Humboldt County Planning Commission Chair Alan Bongio. | Screenshot from Aug. 24 meeting.



On Tuesday, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors will consider formally reprimanding Planning Commission Chair Alan Bongio, and taking “other appropriate action as necessary,” in response to Bongio’s behavior at recent Planning Commission hearings.

Fifth District Supervisor Steve Madrone is bringing the matter forward for discussion at Tuesday’s meeting, with recommendations from staff to discuss adherence to appropriate rules of conduct and behavior and possible censure of Bongio.

The item also directs staff to develop a “Code of Conduct” for all county boards and commissions in line with the county’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion policies.

Bongio has been under fire for a series of comments made during an August 18 hearing about revised permit requests for an 8,000-square-foot home construction project from local developer and businessman Travis Schneider.

At the hearing, Bongio repeatedly referred to local Wiyot-area tribes as “the Indians” while alleging that they’d been intentionally dishonest and manipulative during negotiations, which involve mediation of potential damage done to a designated Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area (ESHA) and a known tribal cultural resource at Schneider’s property.

At one point, Bongio accused the tribes of reneging on an agreement, adding, “I have a different term for it but, you know, whatever.”

Bongio’s comments have drawn rebukes from representatives of the Wiyot Tribe, the Blue Lake Rancheria and some of his own colleagues on the commission, among others.