Sun. May 22nd, 2022

By Samuel Strait – Reporter at Large – March 12, 2022

Most in the County will have heard that a Measure”R” repeal is to appear
on the ballot for the voter’s to have a chance to assess whether the
County’s government has wisely used the additional funding provided by
the Measure.  If you are employed by the County it is very possible you
have been inundated with information by your supervisor, your union rep,
and the County’s bureaucracy of the complete disaster to your world
should the County loose the Measure “R” money.  You have been likely
regaled with job loss, reduced salary, and days of increased work load.
It certainly appears to be a quandary that between now and the actual
vote those employees will have to wrestle with before making a
decision.  Many likely believing the County government’s story will have
already made up their minds to vote in the negative choosing to retain
Measure “R” without ever bothering to address the negative impact that
Measure “R” has already had on your lives and will continue to do so
until it goes away.

Negative impact you say?  How could job loss and reduction in pay be any
worse if the measure is repealed?  Because you work for the County does
not exempt you from having to pay the additional 1% sales tax you will
face in your daily life.  Inflation is here to stay for the foreseeable
future and with rising prices mean higher sales tax collections.  All
out of your pockets.  No way to avoid this without repealing the
increased sales tax.   That increase in salary recently approved by the
Board of Supervisors gone to that 1% tax alone.   The only way to save
that salary increase is to repeal Measure “R”.

So how exactly does that happen?  “I may loose my job, or have to take a
pay cut”.  “I may have more responsibility heaped on my shoulders due to
staff shortage”.  All not true, pure fiction by your union, the Board of
Supervisors, and your senior bureaucrats.  As to pay cuts, not
possible!!!  You have already gotten them in an MOU.  No way for the
County to back away from that agreement.  Loose my job.  Again not
possible!!!  Many County departments have budgeted positions that they
cannot fill.  The cost saving alone will maintain current funding for
existing payroll.  Many of the new positions that have been advertised
using Measure “R” will be very difficult to fill, both from the stand
point that the County Supervisors and the Union president have said even
with the increases in salary the County “still is not competitive, just
closer to being competitive”.  Filling the Measure “R” positions in lieu
of filling current vacancies in the Sheriff’s Department is just plain
wrong.

The County will continue to have a significant number of vacancies with
or without the Measure “R” funding.  The money was never meant to become
a slush fund for the Board of Supervisors to expand the definition of
what was permissible to spend the money on and what not to spend the
money on.   Something that they have already become quite polished at
doing.  Additional hires at Animal Control, a code enforcement officer,
an addition to emergency services, and a grant writer are all
questionable additions to be paid for by Measure “R”.  Measure “R” was
passed with the promise that “NO MONEY WOULD BE SPENT ON SALARIES AND
BENEFITS”.  Something the Board of Supervisors promised and is spending
nearly $750,000, or half of the revenue on NEW SALARIES AND BENEFITS.

It is not that the proponents of the repeal wish to harm the County’s
ability to preform services to County residents, it is just that this IS
NOT THE WAY TO GO ABOUT IT.  There are more deeply rooted problems with
County Government that this will not fix.  Your employer the County of
Del Norte is saying you as employees are not up to the task at hand and
require more employees to measure up….  The bottom line is that the
County’s employees will not face job loss or pay cuts should the Measure
“R” money be repealed.  There will likely be no loss of service that has
not already taken place.  Most County residents don’t need more
government employees to trip over, all they want is quality service,
something our overlords are saying you, the current employees, do not
provide.  That is simply not true…  If the County would fill vacant
positions there is no reason to hire additional faces to occupy spaces
in the departments of the County.  And finally, the best part for last. 
County employees by voting to repeal the 1% sales tax increase will
actually benefit by having more of their hard won pay raise in their
pockets to spend on what they want to spend it on…….

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