Turns out that all of Humboldt County’s supervisors have a really poor sense of timing, and poor self-awareness too. You see it hasn’t been too long since the Supes approved a big ol’ raise for themselves. Remember?
Turns out, giving yourself a nice big raise in a year where you nearly double the size of the projected annual deficit, despite big increases in total county revenue from things like Measure Z, looks a little bit tone-deaf to those of us that way down here below whatever class the Supervisors must think they belong to.
Just as a recap, the Supervisors not only screwed up the budget really, really badly, they also ushered in a new era of green rush exploitation and crafted a marijuana ordinance that not only isn’t working, but serves to make the situation with criminal activity and environmental degradation worse. So, um…do you have any idea, gentle readers, why the Supervisor’s think they were deserving of an even fatter paycheck? THC has always been under the impression that raises were given for doing a good job.
The most frustrating part for us, and as noted in both the Times-Standard and the Independent, is that the frickin’ idiots couldn’t even see the double-sized deficit coming. Seriously? After who knows how many times the Supervisors and administrators have been told things are tight, they just don’t get it.
The County is even talking about instituting a new tax for road repairs (which THC surprisingly might support!) because they’re so strapped, only two years after passing a different measure that ostensibly could be used for road repairs.
THC highly recommends checking out Will Houston’s piece in the T-S, Daniel Mintz’ in the Independent, and even the frickin’ editorial in the T-S calls out the County for not having a clue. Houston writes in his article:
“The board also took initial steps on Tuesday to address the forecast $4.9 million General Fund deficit for the 2016-2017 fiscal year, including dipping into its savings.
The deficit is more than twice the amount forecast by county administrative staff in March with the increase partiality attributed to unforseen costs from the recent public safety staff hires after the passage of the Measure Z sales tax in 2014.”
Some other highlights, courtesy of Gene in Hysdesville who at least has the sense to question what the hell the Supervisors and new County Administrative Officer Amy Nilsen are smoking when they go to consider approving the County budget. (Taken from a Letter to the Editor in the Times-Standard.)
“I just cannot understand why someone at the level of a County Administrative Officer is unable to wrap pension costs into every single hire that occurs. State of California agencies and most Counties have been whining for years about the impact of pensions, along with groups very critical of government, so it is clearly well known issue. Putting on blinders to those costs at the time of hire or budgeting is not a sign of good management or competency,” and our favorite part, “Something needs to be done to compel the CAO into fully competent budgeting for those current and future costs of hiring personnel.”
Good call, Gene! Unfortunately, sensible budgeting appears to be beyond realm of comprehension for the top administrators of our local governments. Thank goodness that County Planning Staff wussed out and pulled their ridiculous request for an additional supervising planner.
That means we have at least another week or two of hoping our “leaders” pull their heads out of their asses in time to realize approving unnecessary increases in staffing levels lead to situations like the one we are in today – with a deficit nearly double what it was projected to be, despite massive gains in total revenue to the County. Despicable!