Friday, April 18, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Proposed county czar system

EDITOR: New county supervisors have work cut out for them. The CAO and assistant CAO spend too much time grandstanding for the board, empire building, and performing self-promotion through expensive self-promotional videos.

The CAO’s proposed organizational management changes (streamlining) of county departments is a fictitious guise to saving taxpayers money. It’ll cost the County plenty. The “Czar” system being proposed by the CAO to streamline Community Development, Environmental Services and Transportation creates several highly paid department heads (czars) appointed by CAO to oversee extremely complicated departments requiring department managers who currently have the applicable educational degrees, professional licenses, decades of experience and institutional knowledge.

Just look at other departments the CAO has recently changed, you will find the CAO has placed inexperienced, unqualified employees in positions where they lack the necessary and applicable education and experience.

Kim Kerr, the assistant CAO, has no civil engineering degree or license, but has recently made herself interim director of transportation. Don’t be surprised if she just attempts to assume the role indefinitely, as Kerr did this with other past positions she was unqualified for in the city of Ione and garnered the attention of the Amador Grand Jury.

Her degree in Criminal Justice and experience in government insurance and risk management does not qualify her to oversee Building, Planning, Environmental or Transportation Departments, which require civil engineering, planning, building codes, construction expertise and an understanding of complex of legal issues that surround them.

The CAO’s “One Stop Super Department” plan for Development Services, Environmental Management and Transportation has already been tested and failed in other jurisdictions. Typically what happens is the highly experienced employees with the institutional knowledge leave and are replaced with inexperienced front counter customer service-type people who fill out paperwork and subcontract the real work out to expensive, large consulting firms.

Elk Grove created a One Stop Shop around 2002, gave the owner of a large consulting firm an office at City Hall and made him assistant city manager; it also made him quite wealthy. If you wanted an answer to anything, you couldn’t get it from City Hall, you had to go to the consultant and use consultant employees to obtain the answers, a questionable form of payola.

El Dorado County has recently started using this same consultant PMC. PMC was also the highly paid consultant in Amador that Kerr hired spent oodles of money on. They were run out of many other Northern California jurisdictions when word got around about how they operated.

Read Amador County Grand Jury’s scathing report of Kim Kerr, her overly optimistic financial projections and her wasting millions of taxpayer dollars on expensive consultants in Ione and Amador County. Also read the city of Ione mayor’s Sept. 4, 2012, response to the Grand Jury report and the city’s findings regarding the scathing blame of Kim Kerr and her improprieties while employed there.

The city charged that its former employee Kerr had acted in jobs that she lacked proper qualifications and expertise to perform, lacked the financial education and knowledge necessary for the jobs she performed and caused the city great financial harm.

This proposed streamlining plan will create a czar system that primarily serves the CAO to appoint unqualified county employees to highly paid positions, create bureaucracy, subcontract work to expensive consultants and raise the cost to taxpayers.

JAMES SMITH
Placerville

Letters to the Editor

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 24 comments

  • cookie65December 04, 2012 - 5:37 am

    The purpose of government is to grow. To create more no-show positions for friends and family. Get everyone you know feeding at the public trough with taxpayer funded benny's. In the early 90's the city of Stockton passed a law that anyone employed by the city for a period of 30 days was entitled to lifetime taxpayer paid for healthcare benefits for themselves and their spouse. Can you imagine the revolving door of employees the city officials and employees ran through at the expense of the taxpayers?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • 1036-FrankDecember 04, 2012 - 12:29 pm

    This county already has a tortured history of appointing people to high positions without a background check, this sure seems like another episode of incompetency in action. The Grand Jury reports should of been one clue before someone is hired or appointed.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • EvelynDecember 04, 2012 - 12:57 pm

    ABOUT THOSE CZARS (thinking Nationally): “[W]hat's the harm in the President creating czar-like positions to coordinate between agencies and work outside jurisdictional lines to get things done? Plenty, as it turns out. Appointing czars who have not been vetted or confirmed by the Senate effectively usurps the rightful authority of cabinet officers who have gone through that constitutional process. Moreover, these czars' duties also often overlap or replace those who have undergone Senate confirmation. Another problem is the lack of transparency and accountability. Many of the president's czars are labeled as policy advisers and thus don't readily fall under the Freedom of Information Act. Furthermore, they are often instructed by White House not to testify before Congress. As a result, their actions are shrouded in secrecy; no one outside the Administration knows what they are doing.” ********** http://www.heraldextra.com/news/state-and-regional/obama-s-czars-bending-the-constitution/article_62145e68-216a-52eb-a450-eb202b5d2c98.html

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • EvelynDecember 04, 2012 - 1:15 pm

    How the heck did the United States ever get to be in the Czar business? Anyway, El Dorado County must not be left out. Apologies to any reigning Czars omitted from the following 3-year-old Czar list: • Afghanistan Czar • Auto recovery Czar • AIDS Czar • Border Czar • California Water Czar • Car Czar • Central Region Czar • Domestic Violence Czar • Drug Czar • Energy and Environment Czar • Faith Based Czar • Great Lakes Czar • Green Jobs Czar • Guantanamo Closure Czar • International Climate Czar • Mideast Peace Czar • Pay Czar • Regulatory Czar • Safe Schools Czar • Science Czar • Stimulus Accountability Czar • Sudan Czar • TARP Czar • Terrorism Czar • Technology Czar • Urban Affairs Czar • Weapons Czar • WMD Policy Czar

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • EvelynDecember 04, 2012 - 1:38 pm

    THE TRUTH ABOUT "CZARS" - The White House objects to the “Czar” term. Turns out that 8 of the 32 “Czars” have been confirmed by the Senate. ********** @ http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/The-Truth-About-Czars

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • kggDecember 04, 2012 - 8:03 pm

    the artice that evelyn refers to is at http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/The-Truth-About-Czars - this is a right wing web site: it admits: "Just to be clear, the job title "czar" doesn’t exist in the Obama Administration." so in reality these appointees are heads of committees. all president appoint people to heads of committees. president obama is no different.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • EvelynDecember 04, 2012 - 8:17 pm

    kgg: I'm not sure that everyone here would agree with your assessment that The White House Blog, written by Anita Dunn, Director of Communications for the White House, is a "right wing web site"!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • James E.December 04, 2012 - 8:19 pm

    As I understand it, Presidents have had czars since FDR. As usual, it only becomes a problem when President Obama is in office.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Phil VeerkampDecember 04, 2012 - 8:32 pm

    uh . . . Colonel . . . uh . . . unless I'm mistaken Bush's Domestic Policy Czar is STILL giving you guys fits of apoplexy.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • James E.December 04, 2012 - 8:54 pm

    Phil, I don't get fits anymore. After a certain age, fits are nonproductive.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • James E.December 04, 2012 - 8:58 pm

    ADDED: Phil, did you hear that Karl has been dropped by Fox News? And, I never did get too excited by Karl, so never considered having a fit over him.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • EvelynDecember 04, 2012 - 8:58 pm

    A comprehensive Czar List since FDR's time HERE. One to bounce off you -- FDR had a Rubber Czar. (Signed by: Czarina Evelyn)

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • James E.December 04, 2012 - 9:00 pm

    Evelyn, don't talk dirty.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • EvelynDecember 04, 2012 - 9:02 pm

    ! ! !

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Phil VeerkampDecember 04, 2012 - 9:07 pm

    Speaking of frog marching, isn't Richard Armitage a frind on John Garon?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • EvelynDecember 04, 2012 - 9:18 pm

    CZARS are increasing demand . . . FDR had 11 czars, Truman 6, Eisenhower 1, Johnson 3, Nixon 3, Ford 2, Carter 2, Reagan 1, GHW Bush 2, Clinton 8, GW Bush 33, Obama 38. . . . Yep, time for El Dorado County to "get with the program".

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • EvelynDecember 04, 2012 - 9:20 pm

    Spot the omission (above). Which President had precisely zero (0) Czars?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Phil VeerkampDecember 04, 2012 - 9:24 pm

    if i say kennedy what do i win?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • EvelynDecember 04, 2012 - 9:32 pm

    You can pick your favorite Czar to come around and help out. But right now your choices are between (1) the Reading Czar, or (2) the Cleanup Czar. Your choice.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • EvelynDecember 04, 2012 - 9:59 pm

    Utterly serious question. Go back and look at those Czar numbers posted at 9:18 pm. Notice how the numbers were pretty much stable between Eisenhower and GHW Bush, after which the increases are significant - dramatic. WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE ACCOUNTS FOR THE RISING NUMBER OF CZARS?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Phil VeerkampDecember 04, 2012 - 10:13 pm

    I would sooner be water boarded than subject myself to the confirmation rectal exam. The confirmation process became exponentially more difficult after Bork. Beginning with the first Clinton term, on the first day of the first Clinton term the campaign season stretched out to a full four years. The confirmation process was bypassed via “czars”.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Mike W. BoitanoDecember 13, 2012 - 6:55 am

    Typical America, a big problems exist and most people argue about the ridiculous. Kim Kerr told Ione California she would help them. She took $137,500 a year as salary for over four years and spent tax money like it was water. Most of her work is in question, as she did not have the qualifications to perform her job. The state has fined Ione or is threatening to fine hundreds of thousands of dollars because of the sewer fiasco led by Ms. Kerr. Because of a public spending spree, she left Ione over $500,000 dollars in debt and counting. With benefits, a small town paid her overt half a million dollars in four years. And Kerr’s new boss in El Dorado? Why her mentor, Teri Daly now El Dorado county’s CAO. Who used the same method of operation with Amador county government; in the eight years as county assistant CAO, then CAO, her salary was over $125,000 per year. The record shows she spent tax money like it was water, yet solving precious little. With benefits, a small county paid her around one million dollars in eight years. Ever wonder where Your tax dollars go? Now You know. Mike W. Boitano http://amadorcountynews.org

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • EvelynApril 29, 2013 - 9:07 pm

    James Smith: Tomorrow - 4/30/2013 - Kim Kerr will be anointed czarina. Believe it or not, this hugely important matter has been placed on the CONSENT CALENDAR.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Phil VeerkampApril 29, 2013 - 10:29 pm

    LINK - Kerr for Mother's Day

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

News

Woman, dog back from Oso

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1, 8 Comments | Gallery

 
Goodbye LUPPU, hello LRPU

By Chris Daley | From Page: A1, 4 Comments

 
Past due state taxes bring arrest

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1, 8 Comments

 
Sanford trial: Prosecution, defense rest

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
DA candidate to remain on ballot

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A9

Dog talk with Uncle Matty: Benji and the Bickersons

By Matthew Margolis | From Page: A10

 
CPCSD seat unfilled

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

Lew Uhler backs Ranalli

By News Release | From Page: A14, 6 Comments

 
.

Letters

Evacuation

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 6 Comments

 
District 4 candidate

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 15 Comments

Open meetings

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 6 Comments

 
Volunteers and homeless camps

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 30 Comments

Bicycle events and traffic control

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 5 Comments

 
.

Sports

Jennings wins national title

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A11, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Savannah Stephens can swing the bat

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A11 | Gallery

King of the West roars into Placerville

By Gary Thomas | From Page: A11

 
First and goal: Bunt etiquette

By Mike Bush | From Page: A11

Oak Ridge suffers tough 2-1 setback

By Mike Bush | From Page: A11

 
Roundup: April 17, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

.

Prospecting

Plantastic sale this Saturday

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Spring art brightens government center

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Things to do: April 18, 2014

By Democrat Calendar | From Page: B2

 
Time out: A grand time at Grand China

By Earle Camembert | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Temple Kol Shalom hosts Passover Seder

By News Release | From Page: B3

 
Student art featured for Third Saturday

By News Release | From Page: B3

Promenade in high style

By Historic Old Sacramento | From Page: B4

 
Sac State Presents ‘Gypsy’

By California State Unversity, Sacramento | From Page: B4

Friday nights are engaging at the de Young

By Fine Arts | From Page: B5

 
See what is inside the vault

By Center For Sacramento History | From Page: B6

Eggstravaganza

By Fairytale Town | From Page: B6

 
Hats On For the Kids raises money for children

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B6

Gallery tips a hat to Dr. Seuss

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B7

 
Museum presents ‘Diesel Days’

By California State Railroad Museum | From Page: B7

Engagement: Adam Frega and Wednesday Bienusa

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

 
Duty: Air Force Airman Brian Polk

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

Cal Stage presents a season of challenging productions

By California Stage | From Page: B8

 
Duty: Army Pfc. Kyle W. Beasy

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

KVIE calls for artists

By Kvie | From Page: B9

 
A Couple of Blaguards tell tales

By Harris Center for the Arts | From Page: B9

America’s ClayFest II celebrates a rich history

By Blue Line Arts | From Page: B14

 
Fine Arts Museums feature two shows

By Fine Arts | From Page: B15

See wildflowers on train ride

By Railtown | From Page: B15

 
Easter at Northstar is family friendly

By Northstar California | From Page: B15

.

Essentials

Crime Log: March 28-30

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

Frank “Bud” Kraus Jr.

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Roy Cluness Chaix

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Frederick Wilbur Heymann

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Arthur W. Cornell

By Contributor | From Page: A2

.

Real Estate

Faster sales with spring staging

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

 
Coldwell Banker outsells the competition

Press Release | From Page: HS7

Handsome Redmond suits modern families

Press Release | From Page: HS11

 
Growing your own

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS14

 
Fraud workshop scheduled

Press Release | From Page: HS21

HCD launches assistance program

Press Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment

 
EZ Mortgages Inc. opens Placerville office

By News Release | From Page: HS22, 2 Comments

.

Comics

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A13

Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A13

Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A13

Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Horoscope, Saturday, April 19, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A14

Horoscope, Friday, April 18, 2104

By Contributor | From Page: A14

 
New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A14

Horoscope, Sunday, April 20, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A14

 
.

Home Source

Faster sales with spring staging

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

Coldwell Banker outsells the competition

Press Release | From Page: HS7

Handsome Redmond suits modern families

Press Release | From Page: HS11

Growing your own

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS14

Fraud workshop scheduled

Press Release | From Page: HS21

HCD launches assistance program

Press Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment

EZ Mortgages Inc. opens Placerville office

By News Release | From Page: HS22, 2 Comments