Threats, Rancor Ahead of Shasta Recall

When Shasta Supervisor Patrick Jones arrived at the County Administration Building ahead of a meeting last week, he found the doors locked. His electronic key card would not get him into the building. It was closed and no one was allowed inside.

Jones — who is supporting the recall of Board Chair Leonard Moty — had promised his supporters an in-person meeting, rain or shine. It was, after all, the last meeting before the recall. So he decided to hold it outside.

"My electronic key card did not work this morning and it didn't work yesterday either and I promised the public that we would have a meeting here at 1450 Court Street,” said Jones. “So instead of being inside the building this morning, we've simply moved everything outside. We've got some visual aides this morning for the benefit of the public and we're going to have our meeting here today as agendized whether we're locked out or not.”

More than 100 people were in attendance for Jones’ outdoor gathering, while the official weekly meeting took place online. Jones set up a giant TV screen for his recall supporters to watch the official meeting in progress.

“A few times skirmishes broke out in the crowd between the minority of anti-recall people with a great many more pro-recall people,” A News Cafe reports. “During those times, backs were to the screen and all eyes were on the verbal conflicts.”

Jones blamed Moty for the chamber lockout. But it was later learned that the Shasta County Sheriff’s Department was concerned about credible threats to supervisors and the public.

Shasta County is a tinderbox ahead of the very contentious Feb. 1 recall election. Board meetings have been about as crazy as they come and militia members are part of the recall effort.

Moty was initially one of three supervisors targeted over the county’s response to COVID-19, but a recall campaign against Supervisors Mary Rickert and Joe Chimenti failed. Now it’s just Moty’s fate on the line. COVID denialists are eager to make an example out of him.

The outcome of the recall will ripple beyond Moty. It could mean a powerful shift in Shasta politics and a board of supervisors dominated by the political fringe.


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Sunday, May 15, 2022 - 03:57

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