FORA Develops Exciting New Plan to Perpetuate Itself


Exploring the post-apocalyptic landscape of the former Ft. Ord

Ever since the Army closed Ft. Ord, in 1994, The Ft. Ord Reuse Authority, or FORA, has been working tirelessly to complete munitions clean-up, redevelop the blighted acres of abandoned barracks, and ensure that the former base meets its potential as an economic driver for the community. Yet, after nearly 25 years, the blight has largely grown worse, the clean-up hasn’t been completed, the agency burns through around 6 million of your tax dollars per year, and some suspect FORA boss, Michael Houlemard, is more interested in prolonging his well over $200,000 per year job than in completing FORA’s mission.

FORA was originally expected to finish its work by 2012. When that didn’t happen, the state legislature extended FORA’s mandate to 2020. By law, FORA must have a plan for transitioning themselves out of existence in place by the end of this year. Yet the thought of bringing such a wonderful agency to a close has proved so difficult to bear that all efforts to devise such a plan have only resulted in plans to ask for yet another extension.

But another task force of FORA insiders is now hard at work and our sources tell us their consultants have finally found a way to allow FORA’s Ft. Ord reuse responsibilities to sunset, while still preserving FORA as a bastion of opaque bureaucracy and inflated salaries. To do this, they have advised FORA to focus on its core competencies.

High-level visioning sessions have revealed that FORA’s greatest expertise is in lack of responsiveness to the public and dismissiveness toward public input, in using questionable unexploded ordnance concerns as an excuse to exclude the public from land slated for development, in threatening trail users with collective punishment, and in jaw-droppingly inappropriate and self-serving gestures – as when Houlemard charged the taxpayers for his ticket when he ran a stop sign.

On the basis of these findings, consultants have advised the task force that FORA should embrace its strengths. Specifically it should transition itself from the Ft. Ord Reuse Authority into the Farcically Officious Rebranding Authority. In this way, imposing ridiculous rules to punish political enemies, acting for personal gain, rather than in the public interest, and continually shifting the purpose of the agency to meet political expediency could itself become the agency’s mission.

A win-win for FORA and aficionados of ossified, self-perpetuating bureaucracy everywhere.


10 Responses to FORA Develops Exciting New Plan to Perpetuate Itself

  1. bigsurkate says:

    Call them as you see them, Keith. Sad to see this kind of blatant misuse of public funds on the local level…trickle down corruption?

  2. Janet Brennan says:

    I wish this were an April fools joke, but it is not!

  3. Carol A. Stollorz says:

    Meanwhile, as we pass down, Highway One, what was once a lovely corridor of cypress groves, NOW has an ever expanding strip of acreage, transforming our visual field on the eastern side. What has replaced those trees are slabs of asphalt parking lots, stabbed with light poles, and massive structures behind. Apparently, what constitutes “land use” in the minds of this sterling group, has only concerned itself with commercial development.

  4. Jane Haines says:

    You ain’t seen nothing yet. Wait until Eastside Parkway mows down every wild creature (no longer) remaining.

  5. joshuacanyon says:

    Pretty silly in a dark sort of way

    Martha Diehl from my smart-alec phone


  6. RickmissingCarmelValley says:

    But Keith, how do you really feel about Fora?

  7. Mike Morales says:

    Thank you for the real story behind the slow motion path FORA chooses to take. I watched three excavators tearing down three old concrete barracks on 7th near B Street. Supposedly they will move west towards Giggling to tackle the half dozen graffiti painted barracks and associated broken down buildings shortly.
    The old wooden barracks lining 2nd Avenue are a blight but are a danger as well. Some students are going to get hurt tramping around the long abandoned structures. They invite trespassing. I’ve done it myself.
    I suggest wait for a strong south wind and torch the lot under supervision of local fire authorities. One day of fire, two days to cool and a week to clear out debris. Another week to clear the residual mess, tractor mow the grounds and there you have it.

  8. Mike Morales says:

    Today I was filming excavators filling dump trucks from the three barracks they tore down two weeks ago.
    I spoke with the flagman responsible for waving in empty trucks on their return. In the course of our conversation he made me aware he makes $51. an hour.
    The company is from Los Angeles. They work four 10 hour days a week to allow travel home each weekend.
    Four more weeks to clear the debris then two to three months off before they return to take on barracks to the south of this site.
    Someone got a ridiculous contract. No one pays flagmen $51. an hour.

  9. Jane Haines says:

    The flagman is paid $51 an hour because the FORA Master Resolution provides that all workers on the former Ft. Ord are paid prevailing wages. For example, the prevailing wage for a carpenter in Monterey County is $75.30 per hour regular time, $121.70 per hour overtime. See for yourself prevailing wage levels: The law provides that workers paid with government funds must be paid prevailing wages. Street sweepers at the former Ft. Ord are paid slightly more than $51 an hour. Even though these workers are paid by private contractors, FORA has arranged they get paid prevailing wages. The unions love it! It makes affordable housing impossible at the former Ft. Ord.

  10. Mike Morales says:

    That equates to $96,000 a year to hold a flag and direct trucks into a lot one time every 20 minutes. I’m all for people making a living but this idiotic mandate puts the most basic skilled job in line with pay of co-pilots, physicists, some judges and computer scientists.
    It also means the excavator operators are likely in the $300k range.
    These crazy figures makes the FORA director’s $250k salary look like a bargain. What a waste, a shame really.

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