OCEA asks O.C. Supervisors to cut waste instead of laying off workers


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You have to love our Republican Supervisors, here in Orange County.  Sure, they like to call themselves conservatives, but boy do they waste our tax money!  Now the Orange County Employees Association is taking a whack at them with a new T.V. commercial that highlights the perks that our Supervisors enjoy.

Here is the OCEA’s press release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Carina Franck-Pantone
February 16, 2009 (714) 675-3653

OCEA to Board of Supervisors: Chop at the Top!
New TV Ad Urges Supervisors to Layoff the Perks, Not Public Safety Officers, Child Abuse Counselors

SANTA ANA, CA – Challenging the decision of the Orange County Board of Supervisors to keep their perks while ordering the departments they oversee to lay off more than 250 employees, the Orange County Employees Association today launched a new TV ad entitled “Lay Off.” The ad urges county residents to call the Board and demand they first layoff the perks, not public safety officers, child abuse counselors and other social workers.

“When times are tough, we all have to sacrifice,” said Nick Berardino, head of the Orange County Employees Association. “’That includes Orange County Supervisors who get a free ride, literally, at taxpayer’s expense, and a publicly-paid office remodel only they will enjoy. The Board should lay off the perks, not public safety officers and child abuse counselors.”

The new TV ad details the perks and benefits members of Board of Supervisors receive at taxpayer expense, including $137,318 in salary, a county-provided car with free gas or an annual car allowance of $9,180. The ad also cites reports that the Board of Supervisors was proceeding with a $326,000 remodeling of their offices, including conference and break rooms the public will likely never see. The funding for this project was approved recently, on November 18, 2008, as the county was preparing to lay off hundreds of employees.

“I’ve had to face hard working men and women to tell them they are going to be laid off in the worst economy since the Great Depression,” continued Berardino. “It’s an insult to learn the same people who are putting them out of work are spending hundreds of thousands of taxpayer money to remodel their office and to buy new chairs and tables.”

Orange County Supervisors are given $137,318 a year. Supervisors are eligible to receive a $765 per month car allowance that amounts to an additional $9,180 annually. Alternately, the supervisors are eligible to receive a county-provided car and free gas. The Board of Supervisors voted to increase the allowance from $600 to $765 per month in July 2007.

To date, Orange County has sent layoff notices to 210 Social Service workers, and plans to lay off 58 employees of the Probation Department.

“The Board of Supervisors has severely mismanaged taxpayer’s money,” continued Berardino. “Instead of saving jobs, they are spending our money like water as we face a fiscal drought. I urge everyone in Orange County to call the Board and tell them to chop at the top before they lay off another worker.”

“Lay Off” can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZagxY1VoXY. The ad will air countywide starting today. The text and factual citations of the ad are attached below.

###

“Lay Off”
:30 TV

Ad Script and Text Citation
For County Supervisors and management taking home six-figure salaries, a car allowance, even free gas –

TEXT:
$137,318 Salary
$9,180 car allowance
Free Gas
Orange County Supervisors are paid $137,318 in salary, as determined by a formula which pays them at a rate of 80 percent the salary of California Superior Court judges. (San Diego Union-Tribune, “Supervisors’ Pay Tied To Boost In Judges’ Salary,” May 7, 2007)

Orange County Supervisors are eligible to receive a $765 per month car allowance ($9,180 annually). Alternately, the supervisors are eligible to receive a county-provided car and free gas. The Board of Supervisors voted to increase the allowance from $600 to $765 per month in July 2007. According to the Orange County Register:

“County policies allow elected supervisors and department heads to get a free car and fill up their tanks on the county’s dime.

“If they don’t want the car and the free gas, they can collect the $765 monthly car allowance. Officials would have to drive 1,515 miles each month on county business to collect the same amount if they expensed their mileage at the IRS rate.” (Orange County Register, “County Car Allowances Appear To Violate State Law,” June 2, 2008)

spending over three-hundred-grand to remodel their office this year was just another perk at taxpayer expense.

TEXT:
$300,000 for Office Remodeling
Headline: “Supervisors’ Remodeling Project During Layoffs Comes Under Fire” – Orange County Register, 12/15/08
In December 2008, the Orange County Register reported that the Orange County Board of Supervisors was proceeding with a $326,000 remodeling of their reception area, “as officials plan to lay off nearly 800 social service workers.” The funding for the remodeling was approved on November 18, 2008. (Orange County Register, “Supervisors’ Remodeling Project During Layoffs Comes Under Fire,” December 15, 2008)

Even as county finances are falling apart, the Supervisors refuse to give up their perks – choosing to fire public safety officers and child abuse counselors instead.
Orange County has already provided layoff notices to 210 Social Service workers, and plans to layoff 58 employees of the Probation Department. According to the Orange County Register:

“Orange County handed out layoff notices to 210 Social Service workers Monday, the first of a wave of cuts intended to trim more than $32 million from this year’s budget.” (Orange County Register, “County Lays Off 210 Workers,” January 6, 2009)

The article continued:

“Another 58 jobs are planned at the county Probation Department; and the Health Care Agency may also see steep cuts in the next few months. In addition, county officials are already talking about having to trim $86 million from next year’s fiscal budget, most of which are expected from local law enforcement.” (Orange County Register, “County Lays Off 210 Workers,” January 6, 2009)

The Probation Department firings are expected to take effect before the end of February. (Orange County Register, “O.C. Probation Will Layoff 58 Youth Workers This Month,” February 10, 2009)

But before they lay off any more frontline workers, shouldn’t the politicians first lay off the perks?

Let’s chop at the top for a change.

TEXT:
Lay Off the Perks
Tell the Board of Supervisors:
Chop at the Top


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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.