Whiteaker calls regular critics of board 'ignorant'
Persistent critics of Sutter County supervisors are "ignorant," Chairman Jim Whiteaker said Tuesday night.
Whiteaker made the remark in response to a request by one of the critics, Philip Treanor, for a public meeting on the board's feud with Auditor-Controller Robert Stark.
Treanor, a Richland Road resident who described himself as a former member of the Sutter County Taxpayers Association, called for a halt to the "silliness" between the board and Stark.
"No side has a right to call the other stupid," said Treanor. "It makes everyone look like a bunch of idiots."
Whiteaker said no public meeting is needed on the Stark issue.
"We do that every Tuesday," said Whiteaker, referring to regular verbal sparring between the board and its detractors. "Your questions have always been answered."
The Stark dispute is now in the courts, making Treanor's request "moot," said Whiteaker.
"(Court) is where the questions will be answered," he said.
At one point, Whiteaker told Treanor he has "a lot of patience with ignorant people."
After the meeting, Whiteaker said he had added the phrase "but not with those who display (their ignorance) proudly."
He said he was not referring to Treanor personally but to "a contentious group of people who disrupt meetings."
Association member Francie Lane said the public deserves a town hall meeting considering how much money the board spent on the legal battle with Stark.
Supervisor Dennis Nelson said recently the county spent $60,000 on its civil lawsuit against Stark, who is still facing prosecution on criminal charges of allegedly misappropriating funds.
Supervisor Larry Munger told Lane to "shut up" during the May 3 board meeting but later apologized.
Lane said she was "startled" by Whiteaker's remark to Treanor.
She complained that association members usually get "stonewall answers" from the board.
Another member, Roberta Fletcher, repeated previous complaints that it's too hard for the public to obtain printed background information on issues before the board votes on them.
Nelson said at a previous meeting that the county is working on putting the information on its Web site, but that the task is more difficult than it might appear.
Yuba County places agenda material on its Web site.
Appeal-Democrat reporter Rob Young can be reached at 749-4710. You may e-mail him at email@example.com.