284

Gun-Selling Supervisor’s 2nd Amendment Resolution Polarizes Citizens. (Will Unpermitted Weapon-Toting Supervisors Be Arrested?)

Tuesday evening in Redding, hundreds of concerned, curious citizens arrived early to the Shasta County Board of Supervisors’ vestibule outside the board chambers. The expectant crowd crammed together to secure seats inside for a politically polarizing popular agenda item: R4, a Second-Amendment resolution sponsored by Redding gun-seller/Shasta County Supervisor chair Patrick Jones.

Soon after Tuesday’s board agenda became public, agenda item “R4” became the shorthand nickname for Jones’ proposed resolution.

Citizens gathered outside the Shasta County Board chambers in anticipation of the meeting to decide the fate of agenda item R4.

There seemed little gray area; people were either passionately for R4 or vehemently against it.

(Click here to read journalist R.V. Scheide’s story about the Second Amendment, what happened with Jones’ resolution and the meeting’s outcome.)

The audience contained the usual cast of such now-familiar ultra-conservative local personalities as the Plumbs (“if the 1rst Amendment doesn’t work, we’ve got the 2nd Amendment”), the Rapozas (“the time has come for 51” State of Jefferson devotees) and the Gallardos (“citizen journalists”/identical twins), who came bearing party balloons.

Richard Gallardo untangles patriotic party balloons as KCNR radio host Win Carpenter joins others waiting to enter the board chambers.

The list goes on. There was Lori Bridgeford, the anti-vax “citizen journalist”; Kathy Stainbrook, cheerleader for the lie-based recall of former Dist. 2 Supervisor Leonard Moty; Woody Clenenden, Cottonwood Militia leader; Lani Bangay, Patriot State of Mind co-host; Mark Kent and Win Carpenter, KCNR radio co-hosts: Bob Holsinger, failed Shasta County Clerk candidate, and many more.

However, this meeting was unique for its considerable number of relatively rare faces, many of whom carried anti-R4 signs, some of whom were last seen inside the chambers protesting Shasta County Health Officer Karen Ramstrom’s baseless 2022 firing.

Citizens attended a spring 2022 Shasta County Board of Supervisors meeting with signs that protested her dismissal.

A folding table outside the board chambers held anti-R4 petitions signed by people, some of whom were unable to stay for the meeting as there were no more available seats.

Judging by the comments and the crowd, there seemed about a 50/50 split between those who were in favor of R4 and those who were not.

Conflict or no conflict? That’s one question

Before the board proceeded any further regarding the resolution, Jones asked for Shasta County Counsel Rubin Cruse’s input on whether those who’d accused Jones of having a disqualifying financial conflict of interest — he sells guns — were correct.

Cruse put Jones’ mind at rest. Cruse said that in order for there to be a disqualifying financial conflict of interest, the board’s decision must have a “material financial effect” on Jones that is distinguishable from its effect on the general public.

Some might dispute Cruse on that point, and argue that a board-approved Second Amendment resolution would absolutely financially benefit Jones, starting with the fact that fundamentally, Jones’ Second Amendment resolution is about guns. Jones sells guns in his family-owned Jones Fort, one of the best-known North State gun stores, a firearms community staple that’s been in business for more than 50 years.

Jones Fort gun shop

A recent Google search of “Shasta County gun store” put Jones’ Fort in second place. Jones Fort receives free publicity every time a news story mentions Jones’ occupation as a gun salesman at his family-owned gun store (A News Cafe is guilty as charged). Jones couldn’t buy better advertising than what he gains at no charge as a board chair with a lifelong gun-store affiliation. The more guns he sells, the more money he makes.

Also, Cruse mentioned the “general public” in his disqualifying-financial-conflict-of-interest litmus test. But how many people out of more than 182,000 Shasta County residents sell guns from namesake businesses?

Maybe this is an apples-and-oranges comparison, but Rickert leaves the board chambers and recuses herself from voting on anything remotely related to her ranching business.

Alas, that theoretical debate is moot. Cruse provided the final word as Shasta County Counsel: No, Jones’ Second Amendment resolution does not present a disqualifying financial conflict of interest for Jones.

Meeting details

From left: Shasta County Dist. 1 Supervisor Kevin Crye, Dist. 5 Supervisor Chris Keltstrom, Dist. 2 Supervisor Tim Garman and Dist. 3 Supervisor Mary Rickert.

Eventually, Jones addressed the meeting’s main event: his long-awaited Second Amendment resolution, which Jones said was two-and-a-half years in the making.

Perhaps you’ve already heard that by the meeting’s end, Jones’ Second Amendment resolution wasn’t approved. However, the resolution wasn’t completely rejected, either. Rather, the resolution is now in limbo, thanks to a decision made by Crye, something so unexpected that it caught approximately 99.999 percent of the spectators by surprise.

Nope. Didn’t see that one coming.

Today’s post won’t get into the weeds of Jones’ resolution, since A News Cafe journalist R.V. Scheide already covered the big picture. 

Memorable moments

A standing-room-only crowd awaited the Shasta County Board of Supervisors meeting that would vote on the controversial 2nd Amendment resolution sponsored by Supervisor Patrick Jones. Photos by Doni Chamberlain

More than 30 citizens commented on R4. Some people brought signs that detailed their opinions.

Although roughly two-thirds of the commenters said they were in favor of Jones’ resolution, the majority of them seemed ignorant of the Jones’ intentions for the resolutions. Some speakers waxed poetic about the virtues of guns. A few offered well-worn phrases proclaiming guns don’t kill people; people kill people. Others addressed mass shootings. Yet others went off on tangents about arming teachers.

Even Siskiyou County resident Jess Harris, who introduced himself as affiliated with the Northern California Rifle and Pistol Association, missed the point of Jones’ resolution. Instead, he focused on the benefits of self-defense.

“A lot of this has to do with protecting our way of life,” Harris said. “I know Sacramento doesn’t get it, I know San Francisco doesn’t get it. I don’t care. I don’t care what they think. They don’t live here. We do. The Second Amendment is not up for interpretation tonight.” (Hear his complete comments at 3:09:47.)

Numerous speakers emphasized that they were strongly in favor of the Second Amendment, but strongly opposed to Jones’ Second Amendment resolution.

“I’m not against the Second Amendment,” said one woman. “But I am against our county government being the interpreters of the Second Amendment.”

Stainbrook received loud cheers of approval when she said Shasta County should play by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s rules and make Shasta County a Second Amendment sanctuary region.

Double standards

Chair Jones interrupted one woman’s comments when she mentioned her disappointment in the board majority’s recent vote to ditch the Dominion voting machines. Jones scolded her for being off topic. However, never was heard a discouraging word from Jones when Lori Bridgeford veered sharply off topic and referred to several key former county “road block” employees by name who either no longer work for the county or will soon leave. Likewise, it was radio silence from Jones when Bridgeford promoted the militia.

“We’re all part of the militia,” Bridgeford said. “So when this street jungle happens, when it hits the fan and the collapse happens and the shelves are empty and trains through town blow up — whatever — we’re on our own.”

Conservative radio host Mark Kent saw another benefit for Jones’ Second Amendment resolution.

Mark Kent.

“The state needs you unarmed and obedient —  how else are they gonna control you?” Kent said. “I think you guys need to get this thing in place for no other reason than just give the middle finger of defiance to all these people who are trying to take our rights away.”

On and on it went.

Ultimately, as speaker Judy Salter reiterated, nobody in that room was against the Second Amendment. On that point, everyone agreed.

Watch the entire Feb. 21, 2023 Shasta County Board of Supervisors meeting here.

More evidence of chair Jones’ selective, double-standard admonitions arose when speakers Missy McArthur and Salter each made references to feelings of discomfort to imagine guns inside the board chambers.

Jones piped up and schooled McArthur and Salter. He said the resolution discussion wasn’t about firearms in the county’s administrative building, and perhaps they were unaware that “properly permitted” people were carrying weapons at that very moment during the meeting.

Jones’ message garnered raucous, sustained applause and hoots of approval. But Jones wasn’t finished.

“So I’m very happy to hear that you’re in support of our Second Amendment resolution,” Jones said, clearly enjoying the dig. Back in the audience Salter corrected Jones.

“I do not support your resolution,” Salter countered, as Jones talked over her — “thank you Judy” — and literally turned his head and attention to the next speaker.

Cue the lawsuits

Redding resident Ray Thomas, president of the Five Counties Central Labor Council, was one of several speakers who cautioned the supervisors that adopting Jones’ resolution could embroil the county in costly, inevitable litigation.

Ray Thomas.

Thomas began by reminding the supervisors of previous emails he’d sent them that outlined potential labor-relations issues that would surely follow the adoption of Jones’ resolution. Thomas spelled out just one example.

“You would not only be in violation of over 30 provisions of your nine labor agreements, you would be in violation of governmental code 35.04,” Thomas said. (Hear his complete statement at 3:04:51 on the streaming video.)

‘What you’re trying to do is unconstitutional’

Jeff Gorder.

Retired attorney and former Shasta County public defender Jeff Gorder delivered a lively impassioned speech steeped in legal explanations.

“This strikes me as not about the Second Amendment,” Gorder said of the R4 resolution.

“Everybody agrees we all support the Second Amendment. We support the First Amendment, we support the Fourth Amendment. Let’s have resolutions that everybody supports all the amendments. What this is about is Patrick Jones is trying to have it so that the board of supervisors will be the determinant of what is constitutional. Mr. Cruse is trying to save the board from legal jeopardy. I guarantee you that if the board votes against the redlined edition, it will be clearly unconstitutional because many of you don’t seem to understand that we are a rule-of-law nation; that the legislature makes the laws, the executive enforces the laws, the judiciary interprets the laws. Not the board of supervisors; the judiciary. So, what you’re trying to do is unconstitutional, Mr. Jones.”

Gorder then directed his next comments to supervisors Crye and Garman, men he hoped were independent thinkers.

“I would just caution you, don’t go down the road of Mr. Jones and Mr. Kelstrom,” Gorder said. “It’s only going to lead to bad things.”

Some members of the crowd heckled Gorder, who responded with a chuckle.

“I’m just here to tell you that I’ll come out of retirement and sue the county if this resolution is passed with the language as it stands,”  he said. “It’s going to cost you money, just as it’s going to cost you money with the Dominion voting machines.”

Approximately half of the audience laughed, while the other half shouted and booed.

Out of left field, Jones rudely quipped, as Gorder left the lectern, “There once was a lawyer I thought I liked, but I was wrong.”

Approximately half of the audience clapped and cheered, while the other half shook their heads and half groaned.

(Go to the 3:45:10 mark of the meeting’s recording for Gorder’s full statement.)

The sheriff’s precarious tightrope talk

After more than an hour of public comments, Sheriff Michael Johnson approached the lectern. Before the meeting, there was much social-media speculation about how the sheriff would react to Jones’ Second Amendment resolution. Would he show up? Would he speak? Would he side with Jones? Would he reject or accept the resolution?

Johnson did speak, and when he did, he performed an artful verbal tightrope walk; as if balanced over a tank of sharks, trying with all his might to not fall in. Johnson’s a confident speaker. Tuesday he was a one-man good-cop bad-cop who frequently tossed chum nuggets into both sides of the tank. His comments had something for nearly everyone.

He started with bold statements in which he described himself as a staunch Second Amendment advocate. He received instant applause when Johnson said he supported Shasta County being a Second Amendment sanctuary county. In fact, Johnson recalled that while he was Anderson’s police chief he tried to get the NRA to make Anderson a Second Amendment sanctuary city.

Johnson talked about his sworn oath to follow and enforce laws, but he did not talk about the fact that by its very definition, a Second Amendment sanctuary region does not recognize or obey “restrictive gun control laws”.

Johnson briefly made the pro-R4 folks happy when he said he was in favor of the Second Amendment resolution. However, their elation soon evaporated when Johnson clarified that because of the  potential legal ramifications to the county, he was only for the Second Amendment resolution version with the redlined edits suggested by county counsel and staff. Almost as an aside, he reminded the group that California already does recognize citizens’ rights to bear arms – albeit with proper permitting. Johnson said he’s personally not afraid of CCW-permitted gun owners, because they’ve been vetted by his office.

“I know that they are responsible citizens that have gone through the process, and have firearms and will be my backup — be your backup,” Johnson said. “God forbid we need them to.”

Pro-R4 folks loved that line. Anti-R4 folks winced.

Johnson made a pitch for people to go through the training and obtain a CCW permit. He explained why permits were necessary, namely to ensure the safety of all citizens, and to prevent firearms from getting into the wrong hands.

The pro-R4 folks weren’t thrilled to hear what Johnson had to say next about the issue of open carry, a topic especially popular during the 2022 election debates. Johnson said he would not allow open carry until it was deemed legal by the courts, but if the day arrived when open-carry was deemed constitutional, then he’d welcome that ruling.

The meeting’s second-most sensational statement

Johnson’s closing statement was the first of two particularly stunning declarations made that evening.

But first, some context: Supervisors Kelstrom and Jones (unsure about Crye) have openly boasted their refusal to apply for a CCW permit. They say it’s their God-given right to carry guns without the government’s permission.

With that fact in mind, the unpermitted supervisors had rude awakening with Johnson’s next statement.

“Make no mistake about it, the laws that are on the books are on the books,” Johnson said. “If you carry a gun — loaded or unloaded, open or concealed — without a permit currently, the Shasta County Sheriff’s Department will enforce that law. You will be arrested. We will take your gun as evidence and you will be prosecuted. That is hard and fast right now.”

Cue crickets. At least until Jones snapped out of it, put the sheriff on the spot and took him to task.

By now, anyone who’s listened to Jones speak for any length of time knows that when Jones says, “with all due respect” that what follows next is probably anything but. Jones, who apparently considers himself a legal scholar, pushed back against the sheriff.

“No constitutional right has to have a permit,” Jones argued, to loud applause. “Logic would say that concealed weapon permits are not a constitutional right. It’s not a constitutional right. No permit.”

Johnson waited until Jones was finished.

“That’s your interpretation,” Johnson said, which prompted Jones’ assertion that eight of the nine circuit courts agreed with Jones.

Johnson replied that he didn’t see anywhere in the Constitution where it says people can open-carry or concealed-carry. So it went, back and forth, until Johnson said he wouldn’t debate it; that they’d have to disagree.

When Jones asked if any of the other supervisors had further questions, only Crye spoke up. He told Johnson he appreciated him being there. Not exactly a question, but it would be one of Crye’s last noncontroversial statements of the night.

“You didn’t have to come,” Crye said to the sheriff, stating the obvious.

Moderate applause followed Johnson as he exited the board chambers, only for him to be quickly buttonholed in the hallway for several minutes by Terry Rapoza, who gave the sheriff a booming what-for about the Constitution.

A Crye in the ointment

Newly appointed Dist. 1 Supervisor said he “struggled” with the R4 agenda decision. Photo by Doni Chamberlain.

At last, after County Counsel Rubin Cruse had painstakingly combed over the redlined resolution chapter and verse, line by line, and patiently responded to all Jones’ queries, questions and lawyer-‘splaining, it was nearly time for the supervisors to decide upon Jones’ Second Amendment resolution.

Crye, who’s already demonstrated his tendency to be consistently incongruent, offered yet more evidence that his words and claims often don’t jibe with his actions. Likewise, Crye’s frequent lofty descriptions of himself are sometimes diametrically opposed to his actual persona and track record.

Exhibit A: Crye’s opening statement about the R4 decision.

“I’ve never cowered from a fight on a purpose I felt strongly about,” Crye said.

Those words would come back to haunt him later, when cowering was exactly what he appeared to do.

To give street cred to his patriotism, Crye prefaced his upcoming unpopular decision by bragging about his military experience at age 32, and his successful run for Dist. 1 Supervisor.

Although Crye’s only been a supervisor since Jan. 3, some county insiders have privately nicknamed the Dist. 1 supervisor “Crye baby” for his frequent complaints. Some examples include Crye’s assertions that supervisor work isn’t fun, that lengthy board reports require too much reading, that there’s not enough follow-up time before board meetings to become better-informed, and his unprecedented belief that he should have assistants available to do various tasks, such as “running down” information for him.

To borrow then-candidate Crye’s vernacular, hurled at a young female Shasta County district attorney who’d taken time off to attend the supervisors meeting and give a public comment regarding an upcoming election ,  La-di- frickin’-dah.

So it came as no surprise when Crye began his comments by saying the R4 decision was “very complex — very complex”. Crye shared that he was “struggling” with the way the resolution was written. Crye said he’d rather consider a Second Amendment resolution that was absent fillers or interpretations. Crye lamented that the sheriff was no longer in the chambers, because he’d like to have asked Johnson some questions.

Other supervisors also weighed in with their opinions.

Garman goes out on a limb

Ever since Supervisor Garman won former Dist. 2 Supervisor Leonard Moty’s seat in a lie-based recall, many have speculated about where exactly Garman’s loyalties would lie. Would he be his own man, or would he perform as Jones’ hand puppet?

Tuesday, Garman granted Gorder’s hope that the Dist. 2 supervisor could be an independent thinker. Garman proved capable of going out on a limb to vote for what was best for the county and its people. He demonstrated his willingness to make a difficult decision that could later result in blowback from some constituents and at least two fellow board members.

“That’s gonna open us up to some lawsuits, and we need to be fiscally responsible to our county,” Garman said. “You just have to.”

Jones responded by saying he “highly disagreed” with Garman’s opinions.

“I don’t believe it will open us up to lawsuits,” Jones said. “At some point we’re going to have to make a stand. Keep in mind folks, this has been ran across one of the most celebrated Second Amendment attorneys in the United States.”

Despite Jones’ words, Garman stood by his earlier statement, based upon his trust in Counsel Cruse, Sheriff Johnson and multiple words of caution about potential lawsuits from several knowledgeable speakers.

“I think this will come back to bite us,” Garman predicted.

Supervisor Kelstrom, who’s been unwavering in his support of the resolution, sided with Jones, and spent a few minutes sparring with Counsel Cruse over legal interpretations of the Constitution. Kelstrom eventually made a motion to accept the resolution with the various stipulated revisions, redlines and agreed-upon staff recommendations.

Not so fast. Because before anyone (namely, Jones) could second Kelstrom’s motion, Crye dove headfirst down a crooked rabbit hole of other potential resolutions, such as ones that might deal with assaults on kids and assaults on gender definitions, and resolutions regarding armed security guards at every school in the county.

“That’s the kind of things I wish we were talking about, because that is something that matters, like right now to kids in the community and families,” Crye said.

“I would 100 percent want to get behind arming teachers, or at least arming a security guard or a retired peace officer at every campus in Shasta County. I could get behind that.”

Squirrel!

Jones miraculously managed to steer the conversation back to the issue at hand. Again, he quickly recognized Supervisor Kelstrom’s previous motion, which Jones then immediately seconded.

But before a vote could be taken following Jones’ second, Garman unexpectedly made a substitute motion that supervisors accept county counsel’s recommended resolution revisions.

Scarcely nanoseconds later, in a move so rapid that it surely teetered on a Brown Act violation, Jones sped ahead and proclaimed that Garman’s motion failed, due to the lack of a second. As anyone paying attention could see, the only reason Garman’s motion received no second is because Jones fast-tracked the process and didn’t allow a reasonable amount of time for supervisors to consider Garman’s substitution and then speak.

“No second, so that fails and we’ll return back to the original motion which has been made and seconded,” Jones declared. “Any other discussion?”

Poor Patrick. Once again, it was motion interruptus, but this time from Crye, who brought up the matter of county counsel’s previous mention of potential lawsuits. Crye explained that he was so concerned about possible liability that he’d made two phone calls: one to the NRA, which was cut short, and the other to his personal lawyer.

“So this becomes very tough for me, because of the lawfulness of it,” Crye said. “It’s not about supporting the Second Amendment … I want to support the Second Amendment — I do support the Second Amendment.”

As Crye spoke, the picture of Kelstrom’s facial expression spoke a thousand words, none of which would be suitable for children.

The more Crye spoke, the more apparent it was that Crye was wildly backpedaling in an effort to avoid a decision he feared facing. He said he wanted more time to discuss it. He said he wanted more clarity.

But before Crye could toss another want on his bonfire of excuses, Jones interrupted Crye and said Kelstrom’s motion was waiting.

“We’ve been on this subject for two-and a half years,” Jones said, to which Crye shot back that he’d not been a supervisor for two-and-a-half years.

By now, Jones was clearly having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Nothing was going his way.

“I don’t know why you’re struggling,” Jones snapped at Crye.

“It’s not about struggling,” Crye said. “It’s about …”

“You said you were struggling,” Jones said.

“Yeah, yeah, the struggling is making a decision without all the facts and with all the information,” Crye said.

And that, my friends, was the abridged version.

Before Jones or Crye could bicker any further, Supervisor Rickert, who’d been uncharacteristically quiet, spoke up in a voice that betrayed emotion.

Rickert said she believed in and supported the Second Amendment, but she considered the proposed Second Amendment resolution an over-reach of the board’s authority.

Dist. 3 Supervisor Mary Rickert

“And that’s where I struggle,” Rickert said.

“As a board we do not have the ability to interpret the Constitution to meet our own personal agenda. I’m a concealed weapons permit holder. Our family has three gun cases full of guns. We have the capacity to take care of ourselves. You know what? I’m not anti-gun. I view guns as another tool for our ranching operation. But I have no interest in supporting a resolution that is not under the purview of this board.”

Rickert added that the board lacks the jurisdiction to supersede courts’ decisions. She then asked county counsel what could one day become a multi-million dollar question.

“Mr. Cruse, even if we made those changes, does this resolution have some concerns about being legal at the state level?’

County Counsel Cruse offered a detailed explanation about court clarifications and determinations, but in the end it boiled down to one word: Yes. Cruse acknowledged that even with the resolution’s redlined version, it did contain some areas that could potentially put the county at risk for legal peril.

That was all Rickert needed to know. She said Cruse’s answer settled the issue for her, because she trusted Cruse and would follow his legal advice. She added that during her time as supervisor, Cruse had kept the board from being sued.

“And that’s my responsibility to the taxpayers of Shasta County,” Rickert said, before completing her statement.

Mary and Jim Rickert at their family ranch.

“My husband’s got a shotgun by the door tonight, and no matter what happens with this resolution, that shotgun’s going to be there tomorrow,” Rickert said. “I don’t see any imminent threat at this point in time. And I don’t see where this would make any difference; other than exposing us to potential lawsuits.”

A scowling Jones again attempted a return to Kelstrom’s motion, but first said a few words, including his belief that the Second Amendment was under assault, and because of that, Jones said it was time to take a stand and be firm.

With that, Jones finally called for a rollcall vote, turning first to Crye for his decision. But rather than a one-word response, Crye did exactly what he’d boasted earlier that he doesn’t do. He cowered in the face of a tough decision.

“I’m going to abstain,” Crye said.

The chambers fell into stunned, hushed silence.

The rollcall slogged on. Kelstrom and Jones said yes. Garman and Rickert said no. The vote was uselessly split 2-2.

Jones asked Cruse if Crye was required to provide a reason for his abstention. Cruse, who’s known for coming to meetings extremely prepared, clearly wasn’t prepared for any abstentions that night, so he required a few minutes to look up legal codes regarding abstentions.

As Cruse searched, Crye said he had no problem explaining his decision.

Jones was obviously peeved.

“Supervisor Crye, you are paid to make decisions,” Jones said. “A yes or a no should be the appropriate response.”

A strange thing happened next. Judging by the murmurs of disbelief that rippled throughout the board chambers, for perhaps the first time in many hours, nearly everyone in the audience — including this reporter — were in agreement about one single thing (aside from supporting the Second Amendment). On that particular comment, at that particular moment, on that particular night, most everyone inside the board chambers agreed: Jones was absolutely right. Supervisors are paid to make decisions. A yes or a no was the appropriate response.

While Cruse continued to look for an answer, an undaunted Crye circled back to respond to Jones’ previous snipe.

“I’m paid to make good decisions, well-informed decisions,” Crye told Jones.

Before Crye could elaborate (thank God) Cruse read aloud his findings about abstention rules:

“The rules provide that an abstention or disqualification from voting on the merits of any matter should be voiced audibly — which it was — and shall count as a non-vote,” Cruse said. “The board member shall state the reason for the abstention or disqualification.”

Partially vindicated, Jones curtly informed Crye that he needed to state the reason for his abstention.

Crye complied. He explained that he’d abstained because he wanted to seek personal legal counsel to help him understand what possible risks he might face; should he vote yes for the resolution. Crye added that although Supervisor Rickert believed in and endorsed Cruse, Crye preferred to retain his own outside counsel.

“Unless Mr. Cruse is going to – I don’t want to say pay my mortgage, because this job doesn’t pay my mortgage,” Crye began, in a way that sounded like yet another complaint, this time, that supervisors aren’t paid enough.

“But at the end of the day I want to make decisions with the counsel that I seek,” Crye said. “And when this came out Thursday, and with Monday being a holiday, my attorney was not available, so I’m not voting yes or no.”

Crye said he needed more time, which may have triggered a sense of deja vu for county staff since that’s exactly the stunt Crye pulled during the Feb. 7 meeting, when he complained that he lacked enough time to thoroughly read and research more about a basic First 5 Shasta vote. Consequently, because of Crye’s inability to deal with the same quantity of reading material in the same amount of time as his fellow supervisors, the relatively simple, non-controversial First 5 Shasta vote was delayed especially for Crye, so he had extra time to prepare for that vote.

Malarkey cubed

It’s easy as shooting sucker fish in a barrel to poke holes in Crye’s excuses.

Point No. 1: First, Crye claimed he wasn’t fully informed about the resolution because he’d only received it Thursday before the Tuesday meeting, which was the first time he’d seen it. That seems doubtful because for weeks news about the controversial upcoming resolution has been widely reported by multiple North State media outlets.

Second, as Jones rightly observed, Crye had two-and-a-half years to familiarize himself with the resolution. Third, Crye appeared fully informed about the resolution during his Feb. 6 guest appearance on the Patriot State of Mind podcast with hosts Carlos Zapata, Woody Clenenden and Lani Bangay. It’s noteworthy that the program took place nearly three weeks before Tuesday’s meeting.

Supervisor Kevin Crye was a guest on the Feb. 6 Patriot State of Mind podcast. (Yes, that is a gun on the table. It was one of three.)

As an aside, Crye made some rather telling comments during the PSOM podcast, such as when he publicly (and  unprofessionally) criticized colleague Rickert for suggesting during a board meeting setting aside more time to discuss a specific issue.

“Mary said she would like to talk about it later,” Crye said. “The ‘let’s talk about it later’ kind of thing just makes me want to pull my thinning gray hair out (Zapata, Bangay and Clenenden laughed) let’s say no, we can’t talk about it later. And that’s the issue.”

No. We can’t talk about it later.

Uh. Huh.

Crye also said during that podcast that he’s well-known for is his decisiveness.

“I call a spade a spade,” Crye said. “There’s things that will come out over my four-year term.”

Point No. 2: Crye blamed his abstention on his need to consult his personal lawyer to determine his personal liability should he vote yes on the resolution. Let’s say that’s true, and not just a stall tactic. If so, it’s a no-brainer. If Crye’s fear of personal financial liability is great enough to secure an attorney to protect Crye’s keister from being sued, as an elected official he should extend the same consideration to the county. So much for campaigning on promises of fiscal responsibility, and to care for the county and its people.

A simple supervisor suggestion: If a particular vote has a supervisor so terrified of potential personal liability that he calls his lawyer (and the NRA, for Pete’s sake), then kindly have the courtesy to ensure the same protection for the county you’ve taken an oath to protect and serve.

Second Amendment resolution postponement

So Crye’s abstention killed the vote. It did not pass. However, the resolution wasn’t completely dead for Jones, who tried one last-ditch effort to resuscitate the resolution with yet another different motion.

Jones’ not-so-subtle hint was picked up by Crye, who made a me-me-me motion to push the resolution do-over decision to the board at a later date.

“I make a motion to bring this back so I have adequate time to understand if I am opening myself up to legal ramifications based upon my vote,” Crye said.

Jones asked Crye if two weeks was adequate, which would place the resolution on the March 14 agenda. Crye said yes.

Jones asked if anyone would second Crye’s motion, but when neither Kelstrom, Garman or Rickert seconded Crye’s motion, Jones provided the second himself, and then asked for the latest R4 rollcall vote .

Rickert and Garman voted no. Kelstrom, Jones and Crye voted yes. The motion passed 3-2. Jones’ Second Amendment resolution would live to see another vote in a few weeks.

Until then, perhaps that extended deadline will provide Kelstrom, Jones and anyone else carrying unpermitted weapons enough time to visit the sheriff and apply for a CCW permit before Shasta County deputies confiscate the firearms; before they’re arrested and prosecuted. If not, come March 14, the dais might be short a few supervisors, which could delay the Second Amendment resolution indefinitely.

In the meantime, the additional days will also provide a certain retired attorney bonus time to plan his lawsuit strategy against the county, just in case a non-cowering Crye says yes.

If you appreciate journalist Doni Chamberlain’s reporting and commentary, please consider a donation to A News Cafe. Thank you!

 

Doni Chamberlain

Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded A News Cafe in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke. Chamberlain holds a Bachelor's Degree in journalism from CSU, Chico. She's an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She's been featured and quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Washington Post, L.A. Times, Slate, Bloomberg News and on CNN, KQED and KPFA. She lives in Redding, California.

284 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments