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Supes OK consultants for ‘respectful workplace’

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From page A1 | February 07, 2014 | 99 Comments

El Dorado County Supervisors authorized the Chief Administrative Office and the Human Resources Department to move forward on hiring one or more contractors to develop a policy that will result in establishing the county as an employer with a “Respectful Workplace.” More commonly known as an “anti-bullying” policy, the board voted unanimously to spend an amount “not to exceed $140,000″ for expert consultants.

Responding to District 1 Supervisor Ron Mikulaco’s assumption that the county already has numerous relevant policies in place, H.R. director Pamela Knorr said, “We have a procedural void rather than a lack of policies.” She added that they need to be gathered into a central location and eventually incorporated into a larger document of “Personnel Rules.” Currently, she noted that her department follows up on “any reports or complaints (and) puts 100 percent into all complaints.”

The recommendation to hire outside contractors was on the Jan. 21 board agenda. At that time, Knorr gave a slide presentation on the importance of respect in the workplace. She told supervisors that while federal civil rights laws prevent discrimination based on race, gender, ethnicity and religion, they are aimed at “protected classes of people” and generally do not protect against “disrespectful conduct violations.”

A significant element in the proposed contracts will be conducting a “workplace culture assessment,” Knorr explained to supervisors. Tuesday she repeated the need for the comprehensive assessment. Describing the issue as one with “a lot of moving pieces,” she said, “We want some kind of measurement of where we are (because) management and supervisors don’t always know.” In justifying the expense, at least in part, she stated “it’s crucial that the assessment be impartial.”

Jere Copeland, executive director of the El Dorado County Employees Association Local 1, said his membership supports the proposal, noting that he often gets calls from county staff about bullying. “There’s a problem out there that we need to deal with,” Copeland said.

Several individuals in the audience agreed the county has a problem, but not all were optimistic about the corrective action plan.

“I’m not at all convinced throwing $140,000 at the problem (will make it go away),” Evelyn Veerkamp said. “Will it go away or just go away from public view? There’s been a climate of intimidation here for decades, (and) it’s unlikely that you don’t know about it and who is doing it,” she challenged the board. “Give the HR director the autonomy to clear it up, but I don’t think it will (work).” Veerkamp went on to call the revolving door of 11 HR directors in the last decade, “symptoms of a serious cancer.” (Evelyn Veerkamp is District 3 Supervisor Brian Veerkamp’s cousin.)

Sue Taylor agreed that impartiality is needed and quipped, “I hear more complaints than HR.” She also reiterated that workplace culture and therefore change “starts at the top.”

Melody Lane called “surveys and interviews “of county employees “pointless” and advised that $140,000 would not provide a guarantee that bullying would stop. She also repeated what she told the board last week, that the administration has three tools beginning with a first choice, “do the right thing.” Second, “exhaust administrative remedies” and finally the last choice and least preferred, “litigation, which is expensive to the taxpayers.”

Mikulaco described the change effort as “like a big ship on the ocean; it takes a long time to turn.”

Just ahead of the board’s vote, Brian Veerkamp reaffirmed supervisors’ commitment “to improving problems in the workplace culture. Solve them all? Maybe not, but what we do is all for the benefit of the county.”

Referring back to the earlier discussion, Veerkamp asserted, “Politics played a big part in the issue of the 11 HR directors. We’re not measuring up in efficiency, so let’s fix it.”

District 2 Supervisor Ray Nutting had requested the item be taken off the consent calendar so that it could be discussed in greater detail. He acknowledged that supervisors must “lead from the top. I pulled this because I’m torn by this … It has to stop,” Nutting said.

The board’s vote authorizes the county’s purchasing agent to “execute a contract or contracts for services and approve a budget transfer of $140,000 from the General Fund contingency to the Human Resources budget.”

The assessment and related policy development is expected to take several months.

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Discussion | 99 comments

  • MarkFebruary 07, 2014 - 8:03 am

    So Let me get this straight, You are spending $140,000 dollars to investigate a bullying problem? I guess it shouldn't surprise me. To my way of thinking a bullying problem is clearly a lack of leadership. Apparently the Supervisors (i.e. leaders) feel that the best way to handle their failing is to hire some consultants to divert any responsibility from themselves. If you have a Bullying issue why not address it and resolve it? It seems to me if you feel strongly enough about the possibility of an issue to drop $140K on "evaluating" it, you are pretty sure there is a problem. I have an Idea... Why don't you write up these "Personnel Rules" yourselves? Then make the people in charge responsible for implementing them. If you do a good job and write the rules properly it will be fair for all. See how easy that was. Now you can save the $140,000. You are welcome.

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  • ElDoCoFebruary 07, 2014 - 8:29 am

    Ray is right (SHOCKER). It does start at the top. Anyone who works at the County knows the bullying starts at the top, that is, the CAO's Office. The team of long time buddies, the CAO and Asst. CAO are El Dorado County's own "Ritchie Incognito" in the Miami Dolphins locker room. The funny part is that reports of bullying go to the CAO's Office and this consultant will too. IDEA! Save the $140,000 and not hire this consultant and let the CAO and Asst. CAO go to save more money, at least until you hire someone competent to run the county.

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  • Walking TallFebruary 07, 2014 - 8:18 am

    It really is simple; "Don't do it", why spend money to tell you what you already know. Deal with the problem and ensure that the employees are safe in the workplace, fire the bullies and enforce the rules you already have...or let them retire on inflated pay and say "It's gone away"........

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  • MelodyFebruary 07, 2014 - 8:35 am

    For an accurate portrayal of what really transpired on 1/28 please refer to #4 Respectful Workplace – read public comment attachments presented to BOS after I requested the BOS pull this item from Consent for public discussion: https://eldorado.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=1638789&GUID=E2617643-B34B-42A1-B26B-00BF969F6CED *Melody Lane, Founder - Compass2Truth

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  • Compass2TruthFebruary 07, 2014 - 8:41 am

    Also refer to 1/28 Open Forum documents submitted into the public record - https://eldorado.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=1655048&GUID=EF7330EB-ADB8-47C0-948B-260676AC4FBC * Read public comment attachments re: Personnel Policies/Respectful Workplace.

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  • MelodyFebruary 07, 2014 - 8:45 am

    BTW, I was disappointed by Supervisor Veerkamp's remark about the "unnecessary rehashing" of this vitally important topic on 1/28. How so? YOU work for US! Mikulaco also needs to be tutored on appropriate civil service DUTIES/personnel policies/respectful workplace. Has Mik even taken the mandatory AB123 Ethics Training yet?

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  • Compass2TruthFebruary 07, 2014 - 8:49 am

    Posted by Former Civil Servant January 26, 2014 - 1:45 pm - “As a recently departed Department Head and former member of the Board of Supervisors appointed Accountability and Culture Investment Team, until my departure from 20+ years of County service, I would like to share that in my opinion this is the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE CURRENTLY IN EL DORADO COUNTY GOVERNMENT. The nature of the culture in the workplace involves the Board, some elected department heads, HR, Risk Mgt., County Counsel and the CAO's Office. I have not met the new HR Director, but the citizens should not believe that she will receive the support she will need to address this problem from those above her. The reason bullying is so out of control in El Dorado County is that there are some of those members in charge that are in my opinion included in the inappropriate conduct. Even in the very influential position that I held in County service, I could not stop the bullies, although I really tried which resulted in the ending of my career. The County fights hard to protect its secrets and liability. I hope this HR Director is successful. However, I believe she will have to take on those who brought her to EDC in order to achieve her stated goal”. **As read by Melody Lane during 1/28/14 Consent Item #4

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  • cookie65February 07, 2014 - 10:43 am

    How come the taxpayers get handed another bill because our very own agencies of authority share the same level of maturity as the average high school freshman class? This nonsense is inexcusable. What ever happened to responsible adults? Do you ever notice how nothing in government ever costs less than 6 figures? When did the citizens, who used to be in charge of government, not the other way around, conclude that this kind of cr*p coming from public servants was tolerable? All the wrong questions are being asked, as usual!!

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  • 1036-FrankFebruary 07, 2014 - 10:44 am

    Whenever I read that a large amount of money is being spent on "consultants" I have to wonder why? To me it suggests out of all the employees in the county, why is not one capable of doing this task? The other thought is this money could of hired a couple of people or gone to county fire. I don't think an outside consultant will have any idea of the scale or scope of what the problem is and if you "haven't been there before" as an employee you just don't know what the culture of a public employer is like the people who have direct experience. I doubt anything will come out of this except some handbook of new procedures that will be tossed into storage. Unless this policy has some teeth it won't bite the real blatant offenders. One new part of this policy should be the long needed rule to deal with people who are arrested and indicted for felony crimes. They have to be put on an immediate unpaid leave until their case is decided to avoid causing trouble in their employment and for other employees. This policy is common sense and is overdue.

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  • cookie65February 07, 2014 - 10:58 am

    Governments answer to everything... Throw money at it. This is why I say no such thing as conservatism exists in government. Just divide up the $140,000 between the harassers' as payment for not being punks. The cancer is the creation of "HR" departments. HR departments are a political tool, they represent everything that is opposite productivity. They inspire and foster hostile environments. The same way unions do.

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  • cookie65February 07, 2014 - 11:32 am

    The attorney who used the affluenza defense must have been thinking of the public sector untouchable disease. They aren't even motivated by fear to act human. They have an institutional authority complex. The have the same arrogance as an IRS official questioning a tea party member. The hostility that exists in these places (not just our little community) is a massive waste of resources, just considering the time wasted. They don't even respect the taxpayers who pay for it. That is what I call job security. That kind of job security causes a lot of immature people to lose any sense of self control. Little Caesars.

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  • MelodyFebruary 07, 2014 - 12:00 pm

    "During my 15 years of HR experience it's been proven that surveys/interviews are a waste of money because they never provide an accurate assessment of the root issues that need to be addressed. It’s like trying to nail Jell-o to the wall. FEAR of retaliation or losing their job will cause employees to maintain the status quo just as the bully intended. This is a problem that money and surveys can’t fix. A $140,000 appropriation to HR will NOT provide the remedy that Pam Knorr needs to achieve the goals she outlined last week. We need a Board of LEADERS to empower Pam without the fear that she’ll be victim #12 in a long line of HR Directors over the past 11 years who’ve succumbed to the GOB “go along to get along” culture in this county."

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  • Compass2TruthFebruary 07, 2014 - 12:01 pm

    For the full & accurate story view 1/28/14 BOS Consent Item #4 video: http://eldorado.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=333

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  • takes one to know oneFebruary 07, 2014 - 1:04 pm

    Cookie You might be an excellent consultant on bullying since you are one!

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  • cookie65February 08, 2014 - 5:51 am

    Arguing with a leftist is like playing chess with a seagull. They sh*t all over the board and strut around like the won.

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  • Phil VeerkampFebruary 07, 2014 - 1:16 pm

    Bully for you well done! Bravo, Cookie!

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  • VeteranFebruary 07, 2014 - 1:51 pm

    NOT A WORD ABOUT VETERANS EMPLOYMENT FROM OUR REPUBLICIAN BOARD OF SUPERVISORS: The Veterans Jobs Corps bill — which is part of President Obama’s push to secure jobs for veterans — would have provided $1 billion over five years to hire 20,000 young veterans for public lands jobs and prioritize vets for first responder jobs such as police, firefighter, or EMT. The measure would have also provided young vets access to the infrastructure with which to assist in job searches, such as access to computers, internet and career services advisers. The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, a vets group that supported the legislation, called the GOP move “a huge disappointment,” adding, “Today, politics won over helping vets.” …. In an editorial last weekend referring to today’s vote, the New York Times said, “We’ll know then whether good sense prevailed, or the wheels have come completely off the Congressional machine.” It looks like the Republicans have made sure of the latter. Thank you again McClintock for screwing over our veterans.

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  • cookie65February 08, 2014 - 5:16 am

    The bill you speak of failed in the Senate, last time I checked McClintock was a member of the House. Using our own local fire dept annual budget as a benchmark (89% of their budget goes to salaries and benny's) the $1 billion, would have been spent accordingly. $890 million in administrative costs, salaries and benefits and $110 million may have been used to hire a few vets. So far Obama's tax and spend theory of economics has cost the taxpayers upwards of $500,000 per job created so $110 million would be less than 250 jobs. If you take what the left and their media tell you about the jobs they would create and compare it to pelosi's claim that obamacare would create 5 million jobs and 400,000 almost immediately, it causes any thinking person to wonder how many times you are willing to be lied to. The bill was an attempt to establish yet another government agency. If government spending and government agencies were the answer to joblessness in this country we would have an unemployment rate of 2%. The actual purpose of the bill was to get a headline. Which is how the game is played. The left creates a piece of feel good legislation that spends other people's money and accomplishes nothing and their cohorts in the leftist media get a chance to blame the repubs for obstruction, heartlessness, party of no and what ever narrative they are pushing at the time. How difficult is it to sell to the mindless lemmings? We have people who believed themselves informed who don't know what POTUS means. Heck they will even use something as ridiculous as a waste of money bill that failed in United States Senate to tar and feather a county board of supe's 3,000 miles away!!!

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  • James E.February 07, 2014 - 2:14 pm

    McClintock never wore a uniform. Why would he care about veterans?

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  • James E.February 07, 2014 - 2:16 pm

    $140,000 of our local tax dollars to do a job our well paid county employees should be doing. Where is Mr. Alger with his complaints about government spending?

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  • R.J. CarterFebruary 07, 2014 - 2:17 pm

    James....Good observation....It also explains Obama.....

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  • KellyFebruary 07, 2014 - 2:30 pm

    I don't get that comment R.J. What does that explain about Obama other than he cares about veterans. Something the Republicans have always pretended to but never voted appropriately.

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  • KellyFebruary 07, 2014 - 2:35 pm

    And James you don't have to have worn a uniform to care about veterans. Michelle Obama has devoted her time in the white house working with veterans and their families.

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  • James E.February 07, 2014 - 2:37 pm

    HR departments serve the organization, not the worker. Have a problem at work? File a complaint with HR, but remember the rule: The nail that sticks up gets hammered down.

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  • KellyFebruary 07, 2014 - 2:37 pm

    Although I do get all the Republican chickenhawks. Another hypocricy of the right!

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  • James E.February 07, 2014 - 2:38 pm

    You don't have to have worn a uniform to care about veterans, but it helps about at the 95% level.

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  • EALFebruary 07, 2014 - 2:42 pm

    Wasteful but funny BOS move. Or should I say wasteful and gutless BOS move?

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  • James E.February 07, 2014 - 2:43 pm

    Why are so many Republicans Chickenhawks? I think (my opinion, so don't fire bomb my house please) it's because they come from well-to-families where they come to learn they are too special to be put in harm's way. Plus it's too physical a life and they want to keep their hands nice and soft.

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  • James E.February 07, 2014 - 2:57 pm

    R.J., when McClintock gets to be president he can show us how much he cares for veterans vice President Obama. Oh, wait, sorry, that's never going to happen so bad example.

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  • VernFebruary 07, 2014 - 3:39 pm

    James, I was just talking with another veteran who came up with the idea to honor the young Marine Sky Mote NC KIA Afghanistan by naming the route #50 overcrossing by our county veteran’s monument in his memory, least we can do. The required information for the assembly proclamation was submitted to Assembly Bigelows office who then went dark on the issue. I guess the thought of a dedication event with a large crowd during an election year was just to cool for Bigelow’s staff to pass up. So look forward to a republiciian dedication with no doubt McClintock doing the honors and paid for by non-profits. Hi-jacking veteran’s events seem to be a new trend for the tea party.

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  • R.J. CarterFebruary 07, 2014 - 4:04 pm

    James......As much talk as there is about McClintock, on this site someone might think he's already in the Whitehouse......I wonder if all this jibber-jabber about a local nobody like McClintock could be just a sweet diversion to take us away from the more important issues surrounding the POTUS???....

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  • VernFebruary 07, 2014 - 4:20 pm

    Cater: Explain the cute word Potus,and how it applies to the President.

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  • EvelynFebruary 07, 2014 - 4:24 pm

    POTUS = acronym (President of the United States)

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  • James E.February 07, 2014 - 4:19 pm

    R.J., which POTUS? Obama or Hillary?

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  • R.J. CarterFebruary 07, 2014 - 4:26 pm

    Vern......POTUS is short for ........ "P"resident.."O"f..."T"he.."U"nited..."S"tates....

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  • James E.February 07, 2014 - 4:44 pm

    R.J., there is no diversion known to mankind that would divert my Tea/Republican friends from knocking the president on this site.

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  • cookie65February 08, 2014 - 8:07 am

    James, if you need help navigating to leftist blogs that are still blaming Bush just ask.

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  • R.J. CarterFebruary 07, 2014 - 5:05 pm

    James....Which President are you referring to, Obama or Hilliary???....LOL......Sooo much talk about a washed-up Hilliary...When Hilliary was in her prime she couldn't even beat an unknown Jr. Senator from Chicago in the primaries.........Now, just because she's all the dems have for 2016 they're putting all there eggs (and money) in one basket but she still won't even make it through the Primaries.....By then she'll still be way too old, way too tarnished, and way too late......To bad your not a bet'in man!!! ......

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  • James E.February 07, 2014 - 5:15 pm

    R.J., we will just have to wait and see. But, Hillary could be 96 and still win given the Republican nominee. Can you think of anyone who can beat her? Maybe Obama, but he cannot run anymore.

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  • cookie65February 08, 2014 - 7:23 am

    James, right now the left is in such panic over 2014 that david axelrod has committed leftists apostasy. He has told donors to send their investments/extrotion, I mean donations, to 2014 instead of the beast. He uses the leftist trigger words like Koch Brothers. And obama has offered to stay away from all those dim seats up for grabs. http://washingtonexaminer.com/david-axelrod-wants-democratic-donors-to-stop-donating-to-hillary-clintons-team/article/2543620

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  • Compass2TruthFebruary 07, 2014 - 5:52 pm

    James, RJ and Vern: Please keep the topic of this forum focused on the subject & what's happening locally. Note the names on the 2/4/14 Open Forum public comments submitted into the record. HR Director Pam Knorr is copied on the notices regarding the feet being held to the fire beginning at the top of the EDC org chart: https://eldorado.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=1656713&GUID=4BE0FCEA-90C2-4937-AD31-103AE8522902 **NONE of these civil servants are exempt from the laws concerning bullying, harassment or retaliation...or their oaths of office!

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  • cookie65February 08, 2014 - 7:54 am

    This comment illustrates the power trip our public sector is on. Thank you.

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  • MelodyFebruary 08, 2014 - 9:51 am

    Cookie, who has the power, we the people, leftists or government? It's apparent we're headed down the progressive path of Socialism. What do you suggest citizens do about it?

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  • cookie65February 08, 2014 - 10:26 am

    You misunderstood my comment. It was directed at your first statement. Who are you to tell anyone on here what they can and can't talk about? If James, RJ or anyone else want to talk about chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies what different does that make to you? How is it any of your business? No one is forcing you to read their comments. You don't get to throw any authority in their face, it isn't your right. Are you concerned their comments might use up the available cyber paper and ink? Maybe you could prepare a handbook for the rest of us on what we are allowed to discuss on here according to you. Where does such a view of oneself come from?

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  • MelodyFebruary 08, 2014 - 10:48 am

    Sorry if I misunderstood you. Just my opinion, but topic diversions such as chocolate chip macadamia cookies are a waste of time and space...and a typical leftist tactic that adds nothing to the dialog. So what's your point? Are you a leftist, misogynist, bully, or just plain disrespectful? For that matter, it is my 'business'--and every citizen's DUTY--to hold public servant's feet to the fire. How do you propose to make a difference on a local level?

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  • VERNFebruary 07, 2014 - 8:02 pm

    AFTER YEARS AS A DEPARTMENT/DIVION HEAD FOR THE COUNTY I CANT BELIEVE YOU HAVENT LEARNED THAT NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO THE POWER THEY AS A GROUP OF AQUIRED TRUMPS ANYTHING, ANYTHING YOU CAN DO TO DETER THEIR BULLING.

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  • cookie65February 08, 2014 - 5:36 am

    If individuals in government can amass unaccountable levels of power, force, hostility, intimidation and authority what do you suppose entire agencies can do? And you want more of it. Leftism defies logic.

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  • cookie65February 08, 2014 - 5:40 am

    Vern, where do they come by the mentality that it is OK? You need to take the rose colored glasses off.

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  • LpFebruary 08, 2014 - 8:07 am

    What ever happened to punch the bully in the nose?

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  • cookie65February 08, 2014 - 8:22 am

    HR departments happened. Turning molehills into mountains.

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  • cookie65February 08, 2014 - 9:07 am

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YzWKUQZLSU

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  • ObserverFebruary 08, 2014 - 8:48 am

    In this case focusing on the HR Department gives the real culprits a pass.

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  • James E.February 08, 2014 - 9:19 am

    Cookie, have I recently blamed George Bush about something?

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  • Dee#1February 08, 2014 - 10:11 am

    Very good, Cookie.

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  • MelodyFebruary 08, 2014 - 11:00 am

    James, as surprising as this may seem I agree with your hammer/nail analogy. Take a good look at the EDC org chart. It's time we the citizens get a firm grip of that hammer and nail the BOS/department heads to the wall. It's called ACCOUNTABILITY.

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  • cookie65February 08, 2014 - 11:25 am

    OK taxpayers, we need to spend @ $12,000 per month for an entire year in order to teach grown adults living fat on the earnings of taxpayers how to respect each other. In addition to the lifetime of comfort package you are already providing for them. The most insane part of the equation is the people in charge running around wondering what to do about it? The entitlement mentality is set in concrete.

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  • cookie65February 08, 2014 - 11:29 am

    One of the first jobs I ever had a poster on the wall that said, "Incentive program: Work or be FIRED". OUTLAW public sector unions in introduce some work ethics back into the taxpayer funded public sector.

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  • EvelynFebruary 08, 2014 - 11:38 am

    Though having no analysis of "the problem", there are indications that it is significantly rooted in the behavior of one or more ELECTED officials who CANNOT BE FIRED. If so, under what circumstances could a "survey" be relevant/useful? The pertinent video of the BOS meeting addressed by Chris McCaffree has been posted several times. Watching it would help to better inform comments on this matter.

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  • EvelynFebruary 08, 2014 - 11:49 am

    HERE is a link to the above-referenced video(s). Scroll down a bit. The first three videos are of Chris McCaffree. Total play time for the three = 8 minutes.

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  • Former Civil ServantFebruary 08, 2014 - 3:14 pm

    In my opinion, a huge part of the problem involves the CAO, ACAO and County Counsel. County Counsel does not want good policies that the County will be held accountable for. The County attorneys do not care about employees. They only care about limiting the Board's liability. As for the CAO and Assistant CAO, most employees are aware and fear that you either go along with the new Amarado Leadership, or go home unemployed. How many department heads have departed since Amador came to El Dorado? The CAO reopened the HR Director recruitment so she could bring her friend up as the current HR Director. The CAO knows that if you control the CAO operations, HR and Risk Management (Kim Kerr) then you can do anything you want to employees. The former HR Director was also the CAO's friend from Amador. He did what the CAO wanted him to do as he often told me. Will the new HR Director be independant of her friend the CAO? The new HR Director claims HR investigates all complaints. That simply is false. Until very recently, I was an insider with access to all information. They investigate what they want investigated and nothing more. File a complaint against the CAO or ACAO and they hide it. This will remain a huge problem under current leadership, $ consultant or no consultant.

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  • Compass2TruthFebruary 08, 2014 - 5:22 pm

    As a former HR manager & civil servant myself for the City of Sacramento I totally concur with you: the sole purpose of County Counsel is to protect the BOS & staff from liability. However there ARE options available. Take note of the 2/4 Open Forum Notice of Default & the other attachments posted for the public record. James et al, stay tuned--the hammer just hit the nail on the head.

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  • EvelynFebruary 08, 2014 - 4:42 pm

    Former CS: Though not in "the loop" as you were, what you write accords totally with my understanding. I fear this "investigation" will be a whitewash, serving to further entrench the perpetrators.

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  • EvelynFebruary 08, 2014 - 4:47 pm

    Former CS: Do you know who was responsible for bringing in the current CAO? It seems she and Kerr serve someone's agenda.

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  • MelodyFebruary 08, 2014 - 5:36 pm

    Evelyn, the AGENDA behind this problem is Agenda 21. It is transpiring all over the state and nation. Kim Kerr & the CAO already have paved the highway for socialism in EDC. County Counsel came unglued when I initially blew the whistle about the Amador County GJ investigation when Kim Kerr was the guest speaker re: DOT/TIM fees during the 3/5/12 Taxpayers Assn. meeting. A member of the GJ was present. Read the 2/4 BOS Open Forum attachments re: Al Hamilton & County Counsel Ed Knapp and associated letter to D'Agostini copied to Pam Knorr, Ed Knapp & Vern Pierson (refer to previously posted links).

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  • James E.February 08, 2014 - 4:43 pm

    Of course it will be a whitewash. I saw a truck delivering 500 gallons of whitewash to City Hall. There it is.

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  • Fran DuchampFebruary 08, 2014 - 4:49 pm

    The comment lines up with what I heard at a boss meeting--when an employee walked by...under their breath they said this is all BS (but they said the whole thing)--they were not looking at the audience--they were looking at the HR person and staff...they left the room and did not come back. It was at one of the "bullying" meetings...interesting.

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  • MelodyFebruary 08, 2014 - 6:07 pm

    Fran, a few months ago I coined a new 'politically correct' meaning to BS--Bureaucratic Shenanigans. It's about time citizens flush them out of EDC.

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  • Compass2TruthFebruary 08, 2014 - 6:01 pm

    From the 12/17/13 BOS Open Forum "The purpose of my being here today is to address the crisis of transparency, accountability and the quality of leadership in EDC. I don’t know about you, but my parents always taught me to stand up and challenge bullies… Yesterday Al Hamilton had the audacity to use the Taxpayers Assn. as a bully pulpit to discriminate, libel and slander a paid member of the Assn. This was a repeat disrespectful performance of last week when Bill Schultz, County Recorder Clerk was our guest speaker. In January 2013 Supervisors Veerkamp & Mikulaco will recall when they witnessed Al publicly announce his ‘dictatorship’ of the organization and his subsequent libelous email that he again claimed yesterday to be the “truth.” It’s a good thing citizens had the good sense not to elect Mr. Hamilton as a supervisor when he ran for office a few years ago. There are certain things the public has a right to know in order to cast INFORMED votes during elections…" For the rest of the story see video of 12/17/13 BOS: http://eldorado.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=322

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  • EvelynFebruary 08, 2014 - 6:14 pm

    Melody: That meeting lasted over 10 hours. Anyone unfamiliar with BOS agendas won't know where on the video to start looking for your input. Can you specify where it begins?

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  • MelodyFebruary 08, 2014 - 6:27 pm

    Evelyn: See 12/17/13 OPEN FORUM @ 36:15. I spoke first. You followed me.

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  • EvelynFebruary 08, 2014 - 7:33 pm

    Thanks, Melody.

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  • Fran DuchampFebruary 08, 2014 - 6:22 pm

    Miss...I am also very concerned about the power the small unelected people are given. "One thing these three main sources of promotion for Smart Growth have in common is that they do not include significant numbers of plain citizens—especially local homeowners, who are the majority in most suburban communities. To put it another way, most pressures to adopt Smart Growth policies do not come from the citizenry at large but from one or more of these special interest groups." http://tinyurl.com/lukfctd You have staff making deicssions...city council yelling at the reg. citizen. How do es one stop the disrespect of the regular citizen? To be afraid to work...to allow unelected people to get away with lying to crowds. I dont get it.

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  • MelodyFebruary 08, 2014 - 6:37 pm

    Fran: whether a county employee or a citizen, 'we the people' have a civic DUTY to hold our elected representatives feet to the fire. Remember our founding fathers who bucked the system. They paid a high price to establish our freedom. Few are willing to stick their necks out and risk the lash-back of retaliation, harassment or bullying. To remain silent is to acquiesce to tyranny. Acts 5:29 as paraphrased by Thomas Jefferson, "Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God." STAND UP and SPEAK OUT!

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  • cookie65February 09, 2014 - 6:06 am

    Our little county is a symptom. This same thing is going on in every corner of government in the country. From the tiniest local outpost to the highest office in the land. It is a disease. One our founding fathers feared and did all they could do to prevent. It comes from TOO much government. You want to know how to fix it? Eliminated 2/3's of all government and make those still in government understand how easy they are to replace. "Hold their feet to the fire"? BS. Send them to the unemployment line. Abolish the perks, the silver plated compensation packages, the attitude of invincibility and every notion that they are holier than thou. An attitude that has become entrenched inside government. These people view the citizens as "them". They do nothing based on blind justice, they do everything based on self-interests. The power balance in this country shifted many years ago away from the free citizens and into the hands of useless public officials and the unions when the people who vote for a living became a force comparable in number to those who work for a living. We are a society that has evolved into a something-for-nothing, instant gratification, entitlement bunch of babies. You won't fix nothing until you fix that. You are part of what I am talking about. When you assume the authority to tell people what they can say to each other on these threads, you distinguish yourself as being part of the disease. I can't even describe how much stuff like that makes my skin crawl. Based on that action, I can't tell what makes you any different than those this issue is focused on. The problem with chopping the head off the snake is two grow back in its place. The difference between people like you and people like me is you want to fill any void created with someone more to your liking. I just want to eliminate the void altogether.

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  • Compass2TruthFebruary 09, 2014 - 10:26 am

    Cookie, it looks like you're all fired up over a misunderstanding from a former post. In my opinion Chocolate macadamia nut cookies are a leftist tangent DIVERSION from the topic at hand. Reread my posts and view the posted BOS links. (1) Do the right thing. "Hold their feet to the fire" means (2) exhausting administrative remedies in order to (3) legally & permanently REMOVE certain civil servants from office. I agree that EDC is a symptom of Big Government beginning with the BS dished out by BHO in Washington DC. It would be a good idea to save your poison tipped arrows for the enemy and focus on what can be done LOCALLY to stem the tide of socialism. I suggest you personally direct your passionate opinions to the BOS for the public record on Tuesday mornings. Melody Lane, Founder Compass2Truth - Conservatives Serving God in Truth & Liberty

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  • DennisFebruary 09, 2014 - 9:27 am

    Don't just belittle the opposition. Search for the truth. We all need to pull together or watch the demise of a free democratic society. We need to seek the truth and take action for it will keep us FREE. Our biggest enemy is not China, Russia, North Korea or Iran. Our biggest enemy is our complacent selves. The government will not help, so we need to do it ourselves.

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  • cookie65February 09, 2014 - 9:45 am

    Government will never restrain itself. It is fully dependent on the free people to reign it in. Notice how many comments here are focused on the "process" of fixing the problem rather than realizing what the problem truly is. Read a history book dipwads (thank you James). The only way to fix it is by eliminating it. Search for the Truth? How could it be more obvious? The people who pay for everything are outnumbered by people who pay for nothing. "No society ever thrived because it had a large and growing class of parasites living off those who produce." ~~ Thomas Sowell

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  • cookie65February 09, 2014 - 9:33 am

    This guy tells has the correct idea when he addresses the Ashland Oregon city council. http://www.ijreview.com/2014/02/113805-watch-oregon-man-perfectly-ridicules-city-council-meeting-gun-control-laws/

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  • MelodyFebruary 09, 2014 - 10:32 am

    I agree with your assertion that the Government will never restrain itself. WE THE PEOPLE must take the necessary steps to restore the blessings of our Constitutional liberties that are slipping away like a greased pig. So Cookie, what are you actually doing about it?

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  • Oh BrotherFebruary 09, 2014 - 11:17 am

    Melody-Cookie repeatedly sits on her butt and writes her stuff on this pathetic little newspaper post. She is not going to help out any situation in this county. Have asked her before to start with the county and work her way up and no responsible response from her. Don't waste your time sharing barbs. You both could be totally on the same page but her choice is to still argue and belittle. I guess all she has is this silly little website. Hmm, she seems to be making me unkind...time to get off this silly thing again. Prefer to get out an accomplish something for change...being angry and writing on here won't accomplish that. And my mood is better also when I get involved in real life.

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  • MelodyFebruary 09, 2014 - 11:23 am

    OB - thanks for the heads up. Good advice. BTW, I didn't know Cookie was a female. Have a great day! :-)

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  • Oh BrotherFebruary 09, 2014 - 11:33 am

    Melody - it's kind of hard to tell if the Cookie 65/Tom Gibney duo are separate or alter egos, that's why I stay away from sharing barbs with the two, never know it they are one...crazy stuff. You do a lot of good, so best to keep your energy in that!

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  • cookie65February 09, 2014 - 11:44 am

    Does this country have a shortage of "comfortable" public sector (taxpayer funded) employees? Maybe they should quit and go to work in the real world. Lots of unemployed people would do what they do for half the price.

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  • cookie65February 09, 2014 - 11:47 am

    oh brother, I am not sure what you are talking about, this is what Melody said to me when I objected to her self-proclaimed authority of telling others what they were allowed to discuss on here. " Are you a leftist, misogynist, bully, or just plain disrespectful?"

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  • cookie65February 09, 2014 - 11:38 am

    "What are you actually doing about it?" Interesting question. The country is $17trillion in debt, Government pension legacy costs $4tillion in the red. 92million out of the workforce, 48 million on food stamps. Freedom being obliterated daily by faceless government bureaucrats. The middle class is being ransacked by the never ending need to feed the beast known as government. And I am not spending enough time waving my flag in the air over some local county employees who experience a less than ideal work environment. Leftism will run its course and end the same way it always ends. Rubble and destruction. I guarantee it. Leftism is what the battle is over. These people could leave their positions as far as I am concerned. When did we become a people who couldn't live without government? It is more important to me to educate people on the cause than trying to address symptoms. You are offering aspirin to a patient that is missing major appendages.

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  • she is slyFebruary 09, 2014 - 11:56 am

    Oh Brother cookie is Sue Taylor

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  • Oh BrotherFebruary 09, 2014 - 12:14 pm

    I am sorry but I just don't care who cookie is. he/she doesn't care about mankind and I don't care about her/his drivel. If you aren't worried about your own community and your own back yard then I don't have time to read the bs. he/she sounds like one of those recovered addicts that go on and on and on and don't realize the world does not revolve around just them and their issues.

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  • cookie65February 09, 2014 - 12:21 pm

    Leftism has slaughtered 100 million people in the last century and now we are supposed to believe that leftism cares about mankind? You are too funny.

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  • cookie65February 09, 2014 - 1:00 pm

    Here is the real crime taking place in our country. I'll feel sorry for some county employees while I am supporting their pensions and lifetime healthcare. http://www.ijreview.com/2014/02/113701-founder-conservative-non-profit-gives-jaw-dropping-account-irs-targeting/

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  • James E.February 09, 2014 - 1:25 pm

    Sacramento Bee reports 6.34 inches of rain in Placerville. And, it's still raining.

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  • cookie65February 09, 2014 - 2:06 pm

    Been a wonderful wet rain!~! Thank you global warming!!!

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  • jodyFebruary 09, 2014 - 2:18 pm

    folsom lake up 2-3 ft according to modesto bee. thank you jet stream for getting out of the way.

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  • Phil VeerkampFebruary 09, 2014 - 2:52 pm

    James - about that gas voucher for th' Missus - use it or lose it - Go, Missus Colonel, GO!!!

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  • You BetFebruary 09, 2014 - 5:54 pm

    California Marijuana Legalization Initiative Approved for Signature Gathering for 2014 Ballot. http://www.thedailychronic.net/2014/27497/california-marijuana-marijuana-control-legalization-and-revenue-act-approved-signature-gathering-2014-ballot/

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  • cookie65February 09, 2014 - 3:32 pm

    James, I have launched some rather pointed comments today and no deletions. No arguments either but we are used to that.

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  • James E.February 09, 2014 - 4:33 pm

    Phil, to be above Caesar's wife, vouchers are not accepted.

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  • cookie65February 09, 2014 - 5:32 pm

    This is for you James. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjl_2vUfkGM

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  • James E.February 09, 2014 - 6:04 pm

    Cookie, I loved watching a Chihuahua catching a ride on a Lab. Who doesn't like dogs?

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  • EvelynFebruary 15, 2014 - 9:03 am

    Respectful Workplace – An El Dorado County Oxymoron? - HERE

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