Raises & Business As Usual
by Mark Scaramella, October 18, 2017
Sheriff Tom Allman reported on the ongoing fire catastrophe in the Board Chambers last Tuesday morning. He said that the Mendo Redwood Complex Fire was just one of ten officially declared disasters in the area. “It’s unprecedented,” he said. Allman noted that the Emergency Operations Center was being staffed by many County employees. Fifteen residences, and 40 structures burned so far “and that will increase,” the Sheriff expected. Willits has no communications into or out of town. including their 911 center for medical and hospital communications. The Sheriff’s office has loaned a satellite phone to Howard Hospital and to the City’s own 911 dispatch center to allow basic communications. Allman also said that one of his deputies "had lost everything" in the Redwood Fire. The Courthouse is open, but trials are canceled for the week. Other County offices are up and running. Allman said that legitimate residents will be allowed back into burned areas under escort. He also said that Ukiah ER doctor Marvin Trotter and his wife had also lost everything, “yet both he and wife worked in the Ukiah ER all day Monday."
JOHN SUTTEN, state Emergency Services official, said that Calfire and OES were providing supplementary law enforcement in the County.
SUPERVISOR CROSKEY said that not enough info is getting into or out of Willits and a status report and update was scheduled at the Willits Library at 2pm Tuesday afternoon. SUPERVISOR HAMBURG complimented CEO Carmel Angelo for getting back to the County (from her home in Marin) and said he saw a Facebook picture of “Carmel with her chihuahua, very cute.” Hamburg then turned to County Counsel Kit Elliott and said that she “went through an arduous experience,” and was thankful that her house and horse were spared. That was all Hamburg had to offer.
SUPERVISOR GJERDE said he was aware that Leggett had no communications in or out either. Leggett is part of Gjerde's 4th District. CEO Angelo thanked her County staff for being responsive in the emergency, saying it seemed like everyone was helping as well as volunteers in the community. “This is just the beginning,” Angelo concluded adding, “Recovery will take longer.”
THE SUPES then issued an official emergency declaration and veered off into their weekly discussion of pot regs, an utterly absurd but excruciatingly detailed Cannabis Business Facilities rules discussion which apparently just had to go forward as large swaths of the County were on fire and no containment has been established.
A SMOOTH-TALKING rep from Flow-Kana, the Bay Area-based pot conglomerate that recently bought the old Fetzer Winery in Redwood Valley, apologized for “seeming tone deaf to what is going on outside” before launching into a pitch to expedite temporary cannabis facility licensing.
A GROWER commenting on the pot rules, briefly described the fire’s impact on rural pot growers.
LAYTONVILLE ATTORNEY Paul Hansbury, who has been a regular attendee at the seemingly endless County pot rule discussions, opened by saying, “It’s funny how something that seemed so important for so long can now seem insignificant.”
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This Week’s Agenda
MANAGEMENT GETS “ROUTINE” SALARY INCREASE
On Tuesday, the Supervisors also planning to hand over $100k to a Berkeley consultant to gin up a rationale to give all County employees another raise; they will “discuss” pot program status; and they are getting started on the Lovers Lane housing project just north of Ukiah.
Item 5a (The First Item) — “Effective the first full pay period in October 2018, a 3% salary increase, an additional parity increase for the Assistant Public Defender and the Alternate Defender to keep parity with Mendocino County Public Attorneys Association, and a one-time supplemental payment of $2,000 to all permanent full-time and permanent part-time [management] bargaining unit employees who are employed during the first full pay period of October 2018.
Fiscal Impact: Current F/Y Cost: $54,391.40; Annual Recurring Cost: $77,702
TWO READER COMMENTS re raises for County bosses:
(1) More money going to management while services have declined is ludicrous. The county doesn’t have the money to offer living wages that will attract workers because payroll is so top heavy (far too many upper management employees) that there’s nothing left for the people who do the actual work.
Will the Board of Supervisors ever wake up? The CEO has regularly, quietly increased payroll at the top only. Giving raises a few at a time keeps people from noticing just how much of our tax money is going into so few pockets. She will probably be gone when it all topples. We’ll be left with the mess. Supervisors, please take a good look at how and where departments have changed over the years since Ms. Angelo came to power and stop this madness. It’s ultimately your responsibility.
(2) I would have preferred they took some of that money they threw around on the “Stuff Shirts” manager types and instead had bought some Satellite Phones…
The Street says, much of the lack of accurate communication in the beginning of the fire emergency was due to lack of equipment.
Under the circumstances emergency services did an incredible job, but I would suspect, lessons must have been learned. If or when this happens again the County must be better equipped to communicate with other authorities and the public.
As a citizen I am thankful to all who fought to save lives, save property and are restoring services. Without these professionals people like me would have likely been left… to “twist in the wind”…
Item 4j) — “Approval of Agreement with Koff & Associates [a Berkeley based Human Resources consulting operation] in the Amount of $100,000 for the Term of November 1, 2017 through October 31, 2018, to Perform a Base Salary Study and Evaluation of the County’s Classification and Compensation Plan.”
Item 5e) — Cannabis Cultivation Program and Cannabis Compliance and Code Enforcement Unit Discussion. …In May 2017, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors directed the Department of Agriculture to provide Board updates regarding the implementation of the Cannabis Cultivation Program.
Item 5g —Cannabis Working Groups — Representatives from the Department of Agriculture, Planning and Building Services, and Code Enforcement will provide updates on their respective components of the Cannabis Cultivation Program including: pre-site inspections, permits issued and denied, compliance and enforcement, and impacts of recently implemented procedures.
(The Board carefully avoided “directing” anyone to provide written reports, so there’s no record of what was said and no follow-up, just casual jawboning about pot permits and enforcement with no real substance.)
Item 4m — Vineyard Crossing (Formerly The “Lovers Lane” Project) Vesting Tentative Map Subdivision Planned Development EIR Contract Consultant Selection (Case No. S_2017-0002 and RFP No. PBS 17-003)
“…123 lot subdivision on approximately 23.26 acres of land which would include 123 dwelling units and potential to develop 20 second residential units (accessory dwelling units). The developer’s objective is to provide a variety of housing unit types to be owner occupied or available for rent. … The proposal would also include design standards and park amenities and other public improvements that would be managed by a maintenance district. Access to the project site would be provided via Lovers Lane that runs along the south side of the property. The project site is … approximately 1.65 miles north of the City of Ukiah town center at 156 Lovers Lane, Ukiah.