Consolidation proposal at county: Clerk's pay again an issue

The head of a union that represents county employees is crying foul, saying the clerk to the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors will get a raise when her office is consolidated under the Executive Office. Full Story
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Realist

Larkspur, CA

#1 Mar 28, 2010
What the article doesn't mention is the Furman is probably getting a 5% stipend for being a "Confidential" employee, and possibly a longevity stipend.

Giving an obscene raise to an employee who is already making the market rate for her position is totally inexcusable. If this goes through, every member of the Board of Supervisors should be tarred and feathered!
Pinches supports raise

Groveland, CA

#2 Mar 28, 2010
Pinches was Chair of the BOS in December when the attempt was made to slip in this controversial raise via the consent calendar (supposed to be only for non-controversial items). Pinches had been chair for a year, who knows how many holes Furman had pulled him out of. Pinches gave Furman lots of love at the BOS meeting last week, talking about how it was "unprecedented" that she'd voluntarily give up her status. He knew all along it meant a big raise. Pinches also voted for the big raise for county supervisors back in 2007, when he knew the county, given its very high level of debt (highest debt per resident of any CA county, you can look it up), had no business giving big raises.(if he didn't know, that's worse). Pinches has been overheard describing the current $68,000 base salary for supervisors as "practically minimum wage". Pinches will find "the timing" for Kristi Furman's raise this time is even worse. Especially if the BOS and management employees don't make real cuts at the top, including the CEO's office, and other management employees.
previous UDJ article

Groveland, CA

#3 Mar 28, 2010
John Pinches quoted in the UDJ in December:

"I clearly believe our clerk of the board needs to be compensated at a better rate than it's at right now, whether it's Kristi Furman in that position, or somebody else, because the expertise and the education, the workload - it's not a, quote, secretarial position."

Pinches said the board "basically gave a commitment" two or three years ago to adjust the board clerk's salary.

"Everybody agreed that it was underpaid for the job that it does ... but it's just really not the right time. It's not that it's going away; we will be discussing it in the future."

But County CEO Tom Mitchell, for one, says: "The comparison to other counties said she is making the correct salary now."
Mitchell backlash

United States

#4 Mar 28, 2010
What this did nto say was Mr. Mitchell was overpaid compared to any standard. His sucssessor took a cut of 35k if memory serves.
previous UDJ article wrote:
John Pinches quoted in the UDJ in December:
"I clearly believe our clerk of the board needs to be compensated at a better rate than it's at right now, whether it's Kristi Furman in that position, or somebody else, because the expertise and the education, the workload - it's not a, quote, secretarial position."
Pinches said the board "basically gave a commitment" two or three years ago to adjust the board clerk's salary.
"Everybody agreed that it was underpaid for the job that it does ... but it's just really not the right time. It's not that it's going away; we will be discussing it in the future."
But County CEO Tom Mitchell, for one, says: "The comparison to other counties said she is making the correct salary now."
Done with the County

Ukiah, CA

#5 Mar 28, 2010
I find this absolutely discussing that they would give her a raise while laying off the little people. The board told Carmel to look at laying off managers, well I know in my department they are not, there not even looking at management. If your a manager you can get away with anything, leaving your office at all times of the day to go shopping, or spending the rest of your time on the internet downloading music and youtube video's. Carmel should ask for the internet usage report from Kristin McMenomey, but since it's her managers who are the worst I doubt that she would give it to her.
all overpaid

Groveland, CA

#6 Mar 28, 2010
management and electeds are all overpaid by local standards. if they want to make $100,000+ a year, they can move to the Bay Area.
sad tax payer

United States

#7 Mar 28, 2010
This says it all about Mendocino County and the BOS. I know lots of people who do far more work than county workers (upper management, BOS and Furman) yet their rate of pay is half of what she makes and no retirement benefits.
I am tired of supporting the small click of people that has it's hand on the County funds.

“5th Dist. Supervisor Candidate”

Since: Mar 10

Mendocino (Historic District)

#8 Mar 28, 2010
This is all wrong. Yes, the Supes appreciate Ms. Furman's work. She and her staff apparently serve them well while also providing some essential services to the county. That does not justify a move that masquerades as a budget shaving departmental consolidation when, in fact, it will boost her salary and the county's long-term pension obligation. Having congratulated all concerned on the consolidation, it was discouraging to discover the ruse behind it.
Mema

San Leandro, CA

#9 Mar 28, 2010
I remember someone posted last time when she was looking at getting a raise that if it failed, they would sneak it at a later date. Whoever it was, you were right!
Mendo Gal

Oakland, CA

#10 Mar 28, 2010
previous UDJ article wrote:
John Pinches quoted in the UDJ in December:
"I clearly believe our clerk of the board needs to be compensated at a better rate than it's at right now, whether it's Kristi Furman in that position, or somebody else, because the expertise and the education, the workload - it's not a, quote, secretarial position."
Pinches said the board "basically gave a commitment" two or three years ago to adjust the board clerk's salary.
"Everybody agreed that it was underpaid for the job that it does ... but it's just really not the right time. It's not that it's going away; we will be discussing it in the future."
But County CEO Tom Mitchell, for one, says: "The comparison to other counties said she is making the correct salary now."
This is absolutley ridiculous! Firstly, the economy today is not what it was 3 years ago. As a matter of fact the way we were doing business 3 years ago has a lot to do with the economy today. When are the BOS going to quit writing checks they can not cash. If I were to run my business the way the BOS runs this county....I would have been out of business years ago. Stop spending money we don't have. I would love to promise my employees great pay and benefits but it quite simply does not fit in my budget. How can the BOS be discussing pay increases in one meeting and laying off 100 people in the next. Absolutley absurd! I love how when we need to balance the budget we cut services and programs from the Mendocino Coast. The BOS is talking about shutting down the Planning and Building Dept in Fort Bragg. This department writes as many permits as the Ukiah Dept with 1/3 of the staff. Sounds like they need to adjust the Ukiah Dept. staffing and they could afford to keep both. They are talking about shutting down the Fort Bragg Animal Shelter. A group of citizens went through this budget and showed them that by doing so this would actually cost them approx $40K MORE to do this. Why is it that the Mendocino Coast brings in over $800K in bed tax which is 4 times as much as the rest of the county combined and we look to cut services and programs on the coast? Come on BOS...do the job you were elected to do and quit playing favortism. Do what is right for all the people not just a handful of people.
willite

United States

#11 Mar 28, 2010
I suggest all county department heads and underlings who's prime qualifications for the position, such as Howard Deshiel (sp) or Kristi Furman are a high school diploma have their salaries cut to a teacher's salary. If they quit, some of the laid off teachers can then apply. If the spot requires a nurses degree, ok,pay them average pay for nurses in the county; If the job requires operating heavy machinery, pay them no more than the average in the county. My guess is no one will get off the county gravy train, their morale will be "bad" but then they can join the rest of the county.
If they really think they can make tons more money in Sonoma County let them move. Government salaries used to be below the prevailing wage--offset by the job security but the decades of pay raises for just being there have outpaced the rest of the universe. I've thought this for some time but this recession has just made it even more obvious.
I understand there are many hard working employees in our county and city governments but there are a lot of hardworking private sector folks paying their salaries and looking at our diminished paycheck.
I think we need a vote of the citizens before raising any salary bracket--after it has been reset to a more reasonable level. We are a poor county with nearly every kid in the schools--except those of gov't workers on free lunch programs.
just because you have been in the job a year longer doesn't mean the work is worth more.In fact you may be even less productive this year, due to health or morale, who knows.
lookn

United States

#12 Mar 28, 2010
They are trying to make some kind of inside deal all on the taxpayers dollar. This wrong anyway you look at it. Very poor judgement if the BOS gives it the nod of approval. Granted she is a hardworker,respected by the BOS and other county department heads but sorry this county is broke. She has a good deal now and she should be grateful for the job and the present pay. If she does not like it and hits the road she can be replaced. Everyone is replaceable..
Typical

Ukiah, CA

#13 Mar 28, 2010
of Mendocino County 'gods'(BOS/heads of departments- you know who you are)

'Let's fire 100 employees' and then turn around and raise the clerk of the board position and in the mean time let's just go about hiring 11 more county employees (Sheriff's Office included) while no one is looking....

All of you county employees who sit back and take this from your super ineffective unions are getting bent over a barrel and telling 'em 'hey, I like this, do it again!!!'

The continued hiring of county employees and raises for BS job consolidations is beyond unethical- it's down right wrong, wrong, wrong!!!!

Quit hiring ANY ONE!!!! Animal control officers, mental health workers, etc.

Quit replacing vacant positions just because 'the position if budgeted for'.

Quit giving raises to ANYONE!!!

Quit trying to pull the wool over everyone's eyes - we aren't stupid!!!!

Quit spending money that doesn't exist - AKA robbing Peter to pay Kristi!!!!!

You people who are padding your jobs, your friends & family are bad people, bad people!!!
Lowes lover

Covelo, CA

#14 Mar 28, 2010
Wendy Roberts wrote:
This is all wrong. Yes, the Supes appreciate Ms. Furman's work. She and her staff apparently serve them well while also providing some essential services to the county. That does not justify a move that masquerades as a budget shaving departmental consolidation when, in fact, it will boost her salary and the county's long-term pension obligation. Having congratulated all concerned on the consolidation, it was discouraging to discover the ruse behind it.
I really during the presidential elections Barry Obama arm-chairing saying everything that was wrong, GITMO, Afgan War , lack of transparency blah, blah, blah .... but now, upon his election it is business as usual !

My point ... your "This is wrong" comment carries very little creedence when you self-promote your candidate for supervisor status.
missing the point

Ukiah, CA

#15 Mar 28, 2010
Wendy Roberts wrote:
This is all wrong. Yes, the Supes appreciate Ms. Furman's work. She and her staff apparently serve them well while also providing some essential services to the county. That does not justify a move that masquerades as a budget shaving departmental consolidation when, in fact, it will boost her salary and the county's long-term pension obligation. Having congratulated all concerned on the consolidation, it was discouraging to discover the ruse behind it.
Too bad people are confusing their dislike for KF with the value of consolidation. Ending the thirty year conflict between the
CEO and COB office is the right thing to do.

Why have two executive positions each operating at loggerheads and trying to keep info from the other? This has to stop. That is what consolidation is about.

No one is raising the pay for the COB position. The COB is going to be folded into the CEO position. Now here is the HARD part for all you small minded children: as part of the CONSOLIDATION, the current COB is going to be PROMOTED to a NEW POSITION with NEW RESPONSIBILITIES. Will that involve a higher salary than the present position? I personally don't know and will have to wait and see. I wonder how many people who think they know, really do?

I will be as upset as anyone if KF gets another 20K out of this, but if it involves a modest adjustment in line with new duties I don't have a problem with it. Is Ms. Carvalho suggesting that ALL SEIU employees be FROZEN at their current rate of pay and get no increase when promoted to a new job with new duties? What is wrong with getting all the facts before we start the lynch party?

And why all the angst directed at KF? From what I can see she is a hard working and conscientious employee. Can everyone in SEIU say the same?

Done with the County

Ukiah, CA

#16 Mar 28, 2010
lookn wrote:
They are trying to make some kind of inside deal all on the taxpayers dollar. This wrong anyway you look at it. Very poor judgement if the BOS gives it the nod of approval. Granted she is a hardworker,respected by the BOS and other county department heads but sorry this county is broke. She has a good deal now and she should be grateful for the job and the present pay. If she does not like it and hits the road she can be replaced. Everyone is replaceable..
Kristi isn't respected by the other Department Heads. Most of them can't stand her. The Department Heads stab each other in the back every chance they get.
Do the right thing

San Francisco, CA

#17 Mar 28, 2010
If you or I were to apply for a deputy CEO job the requirement would be a masters degree in Public Administration or business. How is it so many high school graduates get the big bucks in this county? And why is there such a wage disparity between county line workers and management? Finally, given the disparity, the management salaries should be cut or some of those jobs eliminated. They are saving their own to the county's detriment.
not directed at KF

Groveland, CA

#18 Mar 28, 2010
reread the comments, there is not ONE comment with personal anger or "dislike" of Kristi Furman. No way she put that $22,000 raise on the Consent Calendar herself.
OK now there is one

Groveland, CA

#19 Mar 28, 2010
OK, I see there's now one personal comment about Kristi, that wasn't there when you posted and when I first saw your post. Consolidation may be good for all kinds of reasons, but at the recent BOS meeting, it was presented as a money-saving move, and if Furman is getting a raise, how is it a money-saver? Does Furman have staff that will be laid off?
wait and see

Ukiah, CA

#20 Mar 28, 2010
OK now there is one wrote:
OK, I see there's now one personal comment about Kristi, that wasn't there when you posted and when I first saw your post. Consolidation may be good for all kinds of reasons, but at the recent BOS meeting, it was presented as a money-saving move, and if Furman is getting a raise, how is it a money-saver? Does Furman have staff that will be laid off?
I don't know if anyone is getting laid off or not, but we are getting rid of one Dept Head position that WILL NEVER be filled again. There is currently a vacant Deputy CEO position. Everyone recognizes that Carmel needs someone else in the office who has some administrative skills, which KF does. So if KF takes the Deputy position that would otherwise be filled, even if she gets a small raise you are eliminating one position.

With the two offices unified they will be working more efficiently than they do now, where one often doesn't know what the other is doing.

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