Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Where’s the beef?

From page A4 | May 09, 2014 |

For a couple of months we have been treated to a dog and pony show at the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors, as a person who hasn’t worked for the county in about five years made repeat appearances to make scurrilously made-up claims about the county auditor, for whose office this person was never employed.

And some managed to bring forth a former county employee from retirement in Arizona to complain about another elected official for whom this person hadn’t worked for 27 years. Sheesh. Who are these nut cases?

The “Climate Assessment Summary of Issues” filed April 24 by the independent consultant hired by the county at a cost of $140,000 puts the allegation of a “culture of fear” into the category of fantasy. Page 2 of the 34-page summary categorizes these whining malcontents when it noted that 3 percent of current and former county employees surveyed were “very dissatisfied” and 14 percent were “dissatisfied.”

On the question of “general satisfaction with your employment with El Dorado County,” 41 percent were “satisfied,” 23 “neutral,” and 19 percent,”very satisfied.” Those generally satisfied totaled 83 percent and the disgruntled totaled 17 percent.

So, what are we to make of an independent survey that shows the “very dissatisfied” constitute 3 percent? Wouldn’t any organization have a 3 percent “very dissatisfied” faction? What large organization wouldn’t count itself lucky to have only 3 percent “very dissatisfied” and 14 percent “dissatisfied?”

One small organization that has an even lower dissatisfaction rate is the Office of the El Dorado County Auditor-Controller. That office under the direction of Auditor-Controller Joe Harn received a 92 percent satisfaction rating from his employees, the same rating as the county library.

Nevertheless, there are those who are trying to put a dent in Harn’s image before the election. Even the CAO sent one of her minions out to join the boo parade against Harn. This follows a pattern that began with the bizarre spectacle of the immaculate resolution that suddenly appeared on a Monday in December to cut the pay of elected county department heads like Harn by tens of thousands of dollars at the same time all county employees, including the CAO, received three consecutive 5 percent raises scheduled over the following 18 months. Was this an attempt to clear the decks and swap elected department heads for appointed ones?

And why did the Board of Supervisors spend most of last Monday listening to a highly paid person from the CAO’s Office complain about Harn and not ask him to cite any specifics? Why didn’t the board ask the CAO and the human resources director to make an inquiry to find out why the Community Development Agency only received a 22 percent satisfaction rating?

And why didn’t the board ask for an inquiry into why the Information Technology Department only received a 41 percent satisfaction rating? While they are at it, the board members should be asking why the Information Technology Department is being run by an interim director for the past three years.

The supervisors should ask why under the guise of a “performance evaluation” last July they were asked to appoint the interim director permanently and then were forced to rescind the appointment after the auditor pointed out that the County Charter requires “a formal recruitment.” The about-face was listed in the Aug. 6, 2013, conformed agenda as a result of “an administrative error.” Ya think?

Where’s the beef? Apparently, the beef is about the auditor doing his job, looking out for the taxpayers, making sure department heads aren’t appointed without doing a recruitment to consider all qualified candidates and keeping the assistant CAO from getting a 5 percent raise that wasn’t included in the agenda.

And it is about kicking back documents for a grant application to Supervisor Ray Nutting that looked like a claim from Ray Nutting to Ray Nutting and had other hinky-looking issues. So now Supervisor Nutting is being tried by the district attorney and the state attorney general.

Nutting’s fate will soon be up to a jury. In the meantime, we can expect some more political theater attacking Auditor-Controller Joe Harn before the election.

There are those who find these personal attacks titillating. We find them pathetic.



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