ACCORDING TO State Controller Data for 2011 Mendocino County had 108 employees whose individual total compensation (base pay, benefits and overtime) exceeded $90k per year. The total cost of these 108 top paid people was just over $12 million. 76 of the 108 top paid people were in the Sheriff’s Department (admin, patrol and jail), representing about two-thirds of the $12 million. According to the State Controller’s database, however, this information was based on Mendocino County’s staffing when it totaled almost 1300 employees which has been substantially reduced since then for budget reasons. We assume that a major contributor to the total individual compensation for these top earners in the Sheriff's department was due to overtime stemming from short staffing. We have never seen an overtime report on any department provided to the Board of Supervisors or the CEO. Presumably the Sheriff is meeting his budget targets. But clearly this situation needs a close budgetary examination because it should be cheaper to provide the bulk of these hours with straight-time staff, and, historically, high levels of overtime lead to reduced performance, lower safety levels, and burnout.
ADOPT A CAT! The end of 2012 brings the end of two exciting programs at the Mendocino County Animal Care Shelter 298 Plant Rd. in Ukiah. There are still many cats and just a few kittens that can go home with you through the “Name Your Own Adoption Fee” special which ends Saturday December 29at 4pm. For more information call the adoption line at 467-6453 or better yet just come to the shelter. Dogs who are not up to date on their Mendocino County dog license can still participate in the Licensing Amnesty Program, in person, at the shelter until 5 pm Saturday December 29. Or by mail with a post mark dated 12/31. For more information call the licensing line at 463-4427. Remember, failing to license your dog can create a bill in the mail that will include past years and penalties. The Mendocino County Animal Care Shelter is located at 298 Plant Rd in Ukiah and is open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10-5 and Wednesday 10-7.
THE PG&E WAY:How to get rich: 1. Offer a service or product for sale (best if it is a monopoly). 2. Don't provide adequate quality control (that way it doesn't cost as much even though it might cause some “collateral damage.”) 3.Take what funds are left over to increase the salaries, bonuses and other perks of a select few, and spread the rest to shareholders. And: If you do get “caught,” you don't even have to pay for all the monitoring and upgrades that should have been performed as part of the service you are supposedly providing. — Angie Papastefan, Greenbrae
HAPPY HOLIDAYS UKIAH SENIORS!
New Year’s Eve Dance, Monday, December 31
The Community is invited to a New Year’s Eve celebration and dance on Monday, December 31st from 9:00 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. in Bartlett Hall, 495 Leslie Street in Ukiah. There will be a buffet at 9:00 and doors open at 8:00. Also included in the $15 price of admission is a midnight toast with sparkling cider, champagne or wine. Participants could win a beautiful door prize basket. The Country Boys will perform. Non-refundable tickets may be purchased at the door or at the December 1st Saturday Night Dance. For more information call 462-4343
Saturday Night Dance, January 5,
The community is invited to a dance with Jerry and The Southern Comfort Band, from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. at Bartlett Hall, 495 Leslie Street, in Ukiah. The group plays country, blues and fifties rock. Price of admission is $10 at the door. For more information call 462-4343.
Bunko Benefit, January 9
An evening of Bunko will be held at Ukiah Senior Center’s Bartlett Hall, 495 Leslie Street, on Wednesday, January 9 from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. Admission is $12, which includes a Bunko game, fabulous food and beverages. Everyone wins a wonderful prize. Bring a guest and both of you will receive an extra entry for a prize. All proceeds will benefit The Ukiah Senior Center. For more information and to RSVP for this event, call Jan Tipton at 462-0004.
Earl Baum Center for the Blind Presentation, January 11
The community is invited to a presentation from the Earle Baum Center on services and living skills, assistive technology, adjustment classes and more for those living with vision sight loss. It will be held on Friday, January 11 from 2:00-3:00 p.m. in Bartlett Hall, 495 Leslie Street in Ukiah. A support group for adults with vision loss will begin meeting on the second Monday of the month in Activity Room C at The Ukiah Senior Center starting January 14. For more information call 462-4343.
Sunday Bingo Bash! January 13
Try your luck at Ukiah Senior Center’s Bartlett Hall on Sunday, January 13, for a Bingo Bash day of games at 495 Leslie Street. This event is open to the community but participants must be 18 years or older to attend. Enjoy a meal of Lasagna, Green Salad and Garlic Bread for $5.00, served from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Games begin at 1:00 p.m. and ticket sales start at 10:00 a.m. New games have been added and players will have afree chance to win prizes at intermission. Blackout pays $250. A Snack Bar will be open all day. Make the most of what might otherwise be a “nothing-to-do” Sunday and have fun supporting our local seniors at the same time. For more information call 462-4343
after lunch at the Ukiah Senior Center.
COMMENT OF THE DAY: “Today the largest problems we face are energy security and climate change—massive issues because energy underpins everything we do, and because climate change threatens the survival of civilization. And here, obviously, we need a comprehensive national effort. Such a thing, if done right, combining planning and markets, could add 5 or even 10 percent of GDP to net investment… What is required are careful, sustained planning, consistent policy, and the recognition now that there are no quick fixes, no easy return to “normal,” no going back to a world run by bankers—and no alternative to taking the long view.” (“No Return to Normal”, James K Galbraith, Washington Monthly)
Peter Lorre & Sydney Greenstreet celebrate Christmas in 1942