Who is fooling who about County Mis-Management?

by admin / Jun 24, 2015 / 0 comments
Caption: : 
The Illusionist

2015-06-24, 05:08:31 PLACERVILLE CA

The Pending Doom - Part 1 by Sophocles
                     
Once again the Board of Supervisors and the CAO are in frenzy.  Oh me, oh my!  Supposedly, our previous CAO mis-budgeted and now the County has a deficit to the tune of millions of dollars.    I would like to shed some light on the hypocrisy of our Board, the CAO and the Auditor Controller…Joe Harn.
 
In 2013 the Board of Supervisors made the right decision and voted to eliminate Special Incentive Pay to the following Elected Department Heads: Assessor, Surveyor, Sheriff, Treasure Tax Collector, Recorder Clerk, Auditor and the District Attorney.  This is additional pay they receive over and above their base pay just for doing their job.  Ironically, our auditor controller, Joe Harn stated in the Mt. Democrat that he agreed cutting their salaries was the right decision by the Board.  However, on December 9, 2014, three Board members, Ron Mikulaco, Norma Santiago and the ring leader Brian Veerkamp voted to REINSTATE the Special Incentive Pay to these seven elected officials.  But, don’t be fooled because many, if not all of these seven elected officials were all part of the behind the scenes push.  Mr. Veerkamp led the cause and put on a “dog and pony” show and tried to convince the public that the poor Board was misled and misunderstood when they voted and must do the right thing by reinstating this Pay.  The above mentioned Board members bought it hook, line and sinker!  I would like to say thank you Supervisor’s Frenzen and Briggs for putting the County first and voting no.

On February 24, 2015, during the Mid-Year update (Item 41), the Board directed the new CAO, Pamela Knorr to develop a balanced budget for fiscal year 2015-16 by requiring a 6.25% across the board cut to each County Department. The truth of the matter is the 6.25% is just the tip of the ice berg.  It does not include the increase to cost applied charges, pay increases on negotiated MOU’s, increases to worker’s compensation, liability insurance and more.  This means the true cost could result in departments having to make cuts anywhere from the expected 6.25% upward to 15% or greater.  And, this does not take into consideration the impact these cuts will have on service to the community.  Why such drastic cuts you ask?   Wait for it…………………it’s the pending doom, the budget short fall.  Note: The Board trailed the item to 4:00 p.m. and was in session until after 9:00 p.m.  It seems a discussion of this magnitude should have been given sufficient time during the day to allow affected parties, both public and county employees, a better opportunity to participate.  Hummmmm!
Now, let’s recap……

*December 2014 the Board votes to reinstate the elected official’s Special Incentive Pay despite the fact they ran for office with the understanding their pay would be less.

*January 2015, coincidentally, right after the elected officials receive this Pay the Board discovers there is a tremendous budget shortfall.  They played that smart!

*February 24, 2015, the Board orders all departments to cut their budgets 6.25% to meet this shortfall……no mention of the increases the seven elected officials just received.

*The auditor controller is so upset by this discovery that he yells the loudest (after he just benefited significantly from the reinstated Special Incentive Pay).  I’m not certain, but isn’t this an example of “the fox guarding the hen house”?

Really!!! The Board knew, Joe Harn knew, the CAO knew back in December 2014 of this supposed pending doom, but made sure to reinstate the elected officials pay first before mentioning it.  The Pay that was reinstated to the elected officials was no small pocket change.  If they were so concerned about the state of the budget why did our dutiful Board grant this magnitude of pay increases?  Why didn’t any of these seven elected official relinquish their extra pay for the cause?  All of the elected officials that ran for office did so knowing their pay would be less, and then we handed it back to them.  Our elected department heads our nicely compensated, most well above other counties.  Our auditor controller is paid approximately $50,000  or more than the State controller.  They should be ashamed for not setting the example.

The sad truth is one never knows what to believe when it comes to the county having dyer financial difficulties. I have been around a long time and have seen the Board, manipulated by Joe Harn cry wolf way too many times.  I watched Joe Harn twist the facts and paint the picture he wants the Board and the local paper to believe.  He can do this because he holds the purse strings; another reason he opposes a new and transparent fiscal system.  I have seen lost money magically reappear.  I have heard Mr. Harn tell half-truths to the Board.  He is infamous for creating or knowing of an arising problem, yelling fire, sitting back, watching things unravel and then enter the picture waiting in the 11th hour as the hero.  To keep his nose clean, he often manipulates behind the scenes convincing others to do his dirty work.  He, on more than one occasion has publically claimed he controls the Board and can make them believe anything.  He’s right you know!!!  The man is masterful at his games and has been duping our Board and the public for almost 20 years.

It is difficult to believe the Board has a genuine or heartfelt regard with the state of the County when there is no concern shown when it comes to helping their elected friends. The Board of Supervisors should be ashamed to look any county employee in the face.  They should be embarrassed in asking departments to cut.  They should equally be ashamed to face a constituent who entrust them to make responsible fiscal and financial decisions.  It is an insult to everyone the political game they play with no concern to those they represent or hurt…..and, they don’t even bat an eye.  And, our seven elected officials should be equally ashamed for not setting the example.  

The constituencies need to wake up, open their eyes and see what is going on. The Board doesn’t have your interests as top priority!  Your Board is showing favor while you and I sit back and watch and pay these outrageous wages.   If they believe there is a pending problem with the budget, then they should have shunned these increases if for no other reason than to set the example. They are about to cut the money for Older American’s Day, senior citizens meal sites and other necessary programs.  And, they are seriously considering denying our United Home Health Care Workers a minimal pay increase of a $1.00 per hour; the lowest paid workers in the state with the greatest service to the community, saving our County millions. It is appalling that on one hand they consider hurting these important programs, and on the other hand increase the pay of the highest paid employees in the County.  

What is going on? 
What is happening to our county? 
What has happen to integrity? 

We should be outraged!

To be continued…………………………………………………………...