The following is a monthly letter written by Mendocino County’s 3rd District Supervisor John Haschak to constituents:
Rain is coming down as I write! The much anticipated first rains of the season and lower temperatures bring the feeling that everything is going to be all right. This is a much needed reprieve from the fire season and heat waves. The Walker Fire was way too close to my house and the unprecedented temperatures were certainly worrisome. Of course the fire season isn’t over yet and the drought persists until much more rain comes but it feels good.
Working together can lead to significant actions. Case in point: CalTrans’ Clean California program working with the County, Round Valley Area Municipal Advisory Council, Round Valley Indian Tribes and Solid Waste of Willits offered six free dump days in Covelo. It was a beautiful sight of people cleaning up their homes and land. I helped direct traffic as the line of vehicles would begin two hours before the transfer station opened. Volunteers cleaned up creek beds and the Tribes offered assistance to elders who needed help removing some of the bulk items from their properties. Overall, the participation far exceeded CalTrans’ expectations and everyone working together made their community a better place to live.
Budget Part 2:
Systems and processes usually keep things moving openly, transparently and properly. When we don’t have appropriate systems and processes, things can go astray quickly. This seems to be the case with the County finances. When the Board of Supervisors (4-1 with me as the dissenting vote) voted to consolidate the offices of Treasurer/Tax Collector and Auditor/Controller against the advice of the officeholders, there was very little in the way of information about the benefits of this consolidation. Now we see that the negative effects forecasted and overwhelming workflow placed on the shoulders of one elected official are daunting.
Chamise Cubbison was elected to the position of the newly formed Auditor/Controller/Treasurer/Tax Collector (ACTT). She is struggling to wrap up the auditor duties while taking on the added Treasurer/Tax Collector duties. Both Ms. Cubbison and former Treasurer/Tax Collector Shari Schapmire warned of this exact occurrence. The Board is frustrated that timely financial statements are not happening. The public is trying to figure out what is going on.
On Sept. 13, we had a BOS meeting to look at what the Board needed for reports and what Ms. Cubbison would need as far as support, staffing, and resources to make it happen. Instead of efficiencies and streamlining, we are seeing an increase in the ACTT’s salary by $25,000 due to the increased responsibilities, need for more staff and resources, and the consolidation of responsibilities and oversight in one person. Since this is what the Board decided, we need to provide the staffing and resources to make this work.
Some of the issues brought up will return to the Budget ad hoc committee, some will go over to Information Services, and the Executive Office will take over some responsibilities such as payroll. The County’s budget is a known entity. The County has money and reserves, but not having up to date knowledge of revenues and expenditures throughout the year makes it difficult to run the County government and negotiate in good faith. If we don’t have a clear idea on what our finances look like and what the projections are, then it limits our ability to sign ongoing contracts with the bargaining units.
We must do better for the people of Mendocino County and the staff that work as public servants.
I am available at email@example.com or 707-972-4214.
Good afternoon John. As a long time resident of this county, I and many others with deductive reasoning capabilities are very critical and distrust the BOS very much! They are (not necessarily you) anything but transparent and worry more about their careers, than their constituents.
Well John I have always said you seemed to be the one person who cares about the County of Mendocino and it’s residents. I would ask that let’s get the truth out there. What was the consolidation really about? Here is the simple truth, the other four morons you serve with want control of County finances through a Director of Finance position, to do this they must put it on the ballot. They do not like Ms. Cubbison, so plan now is to publicly shame her so they can tell the voters we need to vote yes on our ballot measure. You said it yourself, who votes 4-1 with no information on how this will effect these offices. The last office combined Clerk/Recorder/Assessor 20 years ago has been failing, oh for about 20 years. You think that might have come up before the vote.
I’ve yet to hear any explanation let alone a good one of why the other 4 supervisors thought it was a good idea to combine them, and why none of them bothered to talk to the people who actually do the job. its so weird to me that nobody seems to have given the decision any weight at all