Home > Uncategorized > Estelle Picks Bob Morris for the Planning Commission

Estelle Picks Bob Morris for the Planning Commission

Third item on the BOS agenda for Tuesday.

He replaces Clif-appointed Mel Kreb.

Mr. Morris, a professional forester, is known for his lawsuit against the federal government alleging that certain portions of the Endangered Species Act amount to a property “taking.”

He is also the agent for process for HumCPR, and serves as the organization’s treasurer.

He has recently served on the Grand Jury.

I’ll post more information as I get it.

  1. Anonymous
    January 12, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    With the Pacific Legal Foundation.

    “In 1995, the Morrises paid $2,500 to purchase a half-acre lot adjacent to the Eel River in Humboldt County, California. Morris, 58 Fed. Cl. at 96. They now seek to harvest six large old-growth redwood trees that grow on that property and assert that this is the property’s only economically viable use. Id. Potentially standing in their path is the Endangered Species Act”

    I wonder what the So. Hum. tree hugging hippies think of Estelle now?

  2. Anonymous
    January 13, 2013 at 9:19 am

    F*ck the tree hugging hippies. My opinion of her went up another notch.

  3. jr
    January 13, 2013 at 9:21 am

    Is this the same Bob Morris who runs Morris Media and serves on the NEC Board?

  4. HUUFC
    January 13, 2013 at 9:26 am

    No tree would be cut that somebody wasn’t buying.

  5. Mitch
    January 13, 2013 at 9:32 am


    You probably mean Morse, Robert Morse. So no.

  6. Larry Glass
    January 13, 2013 at 9:36 am

    Different guy jr, the Bob Morris on the NEC board is from Weaverville, Trinity County.

  7. Dead man walking
    January 13, 2013 at 10:15 am

    Mel Krebs was a dead man walking ever since:

    1. He was redistrict out of the 2nd District and now lives in Rex Bohn’s 1st District.

    2. He spoke against Estelle Fennell at her HCDCC endorsement meeting, promoting a non-Democrat and his former appointer (Clif Clendenen), where he said, “You can’t change Supervisors now as we have to finish this General Plan update and I’ve got the experience and knowledge as a sitting member of the Humboldt County Planning Commission.”

    Hey at least Mel Krebs supported Cheryl Seidner. That should gain him a lot of political gravitas in the future.

  8. Anonymous
    January 13, 2013 at 10:52 am

    What Democratic values or polices will be promoted by the appointment of Bob Morris?

  9. Anonymous
    January 13, 2013 at 11:15 am

    Anonymous :
    F*ck the tree hugging hippies. My opinion of her went up another notch.

    Fuck people who think the only function of forests is to be cut down. See how fun sweeping generalizations can be?

  10. just middle class
    January 13, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Mr. Morris is a very bright and knowledgeable person who will do a good job as a Planning Commissioner intrepreting the ordinances which guide the decisions that are to be made by the Commission. Estelle did a very good job selecting a person who represents a large segment of rural Humboldt County.

  11. January 13, 2013 at 11:52 am

    Excellent choice!

  12. Anonymous
    January 13, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    Who would the salmon pick for planning commissioner?

  13. just middle class
    January 13, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    He is a RPF who understands the science of forrestry, which includes watershed protection, so he is a good choice for salmon.

  14. Eric Kirk
    January 13, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    jr :

    Is this the same Bob Morris who runs Morris Media and serves on the NEC Board?

    No, different guy.

  15. Anonymous
    January 13, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Seems like much ado about, well not quite nothing, but close

  16. Eric Kirk
    January 13, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    Well, some of us do take the Planning Commission very seriously.

  17. Anonymous
    January 13, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Anyone who sues to nullify the Endangered Species Act in order to clear cut old growth redwoods is no friend of the salmon.

  18. Just Watchin
    January 13, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    Anonymous :
    Anyone who sues to nullify the Endangered Species Act in order to clear cut old growth redwoods is no friend of the salmon.

    I’m sure the salmon are heartbroken

  19. Kinichi Matsu
    January 13, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    It wasn’t that long ago that you could expect to be tarred and feathered for warning that this county’s tributaries and rivers would become impaired, aquifers polluted and depleted, salmon runs that would collapse, oysters that have to be raised in tanks because the ocean absorbs more carbon than the atmosphere. Imagine the ridicule people faced suggesting that our farming methods would destroy the fertile Midwest top soil in the 1930’s…

    This is why the “free-marketeers” need to fill every elected and appointed office via unlimited campaign contributions, tricks to purge voters from the poles, and newspapers that only “report the tide while ignoring the ocean”.

    Scarcity has a way of bringing out the tyranny in people and a chain of fools willing to do their bidding.

    Instead of appointing knowledgeable individuals willing to err on the side of future generations, our “representatives” and their appointees will now resume digging the hole deeper.

  20. grouchy
    January 13, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    Well, who the heck did you think Estelle would pick? An environmentalist? Estelle lost her environmental credentials when she threw her lot in with CPR — which was founded and supported by Barnum, Green Diamond, the Russ family, and other large landowners who want NO regulation interfering with their profit-making. (Yes, I know there’s all those regular Joe/Jane CPRers, too; but the organization was started and depends on the big guys and it’s there to serve them.) (And by the way, far from being a spontaneous grassroots thing it’s the product of a national coalition — same as the Homebuilders and various Realtor associations — with a lot of local franchise-type operations, a sort of political MacDonald’s).

    So anyway, I don’t know much about Mr. Morris, except that when I heard him speak and read one of his op-ed pieces I knew I’m not on his side. I’m glad he has credentials.

    And by the way, just for the record, It’s Mel Kreb, singular, not “Krebs.”

  21. wondering?
    January 13, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    Talk about the fox guarding the henhouse. I wonder if or when So Hummers will wake up and see that Estelle is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Or are they too busy these days counting their money and trying to subdivide their TPZ’s?

  22. Anonymous
    January 13, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    From the Spring 2012 HumCPR news letter.

    “Note: HumCPR would like to acknowledge that several of the issues and concerns raised in this article in regards to Supervisor Lovelace’s clear conflict of interest with respect to voting on the upcoming General Plan Update could possibly also apply to former HumCPR Executive Director Estelle Fennell should she prevail in her bid for 2nd District Supervisor. Were such a conflict to arise on this or any other issue we have the utmost in confidence that a Supervisor Fennell would immediately recuse herself from discussion and/or votes. We sincerely hope that Supervisor Lovelace will show the same level of integrity and honesty and avoid even the appearance of impropriety.”

    Would this standard not also apply to the current treasurer of HumCPR Mr. Morris and the president of HumCPR Mr. Ulansey assuming he is also appointed to the Planning Commission?

  23. Anonymous
    January 13, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    wondering? :
    Talk about the fox guarding the henhouse. I wonder if or when So Hummers will wake up and see that Estelle is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Or are they too busy these days counting their money and trying to subdivide their TPZ’s?

    Anyone who thinks that growers nowadays give a rat’s ass about the environment is high. No pun intended. They might bring money into the county but they also bring in crime and fuck up the environment. Which, in spite of the property value consequences for myself as a homeowner, I voted yes on the last legalization bill and I’ll vote yes on the next one. Which IIRC is more than can be said for SoHum.

  24. Anonymous
    January 13, 2013 at 11:26 pm

    While the rest of America is waking up to the crazed ineptitude of the Tea Partyers Humboldt County has only just begun to see their reign begin.

  25. just middle finance
    January 14, 2013 at 7:45 am

    Relax. Dump your Salmon stock and buy timber stock, we’re back.
    “NEW YORK (TheStreet) — Hurricane Sandy has been devastating for the Northeast; nevertheless, it could be good news for timber stocks as the region rebuilds, says Michael Underhill…”

  26. just middle class
    January 14, 2013 at 7:59 am

    The conflict of interest agrument does not fly for Morris because he was not a paid staff person.

  27. Anonymous
    January 14, 2013 at 8:34 am

    It’s more of a conflict to be on the planning commission as a former staffer (long since paid) than a current treasurer of a private for profit lobbing corporation currently suing the county?

  28. Anonymous
    January 14, 2013 at 9:03 am

    Actually, the FPPC, in several identical instances, has found that neither Lovelace or any of the others would have a conflict. The HumCPR statement was interesting but there is no conflict for any of them which is probably why HumCPR didn’t pursue the issue with Lovelace. They certainly would have if they could.

  29. Eric Kirk
    January 14, 2013 at 9:22 am

    Conflict of interest is really one of those concepts, like hearsay, that so many people misunderstand. It is a conflict of interest for a political representative to vote on a bill or odinance which would make a monetary difference to him – as in a contract between the government and your spouse’s business, or a company in which you have invested. And ideological affiliation with a group benefiting from legislation is not a conflict of interest.

  30. Eric Kirk
    January 14, 2013 at 9:25 am

    “I’m sure the salmon are heartbroken”

    If he had prevailed in his lawsuit, many of them would probably be dead rather than heartbroken.

  31. Anonymous
    January 14, 2013 at 9:25 am

    Point being, HumCPR will say and do just about anything for their cause, consistency and honesty be dammed. Are these the type of people you want on your planning commission?

  32. Mitch
    January 14, 2013 at 9:38 am


    I’ve always been curious about conflict of interest. Why isn’t it legally conflict of interest for politicians to vote for bills on the basis of being able to receive huge campaign contributions from lobbyists, contributions that (if I understand correctly) they can do with as they please?

  33. January 14, 2013 at 10:25 am

    Eric @29,
    Good point – conflict of interest. What about the 5-0 vote the Eureka City Council pulled off regarding a bond (for future generations to pay) to pay CalPers for their (future) retirement scheme – without the people voting to have any say whatsoever? Conflict of interest – ya think?

    Mitch @32,
    Because ‘legal’ is words on paper, and ‘lawful’ isn’t tangible. Law is a shared perception, it implies morality.
    Government is a superstition. Money is a religion.

  34. Eric Kirk
    January 14, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    Mitch – The Supreme Court says no, because you’re not able (in theory) to use campaign money for your personal benefit. But even under various models of campaign finance reform, there are grey areas and if a COI is to be so strictly defined, then it would prohibit any campaign contribution, or at least the acceptance thereof. Then again, that’s the rationale for publicly funded campaigns. Everybody gets a check from the government – the same amount, and you spend it carefully. I don’t know if that’s workable, or even desirable, but it’s worth serious consideration.

    FQ – No, legally COI exempts that, and even pay raises.

    It also doesn’t apply to general policies not specific to your companies or interests. For instance, if you are by trade a carrot farmer, it would not be a COI to vote on subsidies for the carrot farming industry. But if you owned Carrot King Company and voted on a specific deal to be the sole provider of carrots to the congressional cafeteria, that could be a conflict of interest.

    The point is that there is no conflict of interest because he is Treasurer of an Organization dedicated to the promotion of policies he will decide upon. He won’t materially benefit because the organization’s goals are met by his votes.

  35. January 14, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    Eighth Affirmative Defense:
    Plaintiff City of Eureka brings this matter as a result of a decision by Eureka City Council and staff, although members of the Council and staff may be receiving, and/or will receive in the future, retirement benefits from the California Public Employees Retirement System (System”) and have a conflict of interest.

  36. steak n eggs
    January 14, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    Disappointing to see Estelle appoint this guy. Bob’s a land speculator and does not represent the majority of timberland owners who manage their land. He buys large parcels, jumps through the County’s JTMP process, and sells the patents. Absolutely nothing wrong with that, but hardly the kind of representative we need at the Planning Commission level. Sure he is an RPF, but when was the last time this guy ever signed his name to a harvest document such as a THP, NTMP, etc. Sorry to sound so negative on him, but it is what is.

  37. Eric Kirk
    January 16, 2013 at 10:48 am

    Some Times Standard coverage of the appointment which contains a statement from Scott Creacin.


    With all due respect to Estelle, yes, the lawsuit was about property rights and “taking” which has been the banner slogan for the anti-environmental “Property Rights Movement.” The lawsuit appears to have been a manifestation of it. I’m not quite sure what her comment is intended to mitigate. What I would like to hear is that his philosophy about environmental regulations as “taking” has changed. He wasn’t reached before the article had to go for publication.

  38. Anonymous
    January 16, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    “He wasn’t reached before the article had to go for publication.”

    After many decades in this county I’ve seen only one local article raise the question how and why the development community controls local politics. (“Interested Parties”, by John Osborn, NCJ July, 2010). We’re still waiting for a media-investigation answer…

    Little wonder the U.S. has the lowest voter participation rates in the industrialized world, there’s no need! There aren’t any problems! Just a few petty criminals that make headlines every week.

    From Rio Del to Rio De Genaro the entire world is deluged with the U.S. propaganda machine…”This is a world of plenty for the deserving”…..(and we’ll bomb anyone that would deny us our “plenty” aka “freedom”).

    Opposing local developers their sprawl and the big boxes they deserve will not be tolerated.

  39. Anonymous
    January 17, 2013 at 7:21 am

    Losers always claim “the development community controls local politics”. Bull. They only number a dozen or so. In Eureka and most communities in Humboldt still support jobs & progress over no growth advocates.

  40. Dan
    January 17, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    Maybe we could get a comment from Estelle.

    Pacific Legal Foundation trying to Schiff exactions cases,
    not looking good for the ‘takings’ plaintiffs with Scalia not on board.

    “In the middle of the argument, Justice Sotomayor pulled an Admiral Stockdale and asked, “Why are we even in this case? Why are we here?” The answer is because PLF cleverly reconceptualized the case to try to get around Supreme Court doctrine unfavorable to its ideology. That’s fair. It’s their right to try it. But that’s no reason why anyone else should fall for it.”

  41. Anonymous
    January 17, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    January 17, 2013 at 7:21 am | #39 Quote

    “In Eureka and most communities in Humboldt still support jobs & progress over no growth advocates.”


    First, there aren’t any “no growth” “anti-progress” advocates!

    Secondly, in EVERY community in Humboldt County the vast majority of eligible voters abstain and have no interest in “growth” or “progress” whatsoever.

    It is this political vacuum that sustains Eureka’s thoughtless, “free-market” ideologues that turned “growth” into some of the deadliest traffic in the state per capita, and a waste water system needing $100 million in updates beyond the $30 million Martin Slough Interceptor project delayed for a generation! unbridled “Growth” in poverty wage big boxes and hotels have turned Eureka into a giant slum with record crime, disease, drug abuse, homelessness, and a booming economy in neighborhood rehab. homes, pawn shops, check cashing, rent-to-own, dollar stores, second-hand, storage units, rental agencies, bail bonds, job scalpers, and Eureka’s trademark of empty buildings and vacant lots.

    It is this economic, social and political climate that invites the development community candidates to easily outspend and win every election with a tiny handful of exceptions, especially in Eureka.

    Only John Osborn of the NCJ had the guts to out them…just before he left town.

    We can expect ZERO follow-up reporting…and with it….more misinformed and disenfranchised non-voters.

  42. The Great Anonymous
    January 18, 2013 at 7:10 am

    Why do libs try to lie about their numbers by claiming that the people who don’t vote would vote for them? Who is too say that the percentage of cons & libs in the non voting public wouldn’t be about the same as the percentage of cons and libs in the voting public?

    But think about what you are saying when you do make that false claim. You are insulting liberals by saying they are either much more lazy or ignorant than conservatives.

  43. Anonymous
    January 18, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    If clear cutting old growth redwood groves is a “property right” that Estelle thinks is reasonable to protect than we are in bigger trouble than we thought.

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