After reading the article titled "County is planning lawsuit vs PGE" in the Feb. 7 Napa Valley Register I was amazed at some of the actions taken by the Board of Supervisors concerning the wildfires.

First of all, filing a lawsuit before the cause of the fires has been determined is definitely premature. Does the BOS operate with a crystal ball? It's like filing a lawsuit against a driver involved in an accident before the investigation is completed and fault has been determined.

So the county contracts with an out-of-town legal team to represent them and the legal team will advance the expenses for the suit and then be paid 18 percent of the recovery costs. What if the investigators determine that PGE is not responsible? Who pays the legal fees now, as lawyers do not work for free?

Seems that we taxpayers may be on the hook for those fees. I see nothing in the NVR article that gives us that information and since this action was done in closed session by the BOS we may never know who might pay.

Second I see that the county is going to be so gracious that they will be "exploring" a 30 percent discount on building permits to those that lost homes in the fires. So a person who has to rebuild a 2,400 square foot residence will only have to pay $9,006 after the 30 percent discount. In addition these same victims may have to pay a school impact fee on the rebuild.

How nice that people who have lost everything -- and I mean everything -- are now going to have to cough up additional money to rebuild a home that they lost through no fault of their own. These are homes that were previously permitted and people paid property taxes on for years. How nice that the BOS is so compassionate that they may consider a discount on permit fees.

In the real world these permits should be no cost to any fire victim who lost a home and everything they ever accumulated. This Board of Supervisors should be ashamed of itself for re-victimizing those who have lost everything just for few measly dollars for the county coffers.

Tom Johnston

Napa

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