get this up quickly that aspect of the project might be a bit more rudimentary than we would otherwise like. Bit by bit.

Internal links to the various threads that make up the totality of the Lovelace-Arkley correspondence follow. Spoiler alert: It ends – or this slice of it does, anyway – with a peace-pipe moment occasioned by some sad news. 

McKay Tract

Poor conduct

Yesterday’s meeting

I will talk about you..

Layoffs

Subject: McKay Tract

(Original document.)

From: Rob Arkley

To: Mark Lovelace

Sent: Sept. 2, 3:57 p.m.

Dear Mark,

I heard a rumor that you are trying to raise money through a non-profit to buy the McKay Tract, which I own. It is not for sale. I had it put through an auction process to establish a value, but it will not be sold. Your little idea of a Eureka Community Forest will not start with buying it.

It, like the Dog Ranch, Marina Center, my Humboldt Refuge piece, my X Street property and many others will remain in my family for generations and will be processed through re-zoning, parcelization and the like for the maximum value for my heirs, even if I do nothing.

Pursue another dream.

vty,

Rob

 

From: Mark Lovelace

To: Rob Arkley

Sent: Sept. 2, 5:25 p.m. 

Not true. I don’t know where you hear these things. I’ll add this to the long list of rumors you seem to have heard (and spread) about me that are simply false:

Mark

 

From Rob Arkley

To: Mark Lovelace

Sent: Sept. 2, 5:24 p.m.

Dear Mark,

Are you saying that you did not go to State Lands?

vty,

Rob

 

From Rob Arkley

To: Mark Lovelace

Sent: Sept. 2, 5:34 p.m.

Dear Mark,

Your silence is deafening. What other incorrect rumors are you saying that I am passing?

Stop posturing. I see your moves and know what you are trying to do. Your problem is that the community does not and will not support what you want when it is exposed to sunlight.

vty,

Rob

 

From: Rob Arkley

To: Mark Lovelace

Sent: Sept. 2, 9:35 p.m.

Hi Rob. Sorry about the ‘silence,’ but I am not always at my computer. When I have the opportunity to have dinner with my family, I take it.

Here’s the list that comes to mind off the top of my head:

You claimed that I live on a big 7-acre rural parcel. I do not. You claimed that I do not have a college degree. I do. You claimed that I did personal business at County expense. I did not. You claimed that I had been a consultant on the Ridgewood Village project. I was not. You claimed that I was trying to raise money to buy the McKay Tract. I was not.

Many years ago I was interviewed on a radio show about the Marina Center and referenced something that your wife had said in print. You sent me an e-mail that evening asking me not to make it ‘personal’ by quoting your wife. Though the quote was clearly in the public domain, I agreed to respect your wishes.

Shortly after I came on the Board, you invited me over to your office for what I took as a “get to know you” session. Though we had obviously disagreed on a good many things, I was happy to go, and enjoyed meeting you. The mutual awareness of our disagreements allowed us to have a good and full discussion, as there was no pretense or expectation of agreement.

Some time later, you invited me to join in a number of meetings you had arranged regarding efforts to secure redundant broadband for our area. Those meetings were productive and informative, and were quite helpful to my continued involvement in efforts to secure both redundant and ubiquitous broadband for our area. At some point, though, you determined that my support for a particular project showed a lack of diligence on my part. At that point, you sent me an e-mail saying, essentially, that you were through with me and that we would have no further contact.

I have always been straightforward with you and, though we have disagreed on any number of issues, I have not made those disagreements personal. That does not mean, though, that I do not, or will not, continue to pursue what I believe to be in the best interest of the community. It means only that we disagree. But I do not have to agree with you on every issue to trust that you are doing what you believe is in the best interest of the community, too. I wish that you would extend to me the same courtesy.

I would hope that we can each conduct ourselves in a manner that allows us to differ, even passionately, on certain issues while leaving the door open to work together should we find areas of agreement in the future.

Sincerely,

Mark

 

From: Rob Arkley

To: Mark Lovelace

Sent: Sept. 3, 2010, 7:48 a.m.

Dear Mark,

You live on a parcel that may not be 7 acres, but it is inconsistent with what you are allowing to be created these days. Hypocrisy.

I understand that you do not have a college degree. What is it? Is it a University or AA? You certainly and consistently claim to have far more expertise than you do. In any rate, if you do actually have a university degree, I will retract my statement of Talk Shop.

You did travel down on County expense and went to some little BS meeting and then dropped in to the State Lands for the presentation. If that is not County expense, I don’t know what is. It is obvious to a thoughtful person that your trip’s major point was State Lands. Stop playing games. We saw your reimbursement forms.

You unequivocally got into the middle of Forester Gill from the start and continue to be in the middle of it. You called it “smart growth,” which is humorous. It meets almost none of the criterion, as opposed to the Marina Center which does.

If you don’t live on 7 acres, you live on a parcel that could not be created today without endless hassle, cost and time, if at all. Size does not matter. I think that you just want to make others live in the city and/or constrained areas while you live in a manner that others of us can’t. I am not an elitist. You, on the other hand, have all of the indicia of being one.

I have it on good authority that you are trying to form a Eureka Forest and/or County Forest. Actually, part of Forster Gill is supposed to be just that, based on the little guy who represents that project. I forget his name. Therefore, while initially I indicated that I was willing to take you at your word, based on the below, I am far more skeptical.

Mark, you went you behind my back and then proceeded to misrepresent the facts and the law to State Lands. On the bright side, they actually laughed at you and your analyses. Yes, you went down on County money.

To me you have a clear and unambiguous agenda: No growth; Community owned and exploited resources rather than private resources; control through zoning and ends justify the means.

I think that you and I are not going to agree. However, if you think that civility is a “natural right,” I agree. Going down the State Lands was not civility. Actions have more meaning than words.

Mark, you have a platform from which to exercise your goals. I have every disadvantage. I truly feel that I represent the average folks of our area. They want nothing more than to live in our area, have meaningful jobs and be left alone. Your policies are preventing that. Believe it or not, I suspect that I meet more people, from a broader spectrum, than you each and every day. When you employ 150 private sector people and spend time to know them, you hear lots of things. You are becoming known as an aloof “dig me,” who is “owned” by a few and spends more time talking than listening. It may serve you well, but does not serve the majority of our County. Bonnie is finding that out. So will Cliff in two short years.

Do you ask: How can we help our youth sty here, get good jobs and live the “Humboldt Dream” not penned into subdivisions that could be anywhere? Somehow, I doubt it. That is what I worry about each and every day. Your actions are destroying that. I think that you must know that. For that reason, it strikes me a very cruel and mean path. Hurting people makes me cringe.

Lastly, whether you admit it or not, your largest contributor was Bill Pierson. You look and act like he made a good buy.

In the future, please don’t parse words and make materially dishonest statements. I have a test for truth: Would your mother have washed your mouth out with soap for making a statement. I hope that you understand, parsing words is not “truth” to most of us. We will, on that, undoubtedly agree to disagree. However, I suspect that your mother would not be proud of the below and you would provably be blowing bubbles now.

I will continue to do you the favor of saying exactly what I am thinking. I wish that you would do the same, but don’t harbor much hope of it.

We don’t have to continue the chain. I have money to make and people to employ. One of my people lost or may lose a grandson this morning. I hurt for her and am finding out what the SN Family can do to help her. Are you doing the same for your “County Family?” I must say, I don’t understand how you Supervisors, as currently constituted, think.

vty,

Rob

 

From: Mark Lovelace

To: Rob Arkley

Sent: Sept. 3, 9:28 a.m.

Hi Rob. You have offered nothing to support the 5 false claims I listed below, therefore they stand as untrue. You can spin as much much as you want, but the facts are in my favor.

Your assumptions about my interests and motivations are wrong, but you are of course free to think of me what you will. I cannot prove what is in my heart any more than you can prove what is in yours.

Regardless, I will continue to trust that you honestly believe in what you are doing, no matter how much I may disagree with some of your actions and tactics.

Mark

 

Subject: Poor conduct

(Original document.)

From: Rob Arkley

To: Mark Lovelace

Sent: Nov. 3, 2010 9:55 a.m. 

Dear Mark,

I hear that you flipped off Randy Gans last night. That is conduct unbecoming. He deserves an apology.

Lastly, what college did you attend? What year? What was your major?

vty,

Rob

 

From: Mark Lovelace

To: Rob Arkley

Sent: Nov. 3, 1:08 p.m.

Hi Rob. Once again you are making a claim that is unsubstantiated by facts. I assure you that I did not flip Randy off. Rather, I waved politely to him. Twice. I have always treated Randy graciously and politely, and I will continue to do so.

As for my college degree, again, you are the one who made an unsubstantiated (and false) claim. Therefore the burden of proof is upon you to demonstrate that I do not have one. I am under no obligation to have to defend myself against your false claim. If you stand by your claim, then please provide evidence. Otherwise, I believe I deserve an apology.

Mark

 

From: Rob Arkley

To: Mark Lovelace

Sent: Nov. 3, 1:46 p.m.

Dear Mark,

You are very primitive. I make a statement and you say it is false. At that point, the burden shifts to you. If you provide proof, then and only then, will I apologize. Your attack mode that attempts to make one prove a negative. It is nice if you can get somebody to enter into it, but it is not an intellectually honest method of analyzing things.

Randy assures me that you did flip him off. Perhaps your idea of a wave is how you justify it.

vty,

Rob

 

From: Rob Arkley

To: Mark Lovelace

Sent: Nov. 3, 2010 1:52 p.m.

Dear Mark,.

Oops. There were actually two witnesses to your flip off.

Since it is no big deal to Randy, why don’t you just write him a note and say if that if it was interpreted as a flip off, you are sorry.

Can you man up and say that you are sorry for something that may have been misconstrued.? I don’t think that you have it in you.

vty,

Rob

 

From: Rob Arkley

To: Mark Lovelace

Sent: Nov. 4, 7:11 a.m.

Dear Mark,

Have you apologized yet??? Come on. Man up. There are two witnesses.

You are sooooo amusing…… You take yourself so seriously. Come on. Just do it.

vty,

Rob

 

From: Mark Lovelace

To: Rob Arkley

Sent: Nov. 4, 8:41 a.m.

I’m not going to apologize for waving politely to Randy. Perhaps Randy should man up and admit he was wrong. And perhaps you should man up and apologize for making false and completely unsupported accusations about me.

I do not expect either of those apologies to be forthcoming, and so I will simply end this conversation here.

Mark

 

From: Rob Arkley

To: Mark Lovelace

Sent: Nov. 4, 11:39 a.m.

Dear Mark,

Two people saw you. You always attempt to get the last word, but you will not. I have two speeches upcoming and am prepared to tell them what you did. My folks simply don’t lie. You don’t have a similar reputation.

You remind me of Bonnie and Larry more and more each day. Truth matters. It will out. Believe me. I am also going to ask everybody where you received your alleged college degree.

Vty,

Rob

 

Subject: Yesterday’s meeting

(Original documents here and here.)

From: Rob Arkley

To: Mark Lovelace

Sent: Dec. 1, 9:53 a.m.

Dear Mark,

While I often greatly disapprove of your tactics, from your covert attempt to become a Coastal Commissioner to among other things going to State Lands on the County taxpayer’s dime in an attempt to stop the Marina Center, I felt that some of the attacks at yesterday’s Supervisor meeting were unnecessarily personal against you.

Nonetheless, when elected officials utilize the covert and sneaky tactics, many people’s reactions are justifiably going to be outrage. You have to expect it. That does not mean that I like it or condone it. It is the tone and tactic that was created by Bonnie and Richard Salzman and continues to this day. It is a toxic course. I hope that you get more up front in the future.

Come out into the sunshine. It will help our community, regardless of where you stand on any issue. Let’s change the tone.

I heard that you claim on your application to have graduated from San Jose State. I find it interesting that they don’t show you as a graduate. You may want to correct that.

My best to you and yours for a Blessed and Merry Christmas.

vty,

Rob

 

From: Mark Lovelace

To: Rob Arkley

Sent: Dec. 1, 11:52 a.m. 

Hi Rob. I appreciate your note. While we can, and obviously do, disagree on numerous issues, I hope we can always agree to focus on issues and not personal attacks.

As for transparency, I sent letters to each of the Mayors and City Councils on November 15th, notifying every eligible elected official in the county of the vacancy, the Governor’s request for nominations, the relevant sections of the Public Resources Code that describe the process, and of my interest in the nomination. This item was not on our agenda until a full two weeks later, giving any eligible elected official ample time to notify our Board of their interest. We did not receive any letters or phone calls, so far as I am aware.

I prepared a similar letter for our board, which was included in the agenda packet, and which clearly stated that the Governor has requested the Boards of Supervisors and the city selection committees of Humboldt, Del Norte and Mendocino counties to each nominate at least one supervisor and at least one city council member for appointment to this position. In introducing the item, I requested at the outset that the Board withhold sending any letter to the Governor until our meeting on the 14th to allow for any further candidates to come forward. So in terms of transparency I really can’t figure out what more I could have done.

As for my degree, I’m sitting here looking at my diploma.

I do truly wish you, your family and your employees a very merry Christmas.

Mark

 

From: Rob Arkley

To: Mark Lovelace

Sent: Dec. 1, 1:15 p.m.

Dear Mark,

I have contacted Eureka Councilmember’s and City Manager. Others have contacted other cities. Others have contacted Del Norte and Mendocino Boards of Supervisors. The consensus seems to be that none of them were aware of the letter from the Appointment Secretary. County staff did talk to a couple of cities on Monday, the day before your meeting. Basically, this caught everybody else off guard and folks felt that they had not time to act.

None of them seem to have copies of your letter. It was a pretty quiet process, being as charitable as I possibly can be. It is amazing that it slipped by soooooo many people.

Happily, the public is now well aware of what is going on.

In the future, please send both hard copies and give all of us the courtesy of e mailing the notices, rather than utilizing paper which is notoriously slow, inefficient and undependable. It would go a long way to restoring the credibility of the Board that was badly damaged in this process. I am sure that you will agree that the more public input, notice and participation, the better.

vty,

Rob

 

From: Rob Arkley

To: Mark Lovelace

Date: January 7, 12:47 p.m.

Dear Mark,

I listened to yesterday’s interview with KINS with horror, but at the same time, amusement. Mark, at the proper time, we will make sure that the public knows that you are being charitably disingenuously, or perhaps more accurately, outright dishonest regarding your position of regarding the Marina Center. Don’t worry, the truth will out. Clearly, you are all in in your opposition to the Marina Center.

I am also laughing at how you speak to your record of creating jobs and how we ought to form an economy of producing, not consuming. These are pretty easy concepts that you clearly don’t understand.

I understand that Pete Nichols and you sit or sat on the board of the North Coast Environmental Center. I am to be receiving information that indicates that your NEC property is leaking VERY toxic substances that will inevitably damage public health and the environment. If that is the case, I will make sure that a suit is brought to clean-up this most toxic situation. I certainly hope that is not the case. I would think that you would also be very concerned and would have taken more demonstrable steps to correct this as a board member, an elected representative of that district and as a citizen of Humboldt County.

Concluding, perhaps you should stick to issues in your district, and not those in the City of Eureka, which has its own elected councilmembers. Further, your contempt for the will of the voting people of Eureka, which screamed loud and clear, with 70% of the vote, that they want the Marina Center, as proposed, is astonishing.

I understand that your little buddy, Clif, Mr. 38%, is having a fundraiser. Money will not do the trick there. It is what and who he does and who he stands with…not what he says, that counts. You are dangerous and deceitful company.

vty,

Rob

 

Subject: I will talk about you tomorrow at my speech at the logging conference. I understand that you will not be there to enjoy.

(Original document.)

 

From: Rob Arkley

To: Mark Lovelace

Date: March 17, 1:55 p.m.

 

[No content.]

 

Subject: HELP letter re: CACs.

 

[See here.]

 

Subject: Layoffs

(Original document.)

From: Mark Lovelace

To: Rob Arkley

Date: April 8, 9:07 a.m.

Hi Rob.

I want you to know how sorry I was to read of your company’s layoffs this morning. Though you and I obviously disagree on a great many things, we both agree on the need to create and retain good paying jobs here in Humboldt County. I have never doubted your committment to your employees, or to providing jobs in our area, and so I know that this is not a decision that you would make lightly.

I recognize, too, that there are likely some in our community who will find joy in this news because of their political differences with you. I find that incredibly frustrating and sad. These are 31 local families that will not be receiveing a paycheck, and they should not be used to make political hay.

I hope that our own differences are not so great that you would not allow me to express my sympathy to you and your workers over this difficult decision, or to offer whatever assistance the County may be able to provide to help your workers find new employment. I understand that you are in negotiations to acquire contracts for other portfolios, and I wish you success in doing so.

Sincerely,

Mark

 

From: Rob Arkley

To: Mark Lovelace

Date: April 11, 7:42 a.m.

Dear Mark,

Thank you for your nice note. Layoffs are miserable. Each time I walk through a company parking lot, I realize that many employees’ abilities to pay their bills lies on my ability to provide employment.

The reason for the layoffs was the loss of the Citi contract. After that, we had to reverse engineer profit numbers. The other problem that we all have to acknowledge is that IT costs jobs. We now collect 3 times more loans per person than we did 4 years ago. I made the decision that even during the down-turn/recession/depression, we would continue investing in our technology. It pays off, but at a human cost.

Once again, thanks for you kind words.

vty,

Rob

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