Local groups call for removal of Humboldt County planning commissioner for ‘racist and other offensive language’
The letter, addressed to 1st District Supervisor Rex Bohn and 1st District Planning Commissioner Alan Bongio, requests Bongio’s resignation or removal for his statements at an Aug. 18 Planning Commission meeting. At the meeting, Bongio made repeated statements insinuating the Wiyot Tribe, Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe and Bear River Band of the Rohnerville Rancheria were acting in bad faith when it came to working with the county to come up with appropriate permit conditions for a controversial Indianola home construction project.
“The Planning Commission represents Humboldt County and all of its residents,” the letter states. “Mr. Bongio’s conduct strains relationships between Humboldt County and sovereign tribal governments and trustee agencies, and makes government-to-government relationships more difficult.”
Jen Kalt, executive director of Humboldt Baykeeper, said it was imperative for a member of the Planning Commission to understand the laws protecting the coast and tribal cultural resources, and Bongio illustrated he cannot apply those laws to projects equally.
“To me, that is what’s most despicable, other than the totally racist remarks that he made,” Kalt said. “It’s the view that some people are above the law and this applicant has shown that he thinks he’s above the law many times.”