The other day I wrote just a little bit about a conversation I had with Mark Kirk, Chairman Gary Ovitt’s Chief of Staff, almost a year ago about the Supervisor Ovitt’s hope to restore integrity and ethics to San Bernardino County governance. Those hopes and plans were derailed by a gang of three, Mike Ramos, Mark Uffer and Ruth Stringer, in an effort to maintain chaos on the Fifth Floor so to cover up their own misdeeds and the misdeeds of their supporters.
This calendar year has been a year of frustration for many, both on the inside and on the outside looking in. Instead of the promise of a re-commitment to transparency, reform and progress, the Board of Supervisors has been stagnant at best and more often described as emasculated due to the threats of an out-of-control District Attorney who has been aided and abetted by a disloyal County Administrative Officer and County Counsel who put their own political interests ahead of the people they serve.
Several weeks ago a number of issues surfaced almost simultaneously to renew the Board’s interest in reestablishing their control over county government. In order to do so, it was obvious that Mark Uffer and Ruth Stringer needed to go. Supervisors Ovitt and Derry took separate leads but, eventually along with Supervisor Mitzelfelt, were able to form a new majority on the Board of Supervisors. Today we saw the result.
Mark Uffer’s termination is a very important turning point for the current Board. It marks a regaining of power by the board. It will become very significant in the near future as I expect to see Ruth Stringer removed from her position as well as several other possibilities. It will also be critical as the Mike Ramos investigation is released and the civil lawsuits against the Assessor’s Office staff work their way through the court system.
Chairman Ovitt and Supervisors Derry and Mitzelfelt are owed a debt of gratitude for what they did for county employees today, but even more so for what they did in taking back authority and responsibility. It is a giant step towards cleaning up this county. All three should be congratulated for showing courage and leadership. These traits are why they were voted into office.
Let’s hope these three leaders can put petty differences aside and use this new voting block to move this county along into the future with integrity and foresight rather than the myopathy of the past.
I was going to write a paragraph or separate post on the lack of integrity by Supervisors Biane and Gonzales. But at the last minute I decided to ask Matt Brown for some insight into Paul’s vote. He agreed to talk with me tomorrow. No one from the Fifth District has responded to me in about a year, but I decided to give them one more shot too so both the supervisor and the COS received emails from me tonight. I don’t expect an answer nor do I understand her vote. I’ll report back tomorrow.
In the meantime Supervisors Ovitt, Derry and Mitzelfelt deserve our thanks. If you haven’t shot off an email to them, why not do so. Many of us are quick to criticize but slow to say “thanks.” They really deserve it today. We need to encourage them to be courageous more often.