Chaos in the Supervisors’ Chambers: 13-Hour Meeting Features Turmoil, Mangled Motions, Snipes, Scoldings and Maybe the Pillow Guy’s Money

View from in front of Shasta County’s Administrative Center, looking toward the new courthouse.

The fact that it was snowing in Redding one day before March should have been an omen about what might happen in the next 13 hours inside the Shasta County Board of Supervisors chambers Tuesday.

That’s right. A 13-hour meeting. Time spent there resulted in one filled notebook, hours’ worth of recordings, a drained phone battery and an empty Ibuprofen container. Exiting the meeting Tuesday night felt surreal. It was similar to as one might feel after being abducted by aliens and then dropped back beside their car: stunned, confused, rattled, and uncertain about everything that took place during the Shasta County Board of Supervisors meeting.

It was too bad to be real.

The meeting was truly so jumbled and confusing that there’s no way to accurately and fully report everything here and now. Even some county staff members were hard pressed to relay exactly how every motion and every vote shook out. As has become a habit with this board since the two new supervisors joined the board  barely two months ago, motions are made, then discussed for a long while without a second, and then a substitute motion is made, but the first motion is still dangling out there in the ethers, while a second hasn’t been offered for the previous motion.

This is no exaggeration. At this point the county might consider hiring a motion line-judge to keep track of who made the motion, who seconded it, who offered a substitute motion, and who voted for what.

We can tackle the 13 hours’ worth of notes and recordings later. But until then, some incidents were so bizarre that they bear mentions and questions.

Did Patty Plumb really yell out during public comment period something about YOU uncircumcised Philistines? (Yes, she did.)

Did District 1 Supervisor Kevin Crye really wave a piece of paper in the air and say it contained an email from Mike Lindell who said he’d give money to Shasta County? Yes, he did. Why? Well, because Crye felt so bad about all the citizens who were upset about the board majority’s decision to ditch the county’s Dominion voting machines, and what a waste of money it was, that Crye’s solution was to find a funder to cover the costs of the money the county would pay for the supervisors’ stunning mistake. When Crye said “Mike Linsell” — all through the board chambers people shook their heads, like trying to dislodge a beetle from an ear cannel, because Crye’s words simple did not compute. Mike Lindell? That Lincell? The Pillow Guy!? Yes, that guy.

To add yet another layer of weirdness to his announcement, Crye seemed almost secretive, and admitted that he’d not shared this news with his supervisors, nor county counsel. He did tell his wife and a close friend.

Of course, if the board had left the Dominion voting machines alone to do their job as faithfully as they have for many years, then Shasta County wouldn’t be on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars to mop up the supervisors’ messes in the first place. So many questions about this crazy Lindell and Crye connection. Are they friends? If not, couldn’t Crye have picked a less-controversial rich person to give money to soon-to-be-bankrupt (if Jones has his way) Shasta County? Why not Oprah, or Clint Eastwood (his wife had a baby here) or Tom Hanks (used to live in Red Bluff) for God’s sake?

We can only imagine Crye’s email pitch:

Dear Pillow Guy. Can I call you Mike? I know you’re super busy dodging lawsuits, buying burner phones and trying to stay under the FBI’s radar, but I was hoping you could help us out here in Shasta County. See, I thought since you hate Dominion voting machines you’d be proud of Shasta County for getting rid of our Dominion voting system. No, there’s nothing wrong with them, in fact, Dominion voting machines were in place when I won my election. Anyway, we’re pretty special, because Shasta County is the only county in California to actually ditch Dominion machines. No, we do not have a plan, but sometimes you gotta be brave enough to make dumb choices and think later, even if it does bankrupt a county. Sincerely, District 4 1 Supervisor Kevin Crye.

More questions: Was it also true that some supervisors (Crye, Dist. 5 Supervisor Chris Kelstrom and chair Patrick Jones) turned their noses up at approving a grant agreement with the Center for Tech and Civic Life to award the Shasta County Elections Department a grant for the sum of 1.5 million of FREE money? Why? Because Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Pricilla Chan Zuckerberg donated approximately $350 million to the Center for Tech and Civic Life to help local elections offices. Never mind that the Shasta County Elections Department manages to conduct business in a decrepit, 100-year-old former department store, for the board majority, Zukerberg is a libtard, and in Shasta County we don’t take free money — even $1.5 million from libtards. Yes, that was true.

If memory serves, was it true that for the first time in about three years, the applause during Tuesday’s meeting was louder from rational people than the conspiracy-theorist patriots? Yes, that was true.

Did Chair Jones actually suggest nudging his beloved Second Amendment resolution to a later date down the road, and in such an agreeable way? Yes, he did. However, did also he mention that during one of Redding’s extreme-right Sunday radio shows, Richard Gallardo, the resolution’s author, said he was kind of glad that the resolution didn’t pass last week. No, he did not.

Gallardo explained that this way, they could “punt it” until after the county had a new county counsel who’d be more amenable to their way of thinking.

Riddle me this: Who will choose the county counsel? Jones and friends. Who will choose the next CEO? Jones and friends. Who will choose a replacement for our health office who was fired 300 days ago? Jones and friends. Jones and friends. Friends, if those prospects don’t terrify you, then just sit back, watch the show and kiss Shasta County goodbye. It’s a horror film, staring us.

Finally, at the very end of the insufferable meeting, did public speaker Susanne Baremore actually pose one solution to ensure future meeting insanity and instability? And did she say the solution was to assess the board chair? Yes, she did.

“Making a decision which will make meetings more organized, more efficient and less divisive,” Baremore said. “Not dragging us all this far into the middle of the night.”

For those having difficulty reading between the lines, let’s be blunt: Jones is a menace to Shasta County. He is a horrible board chair and obnoxious board member. His reign of lies, deceit and destruction is over. It’s time to show him the door so Shasta County can start healing. No more 13-hour board meetings monopolized by Jones, no more self-serving time-suckers like his Second Amendment resolution, his Dominion machine cancellation and indiscriminate firing of stellar employees without cause.

Just wait until you hear about the rest of Tuesday’s meeting: mind-boggling motions, memorable public comments, and unforgettable exchanges between the supervisors. Stay tuned.

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 Washington Post, L.A. Times, Slate. Bloomberg News and on CNN, KQED and KPFA. She lives in Redding, California.

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