Hold On Supervisors, The Job Is Not Done!

By JOHN M. DERBY
Times Publisher
September 28, 2017

Somewhere the Merced County Board of Supervisors found the $1 million necessary to give the Sheriff’s deputies the raises they deserved. Surprise?
Not really. It was just a matter of juggling the books.
And about that matter of discretionary funds — this had been a sore point for years.
Some supervisors used it right, and some supervisors didn’t use it at all. The problem is that for the public it always looked like a political slush fund which could be used to garner votes.
Now comes the biggest problem of all. Supervisors should not overpay themselves, and overpay the head administrator, while underpaying the county working staff.
In business this is a “No, No!” and won’t be tolerated. It makes everyone mad.
Supervisors have told us, “We aren’t the ones who increase our wages. It is just like the judges. …it’s automatic.”
Wrong! … It is automatic because the supervisors tied their wage increases to the judges.
In the past, they had to announce in an open and public manner that they were giving themselves a raise. This did not go well with the voters, so they figured out a way to more smoothly implement the raises, and then if necessary, announce they had nothing to do with it.
County supervisors are among the few public officials who set their own wage.
One of their excuses for having some of the highest leadership wages in the valley is “because we will not have good people running for office, if we allow the wage to be lowered.”
Say what?
You mean to say that Merced County supervisors who ran in the past when the wage was much lower, were not good supervisors.
Are you saying that the members of local city councils who run for almost nothing are not good men and women? What happened to the term dedication?
Supervisors were originally only part time. Now they hold regular meetings two times a month for a few hours, not much different then City Council members who have the same responsibility.
We believe it is time to right this wrong. Four of the five supervisors have recently been elected and they are the basis for change.
Why not roll back the wages of the supervisors and the CEO by 10 percent for starters?
If the supervisors don’t like the idea, then this newspaper will certainly not endorse them.
They came into office on a vote of the people, and they can go out the same way they came in.
A lot of changes need to be made at the county. The Castle Development Center is terribly mismanaged. Our courts are on overload, and the state has added a more dangerous prisoner population to our local jail system, and on top of that, they expect us to handle it without enough economic support.
California’s laws are creating more homeless by chasing jobs out of the state. They force higher minimum wages on employers without knowing the consequences.
We have always felt that candidates for state office should not be allowed to run unless they have already run their own business, and had to meet a payroll.
And on a final note: Not all is bad with the county. We have some very fine people who have worked long and hard without complaining about the pay. They are very dedicated people who love Merced County, and would not leave if you paid them to do so.
These are the unsung heroes who work on even though they see the unfairness of the pay of the Supervisors and the CEO in comparison with the other 10 counties.
Believe us, these professionals know about it, and still work on every day because they aren’t really working for the supervisors or the CEO.
They are working for their families and the rest of us in the county.
And they do a dam good job.


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