Humboldt’s Department heads rake in the cash

Hey THC fans, do you remember our friend Jay??

We sure missed him, but he came back to visit The Consequential last week, and boy, did he come back in style.

He even gave us a really cool present – a very clear depiction of what the County’s Department Heads made in the month of November last year. The whole document, which describes some very interesting (and angering) aspects of CALPERS and the compensation packages for County employees, can be found here.

It details things like how employees can convert unused sick days to increase their compensation, non-specific details about benefit packages for Department Heads, and other little tid-bits that might get you riled up. (It should be noted for fairness’ sake that there are cut-off dates that determine which employees are eligible for some of these benefits, based on when they were hired.)

But by far the most interesting part about the present Jay left us are these two tables:

For appointed Department Heads

For appointed Department Heads


For Elected Department Heads

For Elected Department Heads

We think these numbers speak for themselves. Read em’ and weep kiddos.


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15 Responses to Humboldt’s Department heads rake in the cash

  1. I’m angry now!

    OK, let’s do the same for the private…sector ………ss…es.


    Oh, yeah ….

    We don’t have those numbers.

    Does it make you wonder why our default anger is toward the public sector?

    Think about it.

    Don’t think too hard tho ’cause you soon get pretty angry.

    -or- you be a holder of the religious belief that *ques angel sound* where of course those numbers don’t matter b/c those folks pulled themselves up by their bootstraps.

    I beg to differ. I could not earn a living wage in either of these two retail positions and there was no room for advancement (outside of family members and very close and limited associates) – Coming Attractions Theaters and City Cab.

    Please add the owners and their holdings to your list along with other local business owners. Thank you!

    Our pitchforks need to be pointed equally and justifiably.

    But I hear you say (technically I see you typing) – those folks don’t drink at the public teat. Oh yeah? Let’s look again at their employees and see how many of them need public (or family) assistance. In effect what they are doing is internalizing profits and externalizing costs.

    Resulting in the need for well paid public department heads to make the whole public sector run smoothly.

    Repeat and rinse.


    • LMOB,

      Interesting point. We don’t think we’ll see eye to eye on this one, but hey, can’t agree on everything.

      But to be honest, can’t say we agree with much of what you said there. Aside from the pitchfork pointing – we do like that.

      If you bring back some numbers about public assistance being provided to private sector employees we can talk a bit more about it. Can’t say we know much about the business models of City Cab or the theater, so we’ll leave that alone.

      One thing we will speak to directly is the idea that we need “well paid public department heads to make the whole public sector run smoothly”. That sounds great and all, but even putting aside how rampantly out of touch these salaries are with that of an average citizen, the fact of the matter is that our public sector does not run smoothly, or effectively. Not even close. You know that.

      Fair compensation for fair performance is justifiable – but take a look at the Health and Human Services department. It’s in shambles. Why is Crandall the second-highest paid Department Head?

      Or look at the Assessor’s office. Or the Planning and Building Department – good luck trying to get something accomplished through them! Does anybody even go to the Library anymore, aside from the homeless and the dealers and prostitutes that hang out in the parking lot?

      And why the hell are all of these people paid more than the Families and Children Commission Director? People in Humboldt get fired up when they think cops and firefighters aren’t getting enough money – what about the people who are in charge of making life better for disadvantaged children? Think of the children, Humboldt!


      • Mitch says:

        “Does anybody even go to the Library anymore, aside from the homeless and the dealers and prostitutes that hang out in the parking lot?”

        Yes. I do. And I’m not sure why Eureka’s homeless situation and prostitution are the fault of the library director. Our public libraries may be the very last decent thing about America, and it’s a shame that, as the last place with doors open to everyone, they are blamed for societal ills over which they have no control.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mitch, we missed you. Really. And you’re right, the loitering problem outside the library is not the director’s fault. And we’ve nothing against libraries – it just seems that there’s a very significant downturn in public usage and overall quality. We know a little insider birdie who frequents the library on a very regular basis who tells us that things are poorly run, and becoming worse. We get there’s been reductions in funding, etc., and that the library is not necessarily a priority for the County – but our point was that department heads are getting paid really darn well for doing a job that wouldn’t necessarily earn them rave reviews.

        But, to get back to your comment directly, have you really heard libraries blamed for societal ills? That’s new to us.


      • Mitch says:


        You’re correct, no one blames libraries for societal ills, so far as I know. That’s why it seemed so odd of you to mention the library in your list of complaints. Perhaps things are poorly run, I have no idea. But despite everything collapsing around them, libraries have managed to remain places where anyone who can be quiet can come, read, and learn, at no charge, and with books that need not conform to anyone’s opinion. That is something to be cherished, and it’s sad that hours have had to be reduced.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Here* is a chart I made of the annualized salary for minimum wage (ish) workers. I’ve added variables of hrs per week and # in family. The yellow highlights means the employees would be eligible to both CalFresh and Medi-Cal. The green – only Cal Fresh.

    Caveats: These numbers are approximate – don’t use to determine your eligibility. These opinions are my own and not those of anyone else (necessarily) at the DHHS. (and especially not management) The data was obtained using the intertubes. My name is Jon Yalcinkaya and I’m an EW (pronounced “eewwww”) at the DHHS.

    BTW, Phil did a bang up job where I’m at if you want more efficiency, better client service and government workers pushed to their limits. Of course the dirty (not-so) secret within conservative circles is they don’t want Medi-Cal nor Cal-Fresh to be efficient and they damn sure don’t want good customer service.



    • Well, LMOB, you get some extra kudos from us for your effort alone. You even made us a chart?? How thoughtful!
      We hadn’t heard anyone from DHHS tell us Phil did a “bang-up” job; quite the opposite. Care to elaborate? We understand you’re worked to the bone over there, so don’t stress about getting back right away.
      As to tempering our disdain due to asymmetry of available information, well, we just can’t do that. We get where your coming from, but we can’t make that jump. Who knows, if the private sector numbers were available we’d probably bitch about that too. But we can only work with what we’ve got.
      And no, we don’t think we’re on a bandwagon (wait, are we?) and we don’t think the left is the root of all evil.
      But maybe evil is the root of all that’s Left? And probably Right, for that matter.

      Damn it LMOB you make us think too hard. Time to turn on Fox News.


      • Please don’t make me like your anti-government ways THC with your back-handedly kind comments. It would confuse my clear ideology.

        BTW, we are not going to get private sector numbers – our system and those in power will make sure of this. However, the trends are clear to see if you pay attention to the big picture and there is no better quick demonstration of this than this chart reproduced by Mother Jones.

        The problem with our system isn’t a top-heavy government, it’s a top-heavy private sector that has no means of stopping itself even if it knows what is better for itself.


  3. “If you bring back some numbers about public assistance being provided to private sector employees we can talk a bit more about it.”

    The budgets for public assistance are known. We also know that the business models of businesses – to include the most progressive (Eureka Natural Foods) is to demand minimum wages less than $12. We also know that when it comes down to it one of the arguments for this is so that their children can have jobs. (seriously, go back to the arguments against Measure R).

    So do the math – I’ve done some of it above for you.

    Also note that the math only includes absolute subsistence not savings, not buying a home, not vacation money, etc.

    So, back to my point, where are those numbers? Isn’t it convenient that we only have the public sector numbers to view and complain about? I get why this is and I’m OK with it. My point is your disdain should be tempered by asymmetry of the information we have. (Assuming your goal isn’t simply to get on board with the right-wing bandwagon that government and the left is the root of all evil in our society.)


    • Cousin Eddie says:

      Hey LMOB,
      In the other post they was bitching that the average county wage is more than the median household income. This is a legitamite bitch. Also we have more county workers per capita than alot of places. Without any charts and shit, this tells me:

      There’s alot of you f*ckers working for the county, More than alot of places similar to us. You’re making, on the average, more than our whole household brings in, and your bitching about it – well maybe not you personally, but the pigs and heroes are. They raised our taxes to give raises to people that make more than us? That’s f*cked up.


  4. Sohum Gal says:

    Eddie, While I’m not quite sure about your vernacular I think your point is well taken and spot on.


  5. Mac Towner says:

    I get that there may be an unequal distribution of wealth that is tilted towards the 1% nationwide but frankly I’m alot more concerned about my community than I am ones a thousand miles away. In Humboldt County the 1% works for the government and I want to know what my Supervisor, Ryan Sundberg is going to do about it. I’m fed up with his condescending, tell em what they want to hear BS. It’s time for him to actually follow through or to step aside and let someone else do the job. If he’s not up to it, fine, lets get someone who is. Come on Ryan, do the job you’re being well paid for or get out!


  6. Mac Towner – That is one of my points. How do you KNOW the 1% works for the government. If it’s true, I’ll get my pitchforks out too.

    Eddie! I missed you a the family reunion. I was the guy in the Bernie t-shirt.

    “You’re making, on the average, more than our whole household brings in.” That is a big deal and I make about 14 or 15 $ per hour. It’s not enough to do everything I’d like, but it is approaching a living wage.

    THC may not understand the, but he/she/they should. This is not really about government jobs or department head salaries. This is about public sector unions and government. Two of the most important right wing memes. They’ve worked ever since the economic royalists started to turn the tide around on FDR’s reforms which ushered in our post-Depression modern era free of the crushing poverty those royalists hoised on us pre-1930.

    I know, way off topic, but it’s not. It’s all connected and it’s a huge, huge scandal if we ever chose to actually pay attention. Sadly, we can’t because we have to find the scape goat de-jour. Today it’s those fat cat department heads and tweakers. If we could just fix these types of issues, our working-class salaries would be much more sufficient and we could again pull ourselves up by those straps on our boots.



    • Cousin Eddie says:

      I saw you over there talking to uncle jessie, liberal man. I just avoided you cause I didn’t want to get into another argument where you call me a fascist and I call you a commie. Maybe they aren’t the 1%, but you know, the department heads, the deputies, and the firemans are running in the top 5%, at least according to this:

      Wow, so a married couple of County employees pulls down 2.5 times median household income. F*cking sweet deal.

      And maybe you know some richy-rich white racist, poor-hatin’ homophobic welfare cutting bible thumping doomsday plotting corporate tycoons around here (did i miss any stereotypes there LMOB?), but I know a few biz people. and thy’re not quite as bad as you make them out. No, some don’t pay the highest wages, some do; but some ain’t making it. Others, don’t have health insurance, or a retirement. They used that shit up when biz hit the skids a few years ago. and you know what they say – to have a pension like a teacher or firemans or pig, they need to have $1,000,000 in their savings. Guess what? They dont. Think about that, these f*ckers are millionaires, asking for a raise from poor little old me.


      • Mitch says:

        Cousin Eddie,

        I’m going to take it on faith that you won’t call me a commie just for posting this video:

        The problems of wealth inequality and income inequality are very real, but after watching this you may understand why I don’t think it makes much sense to blame it on firefighters or county clerical workers. It’s not even, in my opinion, a problem with the infamous “one percent.” It’s a problem with about 500 families more or less owning the country — the one percent of the one percent.

        The video above is about wealth. Income inequality is not as great as wealth inequality. Here’s another video specifically about income, but it just doesn’t have the same skill as the one above about wealth:


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