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Mendocino County Today: February 14, 2012

CHRIS BROWN is the County's Air Quality boss who incestuously slapped the County with a $123,000 fine for allegedly not jumping through all the asbestos notification hoops when the County began remodel work on the old Mental Health building on Bush Street in Ukiah. Brown's being attacked by some as proof of government regulators run amok and defended by others as a selfless defender of air quality. County insiders say it's more a case of a disgruntled employee — Brown — lashing out at the boss because he didn't get promoted out of Air Quality into better paying County jobs.

WHEN ROLAND SANFORD, the former director of the  County Water Agency was sacked, Brown argued that he should take over the remaining duties of the Water Agency, but was turned down by CEO Carmel Angelo. With the departure of Nash Gonzales from Planning and Building Services for greener pastures, Brown once more let it be known that he was ready to step in as Planning Director based on his planning and administrative skills, only to be turned down again. We are also told that the County General Services Agency verbally notified Air Quality about the Bush Street project. The County informed Brown at Air Quality that the only asbestos was in the floor tile and pipe insulation. The County says they were given a verbal ok to proceed with the renovation based on an assurance that those areas would not be disturbed.

THE INITIAL COMPLAINT to Air Quality was made by Planning and Building Services employees angry at Angelo and the Supervisors over the recent labor negotiations, and doubly miffed that they were being asked to relocate to the former Mental Health offices on Bush. Brown, who thought he might be in line for the top Planning and Building job, probably also thought he was being a hero to his future subordinates by suing the County on this phony air quality beef. Instead, he scored a zero with the Board (except for Kendall Smith) and the CEO who make the County's promotion decisions.

ANNE MOLGAARD has ridiculed the Board of Supervisors for cutting their already “absurdly low” salary of $68,000 down to $62,000 a year. She pulls down upwards of $90,000 as Executive Director of First Five, a Ukiah-based, grant-gobbling non-profit through whose sticky administrative fingers little in the way of useful services reach the children First Five allegedly serves (or their parents). Recently elected to the Ukiah School Board, Molgaard thinks the Supes aren't paid enough. She is said to have her sights set on a Board of Supervisors seat herself, but not if it means taking a pay cut. The argument that qualified people won't run for local office unless the salary supports their lattes and cream cheese bagels is another way of saying that anyone currently making less than $68,000 is really not qualified for local elected office.


MOLGAARD HAS CONSISTENTLY called for cuts to the Sheriff's budget to free up more money for social services, i.e., less money for the Blue Meanies, more money for people like her. That stance led to a heated exchange last year in the hallway outside the Supes chambers with Molgaard claiming that Sheriff Allman, “a big man with a gun” had threatened her. (In Mendoland's Princess-and-the-Pea sectors, a raised eyebrow can be the equivalent of an all-out machete attack.) No one but Molgaard thinks she was threatened, but she sent an email to her Board of Directors and others to “document” the episode. Molgaard is currently in Scotland (!) attending a conference for First Five, and you can be sure she didn't pay her own way. First Five must have a travel budget that would make Kendall Smith envious.

ANNE MOLGAARD has traveled from Potland

to a Fancy First Five confab in Scotland.

She demands that her pay

be over $80k

to preside over Mendo’s First Five Tot-land

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