My Word by Richard Salzman
Eureka Times Standard
In response to Kay Backer's My Word of March 22, Getting Humboldt leaders
to lead: Kay Backer is a paid professional spin doctor from Sacramento.
Hired by local developers, she is paid to badger county government and
bamboozle the public. She feigns concern for our families by shedding
crocodile tears about so-called affordable housing here in Humboldt
It's ridiculous that Kay Backer is even treated as a legitimate voice in
our local affairs just because Rob Arkley and HELP summon her to town for
a meeting, or to send off an e-mail full of accusations and threats to the
media. She represents nothing other than a handful of developers. Are
there even five people who will admit to being a member of HELP?
It's absurd that those who pay her (they call themselves HELP but really
should be called HELP-Yourself) are implying that the reason they want to
build more houses is because they want to see home values drop. When has
any developer ever wanted to see any housing prices drop? Do you want to
see the value of your home decline?
In the Sacramento area, where Ms. Backer lives, homes are being built at
an astounding rate. Strangely enough, housing prices there are still
shooting up and now routinely cost about half a million dollars. Is that
what Ms. Backer's backers have in mind as affordableâ€ housing?
Now Rob Arkley is threatening to use his money to sue the county unless
planning officials buy into HELP's fabricated projections of housing
needs. Isn't that called blackmail?
I have no objection to developers making money off constructing houses.
But it's an outrage to be told that the reason they want permission to
build more -- and forever change the essentially rural character of
Humboldt County -- has anything to do with stopping people from moving out
of town, lowering home prices or anything other than their search for
Where will Kay Backer's concern for our community be the day after her
paychecks stop coming in? Will she still be shouting HELP or just go on to
her next lucrative public relations campaign?
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