From 2.6.13 edition
By Daniel Mintz
The effects of recent elections are intensifying, with the county’s Planning Commission shifting toward landowner and developer interests.
Alan Bongio’s appointment to the commission by Supervisor Rex Bohn reflects a political platform shared by a majority of the Board of Supervisors. Bongio is a building contractor who has represented the Northern California Association of Home Builders advocacy group, calling for scaling back the county’s General Plan Update.
The appointment’s announcement was on the agenda of the Jan. 29 Board of Supervisors meeting and with characteristic straightforwardness, Bohn said it’s been many years since “we’ve actually had somebody that pounded nails” on the commission.
“He would have been here today except he had to pour concrete this morning,” he said, referring to Bongio. “That’s refreshing – he’s out doing it.”
Bongio’s experience also includes being a member of the Humboldt Community Services District’s Board of Directors and serving as its president.
He replaces river preservation advocate and dairyman Denver Nelson, who was appointed by former Supervisor Jimmy Smith.
Bohn’s pick politically complements the appointment of property rights advocate and forester Bob Morris by Supervisor Estelle Fennell. Morris is the treasurer of the Humboldt Coalition for Property Rights, which has sued the county over its planning policies and been sharply critical of the General Plan Update process.