While taking our customary cruise through the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors meeting agendas a couple of Fridays ago (yes, we lead exciting lives!), we saw quite a few of the same useless agenda items as we’re all accustomed to in Humboldt County.
But one item made our hearts swell with joy – recently hired Planning Director John Ford is taking the first steps towards cleaning up a department that is as ineffective as they come.
Ford put forward an action for the Board to consider which effectively demoted two worthless and troublesome employees and also potentially lowered their salaries.
Steve Santos and Paula Mushrush, formerly the Development Assistance Manager and the Economic Development Coordinator, respectively, have been knocked down a peg or two, both in job title and pay. Now, aside from how ridiculous the fact that Humboldt County even had an Economic Development Director when there’s no real economic development to speak of, this is great news for everyone in Humboldt County.
But making a small example of just two employees won’t right the ship, and the fix has been a long time coming. What needs to happen is a full-on house cleaning – Ford needs to get rid of his problem employees, whether they are incompetent, willfully insert their own agendas into their County work, or are just plain lazy.
See, a slap on the wrist is a move in the right direction, but lowering someone’s salary from $5,534.95 – $7,102.58 to $4,984.55 – $6,396.30 per month (depending on what salary step they were at) likely isn’t going to have the effect that Ford – or those of us here at THC – are ultimately hoping for.
That, of course, is revamping the County Planning Department into an outfit that isn’t rampantly ineffective and unwilling to do the work required of them.
To the many Planning employees to which we can attribute this problem, we’d suggest they take a look at the writing on the wall and get out while the getting’s good. It’ll be a lot easier for them to resign and get to work screwing some other county or city up if they aren’t outright fired here.
Sure, it might be a little tough for Ford to see his way to actually axing people, especially considering the amount of work to be done on processing and approving cannabis permits alone. But we’ also point out that the insurmountable back load of permits is a problem that was caused by this very Department’s incompetence.
So, to John Ford, we say good start – just make sure that you keep going. The future of Humboldt County may well hinge on having a Planning Department that isn’t filled to the brim with sycophants and slackers.