By Linda Sutter – September 22, 2022
Sue Masten and Valerie Starkey were the only Supervisors who had the fortitude to conduct a Budget Workshop for the public. The rest of the supervisors showed their true intentions of ignoring how defective this county is and why it is.
There was only one other public member besides myself that showed up for the workshop. I guess the public is alright to vote for people who have no care on how public money is spent. With that said here is what stuck out like a sore thumb.
Nearly every department was asked what they needed to make their department run more efficiently. The common denominator was, their computer systems were out-dated and because they are outdated, it takes more time to go into other systems to find the information they need. At first I didn’t catch this request because the department heads felt they could utilize the systems they have, but then the Sheriff spoke.
I was literally devastated to hear from the Sheriff’s Department and the probation department. The Sheriff’s dispatch computer system has not been replaced since the mid 1990’s. In fact, the Officers have to utilize their radio to call in and run a rap sheet or license plate number. This is an atrocity especially since the Board of Supervisors spent the Measure R money on wages and benefits instead of fixing the department’s most used piece of equipment. People wonder why we can’t keep a dispatcher? Who can work with Fred Flintstone computers? In the meantime the Officer is standing out on the street or wherever waiting to get information from the dispatcher, which could be life threatening. Where is the Measure R Oversight Committee for that? Yes, spending $334,000.00 to update the Sheriffs system should have taken priority before giving out the DESERVED $300 to $500.00 per month wage increase. I think an Officer’s life takes priority over a couple of dollars each month, and not having the proper tools for the Dispatcher is absolutely negligent.
Keep in mind 3 supervisors Jerry Hemmingsen, Darrin Short, and Chris Howard didn’t want this budget workshop to occur, because they are all knowing and would rather spend money on more personnel than finding out that what is really needed. New computers which takes less time to find necessary information.
The Probation Department which oversees the Juvenile Hall was disturbing to listen to. As a peace officer you are required a minimum of 40 hours per year of annual training. This is mandated by POST. That is not being conducted. Their HVAC is failing and how about the electrical issues surrounding the opening and closing of cell doors? But what do the Board of Supervisors and the Measure R Oversight Committee do? They shovel out a few dollars for employees and ignore the facility needs which again is an atrocity, not to mention a danger to other inmates and staff. Head of Probation Department Reyman was asked, “Why don’t you team up with Pelican Bay State Prison for training purposes?” Mr. Reyman never addressed that question, that usually indicates there is an issue between the entities. Mr. Reyman did state the CHP training facilities were not large enough for things requiring the use of matts.
The Ag Department which houses the dog pound hires new Supervisor, and some part time employees. In the meantime This department is in such disrepair because buildings are falling apart, they don’t have enough equipment for Weights and Measurements. In fact This department is paying Tehama County to conduct our testing. If an industry needs weights tested this department cannot do it. Here we are folks, this explains why this county is dilapidated. Lack of leadership, lack of ability to prioritize and be frugal with our spending. Which is not the department heads fault but the Supervisors fault.
We heard from several Department Heads but there were ones left out. The Parks and Recreation Department, Child Support division, the VFW, Is it any wonder why things can’t be done efficiently? To think that 3 Board of Supervisors did not want to provide a workshop is very telling isn’t it? They don’t want the public to know how incompetent the 3 of them are.
And, before anyone says what about grants? Ask yourself this question, if we can’t keep maintenance and upgrades on a few things, how do you expect them to successfully and timely fill out a grant request?