Prediction: With Jimmy Smith Stepping Down, the Age of Bohn Begins Early

Hank Sims / Thursday, June 14, 2012 @ 9:51 a.m. / Local Government

UPDATE, 2:50 p.m.: By the way, Rep. Mike Thompson kicks in with an appreciation of Jimmy: 

“Jimmy Smith is the prime example of a great public servant who is always willing to work with anybody and everybody to create good public policy and solve community problems,” Rep. Mike Thompson said. “He is among my closest advisors and one of my very best friends.  I wish him well as he takes the time he needs to get healthy again.”

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UPDATE, NOON: County Chief Administrative Officer Philip Smith-Hanes reminds the Lost Coast Outpost that appointments to the board are made by the governor, a la Supervisor Rodoni four years ago.

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The news about Supervisor Jimmy Smith’s renewed battle with cancer has broke — see above, and also the Herald — so the question becomes: What happens with the First District Supervisor seat between now and the beginning of next year, when supervisor-elect Rex Bohn is due to step in?

Probably the board Gov. Jerry Brown is going to appoint Bohn to fill out the remainder of Smith’s term. The LoCO caught up with Bohn a few minutes ago, and he confirmed that he and Smith had been discussing this eventuality. “He has asked me, if it got to the point where he has to step back, would I be ready to serve?” Bohn said. The answer: “The people elected me to serve. Yes, I’m ready.”

Bohn’s early appointment, if it happens, is bound to alter the dynamic of the long-fought general plan update process, which, after a decade of contention, is finally in the home stretch. Humboldt County’s progressive faction had hoped to speed the thing to completion before a new, more conservative Board of Supes was to take its seat in January. Now Smith, a key left-leaning swing vote, will be out of the picture, and the far more conservative Bohn will be at the table when the board takes key votes. Will that be enough to torpedo the plan? We shall see.

Final note: Before we talked about anything else, Bohn first wanted to stop and get his well-wishes for the Smith family on the record. The LoCO seconds the motion. Jimmy and Jackie Smith are two of the best people in world. Get well, Jimmy.

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