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Mendocino County Today: February 7, 2012

ANNE MOLGAARD, director of the Ukiah-based non-profit First Five, on why the Mendocino County supervisors should not reduce their pay: “I wanted to address the proposed decrease of supervisors salaries. I must say I'm pretty baffled. If I were more skeptical I would say it's election-year pandering. There is no way that the job you are doing should be paid $61,000 a year. That is ridiculous. I understand that you want to take a 10% cut, and that's great. But if you take 10% cut from something that was already absurdly low, it doesn't make any sense. What you end up doing is disqualifying anybody who didn't buy property in Mendocino County before the year 2000, anybody who's under 50 from serving — anybody who didn't inherit money. It's just not the way we want Mendocino County to run. If you are paying a CEO and a County Counsel a comparable salary because you want the best and the brightest, I want the best and brightest for you all! I just don't want landed gentry who is semi-interested in politics and they are the only ones who can afford to do it. But that's the system that I think you are creating by lowering the salary. What about people raising kids and trying to send them to college so that they can come back and be of great service? I think there is a difference between public service and being a servant. Servants aren't really paid, or maybe public serfs. Serfs aren't paid. I've certainly done public service. I'd love to show you my scars from the Peace Corps when little tiny things would crawl into my body, and for that I was not paid. That's a Peace Corps experience and that's totally understandable. But that's not the work you all do. You all have to deal with air quality regulations and the complexities of pensions and bonds and retirement systems. And you think you are going to get that for $60,000. And you will. But it will only be one type of person. People who grew up with money or who inherited money or who made it big. And that's going to mean that you only have one type of opinion on the board. You don't have a variety of opinions because you are all going to come from the same place because nobody else can afford to do your job and either pay off their student loans, pay off their law school loans, or send their children to college. It's a public service because you are serving the public. It's not public serfdom.” The per capita income in Mendocino County in 2000 (the last census data on that subject available and presumed to be pretty flat since then) was $19,443. The average household income (also flat or worse) was about $36k.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Then there was the grotesque half-time extravaganza featuring Madonna, which was a weird parallel commentary on the state of American womanhood. Pretending to be ageless and indomitable, the old trooper performed a variety of standing crotch-locks on her Praetorian guard of hoofers and then stumbled more than once on the ridiculous bleacher stage-set that looked as if was designed to trip the performers up. Message to American women: be sluts as long as you possibly can because there is nothing else for you in this culture. I couldn't help thinking that American chanteuses of yesteryear - say, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Carole King - sang about adult problems and emotions with a greater thematic range, and would never have subjected themselves to such a display of pitiful narcissism. (Did anyone notice that Madonna's corps de ballet all wore her monogram on their loincloths?) America needs a prayer, all right, but I don't think they'll find it by calling Madonna's name.” — James Kunstler

COLLEGE OF THE REDWOODS still on academic probation. Fort Bragg area College of the Redwoods trustee Barbara Rice is circulating the bad news: “I am disheartened to inform you that the College of the Redwoods learned today that the Accreditation Commission is not only continuing the college on sanction, but is increasing the sanction to the most serious level short of pulling accreditation altogether. (This is not just our local campus, but the entire Redwoods Community College District.) This is not what the college community expected. Immediately after Dr. Jeff Marsee’s departure in March of 2011, the employees pulled together and did all they could to correct deficiencies prior to the July 2011 deadline. The District now has until October 15, 2012 to completely resolve all issues or face closure.”

AMERICANS FILING no tax returns are called Zero-Tax Filers. There are more of them all the time:

1980 ... 21.3%

1985 ... 18.5%

1990 ... 21.0%

1995 ... 24.5%

2000 ... 25.2%

2004 ... 32.6%

2008 ... 36% (most recent IRS data)

2008 being the year the Big Ponz took a Big Bounce, Zero-Tax Filers are undoubtedly now an even larger percentage of the population because more and more people simply don't have money to pay up even if they were inclined to.

POT GROWING of any kind is a felony.

With a law that can produce so much agony,

DA Eyster contends

That there must be some bends.

And no one has accused Eyster of irony



  1. Re Madonna et al: The rock and roll phenomenon, in its post-60’s incarnations slowly but surely devolved into the the kind self-aggrandizing hyper-“showmanship” exemplified by the Madonna show. In my capacity as a bad citizen, I didn’t watch the super bowl, but didn’t have to, thanks to the avalanche of reports. At some point, it all stopped being about the music and became a circus, a parade. Someone wrote that Bruce Springsteen’s show is “a broadway show about rock & roll.” But at least it’s still somewhat about the music, like Broadway shows are, or used to be. Madonna – and the girls that followed her into the limelight with similar acts – was calculated from the start for fame and fortune. Music is tertiary, a mere necessary vehicle. Rolling Stone introduced two terms to music journalism: “pretentious”, and the reference to music groups as “acts.” As to pretense, the magazine had it down to a science. As to music acts, there was a time when people actually played music, it wasn’t an act. They still do, but they’re not playing Super Bowl halftime.

  2. izzy February 7, 2012

    Quite an impassioned plea from apparent future supervisorial candidate Molgaard. I’ve been in the county about 40 years, and am still trying to figure out just what the supes do. Or the CEO and County Counsel. More money at the top seems to be the answer to everything these days.

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