FOUR (COUNT ‘EM) AUTOMATIC PAY RAISES FOR CEO Carmel Angelo have been put on next Tuesday’s consent calendar by the beneficiary herself.
Consent Calendar Item 4b) “Approval of Agreement Amendment for Carmel J. Angelo to Serve as County of Mendocino Chief Executive Officer for the Term of October 7, 2018 through October 6, 2022, in the Amount of $195,000 (Year One), $210,000 (Year Two), $215,000 (Year Three) and $220,000 (Year Four) Recommended Action: Approval of Agreement amendment for Carmel J. Angelo to serve as County of Mendocino Chief Executive Officer for the term of October 7, 2018, through October 6, 2022, in the amount of $195,000 (year one), $210,000 (year two), $215,000 (year three) and $220,000 (year four); and authorize Chair to sign same.”
THE CONSENT CALENDAR? At last check CEO Angelo was hauling down $185k per year, plus a similarly large package of perks. Which apparently isn’t enough to keep her on board. Which apparently frightens the people allegedly supervising her. The only possible reasons this is on consent is that it has either been cleared by the Board in earlier discussions (which would be a Brown Act violation) or Ms. Angelo simply assumes there’s absolutely no reason for any of the Supes to object to her giving herself a series of automatic pay raises.
AUTOMATIC PAY INCREASES for the upper end of local government is in the tradition of Mendo officials who jack up their compensation in the years leading up to retirement so that their pension is similarly jacked up. This is the biggest reason the pension system imposes a disproportionate burden on County operations: Top officials with unreasonably high pension pay-outs.
IF THIS GIFT to Angelo (who’s hardly irreplaceable) is approved on Tuesday without being removed from the consent calendar for discussion, we can assume that the Board of Supervisors has finally made themselves irrelevant to the actual operations of Mendocino County, and Mendo’s taxpayers will be shelling out for Ms. Angelo a pension at well north of $100k a year for the rest of her life.
THESE AUTO PAY RAISES ARE FOR A CEO who, as we have noted before, has not delivered on a series of significant promises, the short list of which we have listed before but are repeating here:
THE long-delayed Exclusive Operating Area for inland ambulance services, which Angelo has allowed to fall into permanent limbo by dumping the poor-performing Sonoma County Coastal Valley EMS service before having a comparable function set up locally.
THERE’S the Sheriff’s Overtime budget, which Angelo and staff were supposed to be monitoring and reporting on monthly since assigning an arbitrarily low budget to it in June.
THERE are the long-delayed budget reporting “metrics,” which are occasionally mentioned, but no reports are forthcoming.
THERE are the hundreds of seemingly permanently stalled pot permit applications which, after almost a year, are still “in queue” or “under review.” (Not to mention the costly, endless and probably illegal “overlay zone” pot permit process which has been going on for months now.
THERE’S the promise to re-organize the Probation Department so that the County isn’t stuck with having to pay for the mistakes and benign neglect by their majesties of the Superior Court.
THERE continue to be retroactive cash hand-outs on almost every Board agenda without explanation even though the Board has declared “no more retroactive contracts” and staff has promised to obey.
THE “housing problem,” while talked about often by the Board, remains unaddressed beyond the minor steps associated with the fire recovery program. As a short example, we have Supervisor Gjerde mentioning the availability of modest house specs a couple of weeks ago before they were ready to be released and which are now under review by the County Counsel’s office with no deadline and no sense of urgency.
THE Marbut Report produced some agreements and promises from Mental Health sub-czar Molgaard (the czarina of those many annual millions is Tammy Moss Chandler) and their crew of overpaid helping professionals to revise the way the county’s homeless and transient population is treated. The Supes vaguely (but officially) agreed. But nothing has changed and nobody asks.
THERE are the still incomplete memorandums of agreement relating to Mental Health Services to be provided by affiliated outlying agencies that were supposed to have been completed in the wake of the transition from Ortner’s failed mental health services to Redwood Quality Management Company two years ago. They have been "almost finished" for well over a year now.
THERE ARE THE Departmental reports half-assed versions of which have been mentioned in passing for several years now but never any actual reporting on anything.
AND this roster of the Not Done is just off the top of our head.
JUST LAST MONTH the Board told line workers that their pay raises couldn’t be dealt with for who knows how many more months because they needed more analysis, more “total compensation” consideration.
BUT, AGAIN, when it comes to top officials, Mendo just puts them on consent and moves on to the next one.
SPEAKING OF WHICH, there’s also a big raise proposed for the new Public Defender on the regular (not consent) calendar.
Agenda Item 5c) “Discussion and Possible Action Including Adoption of Resolution Authorizing Salary Grade Revision and Amending the Position Allocation Table as follows: Public Defender from D49C to D50D (Sponsor: Human Resources) Recommended Action: Adopt Resolution authorizing the adoption of salary grade revision and amending the Position Allocation Table for the classification of Public Defender from D49C to D50D; and authorize Chair to sign same.”
THIS IS ONE OF THOSE SNEAKY two-step raises where the County first upgrades the position, then a few months later raises the pay on the grounds that the pay does not conform to the position’s authorized pay scale. The proposed change would increase the midpoint of the Public Defender’s pay scale from about $121k per year (plus benefits) to about $132k per year, an increase of about 9% right off the top.
PS. Neither of these proposed large increases for Angelo and the new Public Defender are accompanied by “total compensation” evaluation of the impact of the increases on the county’s or the departmental budgets.
WE WOULDN'T BEGRUDGE Angelo, the Supervisors and other County bigwigs their lush pay if they were intelligently, efficiently and prudently managing the County's business, but they aren't getting it done intelligently, efficiently and prudently. In fact, they'd all be fired if they had to make their way in the jungles of contemporary free enterprise. But in the roll me over easy context of local government no one's feet are being held to the fires or are likely to be held to account. They're all fortunate they only have us on their slovenly, no performing cases, and they're doubly fortunate that very few County residents pay any attention to them at all. But County management dysfunction costs all of us in services not rendered, and eventually the gross fiscal imprudence is going to cost all of us a lot more.