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Undersheriff takes aim at OT

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From page B1 | February 13, 2013 | 30 Comments

El Dorado County Undersheriff Rich Williams spoke of the annual report, the department’s budget and more at the El Dorado County Taxpayer’s Association meeting on Feb. 11.

Williams, who was to speak along with Sheriff John D’Agostini, first noted that the sheriff was ill and could not attend. He then launched into a short recap of the recent annual report released by the department. The budget, he said, was $56 million and there are about 400 employees on payroll.

When D’Agostini was elected, he said, his first job was to look at the budget. During the first few weeks’ staff meetings, Williams recalled, staff could not account for how much overtime had been taken. “There was no answer. We didn’t know,” he said.

In the past two years, that has changed. “We pay attention,” he said. There is a new overtime system that tracks overtime for every week. At the first meeting after they instituted the change, there were 1,000 hours of overtime worked in just that past week. “At $50 to $75 an hour, you do the math,” Williams said. “It’s a huge amount of money.”

EDSO called in an outside consultant to do a study of the two county jails and dispatch. The problem, they found, was in employee shifts. “(The shifts) were great for the employees, but not for taxpayers,” he said.

Patrol and dispatch shifts were changed to save money, “for the advantage of the department, not the employee,” Williams said. Since then, the department is “doing well.” Employees are now “held accountable for overtime” because “no one was paying attention to the dollars.”

In part, because of this, there is a surplus in the budget, “At least $1 million, probably more,” the undersheriff said. That will go into the General Fund.

Under questioning from members of the association, Williams said that the deputies assigned to the county Superior Court system — who are contracted out — are a small percentage of total overtime, while those assigned to jail and patrol are a much higher percentage. The jail is because “positions have to be filled every day,” despite illness, training or vacation time, as the state mandates those positions always be filled. Williams guessed the jail made up about 30 percent of total overtime and patrol about 50 percent.

Williams was also questioned about “109 inmates,” those who should have been sent to state prison, but due to lack of space are housed in county jails. There are about 100 in the county, Williams said, and it costs $44,000 per year for 109 inmates to house. He said they are paid about a third of the “actual cost of impact” from the state. The program also affects the Probation Department. He noted all the 109 prisoners are locals, including females.

Running both jails is akin to running two cities, Williams said. With a county total of 465 maximum inmates, the county provides three meals each day, hot water, clothing, heat and shoulders medical costs. When questioned if the two county jails could be consolidated to cut down on costs, the undersheriff said he had heard plans for more than a decade, but nothing had happened.

When asked what makes up the most calls received right now, the undersheriff noted that domestic violence and suicide calls seems to be cropping up the most recently, and the number of suicides and attempts was “disturbing.” The most calls, overall, come from El Dorado Hills and Cameron Park.

County Assessor Karl Weiland posed a question about the state of marijuana in the county, complaining of a pit bull-guarded grow near his home.

“Frankly, it’s out of control,” Williams said of the marijuana situation. “Our guys are going after the big ones,” he said, like Mexican mafia and gang-related grows. The department, however, is constrained by law of those legally growing. Most of the business is packing and shipping to support criminal organizations, he said, but the grows attract “ripoffs, and people get murdered. You don’t hear about it often.” Instead, he said, you hear more about medical marijuana in the news.

On the topic, Supervisor Ray Nutting said that an ordinance had passed in the Board of Supervisors that said what growers can’t do, as opposed to what they could, in an attempt to conform with federal laws. “They can’t grow more than 10-foot-by-20-foot per parcel,” he said. “It’s hard to enforce but it’s our best shot.”

Williams was questioned on crime concerning Red Hawk Casino. The casino, he said, pays EDSO about $500,000, which “just about covers” four patrolling deputies. He noted that casinos “bring a certain type of people” and that drug use and sales are found at the business. “In the future, we’re probably going to need more,” Williams said of deputies at the casino.

There are now around 10 reserve deputies, Williams said after a question was raised, with a few hired as regular deputies every so often, he said. They are on the same training level as normal deputies and often supplement them. The Sheriff’s Team of Active Retirees, better known as the STARs, do “many, many things at no cost” to the department, he added.

A final question regarding illegal immigrants led to the undersheriff saying it was not something the Sheriff’s Office was concentrating on. While the county used to be paid for keeping illegal immigrants in the county jails, the program is no longer in place.

Williams encouraged all residents of the county to sign up for the upcoming Citizens Academy and to inquire about ride-alongs with deputies to get an understanding of what a typical day entails. The Sheriff’s Office can be reached at 530-621-5655.

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Discussion | 30 comments

  • Walking TallFebruary 12, 2013 - 12:31 pm

    OMG enough said, this is the brain trust there and we are all in trouble, so many examples of no one in charge and no knowledge. One only has to listen to what the two top dogs have to say and then you know how the corruption continues; promote the stay in line so that those at the top continue to get paid and retire at inflated rates. The tax payers association should be wondering how and what tax dollars are being spent as the Sheriff says he has 358 employees with a 53 mil budget and his US says 400 with a 56 mil, which is it? Follow the money and again we all will see who is really getting paid; recent promotions show us that nothing has changed and it has only gotten worse. Then Ray says we are held to federal standards and can grow MJ, news flash Ray it is illegal to grow under Federal Law, but then it's Ray speaking out of turn so what do we expect. It's true that the GOB's are still there and the junior GOB's are being trained to keep it going. Turn the entire county government upside down and start over with honest people and stop the bleeding.

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  • James SmithFebruary 13, 2013 - 6:00 am

    El Dorado Sheriff/Coroner/Public Administration $321,496 $346,482 3%@50 El Dorado Sheriff's Captain $185,369 $208,959 3%@50 El Dorado Sheriff's Captain $179,008 $202,598 3%@50 El Dorado Sheriff's Lieutenant $171,909 $184,175 3%@50 El Dorado Sheriff's Lieutenant $170,695 $190,051 3%@50 El Dorado Sheriff's Lieutenant $167,497 $180,300 3%@50 El Dorado Sheriff's Lieutenant $164,589 $187,839 3%@50 El Dorado Sheriff's Lieutenant $163,370 $186,620 3%@50 El Dorado Sheriff's Lieutenant $158,001 $180,010 3%@50 El Dorado Sheriff's Sergeant $155,182 $178,885 3%@50 El Dorado Sheriff's Sergeant $152,813 $179,497 3%@50 El Dorado Sheriff's Lieutenant $152,695 $155,937 3%@50 El Dorado Sheriff's Sergeant $152,089 $161,833 3%@50 El Dorado Sheriff's Sergeant $146,352 $172,963 3%@50

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  • EvelynFebruary 13, 2013 - 6:32 am

    It's reassuring to know that people at the top of the heap don't have to struggle to pay their monthly water and sewer accounts.

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  • Tail Wags DogFebruary 13, 2013 - 6:45 am

    Thank you Sheriff and Under Sheriff for taking the bull by the horns to curb spending and cut out the inherited corruption in your agency. It appears on the surface the City of Placerville my be watching your example of good administration. City leaders have begun an investigation into the Placerville Police Department shenanigans. Watch here, http://youtu.be/EMsQdCnUCEc

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  • hopefulFebruary 13, 2013 - 8:35 am

    not paid enough if you ask me, given what patrol deputies and sargeants have to put up with--it's a tough job.

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  • EvelynFebruary 13, 2013 - 8:39 am

    hopeful: What would be enough?

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  • 1036-FrankFebruary 13, 2013 - 8:58 am

    One of the things to do for every jurisdiction is to close the store front operations that sell dope and make an enormous amount of drug profit that fuel large scale growing for profit. A ruling from the Supreme Court on this issue is expected soon. The Cartel growers are a complete dangerous menace and tie in with the open border problems, failing to control one allows the other. The overtime use has been dealt with. The "Good ol' Boys" in the department were never dealt with appropriately in 2008 when the best chance was presented and charges, which were suggested, could have been filed. By allowing many of the Gob's their retirements instead of terminations caused more problems. Some of them are still around, some fled out of state, and some were promoted. It has led many to having a lack of confidence and memories of the corrupt old days.

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  • Chuck HollandFebruary 13, 2013 - 10:56 am

    1 million or more taxpayer dollars saved. Job well done by everyone at EDSO.

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  • Jim RiordanFebruary 13, 2013 - 11:18 am

    I agree Chuck, "Tail" and hopeful. I wonder how many of the complainers would or could work the hours, wrestle the bad guys, be on call, risk their lives to protect complainers, be available 24/7, wear heavy and burdensome uniforms and confront problems that most complainers could not deal with. Congrats Sheriff John and U.S Rich. Those who appreciate you far outweigh the complainers.

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  • Phil VeerkampFebruary 13, 2013 - 11:23 am

    Evelyn purports to be reassured (insert sarcasm?) that, " . . . people at the top of the heap don't have to struggle to pay their monthly water and sewer accounts." I wonder. Would it also be reassuring if the "top of the heap" were a random distribution of brilliance and dullards, integrity and corruption, ambition and sloth, leaders and followers? Some may suggest that the "top of the heap" is exactly such a mix. If that is the case then take the staff budget, divide by the number of staff and hand out pay equally? Such an arrangement would do away with the chase for promotion and all that silliness. Each day/week staff could walk in, draw the duty assignment and head out to protect the community as best as they could. No bosses! Yippee!!! Social justice!!!

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  • EvelynFebruary 13, 2013 - 12:39 pm

    Mind boggling is how common salaries such as those James Smith records have become. While we’re generally inured to displays of staggering wealth by the rich and famous, disparities among ordinary people remains conspicuous. At the $300,000 level one can be said to be "at the top of the heap". Presumably these people don’t lose a lot of sleep over rising water and sewer rates. Not lost on us is the regularity among several sectors with which those earning such amounts are able to leverage their positions to influence their salaries. Guess who pays. The economy has been transformed into a survival-of-the-fittest jungle. Many have been devoured.

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  • EvelynFebruary 13, 2013 - 12:41 pm

    UGH! ...disparities among ordinary people remain...

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  • EvelynFebruary 13, 2013 - 1:04 pm

    (2004) "Congress Votes Itself a $3,400 Pay Raise" - HERE

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  • EvelynFebruary 13, 2013 - 1:07 pm

    NEGOTIATING SALARY AND BENEFITS IN PUBLIC SERVICE CAREERS - HERE ********** The words "public service" should be stricken. Replace with TAXPAYER PAID.

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  • Jim RiordanFebruary 13, 2013 - 1:12 pm

    Evelyn, I respect your opinions. I'm sorry I just could not help myself . . all in jest . . . but when you wrote: "Presumably these people don’t lose a lot of sleep over rising water and sewer rates. Not lost on us is the regularity among several sectors" . . I just had to wonder if "regularity" would increase sewer rates . . . just kidding . . .

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  • EvelynFebruary 13, 2013 - 1:12 pm

    SALARY NEGOTIATIONS: Known as The "Bible" of Salary Negotiations And The Cornerstone of Jack's "No Dollar Left Behind" Salary Negotiation Strategy - HERE ********** AKA "No taxpayer $ left behind - Qu'ils mangent de la brioche"

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  • EvelynFebruary 13, 2013 - 1:14 pm

    Good catch, Jim! It's amazing what gets written without due consideration.

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  • Phil VeerkampFebruary 13, 2013 - 1:16 pm

    Ahhh! I think I see. We have a difference of perception. It appears that to some, “ . . . common salaries such as those James Smith records . . . among ordinary people remains conspicuous.” Some assess people in law enforcement as “ordinary people”. I disagree. Instead of “ordinary” I would use the word “uncommon”. I am agnostic on the question of appropriate compensation for uncommon people as well as appropriate compensation for the “top of the heap” of uncommon managers and leaders.

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  • EvelynFebruary 13, 2013 - 1:22 pm

    "Negotiate Your Way to a Higher Federal Salary" - It helps if hiring managers perceive you as dedicated to public service (sic). - <a href="http://career-advice.monster.com/salary-benefits/negotiation-tips/negotiate-a-higher-federal-salary/article.aspxHERE

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  • EvelynFebruary 13, 2013 - 1:30 pm

    On the off off chance -- as in statistically remote -- that you're not being intentionally dense, ORDINARY was intended to distinguish everyone not having the staggering wealth of the rich and famous. Please don't ask for a definition of "staggering wealth". I'm trusting "ordinary" readers like yourself on this one. And, yes, I include El Dorado County's "public servants" among the ORDINARY people. Unless, of course, there are some staggering salaries that taxpayers don't yet know about. Which always is a possibility, what with black budgets and all.

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  • EvelynFebruary 13, 2013 - 1:32 pm

    . . . and now I'm departing this exchange before it becomes uncivil!!!

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  • EvelynFebruary 13, 2013 - 1:36 pm

    Oh, dear - yet again a liar! Bad 1:30 link. HERE

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  • James SmithFebruary 13, 2013 - 4:03 pm

    How many Sheriff's are still being paid raises whom submitted phony Diploma Mill degrees a few years ago?

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  • James Smith misleadingFebruary 13, 2013 - 8:04 pm

    Deputy sheriff's start at about 25 dollars an hour with a max rate of 34 dollars an hour....they then pay about 600 dollars a month for family medical coverage, 500-600 a month in retirement contributions (which they volunteered to do to help with the fiscal crisis the county is facing). Most deputies also pay for extra converges such as long term disability and increased life insurance coverages due to the risks the job entails. Oh yeah taxes, probably 1500 a month. That leaves 3500-4000 for take home pay. About a thousand a week, not anymore than any other skilled trade such as an electrician or utility worker. James Smith give me a break with your inflated incorrect statistics you obtained from the lefty law and order hating Sacramento Bee (rag). Look at the county website under salary schedules if you don't believe me. If you haven't noticed the sacramento bee does not like family values, el dorado county, self reliant people and certainly not law enforcement. It's called an agenda and they have one if you haven't noticed. As for the sheriff he makes about 200k a year. Again look at the county website. He more than deserves this considering he runs a department of 400 employees and manages a budget of about 60 million dollars on average.

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  • Phil VeerkampFebruary 13, 2013 - 8:08 pm

    Why does James Smith appear to lie?

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  • Phil VeerkampFebruary 13, 2013 - 8:12 pm

    Perhaps the "top of the heap" still has menial concerns. Evelyn may have to pick up the distress from which she was briefly relieved.

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  • James SmithFebruary 14, 2013 - 8:07 am

    EDC Sheriff's used Diploma Mills to get raises. http://www.laketahoenews.net/2012/07/two-edso-deputies-still-owe-pay-awarded-for-bogus-degrees/

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  • James SmithFebruary 14, 2013 - 8:09 am

    Here's another link for you Phil. Who's the liar? http://www.news10.net/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=89445

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  • TontoFebruary 14, 2013 - 9:36 pm

    Funny how most forgot about the things the new sheriff was going to do and how the number of employees and the amount of budget has changed. The Dipolma/Sex gates were swept under the carpet along with all those who retired and the new promotions all of which could/would have saved more than the suggested money saved by the US. Again a bait n switch from where most sit, but then it was just a campaign idea anyway so whose looking now--Tax Payers--- Well some get it and are not looking the other way, but then again we won't ever see any changes as that "New Broom and the clean sweep" did not happen and never will.. So lets see how much all the top heavy New GOB's get in their pay checks and then subtract that from the money so called saved and learn the real figures. Remember the indians were told it would be a better life on the reservation and we all know how that turned out. Take off the rose colored glasses and follow the money and we will all see beter and find the real truth.

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  • Walking TallFebruary 16, 2013 - 9:09 pm

    What really makes one wonder si when the US says that "no one was watching the overtime" when the payroll department prints out a spread sheet monthly with all of the overtime used by personnel and shows a graph with it. Just like the things he claims are because of this new adminstration, when in fact they already existed. Guess he has to claim something so it doesn't look like what it is; "Smoke n Mirrors"

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