Saturday, December 2, 2023

Candidate Carrie Shattuck Promises to Eliminate Wasteful Spending as Mendocino County’s 1st District Supervisor

The following is a message to residents of Mendocino County’s 1st District from supervisorial candidate Carrie Shattuck. Please note, we do not endorse any specific candidate.

1st District Supervisor Carrie Shattuck [Image from her election literature]

I am a lifelong resident of Mendocino County. I have been the owner of a trucking company, school business manager and caregiver, to name a few. I have attended each of the Board of Supervisor meetings for over a year and believe our county needs strong business leadership and direction, which I am capable, eager, and willing to give.

There needs to be a standard of accountability and follow-through on many current issues. My priority would be to scrutinize each line of the county budget to eliminate wasteful spending. Those dollars could be refocused into our neglected roads placing focus on the maintenance of our thoroughfares.

Another area of focus would be directing attention to business development in Mendocino County. We need to look to making our area attractive to potential businesses by advocating for the development of pro-business county regulations.

I want to speak on behalf of everyone. I will be a public servant for the People!

Please vote for me March 5, 2024

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Votecarrie2024@gmail.com or call me (707) 489-5178

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  1. Well you cannot promise to “eliminate wasteful spending”. Since you would only be 1/5 of the vote for anything. You can vote to eliminate wasteful spending, you cannot promise you WILL eliminate it. Very likely you will not. The word promise means, assure someone that one will definitely do, give, or arrange something; undertake or declare that something will happen.

  2. Gosh, a real business owner running for office, instead some progressive political hack blubbering virtue and social justice to expand a county government dedicated to fat retirements. In a county of progressive fools, she may not have a chance, but she does have a heart.

    • Sounds like a bunch of Hogwash Blah Blah Blah wasteful spending and then making a promise that cannot be kept…….. eliminating wasteful spending when she only would have one vote, if voted in. I agree she does not have a chance.

  3. I agree that the budget needs tighter scrutiny and that business development should be a high priority. Ms. Shattuck does not appear to be a political hack, the likes of which have thrown county taxpaying residents under the bus. I will be looking at Carrie Shattuck’s candidacy as the election gets closer.

  4. Carrier Shattuck is an anti-science, anti-vaxxer and not someone we want leading this county. She has zero experience in government. Just no.

    • Hi, I am pro-choice, freedom to choose and believe in science. I am not a career politician which would be a change to the Board and what this County needs.

        • Work directly with department heads to stay informed and address concerns, and not rely on the CEO for everything.

            • In this article, you speak about wasteful spending and road infrastructure; Many highways and arterial roads are funded by Caltrans (i.e. the state gov’t). What is your game plan to increase funding for county roads? Funded by local tax Mendo dollars. What parts of the gov’t are doing wasteful spending? Many County depts in Mendo are hoarding more dollars than they spend due to the empty positions the County doesn’t hire for but is budgeted for by the BOS. How would engage the heads of each dept to improve hiring practices and retention of staff?

              • I agree that being on the BOS is very different than running a business. That is one of the reasons I have been attending all the BOS meetings, so that I am familiar with the functioning and current issues affecting our County.
                There is money that is not being collected, such as, default property taxes. The County has not done tax auctions since 2019 and the Tax Collector office could not provide a report of all properties that are currently in default.
                County Counsel’s office is an example of wasteful spending. Besides County Counsel, himself, there is an assistant County Counsel and 7 attorneys on the County’s payroll, yet we pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to outside counsel for County representation.
                Having meetings with and receiving reports from department heads individually as a Supervisor is essential to addressing staffing, facility and budget issues. Currently this comes through the Executive Office to the BOS and not on a consistent basis. The County has just recently implemented exit interviews which could give important feedback for retention and other department issues that may help with retention. It’s frustrating from a public view to know exactly why, besides salaries, that the County has such a high rate of vacancies.

                • I appreciate you responding to a more detailed assessment of the County. I’m a bit critical of this county given my wife and I both worked in separate noteworthy depts for more than a couple years to see the overt dysfunctionality. Governing Mendo is about as difficult as herding cats across a river. Many assessments are years behind, some audits have become write-offs at the county’s expense, many tax escapes are coming in all at once making it hard to come up with the funds to pay for ordinary tax payers, ongoing Prop 8s that needed to be removed many years ago, and unaccountable mgmt practices go unreprimanded. My wife and I did not get exit interviews nor did some of my colleagues that quit prior to me. There are some very inappropriate people in mid-management positions here that should have stayed as clerks. The BOS asks for exit interviews but whether HR actually does them is a different question. HR knows about the problems but like many depts they may decide to pretend the problem doesn’t exist until a lawsuit flies up in their face. (and adding more legal costs to the county tax payer) Conflict of interest plagues this place. Some of it is the small town gossip and some people within the county depts are relatives. Many mgmt types have been promoted due to the absence of alternative or better candidates, which is why I think poor mgmt practices get developed here. On top of it the new computer system which governs the financial information for taxation is making it hard for the old guard to adapt to the new technology. Its a long laundry list of items and it will take years to unwind the ball of nonsense. Good luck on your venture with the BOS.

  5. Mendocino County stinks of broken government. Let me count the ways:

    Insider politics.

    Handpicked candidates.


    Rigged elections.

    Hidden deficits.

    Inaccurate or incomplete –or totally nonexistent — county financial statements.

    Lazy and lavishly overpaid bureaucrats, especially the county executive office and county counsel.

    Incompetent and lavishly overpaid bureaucrats, especially the county executive office and county counsel.

    Elusive and lavishly overpaid bureaucrats, especially the county executive office and county counsel.

    A never-ending parade of expensive outside consultants.

    A never-ending parade of expensive outside lawyers.

    Too many ad hoc committees, too many plans, too much blah-blah-blah, and too little execution and implementation,

    Too many disgruntled, isolated, overtaxed citizens simply shut out of the private club that is county government.

    Time to vote for change! Elect Mendocino County’s 1st District supervisorial candidate Carrie Shattuck!

    Candidate Trevor “Bullethead” Mockel is a joke.

    No resume. No skills. No experience. Never held a job for long. No maturity.

    In other words, no nothing.

    And his five endorsements from all five sitting members of the Board of Supervisors — endorsements which were all pretty much worded the same and all released simultaneously — is a Brown Act violation and clear evidence of “business as usual” from a broken government.

    Vote for change!

    John Sakowicz

    • Insider politics – In small towns this is all about insider politics, that will always be the norm regardless of the candidate. Everyone in Mendo knows each other.
      Handpicked Candidates – are done at the party level prior to running for office. You literal sign away your ability to vote with good conscience.
      Cronyism – this is a repeat of Insider Politics
      Rigged Elections – Vague; open to interpretation
      Hidden Deficits – This has more to do with incompetence than it does with corruption. No one in the county leadership bodies knows how to read budgets or follow financing. The people in power here don’t want transparency either because it might be showing inconvenient truths about the community at large.
      Inaccurate or incomplete –or totally nonexistent — county financial statements. (repeat of prior comment)
      Lazy and lavishly overpaid bureaucrats – This won’t change whether you vote or not.
      Incompetent and lavishly overpaid bureaucrats, especially the county executive office and county counsel – Fair enough the CEO doesn’t deserve their pay but then again this is CA and no one wants to do this job for free. The CEO and Sheriff are the biggest offenders in payroll system.
      A never-ending parade of expensive outside consultants. (This is because Mendo has no experienced professionals living here that the county could hire. Therefore they have no choice but to hire outside personnel, which cost more.)

      A never-ending parade of expensive outside lawyers. (This is because Mendo has no experienced professionals living here that the County could hire. Therefore they have no choice but to hire outside personnel or they have to recuse themselves because of said Insider politics.)

      Too many ad hoc committees, too many plans, too much blah-blah-blah, and too little execution and implementation – Once again, repeating the same theme here. Mendo has no experienced personnel here to help reduce the costs so they stick to committees to spread the accountability out over many heads.

      Too many disgruntled, isolated, overtaxed citizens simply shut out of the private club that is county government – Fair enough, the county is defiantly a club and an exclusionary one. The tax apparatus in Mendo is really undersized to deal with the problems. Hundreds of miles of roads with so few tax payers to fund the roads. Sounds like small town problems. Not to mention people here are really under taxed more often than not. It really is a bad faith argument to say you are over taxed in Mendo.

  6. Mark Scaramella suggests the following measures to balance Mendo’s budget. I concur with every single point. I would add several of my own, but not here in this post. I rather quote Scaramella verbatim.

    Revenue Improvements:

    • Fix the Teeter Plan so that it returns to being a revenue generator.

    • Make the State pay for the Jail Expansion overrun, freeing up millions in borrowed money to replenish the general fund.

    • Make the Courts pay for all county impacts that the new courthouse will create.

    • Impose an increased bed tax rate on Short Term Rentals.

    • Make sure all employee healthcare costs are factored into state and federal grants billings.

    Expense Reductions:

    • Do a line-by-line review of outside lawyers and costs.

    • Cut executive salaries and benefits including the Supervisors 10% by either a direct pay cut or an hours cut.

    • Eliminate the tourism subsidy.

    • Postpone the water agency (which has not proposed any actual water storage of conservation projects anyway.)

    • Reduce work/office hours in certain general fund departments.

    • Eliminate the expensive labor negotiator lawyers who do nothing but say no anyway.

    • Close juvenile hall and join a regional juvenile hall facility.

    • Eliminate three of the five unnecessary and redundant dispatch centers and reduce them from 5 to 2 as proposed by former Sheriff Allman years ago. (Mendo has a CHP dispatch operation, a Willits Dispatch operation, a Ukiah/Fort Bragg Dispatch operation, a Sheriff’s Dispatch operation, and a CalFire non-law enforcement dispatch center.)

    • Abandon the “giant waste of dollars” (per Supervisor Gjerde) for the never to be implemented Joint Powers Authority for inland ambulances.

    Better Financial Management:

    • Nail down the actual dollar amount of budget savings from vacancies department by department for next fiscal year.

    • Get monthly reports on the status of tax collection efforts.

    • Set up a Budget Task Force to stay on top of these efforts and report on status and success monthly.

    Use Reserves Prudently

    And finally, after all those are done, borrow from the General Fund as needed to provide at least a 3% COLA for employees, scaled so that a larger COLA increase goes to non-supervisory line staff.

    As of the end of 2022, the General Fund Reserve was reported to be about $28 million, There has only been a half million of that allocated, and only for additional tax collection services/staff.

    The General Fund is around $90 million. So, the general fund reserve rate is around 31%.

    A normal general fund reserve would be 10%-12%. That means there’s around $21 million available if the County ran a conventional reserve percentage.

    In Sonoma County they maintain a comfortable 12% reserve and they have a policy that says that when it is used there should be a plan to replenish it over time in the following years. They do not “spend” the reserves without an accompanying replenishment/payback plan.

    Unless and until these measures are implemented, the County will continue its downward spiral of reduced revenues, escalating costs, staff loss, delays and reductions in work output, deteriorating facilities, and overall malaise in local government.

    With Mendo’s current cast of unimaginative and lethargic characters — for example, does anyone seriously think that reducing vehicle mileage or turning out the lights earlier will make a noticeable dent in the deficit? — we are not holding our breath that Mendo’s budget will be balanced anytime soon.

    • Mendo won’t fix its budget issues until it stops accumulating lawsuits from unlawful performances within its organizations. People sue the county too much here because the leadership here doesn’t understand what it’s job is suppose to be. Many leaders in Mendo are a product of their environments whether it be retirees, high school drop outs, cannabis farmers, etc. Many staffers are a conflict of interest to their own work because of the lack transparency & development in the county’s economy. This place will stay broken the longer it depends on the black market for income. Mendo needs housing so it can hire professionals with educated backgrounds. The state already gave Mendo the money 💰💰💰💰 for the jail in 2017 but Mendo never used the money to build the jail. Mendo is now on the back foot to either return the funds to the state or build the jail assuming the money wasn’t spent on something else. Mendo gets lots of money from the State and Feds for law enforcement. Vacancy in the depts is a reflection of the leadership bodies at this point. For a while the county wages were also a culprit since McDonalds and Costco paid more than the county. Also the heads all hoard their dept budget excesses which means some of the dollars are already in place but they either choose not to hire and continue to be budgeted for empty positions. These positions are either illegal due to minimum wages being raised or they cannot find applicants willing to take these positions. Once again this county needs to attract people who are educated. This is a repeating theme. More often than not those educated people don’t live here and have to imported via consultants which is the most expensive way to do things. Ukiah needs to grow and develop.

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MendoFever Staff
MendoFever Staff
Editor's Note: Whenever an article's byline reads "MendoFever Staff", the contents of that article were not composed by any of our reporters. Types of writing that will be attributed to "MendoFever Staff" include press releases, letters to the editor, op-eds, obituaries— essentially writing that is not produced by a reporter.

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