- KZYX To Be Audited
- Run Diane, Run
- Two Girls Missing In Covelo
- Library Under Threat
- Broken Promise
- Who Are These People?
KZYX TO BE AUDITED
Inspector General and a CPB auditor Ms. Helen Mollick contacted Mr. Jeffrey Parker, the general manager of KZYX a couple weeks ago to inform him that she, would be visiting Philo – probably in May – to audit the station.
Over the past few months I have been in contact with Ms. Mollick, Esq., Assistant Inspector General for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, 401 – 9th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004-2129, (202) 879-9600, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Her office is in charge of making sure that KZYX is in strict compliance with rules and statutes governing organizations funded by tax dollars and tax-exempt contributions. She can demand that the gross violations of the current KZYX administration stop their non-compliance or the station can lose the vast majority of its funding, which is supplied by CPB.
Please keep in mind that, even though programming decisions are made secretly, the programmers are not in any jeopardy. We will continue to have great programming. It is the corrupt administration that is being audited. An administration run by a secret cabal of people who treat the budget like their own personal ATM, secretly hire friends and lovers for jobs that are not needed, travel on junkets, and much more. The CPB is most concerned that KZYX operate under complete transparency and in a democratic way. Unfortunately, the station currently refuses to supply the most basic public information to its own Board of Directors, let alone the general public.
I urge all of you kind readers to email General Manager Jeffrey Parker at email@example.com. He is a major player in this cabal, along with Mr. Stuart Campbell and probably others. Please ask him for a complete examination of the station’s books and records and to find out what procedures, if any, are being followed in hiring and firing. You might ask them on what authority do they bypass the board of directors while they commit financial malfeasance and theft of public funds?
Mr. Parker has a long history of not returning emails or phone calls and denying the contact ever happened. He also feels free to ignore EEO laws, and graft, and he acts as though he is the absolute dictator of our public station, so please make sure that you send a copy of your emails or letters or phone calls to Ms. Mollick at her contact information above.
Now is the time to make Mendocino County Public Radio democratic, without throwing vast amount of dollars away on dubious lines of credit, and $15,000 copiers that redefine the meaning of overkill and employee perks. If there is a job opening, wouldn’t you like it to be announced publicly, giving you a chance to apply yourself? Please help throw the bums out and clean up a very important medium that deserves much better.
RUN DIANE, RUN
What the hell is going on at the Mendocino County Department of Agriculture?
First the new Agriculture Commissioner gets canned after just a very short run and now they have fired Diane Curry. What a mistake that was. Diane is well known with grape and pear growers, nurseries, landscapers, weights and measures and of course the good old cannabis growers.
Being a vineyard manager for almost 40 years, I have dealt with the Department of Agriculture in several situations over the years and anything that Diane was involved with was handled with calmness, care and with good common sense. Maybe the County and CEO Carmel Angelo could borrow a few of those traits to run Mendocino County.
I would like to make a shout out to the past agricultural commissioners whom I have had the pleasure of dealing with: Dave Bengston, Tony Linegar and Chuck Morse. I never had a chance to meet — was it? — Joe?
Carmel Angelo is doing nothing but thinking about cannabis cash and hires Kelly Overton to disrupt the whole Agriculture Department with no regard for the rest of the agricultural community. The Planning and Building departments, Calfire, Fish and Wildlife, and the Sheriff's department should take care of their own obligations and not pass any of those obligations off to the Agriculture Department.
This whole mess might even be against some California state laws. Where is the California Department of Food and Agriculture? Why are they not involved? Does Kelly Overton have the necessary credentials to legally run the cannabis department? And who's running the Agriculture Department and with what credentials now?
Diane, run for an office of County government where you might be able to make some changes of your own, if you get my drift. I think you would be elected.
TWO GIRLS MISSING IN COVELO:
One a Lincoln, one a Britton
There has been a sad and questionable situation going on here in Covelo since February of this year. A young woman by the name of a Khadijah Rose Britton has turned up missing.
Since then there have been numerous stories and speculations circulating about what "might" have happened to Khadijah.
One man is in custody on charges stemming from domestic violence to kidnapping.
The man in question is supposedly her boyfriend, Negie Fallis.
Now this is the screwed up part. Mr. Fallis is going to court facing these accusations and on the outside his family is getting bullied and being called murderers and looked down upon. One family member even got beat up over this. Apparently these bullheaded individuals don't believe in innocent until proven guilty. So they appointed themselves judge, jury and executioner!
Mr. Fallis’s family is tagged with Guilt by Association!
This guilt by association immediately brings to mind my niece Belle Rodriguez. And all of the underhanded and conniving and despicable ways her violent murder was handled. From the [bleep]ing sorry-ass cops to the lame-ass investigators. Their nonchalant and biased unprofessionalism was obviously because she had been the grand niece of Eugene ‘Bear’ Lincoln Jr..
Guilt by association can be a mother sometimes but then, so can karma.
In my heart I truly hope they find Khadijah safe and sound. But it's too late for Belle. I love you Belle.
LIBRARY UNDER THREAT
An open letter to the Board of Supervisors:
The proposal to create a county department, the Cultural Services Agency, out of the Library, the Museum and Parks, combining the administration of all, is a bad idea from many perspectives. It usurps the role of the County Librarian, combines two very different funding sources (dedicated property tax plus restricted sales tax vs. the general fund), two different jurisdictions (only the library includes both the incorporated an unincorporated areas) and greatly diminishes the accountability of county government to its residents. Different professional expertise is needed for each proposed component. Basically, it seems a proposal to skim money from the Library while at the same time weakening all three institutions.
If the County is unwilling to adequately oversee and fund the County Museum, it should close it down and return the artifacts and archives to the donors or organizations that can safeguard them. The building and the collections need an infusion of money. It could be an attraction for tourists, boosting the Willit’s economy and drawing motorists from the bypass, i.e., economic development. Yet, this proposal seems to include putting the this year’s unspent budgeted dollars into the general fund, rather than using it for needed improvements, and cutting next year’s budget. (Maybe you’ll buy more county vehicles if $800,000 last year wasn’t enough.) Nothing now prevents the Library and the Museum from cooperating on mutually beneficial events.
The duties and responsibilities of the County Librarian are set forth is state law. He/she “shall , subject to the general rules adopted by the board of supervisors, build up and manage, according to the accepted principled of library management, a library for the use of the people of the county...” (Ed Code sec. 19146) and shall “authorize and approve” “each claim against the county free library fund”. (Ed Code 19176). Sounds like an administrator to me. Wherein lies the authority of the board of supervisors to give those powers to a county agency administrator? Already, a lot the Librarian’s administrative time has been devoted to the Museum; even if reimbursed, it is a significant diversion of time and attention.
Of far greater concern is the accounting and accountability nightmare this proposal will create for supporters of the Museum, the Library and the Parks. The broad brush of the published county budget--”operating transfers in”, “operating transfers out”, “intra fund transfers”, “A-87 charges”--create a fog impenetrable to the average citizen. In two years, the depreciation and overhead charges against the Library (A-87) have increased from 12% of its dedicated property tax revenue to 19%. To whom, for what, and why is unknowable from published information. For good government efficiency is less important than accountability, which in turn rests upon transparency.
Transparency is particularly important in regards to the sales tax authorized by Measure A, crucial to the viability of the Library (twice in the past the County has been willing to completely shut down or eliminate a branch thereof). Measure A has a clause requiring continuation of funding existing in 2012. It has a sunset clause. It is difficult to envisage the support of nearly 75% , or even 63%, if the voters are unsure whether funds are being siphoned off to support other amenities or if the Library has lost its identity.
The board of supervisors will be hearing this proposal Tuesday, March 27. I urge each of you who feel that any or all of the Museum, the Library, the Parks have a positive impact on your life to attend and let your voice be heard. Or write or call your supervisor. I personally care about all three.
In all of the above I am speaking as a private citizen, not as part of any organization to which I may belong.
Supervisor McCowen Responds:
There is no doubt that here in Mendocino County we love our libraries! The 75% yes vote for Measure A, the 1/8 cent sales tax devoted to libraries, is proof of that, as well as the outpouring of support anytime a concern is raised about the libraries or bookmobile. The issue of whether or not it makes sense to form a Cultural Services Agency (CSA) to administer the Library, Museum, and Parks can be argued either way but I hope the argument will be based on facts and logic.
There is no intention to siphon funds away from the Library to prop up the museum. There is an intention to discuss a concept that may provide better oversight of the Museum and Parks without diminishing the Library, something that no one is in favor of. But the Library is only one of many functions that the County must manage. Given that Mendocino County, financially, is a relatively poor rural county, the challenge we face is how best to manage all of the services that people rely on. In the wake of the economic collapse nearly a decade ago, at one time County Museum staff consisted of a full time director and a part time receptionist. That made no sense. The Museum does not need a full time director, but it does need a curator. With ever increasing costs, particularly for personnel, the County must continually seek to be more efficient in everything it does.
I believe County Librarian Karen Horner is a tremendous asset to the County and is doing a fine job. She is also currently devoting 10% of her time to administering the Museum. Accordingly, 10% of her salary and benefits are paid from the General Fund and the other 90% from dedicated Library funds. If the proposal for a CSA is approved, Karen Horner, in addition to being Library Director, would also administer the Museum and Parks. Please remember that each branch of the Library also has a branch manager and dedicated staff. Can Karen take on this new role without diminishing her effectiveness at the Library? I certainly want to hear her answer to that question.
It is unfortunate that so much of the discussion has revolved around false charges that the County is trying to divert money from the Library. That would be totally unacceptable. It would also be illegal. The Library receives a dedicated pro-rata share of the property tax and the Measure A special sales tax funds, both of which can only go to the Library. Several years ago, after the passage of Measure A, the County began charging the Library for building and equipment use charges. These charges were incorrectly applied due to accounting errors which resulted from a convoluted system where no one had a complete understanding of the process or responsibility for its accuracy.
Supervisor Dan Gjerde and I were appointed to an ad hoc committee that investigated the issue and made recommendations which the Board of Supervisors supported. The amount of money involved, a total of less than $100,000, was repaid to the Library with interest and the system was corrected to prevent a recurrence. By contrast, since 1998, the County has transferred over $650,000 in General Fund money to the Library, including approximately $420,000 during the 2007/08 to 2010/11 fiscal years; a time when both the Library and County were at a low fiscal ebb. The County also waived approximately $198,000 in building and equipment use charges that could have been charged to the Library. Does that sound like the County is trying to cheat the Library?
Maybe it's a sign of the times, but it's unfortunate that so many people are quick to jump to negative conclusions without having the facts in hand. At last Wednesday's Library Advisory Board meeting some members of the LAB demanded that members of the Board of Supervisors who were present violate the Brown Act and take a position before we had even seen the agenda item. Now that the item is public it is clear that it is only a concept that is being presented for discussion. There is no done deal. I do not know what the Board will decide, but nothing will happen quickly. If the Board wants to take a serious look at the proposal, the recommendation from staff is that they be directed to return to the Board with a final report, including a fiscal analysis, in 90-120 days. The item is time for 11:00 in the morning.
To the Editor:
Since moving here 23 years ago, I have been so grateful to have left Los Angeles and come, at least, to a nice, small town. There are many, many things I appreciate about living here. One of the things I have found odd, confusing and not in the best interests of people living in Ukiah and Mendocino County. That is this local government, both city and county as an example is a comparatively small issue in the big picture, but it cramps my little picture. I cannot give as much money in the way of donations to good, local charities, and for me, that means a lot.
My last City of Ukiah bill has me paying $2 per month for “Street lights.” On my short block of North Pine Street we have one street light for 18 houses. That’s $36 a month the City of Ukiah collects from us every single month. For my “residential swer-1 unit” I pay $62.44 every month (one person in one little house.) Plus I pay another $9.80 for “Residential Sewer Usage-City.” That’s $7.24 for my use of the sewer every month. Further I pay $17.12 for “1-20 gallon can curb” trash pickup a month these days.
I don’t complain much, but this is a lot of money to pay for these things, and I think it’s excessive for the services received.
To the Editor:
Founded in 1976, the Mendocino Land Trust knows that preserving the county’s open space is an incredibly important, and often challenging, mission.
The latest example of how difficult it can be occurred on March 7 when the Ukiah City Council failed to support funding for a plan to place 134 acres of prime farm land into an agricultural conservation easement to be held by the Land Trust, a plan that would have protected the land from development in perpetuity. Purchase of the easement at Lovers Lane vineyards was to be financed by a $1.17 million state grant and was supported by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors and planning staff for the City of Ukiah.
While this particular site and proposal proved to be more complicated than we envisioned, and while we see rejection of the funding as a lost opportunity for all of Mendocino County, know that our mission has not changed. The Land Trust remains committed to conserving and restoring valuable natural resources throughout our region, assuring that future generations can enjoy those same resources for years and years to come.
Ann Cole, Executive Director, Mendocino Land Trust
WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?
I just received a letter from HCOE. Thinking it might be some last-minute tax information I opened it to be greeted by the following: "My name is Monica Dekat and I am your new Humboldt County Office of Education California School Employee Association President…" I could read no more. Who are these people? Where do they come from? Isn't there an old adage about the importance of one's job being inversely proportional to the number of words in their job title?
Ed reply: Beats me, but there seem to be an awful lot of them.