THC begs that you ponder this question: is it sound business practice to dole out large, sweeping raises while your company is in the red?
Another question: is it a good idea to give the CEO’s of such a debt-ridden business even more money than they are currently making, following five or more years of deficit spending? How about if this hypothetical company is forecast to not only continue operating at a deficit, but also potentially go bankrupt as a result?
Well, whiz-kids, apparently your own Humboldt County Supervisors think so.
That’s why, at yesterday’s regularly scheduled Board Meeting, the Supervisors did that very thing. They are set to approve a series of pay increases – for themselves! – that will cost the County roughly $23,000 over the next couple of years.
Now, let it be said that the County Supervisors do have demanding jobs. But, frankly, so do a lot of people.
THC likes to think that a significant deciding factor – if not the completely overriding one – in awarding raises is job performance. And when you think about the County’s performance as a whole under the guidance of Mark, Estelle, Rex, Ryan, and Virginia, we think it’s impossible to deny that there is a considerable lack of progress on some of the most important issues that are facing the County.
How about the historic marijuana ordinance they passed earlier this year? Well, they’re getting sued over it, and it’s going to be tied up in litigation for a while, THC thinks. And it made absolutely no one happy – least of all the environment.
How about the resolution of the homeless problem after another “historic” collaboration with the distinguished professionals over at the Eureka City Council? Well, a few expensive reports and fancy proclamations later, it would seem that nothing is being done. Yet again. Where’s all that new housing everyone’s clamoring for. Oh, right…
And then there’s the budget. Oh, the budget. Is it even worth reminding you all once again what a frickin’ mess it is? On the other hand, did you know that you have a chance – like, right now! – to attend or watch an interactive community meeting about the County budget? (Side-note: do it! Here’s where to go at 6 o’clock tonight)
So, do the Supervisors deserve a pay increase? Well, depends on who you ask. We’ll refrain from sharing our own opinion explicitly, since we tend to foam at the mouth a bit when we talk about it. For the sake of argument, let’s say maybe. Whether a company – or a county government – should elect to willingly give their top administrators raises in the middle of suffering financial losses is a bit of a no-brainer.
It kind of reminds us of the whole “too-big-to-fail” madness that had the whole country worked into a lather a few years back. Except in this case, it’s more appropriately “too-stupid-not-to.”
Perhaps a better question is this: is giving our Supervisors/CEO’s a series of raised good for the County? Based on current conditions in Humboldt and the (lack of) quantifiable progress on a number of key issues, we’d venture to say that it is not.
As we predict that virtually nothing is going to stop the Supervisors from upping their own pay checks, we’ll say this: the County is desperate for effective action from our leaders, and taking funding that can potentially be put to good use tackling serious issues and lining their own pockets is a questionable choice at best.
We can only hope that the Supes put their money where their mouth is and step up to the plate to get things done in Humboldt. Otherwise, this self-serving payment is just a continuation of a saddening trend in Humboldt County.
As a side-note, big thanks to THC commenter JustWatchin for pointing out the Supervisors’ decision to give themselves a raise on our last post. Guess what, JustWatchin? That makes you our top commenter for the month of February – hope you enjoy the goodie bag!