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Friday, July 19, 2024
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Strike Talk, Restructuring County Departments, Increasing Revenue—3rd District Supervisor John Haschak’s Monthly Update

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The following is a monthly letter written by Mendocino County’s 3rd District Supervisor John Haschak to constituents:


JohnHaschakFeatured
[Picture provided by Supervisor Haschak]

Strike talk is in the air. County employees of SEIU 1021 took a preliminary strike vote and the outcome was very favorable to a strike. Both sides lose when a strike happens.

How did we get to this point? The County did use $7 million of one time only money to balance this year’s budget. The Board has not offered a Cost of Living Increase for this year and the rising cost of health benefits will take a bigger bite out of paychecks. There have been problems with getting timely, accurate financial reports and this has caused angst all around. The County is going to have to increase revenue and cut costs to achieve a balanced budget in future years.

Beyond these bread-and-butter issues, there have been a couple of agenda items put forth that have been, in my opinion, disrespectful to County workers. There were also comments reported in media that one Supervisor said that if County employees went on strike for a week, no one would notice. This is an insult to all public servants and the important work being done.

Instead of having productive conversations, these actions further provoke alienation and strike talk. The Board and staff need to find ways to work together to get the County back on track.

The CEO started restructuring departments which is called the Golden Gate Initiative. The Cannabis Department has done a remarkable turnaround and I look forward to greater streamlining which will save staff and client time and resources. Changes are happening in other departments such as Planning and Building, Animal Care, Social Services to create efficiencies and save resources.

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I have been working on extending renewals for cannabis cultivation permits, increasing the minimum value taxation, and waiving building permit penalties. These improvements will cut costs and increase revenues las more people are brought into compliance with the County’s tax system. When we work together, we can get things done.

Another item to consider is the Transient Occupancy Tax for Short Term Rentals. Right now it is at 10%. Other counties charge more. Every percent increase will generate about $250,000. Most of these taxes are paid by people out of County who are staying in short term rentals. This change needs to be voted on by the residents of Mendocino County. An important Board discussion will include the County’s need to generate money for competitive wages, maintaining roads, and providing public safety.

These items will be coming to the Board on Sept. 12. Of course, these aren’t quick fixes but will put us on a better footing in the long term. We need to be more efficient with tax dollars, respect the people doing public service, and avoid a lose-lose situation that a strike would bring.

I will not be doing a Talk with the Supervisor this month due to a planned surgery. I am available by email haschakj@mendocinocounty.org or phone 707-972-4214.

Best to you.

John


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3 COMMENTS

  1. “Another item to consider is the Transient Occupancy Tax for Short Term Rentals. Right now it is at 10%. Other counties charge more. Every percent increase will generate about $250,000. Most of these taxes are paid by people out of County who are staying in short term rentals.” Other counties charge more? The board of sups are salivating over this one I’m sure. The chance to stick it to folks who can’t vote them out!

  2. Although I appreciate the comments by Mr. Haschak, it must be noted that these problems have been discussed for years with no action taken. I am cautiously hopeful that there is finally an awareness that the County is dysfunctional and significant changes are needed.

  3. Get the unreported and unpaid TOT report, go after those returns that are missing. Look for your biggest operators or recurring offenders especially Mr. Hopland. Those operators collecting TOT and not remitting is a crime. This is not their money to borrow, just like sales tax, they don’t get to keep it.

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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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