Eureka Mayor Frank Jager and your Lost Coast Outpost talked for about 45 minutes yesterday morning. The subject: Your questions for him.
Topics discussed ranged from the hiring of Eureka’s next police chief, to the Arkley Center and the Marina Center, to the recent political maneuvering around the composition of North Coast Railroad Authority board of directors to the arrest of his brother on drug trafficking charges. And quite a bit more, actually.
The Grill is a bit late in arriving this week because I tried and temporarily failed to do something fancy, whereby clicking on a question would jump you straight to the relevant section of audio. Next time. For now, you have the full 40-megabyte file below, with a cue sheet that tells you what Jager talks about when. You should be able to play or download the audio file below.
Questions asked/audio cue sheet:
(0:25) At the last NCRA meeting, why did Mike Newman vote in your place? And why did he vote differently than you did at the previous meeting?
BLIGHT, CITY INFRASTRUCTURE
(3:20) I heard that there were past rumblings about transforming Broadway with a center median replete with trees and other vegetation. Is there still a plan to redesign this eyesore that is so heavily-traveled by incorporating pervious landscapes to calm traffic, reduce stormwater runoff, improve air quality, shade paved surfaces, encourage walking, etc? The current design is obviously in need of help.
(6:10) I heard that the city of Eureka is going to be working on a new business license fee structure for local motels/hotels based on the amount of times that police are called to a location. Could you tell us more about what the city is planing on doing to clean up our motel blight problem and other eyesores on 4th/5th and Broadway?
(9:30) As a lifelong citizen, what on earth can be done about hiring a dedicated person or persons to actually keep up and take care of this town…ie: weed out of gutters, bushes and hedges trimmed properly around street signs, fresh flags each year downtown and in Henderson center, fresh paint and repair down at the warfinger building, etc. I am tired of seeing the simplest things go undone by our “city staff” and “maintenance” divisions. It may not seem like much to most people but the commen blight of such things really makes our city ugly to visitors and citizens alike. It’s baffling to me how the city can employ 100? people but these simple tasks can’t get done daily?
(12:20) In the 101 corridor between Eureka and Arcata, the beautiful view of the bay is obscured by all of those awful billboards. There has been talk in the past of those being removed, and yet they are still there. I believe the ability to restrict them may have depended on who owned the particular piece of land, but I don’t quite recall. I’ve considered boycotting the businesses that advertise there, but I’m not sure if it would help. Any suggestions, updates, etc.?
(14:25) What is the history behind the 4th and 5th st crosswalks across three lanes of traffic with no blinking lights or signs, in a 35mph zone. clearly the 101 through Eureka layout will have to change someday and I would like to know about the options and plans … (Another question) With all the vehicle vs pedestrians lately is there anything being looked into as far as blinking crosswalks and/or safer ways to protect people from the cars and/or people driving in Eureka area?
(17:32) I’d like you to ask Frank why the City would consider hiring Michael Johnson as the new police chief. Even if he is the best qualified candidate, I think the backlash from the general public due to his past history as a Eureka police officer would make it a very questionable hire, one that would not be popular and would create a lot of controversy. If Mr. Johnson is hired, there will continue to be a major mistrust of the police department by the citizens of Eureka.
(23:30) What’s up with all the gunshots I hear every night? I can’t tell where they are coming from, or even whether they are inside or outside city limits. Poachers? Chasing the raccoons away? Crime? It’s not fireworks all the time. I can’t call the police since I can’t tell where the shots are coming from. I know you can hear it too. You live two blocks from me.
(26:10) Is it possible to offer some sort of economic incentive or tax relief to new business who decide to build on the 101 corridor? That is the part that most travelers see, and right now there is not much reason to stop on the corridor.
(28:10) What is happening with that Marina Center development? Forever it was in daily news … and now there is no news at all.
(30:45) Is there anything in the works to update Eureka’s local coastal plan? Maybe the others around Humboldt Bay as well. They seem pretty out of date.
(34:08) What are Eureka’s historical, cultural and geographical assets and how are they being incorporated into city planning?
(39:50) As a Eureka resident, I would like to know if it is true that your brother was recently arrested for possession of a large quantity of marijuana traveling in Oklahoma? With your other brother being a high-ranking local CHP officer, isn’t this a dangerous conflict of interests? Are you and your law enforcement brother complacent in your potentially drug trafficking brothers’ activities?