Press "Enter" to skip to content

Mendocino County Today: Saturday, May 3, 2014

* * *


“I look forward to the day when I can walk up in this podium and say, Good job. Good contract. And applaud your hard work and willingness to work together because I know that they will come! Just not today. Because even though the budget item was removed from today's agenda, we employees are here to remind you that you have failed to reach an agreement with us and any agreement must include restoring our wages. If any of you read the fact-finding report you would know that the independent fact-finder agreed with the principle point of the report that SEIU’s request to reinstate our wages beginning with 3% in January 2014 was totally reasonable and within your budget, and could be accomplished without going against your self-imposed Policy 32. That simple compromise would have gone a very long way to rebuilding trust and morale in your workforce. But rather than choosing to compromise and show your own employees a sign of good faith and leadership, you chose to pay that exact same amount of money [$750,000, Ed] to a Bay Area law firm to negotiate against us. How can you insist that you can't afford to work with us and then turn around and send those funds to San Francisco? Why has this board chosen this troublesome path when it could have been a win-win for everyone? We employees have been crucial partners in getting this County back on track and there have been serious human consequences to your policies of austerity. But the sky is not falling. Experts agree that the County is getting better and the reserve is well past what you set as your goal. Now is the time for us to be part of the recovery. It only takes three votes to change your direction and do the right thing. We are united and stronger than ever. We are ready to do whatever has to be done to get a fair contract and we are prepared to go back to the table when there is something to go back for.”

* * *

DENTI-CAL IS BACK! Millions of low-income Californians on Thursday regained many of the dental services they lost five years ago during state budget cuts that virtually eliminated non-emergency dental benefits for adults.

GOVERNOR BROWN promised last year he would restore funding for Medi-Cal dental benefits when the state could afford it. It appears the state can again afford this crucial service, and Thursday the Governor announced Denti-Cal would again be funded. Well, mostly funded.

$130 MILLION is needed to fully restore the benefits, but the state will spend $93.9 million over two years for routine cleanings and exams, X-rays, root canals for the front teeth and full dentures. Partial dentures, root canals in the back teeth and some other procedures won't be covered.

THE 2009 DECISION to cut the dental care program spared pregnant women and people in long-term care. Emergency dental services also remained intact, as well as coverage for children.

* * *

ENOUGH WITH CARRILLO ALREADY. The Press Democrat continues to hammer the Sonoma County supervisor after his acquittal for, basically, misdemeanor mopery. Carrillo tried to either peer into, or enter through a window, the vague object of his late-night drunken affections, the time of night drunk men go looking for love in all the wrong places. The young woman had been asleep when Carrillo came a' courtin'. Two female roommates were also present. The ladies armed themselves with butcher knives and called the cops, who soon discovered the disoriented solon wandering around outside in his underwear and socks. Three women brandishing butcher knives would deter the most lust-blinded drunk and, all-in-all, the episode was never so much threatening as it was pathetic. But the PD's ogling coverage has been, and continues to be, incessant. Front page everyday. And now Carrillo's colleagues are poised to censure Carrillo for “unseemly behavior.” As if the rest of us need a supine collection of porn-basted nuzzlebums at the Press Democrat and a sorry collection of outback politicians to denounce “unseemly behavior.” Hester Prynne lives!

* * *

WHILE WE'RE ON THE SUBJECT of morality, Donald Sterling, consensus scumdog, was secretly taped. Think about that, and think about yourself wired for sound in unguarded moments. Then imagine that your most “inappropriate” remarks are uploaded to the world by a person seeking to harm you. Bad as this guy is, a crime was committed against him. He was recorded without his permission or knowledge and that recording was made public. If it can happen to him it sure as hell can happen to you. All you libs out there congratulating Snowden for revealing government secrets (and I'm one of them), should also be defending Sterling's right to privacy.

* * *


Dear Editor:

Climate Change: A month or two ago Todd Walton had a doomsday article on climate change which I’m sure the climate science denialists laughed off. Now comes the report from the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii the Keeling Curve has reached a record 400 parts per million (ppm) CO2 level. The level of ppm has not been that high since the Mid Pliocene 2 to 4 million years ago. When Charles David Keeling started his work in 1958 the ppm was 315. Since that time the rate per year has been increasing and his son who is now carrying on his work estimates we will reach 450 ppm in 20-25 years and in another 20-25 years ppm will be 500. Climate change is resulting in Arctic sea ice disappearing and glaciers melting worldwide. In the Antarctic ice is both increasing and melting for very complex reasons that will change. Keeling estimates it would take a reduction in fossil fuel of 50% to 60% to hold ppm at 400. Ain't going to happen and we will continue to move towards Mr. Walton's doomsday projections. Today one of my great grandchildren has his fifth birthday. It is a hell of a world we are leaving him!

In peace,, James G. Updegraff, Sacramento

* * *

RECOMMENDED READING: The current New Yorker for three fascinating stories on pain-pill addiction in the heartland; Chinese industrial espionage; and The Hunt for El Chapo, Catching the world's most notorious drug lord.

* * *

INDUSTRIAL ESPIONAGE isn't an issue in Mendocino County, but our large population of seekers-after-altered-states-of-consciousness pay top dollar for heroin in pill form. El Chapo? Methamphetamine is a Mexican import, and there is plenty of methamphetamine available in Mendocino County where it destroys lives and, along with alcohol, drives the crazier, more violent crimes. Local distribution is obviously organized, but the higher-level people who bring it here and get it to our dentists (that there's a tweek joke) seems a mystery beyond local capacity to solve. We understand that neighborhood distributors of go-fast powders require that new customers use with them. This cagey precautionary makes it difficult-to-impossible for police to work their way up in the general direction of the kingpins because few cops want to use a drug that makes their teeth fall out and abbreviates their lives by three or four decades.

* * *




A Covelo resident died in a Wednesday morning crash on Highway 162 (known as Covelo Road), according to the California Highway Patrol.

Shannon White, 40, of Covelo, was driving a 2012 Chevrolet Malibu west at about 7:30 a.m. near mile marker 10.59 when, for reasons under investigation, she let the vehicle drift to the righthand shoulder, the CHP reported.

The vehicle crossed an 18-inch dirt and rock berm and went down a steep embankment to the Eel River bed, where it rolled onto its roof, according to the CHP.

White was taken to Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits with minor to moderate injuries. Her right, front passenger, Ernesto Medel, 54, was taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital with moderate injuries. The right, rear passenger, who was identified only as a 60-year-old Covelo resident, was the only person in the vehicle who wasn't wearing a seat belt and died in the crash, according to the CHP.

The crash is under investigation, and the CHP noted it is also still investigating the time of the incident. Authorities do not believe alcohol was a factor.



A Ukiah man was arrested Wednesday after reportedly holding a knife to his housemate's chest while the two were arguing about when to turn off the television, the Ukiah Police Department reported.

According to the UPD, an officer responded to the 800 block of South Oak Street around 10:15 p.m. April 30 when it was reported that two residents of the home were arguing about turning off the television.

One of the men, identified as Justin D. Overholt, 29, reportedly took a knife from the kitchen and held it to the other man's chest, threatening to stab him if he didn't leave.

Overholt was arrested on suspicion of making threats and violating his probation.

He was booked into Mendocino County Jail under $15,000 bail.



A Hopland man arrested twice in three days reportedly had a machete hidden in his pants during his last arrest Wednesday, the Ukiah Police Department reported.

According to the UPD, Darrell F. Pike, 20, of Hopland, was first arrested Monday around 4 p.m. when it was reported that a man was throwing garbage cans and garbage at the corner of Gobbi and Leslie streets.

When officers arrived, Pike was reportedly confrontational and threatened to harm the officers. He was arrested on suspicion of being under the influence and resisting arrest.

The following day, officers responded to Nokomis Elementary School on Washington Avenue shortly before 2 p.m. April 29 when it was reported that a transient found sleeping in the field had pulled out a knife, described as a box cutter, on the school principal and threatened to kill him. The suspect ran away and was later identified as Pike.

The following day, April 30, officers responded to Walmart on Airport Park Boulevard around 6:10 p.m. when it was reported that a man, identified as Pike, had stolen about $70 worth of items.

Pike was arrested on suspicion of burglary and the previous charges of brandishing a knife and making threats. While searching Pike, officers reportedly found a large machete hidden in his pants and charged him with possession of a prohibited weapon.

He was booked into Mendocino County Jail under $20,000.


TRANSIENTS CAMPING -- Caller in the 300 block of East Perkins Street reported at 7:20 a.m. Tuesday that several transients were camping there. An officer responded and reported that the group was leaving.

SHOPLIFTER -- Caller at Goodwill in the 1000 block of North State Street reported at 10:09 a.m. Tuesday that a woman stole a pair of shoes. An officer responded and arrested a 33-year-old Ukiah woman for theft.

MAN CUSSING IN FRONT OF LIBRARY -- Caller at the Ukiah Library on North Main Street reported at 12:24 p.m. Tuesday that a "very angry" older man was sitting out front yelling and cussing. An officer responded, issued the man a citation and advised him not to return.

STOLEN BIKE ON FACEBOOK -- Caller on East Gobbi Street reported at 12:51 p.m. Tuesday seeing a bicycle on Facebook that was stolen two years ago.

TRANSIENTS CAMPING NEAR MUSEUM -- Caller in the 500 block of South Main Street reported at 1:47 p.m. Tuesday that several transients were camping near the Grace Hudson Museum. An officer responded and the group left upon request.

MAN JUMPING ON CARS -- Caller at the corner of Brush and North State streets reported at 6:06 p.m. Tuesday that a man wearing a dark green coat and carrying a skeleton was trying to jump on cars. An officer responded and determined the incident was not as reported.

DUI ARREST -- An officer stopped a vehicle at the corner of West Mill and South Dora streets at 9:49 p.m. Tuesday and arrested Tamberlyn Davenport, 55, of Ukiah, on suspicion of driving under the influence. She was cited and released.

TRANSIENTS CAMPING -- Caller at Riverside Park reported at 10:19 p.m. Tuesday that transients were setting up camp near the gate. An officer responded and reported that the group was gone.

PEOPLE SLEEPING IN BACK YARD -- Caller in the 200 block of Freitas Street reported at 7:25 a.m. Wednesday that people were sleeping under a blanket in her back yard. An officer responded and advised them.

DOG JUMPED OVER FENCE -- Caller in the 800 block of Dora Avenue reported at 7:54 a.m. Wednesday that a chocolate lab jumped over the fence into the caller's yard. An officer responded and located the dog's owner.

NAILS IN STREET -- Caller at the corner of South Dora and West Perkins streets reported at 10:47 a.m. Wednesday that nails were dumped in the roadway. City streets staff were notified.

CAR WRITTEN ON -- Caller in the 300 block of East Perkins Street reported at 11:41 a.m. Wednesday that someone wrote on her car with a marker.

SHOPLIFTER -- An officer responded to Kohl's on North Orchard Avenue at 12:49 p.m. Wednesday and arrested a 28-year-old Lucerne woman for theft. She was cited and released.

SUSPICIOUS SPEAKERS -- Caller in the 200 block of North Orchard Avenue reported at 12:52 p.m. Wednesday that a suspicious canister was left on the counter that the caller did not want to touch. An officer responded and determined it contained iPod speakers.

DOG IN VEHICLE -- Caller in the 700 block of South State Street reported at 3:15 p.m. Wednesday that a white van with no windows had a dog locked inside it. An officer responded and took the dog to the animal shelter.


The following were compiled from reports prepared by the Ukiah Police Department regarding calls handled by the Fort Bragg Police Department.

NEIGHBOR USING GARBAGE CAN -- Caller in the 500 block of Walnut Street reported at 8:16 a.m. Wednesday that a neighbor was dumping garbage in the caller's garbage can.

WOMAN THREW SUITCASE IN YARD -- Caller in the 200 block of East Alder Street reported at 11:15 a.m. Wednesday that a heavyset woman threw a suitcase in the caller's yard.

* * *

THE MARXIST INTERNET ARCHIVE, a website devoted to radical writers and thinkers, recently received an email: It must take down hundreds of works by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels or face legal consequences.

The warning didn’t come from a multinational media conglomerate but from a small, leftist publisher, Lawrence & Wishart, which asserted copyright ownership over the 50-volume, English-language edition of Marx’s and Engels’s writings.

To some, it was “uncomradely” that fellow radicals would deploy the capitalist tool of intellectual property law to keep Marx’s and Engels’s writings off the Internet. And it wasn’t lost on the archive’s supporters that the deadline for complying with the order came on the eve of May 1, International Workers’ Day.

Marx, Engels
Marx, Engels

“Marx and Engels belong to the working class of the world spiritually, they are that important,” said David Walters, one of the organizers of the Marxist archive. “I would think Marx would want the most prolific and free distribution of his ideas possible — he wasn’t in it for the money.”

The English translations of writings by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels are at the center of a dispute.

Still, Mr. Walters said the archive respected the publisher’s copyright, which covers the translated works, not the German originals from the 19th century. On Wednesday, the archive removed the disputed writings with a note blaming the publisher and a bold headline: “File No Longer Available!”

The fight over online control of Marx’s works comes at a historical moment when his ideas have found a new relevance, whether because the financial crisis of 2008 shook people’s confidence in global capitalism or, with the passage of time, the Marx name has become less shackled to the legacy of the Soviet Union. The unlikely best seller by the French economist Thomas Piketty, “Capital in the 21st Century,” harks back to Marx’s work, examining historical trends toward inequality in wealth.

Despite this boomlet in interest, however, Lawrence & Wishart, located in East London, hardly expects to have an online hit on its hands, said Sally Davison, the publisher’s managing editor. The goal is to create a digital edition to sell to libraries in place of a print edition, which costs roughly $1,500 for the 50 volumes.

“Creating a digital strategy is key to our survival,” she said. “We are currently negotiating with somebody, that’s why we’ve asked the archive to take it off; it’s hard to sell it to librarians if a version already exists online.”

Lawrence & Wishart has been losing the argument online, however. The publisher said that it had received about 500 irate emails, along the lines of “How can you say you are radicals?” There are more than 4,500 signatures on an online petition to oppose the notion of a copyright claim on Marx’s and Engels’s writings; the petition cites the incongruity, noting that the two philosophers “wrote against the monopoly of capitalism and its origin, private property, all their lives.” And the libertarian Cato Institute enjoyed teasing its ideological adversaries with an I-told-you-so blog post titled, “Because Property Rights Are Important.”

Ms. Davison said she was flabbergasted to see Lawrence & Wishart cast as the oppressor. The publisher has two full-time employees and two part-time employees and barely makes ends meet, publishing a handful of journals, like Anarchy Studies, and about a dozen left-wing books a year, she said.

“We make no profit and are not particularly well paid,” she said.

Ms. Davison defended her position by quoting Marx to the effect that you must adapt to real-world conditions: “We don’t live in a world of everybody sharing everything. As Marx said, and I may be paraphrasing, ‘We make our own history, but not in the conditions of our own choosing’.”

The publisher also tried to turn the tables on its critics, questioning whether it was indeed radical to believe that there is no ownership of content produced through hard work, like the mammoth translation and annotation of Marx’s and Engels’s work, a project initially directed by the Soviet Union in the late 1960s that took some 30 years of collaboration among scholars across the world.

In a note on its site, Lawrence & Wishart said its critics were not carrying on the socialist and communist traditions, but reflecting a “consumer culture which expects cultural content to be delivered free to consumers, leaving cultural workers such as publishers, editors and writers unpaid, while the large publishing and other media conglomerates and aggregators continue to enrich themselves through advertising and data-mining revenues.”

The statement noted that many works by Marx and Engels — including “The Communist Manifesto,” which urges, “Workers of the world, unite!” — were freely available in translation on the nonprofit archive and other sites.

Ms. Davison said, “This is a 50-volume, academic edition; it isn’t necessary to revolutionary activity,” and noted that much of the material included things like “Marx writing to Engels asking if you want to come by my house to go to this meeting.”

Because of how the complete works of Marx and Engels were translated into English, Ms. Davison said, the copyright had been shared among three publishers: Progress, a company in the Soviet Union that no longer exists; Lawrence & Wishart, once the official publisher of the British Communist Party; and the radical New York publishing house, International Publishers. Lawrence & Wishart, she said, has taken the lead in trying to form a digital strategy.

She said she expected a deal to take effect by early next year, and Lawrence & Wishart and International Publishers both said they would discuss how to divide the proceeds.

Even without the removed Marx and Engels material — consisting mainly of early philosophical and economic writings, as well as notes and letters in which their ideas were first hashed out — the Marxist Internet Archive still will host roughly 200,000 documents in more than 40 languages from political theorists and economists.

Peter Linebaugh, a professor at the University of Toledo in Ohio, who has studied the history of communism, said that the comprehensive English translation of Marx’s and Engels’s writings was a galvanizing event, and that he had great respect for the effort that went into pulling it off. He expressed disappointment over the publisher’s move, and disputed the idea that you could divide Marx’s work into the important and the mundane. “What seems like arcane scholarship,” he said, “can appear as a bombshell to young militants.”

Surveying the entire affair, he concluded, “This is the triumph of capitalism, having the small fish biting at each other.”

(— Noam Cohen, Courtesy, the New York Times)

* * *


O wind, rend open the heat,

cut apart the heat,

rend it to tatters.


Fruit cannot drop

through this thick air--

fruit cannot fall into heat

that presses up and blunts

the points of pears

and rounds the grapes.


Cut the heat--

plough through it,

turning it on either side

of your path.

— Hilda Doolittlepost

* * *


Spending the night out of doors has nothing attractive about it in London, especially for a poor, ragged, undernourished wretch. Moreover sleeping in the open is only allowed in one thoroughfare in London. If the policeman on his beat finds you asleep, it is his duty to wake you up. That is because it has been found that a sleeping man succumbs to the cold more easily than a man who is awake, and England could not let one of her sons die in the street. So you are at liberty to spend the night in the street, providing it is a sleepless night. But there is one road where the homeless are allowed to sleep. Strangely, it is the Thames Embankment, not far from the Houses of Parliament. We advise all those visitors to England who would like to see the reverse side of our apparent prosperity to go and look at those who habitually sleep on the Embankment, with their filthy tattered clothes, their bodies wasted by disease, a living reprimand to the Parliament in whose shadow they lie.

— George Orwell

* * *


We need people to work on constructing/painting a large sign to advertise our AV Foodshed Third Sunday Events.

If you have been wanting to be involved in AV Foodshed, but haven't found the way to best use your skills, maybe this is it.

Your building, lettering, artistic or painting skills can be put to use, alone with others.

Our hope is to have the sign in place within the next two weeks.

Please email Tom Melcher if you would like to be involved in this project.

PS. Don't forget the Plant Sale at the Boonville Farmers' Market tomorrow, 10-12:30 at the Boonville Hotel. Music by the Hubberts.

For more info on AV Foodshed, look for our table at the market.

* * *

Opportunities to Learn

A Two-Part Cottage Food Workshop Offered in Ukiah for Farmers and Those Interested Making Value-Added Products at Home

University of California Cooperative Extension will present a hands-on workshop series designed especially for farmers interested in producing value-added products in their home kitchens. (Of course, anyone who is interested in learning more is welcome to attend.)

Participants will learn about the new California Homemade Food Act (AB1616), which allows individuals to prepare and package certain non-potentially hazardous foods in private-home kitchens referred to as “Cottage Food Operations” (CFOs).

The workshop series will cover:

• CFO Law

• Food science and sanitation

• Business operations for CFOs

• Packaging, storage, and marketing of CFO products

• Hands-on demonstrations and tastings.

The two-part workshop series takes place at the UCCE Mendocino County office in Ukiah on May 15 and 22, 2014.

Cost: $25 with advance registration/$40 at the door, space permitting.

For more information and to register, go to:

* * *


by Ralph Nader

On May 6th, Cleveland taxpayers will go to the polls to vote on Issue 7. A no vote will prevent an increase in taxpayer money to the already subsidized, big league sports arenas. A yes vote will reaffirm taxpayer servitude to arrogant corporatists and their cruel, twisted mistreatment of that struggling city.

When I was growing up, tax dollars for public works were used for serious public services. Taxpayers paid to build schools, highways, bridges, libraries, health clinics, public transit and other community needs. Tax dollars were not given over to the mega-rich’s profitable athletic playpens. To even suggest tax money for private major league baseball parks would get you laughed or ridiculed out of town.

Now, there are football, baseball and basketball facilities for the NFL, MLB and NBA leagues (plus other professional sports) that are built and renovated using taxpayer dollars often without majority public support. That is why the sports giants try to avoid referenda and, often with campaign contributions, focus instead on persuading Mayors and Governors.

When big league sports mavens cannot avoid a public vote, they mislead the public with claims that building sports venues is a cost-effective way to produce jobs, but most economists know that building sports facilities is definitely not a cost-effective way to create jobs. Visit League of Fans for more information. And, when empty promises fail, the sports kings threaten to move their teams to another town.

When all that fails, the sports barons go for sin taxes and other micro-targeted tabs (such as parking tax, admissions tax, bed tax, video game tax, rental car tax, and property tax exemption), in addition to keeping high prices for tickets, food and parking to begin with.

This is the situation in Cleveland – a deindustrialized, unfairly poor metropolis, with the largest employer now being the Cleveland Clinic. The more affluent people can go to see the Cleveland Browns, the Cleveland Indians and the Cleveland Cavaliers – whose facilities are named for companies instead of being called “Taxpayers Stadium, Arena and Field.”

The super-rich sports owners, or corporate welfare kings, know “sin taxes” help get more votes for their stadiums. Issue 7 is linked to a 20-year sin tax on alcohol and cigarettes which will be paid by Cuyahoga County residents, totaling between $250 to $350 million. The money will go to “constructing, renovating, improving, or repairing spectator sports facilities.” You can be sure the money will not be going to neighborhood sports programs or playgrounds, otherwise known as participatory sports.

The proposed taxes exclude adjoining counties where fifty percent or more of the paying fans live. Cuyahoga County, which includes the city of Cleveland, already has higher sales and school property taxes than the adjoining counties. Unemployment, prices of necessities and inequality have sky-rocketed in beleaguered Cuyahoga County according to Roldo Bartimole, arguably Cleveland’s greatest investigative reporter of the past half century (see the Cleveland Leader for more information). Any increased taxes – sin or otherwise – should be devoted to the necessities of the local community, not for entertainment.

Big-time sports bosses know that the trump card that enables them to continue with their freeloading ways as crony capitalists is to exploit the spectator joy that comes from being part of a local fan base. The subtext of these demands takes away that joy from those TV watching fans by relocating to another city willing to give away the store. It all reeks of greed, power and extortion.

Rest assured Clevelanders, the Browns, Indians and Cavaliers are going nowhere. They know how much of the “store” (over $1 billion since 1990) your politicians have already given them. The sports bosses like to call themselves capitalists. So let them behave like capitalists and invest their own money and no longer dare to turn your tax dollars into their profits.

The Coalition Against the Sin Tax (CAST) wants full disclosure of the secret “obligations” imposed on the public in these existing corporate welfare contracts so that residents can know what’s going on with their pocketbooks (see the Coalition Against the Sin Tax for more information).

“Who us worry?” non-Clevelanders might be saying. Better think again. The greedy sports billionaires are all over the country. They never stop expanding their mounting wealth at other people’s expense. Until you stop them.

(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us! He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, published by AK Press. Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition.)


  1. John Sakowicz May 3, 2014

    Quote of the Day

    Today is Sheriff Tom Allman’s birthday, and I shared this quote with him: “Every society gets the kind of criminal it deserves. What is equally true is that every community gets the kind of law enforcement it insists on.” – Robert Kennedy

  2. Harvey Reading May 3, 2014


    If the libraries there are as stocked with right-wing, neoliberal crap as they are here, I cannot blame the guy.

  3. Helen Michael May 3, 2014

    The amount paid to the law firm was $250,000, not $750,000.

  4. Mark Scaramella May 3, 2014

    To Helen Michael: Yes. We were going to correct that tonight. (And will.) But we’re still having trouble with the math related to the claim that that $250k would have been close to the cost of granting the 3% raise increase for SEIU employees. The Board approved the increase from $120k to $250k in late March on the consent calendar with no discussion at all, not even a question about why it went up so much since last year. Obviously it’s bad for employee morale when the Board approves such large outlays for keeping the lid on wage increases without even discussing it while contract negotiations are at a standstill.

    • chewsome May 3, 2014

      To Mark Scaramella: Could it make sense in a way, that the Board increase for litigation, approved on Consent Calendar, would have no discussion, because that Discussion occurred in Closed Session under Litigation, perhaps in violation of the Brown Act, because it was not specifically publicly Noticed as an Agenda Item for closed session Discussion except as a generalized Agenda Item. Of course I could be pushing the envelope here, and tilting at windmills more than is procedurally warranted legally.

    • Pam Partee May 4, 2014

      The 3%, $250,000, figure came from the county’s estimation of what the 10% would glean for the county coffers back in 2010. Since then, the county employee count has been trimmed as well as the wages. If you look at the 2013-14 Mid-year Budget Report ( can’t help but notice that most departments are in the black due to salary reduction and vacancies. What most county residents don’t take into account: 1)we are no longer competitive with adjoining counties so we are losing our younger staff to better paid positions elsewhere as well as encouraging retirement of our veterans because their pension wage base is in the past rather than the future, and 2)most everyone employed by the county except the SEIU line staff has a straight 3-4% base wage county contribution to a deferred retirement account in addition to their pension–so they already have the 3% extra. Nonetheless, the county has allowed management to demand a me-too to their negotiated contract so if SEIU gets a small raise, they get the same. This has allowed the county to use the “me-too” clause to argue against an increase for their lowest paid workers. A better approach would be to bring up the lower wages to keep the line employees here and attract good candidates for the open positions we now see constantly advertised. Don’t we want to encourage younger residents and job candidates to work in our communities rather than accept better paying jobs elsewhere?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *