Mendocino County's debt highest in state

Full story: The Ukiah Daily Journal

Pension obligation bonds push Mendocino County into the top spot in the state for debt per capita, according to newly revised statistics released Tuesday by the California State Association of Counties.
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61 - 77 of 77 Comments Last updated Oct 7, 2010
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SteveD_in_Ukiah

San Lorenzo, CA

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#62
Sep 29, 2010
 
birds of a feather wrote:
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Ah, the right wing extremist, Steve D. Any relation to the right wing extremist who masquerades as a "life long Democrat," John D.? LIke all right wingers, all you guys can do is beech and moan, but never offer a solution.
Ah back with the flirtations

Still wishing yourself to be Beatrice and I to be your Benedick, are you?

My moderate-conservative views do confuse the far-left liberals, blinded by their own extremism

John D is obviously John Dickerson, well obvious to everyone but you. He appears to be a democrat who is fed up with both republicans and democrats

"Right winger" can apply to anybody in the right wing from centrist to extremist, so your comment isn't relevant

Far-left liberals make such claims yet they preach and complain, then never offer solutions for the people

They offer solutions for self, as is the goal of most far-left liberals, to live in a bubble and force the world to feed and wipe them

Far-left liberals solutions are usually to to "raise taxes"....after they've stolen all of the taxpayers money then need to raise taxes to allegedly make up for the losses but truthfully only to steal more of our money.
John Dickerson

Ukiah, CA

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#63
Oct 2, 2010
 
Here's the story behind this UDJ story ...

Two years ago I first analyzed State Controller data for all counties and concluded based on that data we are the most indebted county per capita in California. I also listed a couple of significant qualifications about the data readers should be aware of. I released my third of these reports 6 weeks ago based on 2008 data - You can get the report from the front page of my website www.YourPublicMoney.com .

Over the past 2 years many County officials have said my findings are wrong - but never put any data in front of the people to prove it.

But now the County has put Measure C on the November ballot asking for a 1/2 percent increase in the sales tax. They know the "most indebted" statement doesn't make them look good - so finally the County's Treasurer asked an analyst at California State Association of Counties (CSAC)to produce his own report about the relative ranking of counties' debt.

He produced a report that showed Mendo was in the middle of the pack. That report was waved around all over the place by a number of County officials. It was also sent to the Daily Journal.

Someone forwarded the report to me - and I was quite astonished. Clearly the data used by the CSAC analyst was very different from mine.

I emailed him my data, showed where I got it from the State Controller's "Annual Counties Financial Report", showed him how different his data was from that SCO report - and asked him where he got his data.

I copied Supervisor Smith, Treasurer Schapmire, Daily Journal editor KC Meadows, and a couple of other folks - they got this whole series of emails.

A few days later he emailed back saying that "in his zeal he didn't document how he put his numbers together" and hadn't yet been able to replicate the findings in his report.

A week later he sent a revised report that showed - golly gosh - based on SCO data in the Annual Counties Financial Report - Mendocino is the most indebted county in California.

The analyst clearly messed up - pretty big time. At least it wasn't a broadly distributed report. If CSAC had actually published that report he'd probably be looking for another job.

There are a lot of things very wrong in our County's financial management. One is that no one seems responsible to determine the accuracy of information. Another is that officials lunge to accept information they like and immediately reject info they don't like without ever examining the data/analysis.

I believe that if the CSAC analyst's original report had been correct - showing Mendo #1 - County officials would have buried it and never told anyone. We wouldn't have known that independent report produced the same result as my analysis.
Concerned

Copperopolis, CA

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#64
Oct 2, 2010
 
Now is the time to look at what's next. Yes we are upset and flat out mad. I don't think we should pass a tax, like Prop C with out developing a sound fiscal plan to get us back on track. I think the BOS is using this tax to avoid addressing the problem.
Vote No on C.
Ross H Liberty

Oakland, CA

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#65
Oct 2, 2010
 
No matter how you feel about the size of government or its role, what we can likely all agree on is that the true cost of providing services be known when evaluating what services should be provided and which services should be left unmet or left to the private sector or private individual to provide for himself.
That being the case, it is important that the cost of providing for the retirement of employees be accuratly accounted for and that information should be made known to the public and to the Board of Supervisors.
Clearly the MCERA has not done this.
eliminate government

Ukiah, CA

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#66
Oct 3, 2010
 
Ross H Liberty wrote:
No matter how you feel about the size of government or its role, what we can likely all agree on is that the true cost of providing services be known when evaluating what services should be provided and which services should be left unmet or left to the private sector or private individual to provide for himself.
That being the case, it is important that the cost of providing for the retirement of employees be accuratly accounted for and that information should be made known to the public and to the Board of Supervisors.
Clearly the MCERA has not done this.
Ok, so you say MCERA did not keep the public and Board of Supervisors informed. Your "solution" is to deny the funding that provides services to the people. Lets cut those deputy sheriffs, IHSS workers, public health nurses, librarians and the road crew. That will fix things!

After all, you are one of those spoiled rich guys who thinks there should be no publicly funded library, fire department, or most social services for people in need of help. They should just fend for themselves, right?
No Place to Hide

United States

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#67
Oct 3, 2010
 
eliminate government wrote:
<quoted text>
Lets cut those deputy sheriffs, IHSS workers, public health nurses, librarians and the road crew. That will fix things!
Not exactly. The services you speak have some value and importance in our society. It's the people running those services that are screwing things up. Please understand, I'm not talking about the management; I’m speaking of the employee unions and its members. The unions are really running our government agencies. If you think managers and administration are the problem and/or have the authority to fix the problem, you're either a fool or a public employee.

The public employee unions and their lazy little constituents are siphoning every dollar they can from the funding of every program they can. Services you speak are helping only those who are being paid to implement the program. Really want to fix those programs? Fire all employees (they've already been indoctrinated into status quo), restructure the formula which determines percentage of funding for implementation versus percentage to those who need the help and hire workers who are motivated and are willing to be accountable for their production (make pay scale a dependant variable of this accountability).

Finally, ELIMINATE this organized practice of robbing the future of this country that the unions call "PENSION".
Mike Anderson

Fort Bragg, CA

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#68
Oct 3, 2010
 
The first step is to agree we have a problem, most county residents do. The second step is to work cooperatively on a solution. The best way to accomplish the second step is to encourage your supervisor to set up an independent audit committee of local concerned financial professionals to make recomendations on how to move on. If that is done, the third step is to demand the county follow through!
No Place to Hide

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#69
Oct 3, 2010
 
Mike Anderson wrote:
The second step is to work cooperatively on a solution. The best way to accomplish the second step is to encourage your supervisor to set up an independent audit committee of local concerned financial professionals to make recomendations on how to move on.
Translation: Spend more money by hiring the private sector to come in and solve the problem (which they, the private sector, will).....then, give it back to the public sector to screw up again.
What do you get in return

San Jose, CA

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#70
Oct 3, 2010
 
Not at the trough wrote:
Look its quite simple, no one deserves a pension like these city, county, state and federal employees get, the unions have bled off private industry and now they are going after the government workers, those workers should get social security just like everyone else. The city manager of Vallejo was asked why the city went bankrupt? He responded that they are paying 3 police forces and 3 fire departments 1 each working and 2 each retired and most drawing a pension, what a crock shinola, there is not a private industry employer anywhere that could sustain that situation. When I retire I will get my social security and anything else that I ivested in and nothing else, you public servants have gone too far and now its finaly reached the bursting point, I feel for the tax payers that have been taken by those of you that retire at 50 something while they continue to work for you.
First of all if it were not for unions, what wage would you be paid today? Would your children be forced to work. How soon we forget how labor was treated within the last 100 years. The union in Mendocino County has not been responsible as the keeper of the fund. Some counties do not pay into Social Security and therefore employees who make a career at these counties do not receive both types of retirement. All retirement funds (both prive and public) are hurting due to the stock market troubles. Please do not blame the local civil service employees for working, hopeing to be homeowners (20 + years of civil service and still no hope) who live from paycheck to paycheck. Where can changes be made, YES hold those who oversee responsible, Responsibility now lies with the office of the CEO, the Ceo has more power and control than are elected officals. So when press get bad the BOS can blame the CEO's office and deflect blame from themselfs. Why doesn't the property owners in Mendocino County have a Tax Payors Assocation to hold the BOS, CEO and others responible? You want a voice here is one way. We the line staff in the county have given and given, if you keep taking away from civil service employee's you will get what you pay for.
Really

San Jose, CA

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#71
Oct 3, 2010
 
No Place to Hide wrote:
<quoted text>
Translation: Spend more money by hiring the private sector to come in and solve the problem (which they, the private sector, will).....then, give it back to the public sector to screw up again.
Who is the public sector? You are! While employed driving city busses in NOR CAL I worked for a privite company based out of SO CAL. I was paid 25 cents over min wage and worked part time so health insurance did not have to be paid. The company made $60,000 a a year manangement fee and padded profits by employee turnover. Once again the corp. greed grows and your tax dollars are send else where. Sounding better to make job private?
No on C

San Francisco, CA

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#72
Oct 4, 2010
 
Mike Anderson wrote:
The first step is to agree we have a problem, most county residents do. The second step is to work cooperatively on a solution. The best way to accomplish the second step is to encourage your supervisor to set up an independent audit committee of local concerned financial professionals to make recomendations on how to move on. If that is done, the third step is to demand the county follow through!
I agree. Giving the county more money to spend before they have a plan to address the issues in lunacy. Vote No on C. It would simply push the pile out in front of us a little longer and make the wall bigger when we actually crash into it.
Ross_Liberty

Ukiah, CA

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#73
Oct 4, 2010
 
If Measure C passes, the way the pensions debt has been climbing the payments will again pass the revenue measure C raises in less than 3 years.
The Board of Supervisors will have to raise the sales tax rate again. If the Board of Supervisors aren't forced to come up with another solution, look for another tax increase three years from now.
Gene Geisler Laytonville

Oakland, CA

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#74
Oct 4, 2010
 
John Dickerson’s article brings the issues in the current Supervisor election to the top burner. This November’s election day is “D Day”“Debt Day” for us.

1. Mendocino County has the chance to vote for Honest, Open FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY. We must find a way out of this mess,. BUT RAISING SALES TAXES ON THE BACKS OF THOSE LEAST ABLE TO PAY (Measure C) is no answer. It would only send good money after bad. The BOS is already raising the fees for county “services” pricing them out of reach for many many taxpayers. What does the county spend existing tax revenues for? County Pay, Perks and Pensions? The county needs to increase productivity without raising taxes?

2. Obviously, Mendocino County could increase revenues if more people had JOBS! JOBS! JOBS! The county is Number One in debt, but we are also near the top in unemployment as well. Long term unemployment throughout the county is running near fifty percent – not the short term 12% the politicians want us to believe. Mendocino County has little or no productive economy today. Even if the nation were to revive tomorrow we would still have a large workforce without meaningful honest work. This election must send a strong message to the BOS and the county staff to encourage job creation. Forget about raising fees and taxes to pay for their self satisfied “services” which result in endless bickering. Enough is enough! The county needs an economy to produce jobs - NOW.

3. On election day in the Fifth Supervisor District voters have the chance to speak loud and clear. WENDY ROBERTS is a breath of fresh air; the only candidate informed on the cold brutal issues of deficits, debt and lack of jobs. Wendy is openly seeking effective, humane and compassionate solutions. Like never before the county needs new blood for the BOS - experienced in the real world, enlightened and environmentally respectful. Wendy Roberts is the only candidate who has stuck to these hard issues consistently from the beginning.

(The other candidate is a long term self confessed dope growing politician with a spotty but profitable career on the county payroll – with an inside view of the disastrous pension system.)

In the end the County Voters are responsible for our quality of life and government. That is why there is such a long list of responsible voters and organizations endorsing WENDY ROBERTS (including Sheriff Allman). Look over your absentee ballot carefully! Get it to the mail box before “D” Day or else vote in person on “D” Day. Either way let your voice be heard!

P.S. The County owes a great debt of gratitude to Citizen John Dickerson who has worked long and hard to bring the county’s dire situation to voters attention. We have been warned!

Since: Sep 10

United States

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#75
Oct 4, 2010
 
Really how much would a small tax icrease affect those who make over $200k a yr? I find it funny that those who have less tend to give more.
No Place to Hide

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#76
Oct 4, 2010
 
Really wrote:
<quoted text>
Who is the public sector? You are! While employed driving city busses in NOR CAL I worked for a privite company based out of SO CAL. I was paid 25 cents over min wage and worked part time so health insurance did not have to be paid. The company made $60,000 a a year manangement fee and padded profits by employee turnover. Once again the corp. greed grows and your tax dollars are send else where. Sounding better to make job private?
Hey cry baby, you had every right to shop your services elsewhere. By the sounds of your little childish "poor me" rant, you did shop your services and the #0.25 over minimum wage is all you were worth. Why didn't you just quit and simply "show them"? Perhaps the reason was that there were thousands of people out there who would have taken the same job for the same wage. Maybe you should have done your homework in high school?

Since: Sep 10

Cloverdale, CA

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#77
Oct 6, 2010
 
I have to say it's not the unions it IS management and our sad CEO. Not all county employees have any say in what services are provided, where money is spent or have any kind of influence on those that do have a say. If they did have a say you think they would allow kendall smith to not pay back what she stole? Hell no! It has been and continues to be the small man on the totem pole who is always taking mto and vto to help with this budget. The lowpaid staff who have been willing to give up their wages in order to assist the community! I know many county employees who take care of clients and/or their paperwork off the clock so they can assist the community.

Since: Oct 09

Ukiah, CA

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#78
Oct 7, 2010
 
4Realz wrote:
Really how much would a small tax icrease affect those who make over $200k a yr? I find it funny that those who have less tend to give more.
In this day and age of Internet shopping a sales tax puts a 9% increase on the cost of what a local business must sell goods for. If I sell 20k monthly almost 2k is taxes an out of State business doesn't have to pay.

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