Friday, March 14, 2008

Yay! Jack has the McKinleyville Press Blog up and running (with update)

And, some interesting stuff right off the bat...Turmoil at the MCSD

McKPress will now be linked in the sidebar along with Rambling Jack's Laboratory

OK - Update: The story is posted
Coverup at MCSD?

The former business manager and treasurer of the McKinleyville Community Services District says he was forced to retire after Manager Tom Marking thwarted his efforts to have a proper investigation into financial irregularities and the possible embezzlement of taxpayer dollars.

The situation spurred Jim Harding – who has served as the MCSD’s chief financial officer for 11 years before retiring on Tuesday, March 4 – to file a complaint last week with the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office and the Grand Jury.

Suspected embezzlement

Harding said he discovered “financial irregularities” in the general ledger several months ago. In an interview last week, Harding said that Manager Marking was definitely not a suspect and that the amount missing was “a thousand dollars or less,” at least that he knew of. Harding would not disclose the name of the suspected employee.

“I reported my suspicions to my supervisor, General Manager Tom Marking, and requested an impartial investigation by the County Auditor or Board of Directors in closed session,” stated Harding in a written statement to the McKinleyville Press. “He (Marking) agreed only to conduct his own, solo investigation, and he refused to tell me how or whether he dealt with the embezzlement I suspected.”...

Harding said that “he (Marking) ordered me to drop the matter. I told him that I had a fiduciary responsibility to the district and would not accept his burying the issue. I demanded to take the matter to the board in closed session and told him that if I weren’t allowed to address the board, I would need to report the situation to the County Auditor.”


Harding says that when he returned to work the next day, Feb. 28, he was physically barred from his office by Marking, who confiscated his keys and placed him on disciplinary suspension.

“The following day, he had delivered to me another letter that said I was under investigation for making physical threats to someone unnamed,” Harding stated. “He threatened involvement of law enforcement authorities and, in a subsequent letter, exercise of legal remedies if I had contact with ‘any and all district employees.’ ”
Read the rest

In an editorial, Jack notes that it is Time To Terminate Manager Marking, saying that This isn't a matter that the Board of Directors can sweep under the carpet like it did with the unprofessional, belligerent nastygrams that Marking sent to directors. This in's a matter that can be resolved by holding a study session, and developing new policies and procedures.

The only option is to terminate Marking, put an end to all the drama, hire a new manager and have a fresh start.

Instead, this week's meeting is set to decide on a new contract with Marking giving him a massive golden parachute if he is terminated as well as a huge bonus - a proposal apparently drawn up by Marking himself.


  1. I was just thinking about the McKinleyville Press this morning, while reading the Ferndale Enterprise, which is not online. Now I can use your link. Thank you, Rose!

  2. I think it is a great thing - a blog serves many of the same purposes as a website, but it is WAY easier and it is interactive. With wordpress he can add pages, so he can have his ad rate sheet up there...

    Jack can also add adsense, and sell advertising space for local businesses, so it also becomes another profit center for the Press.

    The Independent ought to follow suit.

  3. Seems that after last nights meeting tthe out Marking at all cost group and the Mck. Press pulled the trigger prematurely. All the facts aren't in yet and the time line aganist Marking isn't adding up. Wait and learn all the facts before death-con 5

  4. Don't attack Jack for reporting, that's what reporters do, what a paper does.

    I want to think that what Harding stumbled on was a simple clerical error. Whatever it is, it should have been addressed promptly and without all this grief. The fact that it wasn't raises legitimate concerns. Especially when coupled with some past incidents.

    I haven't heard any answers yet - what happened last night that makes you say that?

  5. The issue was being adressed promptly. The grief is comming from another place. Not Marking. The press stated that Harding should be rehired and given an apology. With out knowing all the facts,that's jumping the gun. Just the facts, leave the guess work to local solutions. Even Dave E. thinks this is to much.

  6. Dave E? David Elsebusch?

    Sorry Dude, he lost ALL credibility with me when he jumped on the Gallegos bandwagon, and has steadfarstly refused to examine any of THOSE shenanigans, like losing grants and losing people, and wasting taxpayers money - all David's key issues... nope, doesn't fly. And this is coming from someone who once respected him, and appreciated his watchdogging. No more.

  7. Remember the post, who calls him Gundy-the-raper-boy? Might be pretty close to this crap too. Tell a lie often enough.....


Comments are open, but moderated, for the time-being. Good luck.