ZIEMER: Take Planning staff to the woodshed

Humboldt County Supervisors will pick a new Planning Commissioner at its meeting this afternoon, and one of the top candidates has called for corporal punishment for county staff.

Retired Fire Chief Glenn Ziemer was named by 3 out of 5 Supes as a top choice to fill the vacancy left by Commissioner Bruce Emad, but Ziemer’s comments at the July 20, 2010 Planning Commission meeting call for pause.

Speaking about the challenge of providing fire service to rural residents, Ziemer called the staff’s work on the matter a “sham” and said they “deserve a trip to the woodshed.”

It’s not unusual for members and heroes of the Humboldt Coalition for Property Rights (HumCPR) to pound their chest while railing about county staff in the Community Development Services department. But it’s one thing to have it unleashed during public comment, and quite another to give it a nameplate and designated seating.

Ziemer is supported by developer-backed Supervisors Virginia Bass and Ryan Sundberg, with the third nod coming from swing vote Supervisor Jimmy Smith.

The only other candidate with three thumbs up is Insurance Broker Greg Conners, who is supported by smart growth advocates Mark Lovelace and Clif Clendenen — and again, the swing voting Smith.

It’s hard to imagine Smith — whose courtesy and patience seem boundless — would approve of calls to flog the staff. The General Plan Update is already a contentious affair without the addition of a Commissioner who thinks advocating for physical force against county employees is a productive way to finalize the long-overdue GPU.

Ziemer didn’t say whether he wanted to be the one to dole out the spankings.

  1. Anonymous
    May 24, 2011 at 6:20 am

    Who said anything about flogging? Ziemer was a firefighter. Woodsheds contain wood for fires. I’m sure he was saying the house is a little cold. Go get some wood. Help around the house, or you don’t deserve your weekly allowance.

    Also, Ziemer has a mustache. Conners does not. Why does Conners seem afraid of facial hair? I can’t support someone who is ashamed of his own appearance. Facial hair is natural. If I speak before the planning commission with facial hair, will I need to shave first in order to be treated fairly? What about people who don’t own shaving equipment or have hemophilia? The ramifications of this are enormous. I’m sure women will support Conners. They have nothing to fear.

  2. Anonymous
    May 24, 2011 at 6:48 am

    Nice attempt at a smear job on the day of the meeting. Flogging? Really? He is not advocating for an actual spanking any more than he is actually talking about going to a real woodshed. It’s a figure of speech.

    Three things are funny about your attempted drive-by on this public servant/hero:

    1) You expect that doing something disrespectful like a blog posting is going to sway Jimmy. Ha!

    2) You sure are needy in your attempt to take the attention away from Mr. Connor’s deplorable behavior on the Central Committee. He wasn’t acting like a “gentleman”. Ha Ha!

    3) Everybody knows that Jimmy already HAS taken staff to the woodshed, as they rightly deserve it. HA HA HA

  3. Anonymous
    May 24, 2011 at 7:27 am

    Conners at HCDCC “deplorable”? They sure seemed to miss him:


    If he’ll take the job, good.

  4. Little Buddha
    May 24, 2011 at 7:46 am

    Heraldo, phrases like “developer-backed supervisors” and “smart-growth advocates” to refer to local electeds are just dripping with bias. I’m a lefty, but don’t turn into MSNBC. It doesn’t make anyone think differently, it just locks them into their ideological boxes. Are you trying to be a writer or a ranter? You’ve got great skills, Heraldo; don’t waste them.

  5. Anonymous
    May 24, 2011 at 7:47 am

    Nice, tell your colleagues they deserve a beating BEFORE they become your colleagues. Good Luck with that buddy.

  6. Not A Native
    May 24, 2011 at 7:51 am

    Guess we’ll find out if Arkley’s threat emails to financially ruin Jimmy and making good on the threat with smear mass mailing in Cutten achieved the desired intimidation.

  7. Anonymous
    May 24, 2011 at 7:56 am

    Public servant/hero? Are you kidding me? Ziemer’s a reasonably smart guy who unfortunately is quick to turn to personal attacks against those who he’s opposed to. Not much of a concensus builder. Greg Connors is a nice fellow but again-not much of a concensus builder. If you want turmoil and not much action-pick either one.

  8. Bolithio
    May 24, 2011 at 7:58 am

    One would think it would only be a matter of time before floggings did occur, considering the shear volume of underground regulation forced upon applicants through the planning department. The pendulum must swing back, eventually.

  9. Anonymous
    May 24, 2011 at 8:01 am

    underground regulation?

    May 24, 2011 at 8:08 am

    Ziemer may be wanting to chop the heads off the chickens and stringing the dead fowl around Planning staff’s neck to rot for awhile; yet, the cheap talk by any prospective “non-electable” commission filler is best reserved for the supervisors – those elected to be Respondet Superior. A Planning Commissioner needs to be a bit different in how they achieve fairness by either accolading or embarrassing the product presented to them by staff. It is like a constant audit review everytime staff presents something. SO, in so far as staff, the only way to desolve the problems are to start at the top. Staff responds MORE TO THE CDS DIRECTOR THAN TOWARD SUPERVISORS. Ziemer has no power, nor the PC, to do hardly much but document and make responses/rulings on a per project/per agenda item only basis (no internal structural functions though). This is why you identify and treat the staff’s products at each and every meeting as a per incident situation. After so many embarrassing incidents, a supervisor should have material information to crap-can the abusers – from the top down. Many of us know this does not occur enough because it would embarrass the very same supervisors that appointed the hiree to take on whatever position, especially when the elected officials would waste even more tax dollars because of the “employee termination constraints” that public employee unions create and seek penalties and lawsuits over.

    To be fair, opposingly, when the top down is kept INTACT, then the scamming being done is by the Supervisors, and elections prove whom they are.

    Connors used to be my bonding agent. A very straightforward and good guy. Honest too is what I gather from his sincere conversations years back at the old Myrtle Avenue situs. Bonding insurance has always been reasonable until this past year +. Now, it is a de-fleecing rip-off! I don’t blame Greg, but I do hope his expertise in the field will yield a man who will discuss and try to do something about an indstry he works within and how that industry ties into the adverse impacts and effects that our various communities in Humboldt County are experiencing economically and socially. When it comes to land use – insurance is a big factor in keeping costs down so that the environment can gain more or be less impacted. Land use has become a “cha-ching opportunity”: for corporations to “bank profits on”. Can anyone else see how these unbearable costs only hurts land use and development – less money to go to the development measures and more to “untied interests”. Talk about community wealth subsidizing the socialist insurance companies at the expense of its natural resources and those mitigations that reduce adverse impacts of land uses.

    Everyone hopefully knows my disdain and negative fervor with regard to the insurance industry. I can’t support any insurance representative that would not go against the grain of their own incomes when discussing economic/industry flaws – Connors has done that openly in the past with me, and I commend him for that. Is insurance a good thing for today’s business reality – sure thing. Does insurance still do too much for the individually liable – sure thing. Does insurance act more like a “socialist wealth distribution scam” as compared to a “safety net”? SURE THING! These are all legitimate flaws and concerns that make it so issues like “affordable housing”, “homelessness”, “better health”, etc.. are a joke and political ruse to campaign on.

    Until major costs start going down (no less than an integer of 4-6 x’s net value – dollar devaluation) ON ALL insurances policies, license fees, re-activation fees, bond fees, etc….issues like affordable housing are non-issues becasue there exists no “real solution” until bureaucracy and corporate policy costs go WAYYYYYYYYY WAYYYYYYYYYY DOWNNNNNNN! It does not help that sprinkler systems are now required in newly constructed or re-modeled homes – this raises the costs again for tax collection schemers, this further increases the great divide of wealth disparity for those seeking a home, it allows insurance companies to graft more profit (valuation coverages), etc… all-in-all a rigged set-up by government bureaucracies which arrange fascist relationships with industry because of the benefits to both players (government + Corporate Industry = TOTAL RECALL)

    Just more to discuss when talking about a devaluation scheme which uses the American dollar to dupe peoples former earnings that were earned at higher “dollar valuations”. So many people are enamored and fixated on “paper notes” AND don’t understand that the notes are extremely less genuine than a college degree.

    The thing about Connors is that he is a rural life kinda guy. He, in the past, has agreed with my concerns with respect to the insurance industry as a whole. As a bonding agent ( a bit different than regular insurance), I always felt that Greg was involved in the more “fair” category of liability coverages, but that changed as of last year’s across the industry rate increases by bonding companies (like 600% plus in CA). This was done for tax collections, laundering profit and subsidizing the lazy and liable at the expense of those not lazy and liable, unfortunate.

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  11. May 24, 2011 at 8:09 am

    Yeah, they’re making gophers wear hardhats!

    May 24, 2011 at 8:21 am

    One thing about a Planning Commission is

    it is good to have no two commissioners alike, kinda like a carton of lunch-box chips – a variety.


  13. High Finance
    May 24, 2011 at 9:06 am

    This is an incredibly lame attempt at a smear job even by Heraldo’s low standards !

  14. tra
    May 24, 2011 at 9:11 am

    “flog the staff.”

    Is that like “spank the monkey?”

  15. Terry L. Clark
    May 24, 2011 at 9:12 am

    You write of Jimmy Smith, “whose courtesy and patience seem boundless”.

    Are you kidding? Tad Robinson dared to speak his mind, and Smith had him sent to the slammer. Never forget, the speaker following Tad that fateful day talked longer, but the Sheriff’s weren’t called to haul that speaker off because Smith *liked* that person’s message.

    He may look like Mr. Rogers, but Smith acts more like Freddy Krueger.

  16. Cell Block D
    May 24, 2011 at 9:13 am

    That’s the best you can do? Expect to hear “Commissioner Ziemer” very soon.

  17. Plain Jane
    May 24, 2011 at 10:08 am

    Shame on Heraldo for smearing Ziemer with his own words! How low can you go?

  18. May 24, 2011 at 10:28 am

    Blame Access Humboldt for keeping that meeting in the archives.

  19. Bolithio
    May 24, 2011 at 10:39 am

    underground regulation?

    That is the enforcement of policy not yet adopted. If you are applying for any type of discretionary permit, prepare to bend over.

  20. skippy
    May 24, 2011 at 10:41 am

    After reviewing the video, yours truly does not believe Mr. Ziemer advocated corporal punishment nor “thinks advocating for physical force against county employees is a productive way to finalize the long-overdue GPU.” Supervisor Smith did not “approve of calls to flog the staff.”

    This is far from the original message– and disingenuous.

    Mr. Ziemer appeared knowledgable, articulate, forthright, and simply put all the cards honestly on the table regarding services, regulations, and reasonably inherent risks for rural homeowners.

  21. Plain Jane
    May 24, 2011 at 11:01 am

    Taking someone “to the woodshed” is a metaphor for punishment so whether he meant flogging or tongue lashing is irrelevant. Blaming county staff, accusing them of sham and calling for them to be punished isn’t conducive to the good relationship required between the commission and the Planning Dept. Getting hung up on whether Ziemer really wanted them beaten as punishment is silly on both sides.

  22. tra
    May 24, 2011 at 11:04 am

    I agree, Skippy. “A trip to the woodshed” is a figure of speech, as anyone not blinded by mindless partisanship would surely recognize.

    If those words had been uttered by Lovelace or Clendenan, and then their opponents had accused the speaker of literally calling for “physical force,” “flogging,” “corporal punishment” or “spankings,” those making the silly accusations would have been (justifiably) ridiculed for taking it way too literally.

    It looks like those opposed to Ziemer must be having some difficulty coming up with substantive criticisms.

  23. tra
    May 24, 2011 at 11:07 am

    Plain Jane’s 11:01 point is the one that is worth discussing. Do the Planning Dept. staff deserve to be reprimanded for their work on the General Plan or not? Ziemer clearly indicated that he thinks they should.

  24. Anonymous
    May 24, 2011 at 11:09 am

    “Heraldo, phrases like “developer-backed supervisors” and “smart-growth advocates” to refer to local electeds are just dripping with bias.”

    …except that the elected officials in question are either financially sponsered by real estate developers or using the words “smart growth” verbatim themselves. I, for one, can’t think of Virginia Bass or Ryan Sundberg without seeing dollar signs overlap construction sites, and there’s a legitimate reason for that. Likewise for Lovelace, although I’m less savvy on his personal real estate investments. He’s gottem nonetheless.

    Take away what you refer to as bias, these elected officials aren’t spongebrained aliens. They’re heavily biased themselves…any elected official hopefully came to office by means of their personal idea of how things oughta go down….

    …ironic, no? Because Virginia Bass and Ryan Sundberg and even Mark Lovelace didn’t do that. The way to win elections nowadays is to keep everybody in the dark about you and your plans and just look the part…let the campaign money do the work. Talk vaguely about jobs and the economy, say the word “community” as often as possible, register with the political party to which local opinion favors…big advertising, minimal info. Pathetic, shameful and disgusting.

  25. tra
    May 24, 2011 at 11:12 am

    Actually, it’s a good thing that Ziemer didn’t call for a “tongue lashing.” Those who are selectively unable to recognize a figure of speech when they see one, well those folks would have had a field day if he had called for a “tongue lashing.” (Uh-oh, “field day” is a figure of speech, too).

    I wonder whether Heraldo’s headline would have been:

    “Ziemer calls for Planning Staff to be beaten on their tongues”


    “Ziemer calls for Planning Staff to be licked forcefully.”

  26. Teacher
    May 24, 2011 at 11:12 am

    So, are we criticizing Ziemer for being honest in his criticism of the planning staff or are we criticizing him for using hyperbole (it’s not a metaphor PJ)?
    Seems to me like, oh gosh, maybe Heraldo doesn’t like Ziemer because, despite his solid credentials, he is supported by Bass and Sundberg.

  27. tra
    May 24, 2011 at 11:38 am

    I do think Planning Dept. staff deserve some significant portion of the blame for the GPU mess.

    After the passage of a temporary moratorium on TPZ homebuilding (which was aimed at the MAXXSCAM bankruptcy judge), Planning Dept. staff tried to pull a fast one and make that moratorium permanent. And it seems that Planning staff tried to mislead the Supervisors into going along with that little bait-and-switch.


    Thankfully, the Board of Supervisors declined to go along with that bureaucratic power play. But while Planning staff and their Healthy Humboldt allies might hope that this little incident was successfully flushed down the “memory hole,” many of us remember it quite clearly.

    Those with functioning memories will recall that TPZ debacle as the event that galvanized the rural property rights movement in Humboldt Coounty, and (along with the Code Enforcement fiasco) created a powerful and lasting mistrust of the Planning Department.

    So, yes, on that issue, Planning staff do deserve to be criticized, reprimanded, “taken to the woodshed” or however you want to put it.

  28. tra
    May 24, 2011 at 11:51 am

    FYI, for the memory-challenged: Here’s Hank Sims’ reporting on that TPZ bait-and-switch.


    Sims described this staff-driven and Healthy Humboldt-supported attempt to make the TPZ moratirium permanent as a

    …headlong rush to change things as quickly as possible, without the possibility of thorough study or debate.

    and predicted that

    The result, inevitably, will be very nasty politics…

    Yup, that’s what happens when government employees and their interest-group allies launch a sneak attack on people’s property rights and try to jam through major changes by misleading elected officials about the law.

    Due to their tendencies toward arrogant, overreaching power-grabs, Healthy Humboldt and the HumCo Planning Department were their own worst enemies back then, and they remain their own worst enemies today.

  29. tra
    May 24, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    While Planning staff was forced to back off on their “creative” interpretation of the TPZ rules, and even Healthy Humboldt has modified their rhetoric (if not their goals), this incident created a deep chasm of distrust between TPZ owners (and property owners in general) and the County Planning Department.

    Many now believe that the attempt to force TPZ owners into an expensive, time-consuming, and unreliable “discretionary” permit process (where MORE power would be given to the same County bureaucrats who tried to ram the permanent TPZ moratorium through in the first place) is simply an attempt to achieve a “de facto moratorium” where it remains theoroetically possible to build a home on your TPZ land, but in practice this would only be realistic for those wealthy enough to pay for the increased permit fees, studies, and so on, and endure a lengthy waiting period, with no guarantee that the permit would be granted even if all the rules were followed.

    I have no way of knowing for sure whether that’s the intent of the Planning staff and their Healthy Humboldt allies, but I have little doubt that this would be the effect whether it’s the intent or not. And given the rather cozy relationship between Planning staff and the Plan A zealots of Healthy Humboldt, it’s seems likely that these folks would not be displeased with that outcome.

  30. Bolithio
    May 24, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    The issue of wealth is important. By creating a quagmire of never ending requirements for any type of TPZ projects, from lot line adjustments to recognizing legal patents within parcels, only the people with significant wealth and time can play the game. And it doesnt just stop with TPZ. Ag lands are also chalk full of these shenanigans. Meanwhile the Board likely doesn’t even realize the level of judgment and inconstant discretion being applied to applicants – so the game continues. The loss of trust is only being further solidified by their “we know better than you” attitude.

    Its strange to me that people who claim they want healthier forests and such put the monkey wrench to the small non-industrial ownerships. Do they really want the bulk of the land to be held by big ranchers, timber companies and timber speculators? They pick and choose the issues to suite their cause. Even if people are growing more dope now than harvesting trees, so what? Its more often than not a perfectly compatible use with these lands. You only need a few acres to grow weed. All the other acres continue to grow trees, which leads to forest products in the future.

    Planning hates dope. And to combat that, anyone who is buying land, or certainly selling timberland is marked – judge and jury adjourned. What ever laws you have followed to satisfy the current legal policy be damned. We have a few more years of things for you to do. Open up your wallet! Its sort of like the reverse of the “starve the beast” mentality of certain political groups.

  31. Plain Jane
    May 24, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    Don’t hold back Tra, tell us how you really feel about those Plan A zealots.

  32. Lib poser
    May 24, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    Feed the plan “A” zealots to the cougars.

  33. What Now
    May 24, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    I can just see it now:
    “The floggings will continue until moral improves.”

  34. Anonymous
    May 24, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    For the over 95% percent of us that don’t own TPZ land this conversation is really getting old.

  35. ChumBolly
    May 24, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    Awww, poor Glenn is whining about this sleazy hit piece, you know the one that quotes his silly ass. What a fucking tool.

  36. tra
    May 24, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    Don’t hold back Tra, tell us how you really feel about those Plan A zealots.

    I did. I think they’re zealots.

  37. May 24, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    Supervisors appointed Dave Edmonds to the Planning Commission with a 5-0 vote.

  38. Anonymous
    May 24, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    For someone that posts so much on a single issue to call anyone else a zealot is the definition of irony.

  39. Anonymous
    May 24, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    A clear win for the Eureka C of C.

  40. tra
    May 24, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    For someone that posts so much on a single issue to call anyone else a zealot is the definition of irony.


    Now, do you have anything substantive to add to the discussion, or was that all you’ve got?

  41. tra
    May 24, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Edmonds seems to be well-qualified and knowledgeable. I think they made a good pick.

    According to a previous post, in the first round of voting (last week), Edmonds got the support of Sundberg, Bass, and Smith.


  42. woodsworker
    May 24, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    Lordy, lordy, where to start? Heraldo, I would like to see you justify your branding of Sundberg as being developer backed. Facts, please.
    Referring to Healthy Humboldt and the Planning staff as buddies and fellow plan A zealots is pretty funny. The Planning Department very pointedly labeled plan B as the “preferred plan”First of all no one, myself included. should be referring to planning staff as being actors in all of this. There is one actor and that is Kirk Girard and Kirk acts primarily in Kirks’ interest. Being head honcho of the Planning Dept. is one powerful position. The last such retired very young with a fab portfolio of real estate holdings. The quid pro quo opportunities abound in that position. So Kirk plays a careful game and there’s little profit in holding hands w/ an entity like Healthy Hum.HH consists of basically 2 people one of whom is a sweet talker, glad hander who polishes up politicians. The others sole claim to anything is that she has an in depth knowledge of the GPU.
    Anyway, Heraldo, that was a pretty cheesy piece you wrote, I’m truly disappointed.

  43. Not A Native
    May 24, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    Oh Well, Edmonds listed Virgina Bass and Jay Hockaday as personal references and had about the shortest application. At any rate, he’s a lot better than Ziemer, having had higher education in a technical field.

  44. another person trashed by the planning d.
    May 24, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    Q: How do you make God laugh?
    A: Show him you G.P.U

    May 26, 2011 at 8:42 am


    When Planners “pulls faces, sophisms and lies” in their answers as to why certain documents did not make it into the commissioners’ packets, then a ruse-job is “in effect”. In fact, it is how the PC responds that either allows this conduct to continue or not. At some point, the PC response needs to be sent to the top for the supes to take action on. The PC is not required to deliberate when an incomplete “packet” is presented. The PC should be carrying-over more meetings “as rescheduled” where information was “intentionally left out”. That is public employee fraud and corruption, not negligience. Negligience is the “fake excuse” so government lessens the taxpayers’ loss over “justified” lawsuits that drain taxes from its cofers. Additionally, applicants should get a “full-refund” of their planning commission fees paid!

    It is also kinda like how the staff “intentionally sabotages” any application process (at their disposal) so as to to then “intentionally” force any applicant to fork over “planning commission appeals monies”. Talk about money launderings and public employee frauds after committing constitutional violations of due process. Only those who have engaged any process could ever understand. The rest of the folks who never listen, well, they are to sheeple sheared to even consider rational facts and historical department documentations. You Tube for the likes of those naive folks who “don’t believe”.


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