Musings from reading today’s newspaper


Sheriff Hutchens is in the news today…

I read several stories in this morning’s Orange County Register that left me scratching my head…..

Sheriff Sandra Hutchens has just told the Board of Supervisors that the sales tax revenue that provides a significant portion of the funding for the Sheriff’s budget is projected to result in another budget crisis next year. The story reports that the Sheriff’s budget took a $20 million cut this year, and it could be worse next year. Buried in this story is a statement from Assistant Sheriff Mike James, in charge of jail operations: “We haven’t had a negative impact to the jails yet…We haven’t had an impact to public safety….” Maybe I’m reading this wrong, but this leads one to wonder what the $20 million cut from the Sheriff’s budget would have been spent on if its loss has had no impact on public safety.

Then there is a story about the County Health Care Agency curtailing some of the testing of ocean water at our beaches in order to cut costs. The tests are to determine if water quality poses a health risk or not. No direct mention of public safety in this story, but I do wonder if Assistant Sheriff James might agree that this news is about an impact on public safety ……..

Remember when the Governor announced plans to put some state owned property up for sale in order to generate some money for our cash-strapped state government, and that the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa is one of those properties? According to today’s Register that property is being offered for sale to the highest bidder, as-is. However, the City of Costa Mesa is reported to be considering action to designate the property as fairgrounds and further restrict what a new owner could do with the property. So, while the State searches for the maximum revenue possible from such a sale, the City (and some of the current fairgrounds’ “Special interests”) may take action to reduce the value of that property from the value it would have if not restricted. The state is seeking maximum value for the land; the city apparently is going in the other direction. Imagine that, different government agencies appear to be at odds with each other.

Other tidbits in the paper today ….Bad economic news seems to abound. Besides Sheriff Hutchens’ dire warning, we read that public schools face an even worse budget year next year, Wall Street has lowered the bond ratings of at least two Orange County School Districts, and Fountain Valley city offices will be closed one day a month as a budget saving move but at some inconvenience to taxpayers ….The Opinion page contains the usual Register and Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association pieces railing about one thing or another related to government….. and some letters to the editor focus on whether seniors have earned their social security or are participants in a government conspiracy to transfer wealth. One letter writer, a 76 year old receiving $ 570 a month, has no choice but to continue working – is that a fate we all face?

Maybe I am beginning to understand why newspaper reading is becoming a lost art.

About Over But Not Out

A retired Orange County employee, and moderate Republican. The editor seriously does not know OBNO's identity as did not the former editor, but his point of view is obviously interesting and valued.