Hank Sims / Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013 @ 3:21 p.m. / Local Government
Ulansey Gets Supes' Planning Commission Appointment, Immediately Delivers Lovelace Dis
As expected, the Board of Supervisors just appointed Humboldt Coalition for Property Rights head honcho Lee Ulansey to the vacant at-large seat on the Humboldt County Planning Commission. The vote was 3-1-1, with Supervisor Mark Lovelace dissenting and one of the other four — I believe it was Board Chair Ryan Sundberg, but the live stream made it difficult to tell for certain — abstaining.
The Supervisors had a pre-vote straw poll in which they listed their preferred candidates. Ulansey was the first choice of supervisors Virginia Bass, Rex Bohn and Estelle Fennell, and Sundberg’s second choice (after former planning commissioner Denver Nelson).
Lovelace, who also had Nelson down as his top pick, made a brief anybody-but-Ulansey case — not really expecting to change the majority’s mind, he said, but at least to get on record a plea for someone who might be less “divisive.” He noted that the commission is a “quasi-judicial” body under California law, and therefore must make decisions on the basis of the law rather than ideology.
Bass said that she had similar concerns, but had talked to Ulansey in depth before today’s meetings. She said that Ulansey put her concerns at rest.
“I’m not going to sit and watch something played behind the scenes,” Bass said. “I want someone straight-shooting.”
Bohn added that at-large commissioners serve at the pleasure of the board, not for fixed terms, and that therefore the board could step in and remove an appointee if he was not in line with the law.
After Bass’ motion to appoint Ulansey passed, there followed a quite extraordinary scene. Ulansey took the podium and thanked Bass, Bohn, Sundberg and Fennell for their conversations prior to today’s meetings. Perhaps, he pointedly noted, Lovelace would wish to have a similar talk someday.
Lovelace said that he was open to such a sit-down anytime — Ulansey had but to request it.
“Of course, as we know, I’ve tried,” Ulansey said.
Before Sundberg moved on to the next item, Lovelace wished the record to note that he had received no such request.