Thursday, May 26, 2011 – 09:30 a.m.
The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors remains on a path of converting to a staffing platform closer to that of a city council over the next few months.
Chief Executive Officer Greg Devereaux has insisted on each district reducing their respective budgets by an additional $450,000 per year.
That’s $2.25 million annually.
The additional request follows the complete elimination of each board districts discretionary funds and most of their priority policy needs budget.
Nearly all of the districts use priority policy money to augment staffing.
Devereaux is leading Chairwoman Josie Gonzales, who’s hoping to avoid a booking number, around by the nose and supes Gary Ovitt and Janice Rutherford appear clueless.
The three, Gonzales, Ovitt and Rutherford are pressuring their colleagues, Supervisors Neil Derry and Brad Mitzelfelt, who represent the two largest districts based on geographic size and unincorporated population, to axe three positions from their budgets.
It appears the goal is to bring staff size down to a whopping six employees. A staff size not seen in decades.
A size smaller than what a state assembly member receives.
The scenario poses an interesting showdown within the board.
But, there is one way to handle the problem.
Derry and Mitzelfelt can filibuster or block all four-vote items.
Under appropriation rules, any increase in a specific budget line after the adoption of the fiscal year budget requires four-votes.
So their colleagues might think they don’t need Derry and Mitzelfelt for anything. But they really do.
Devereaux has smartly put the supes at war with the employee unions and now he’s shrinking their staffs, while they, the board members, are oblivious.
But at the end of the day, why should he care? He has an iron-clad, no-cut contract.
Who’s laughing now?
Yes, politics at its best.
One last thought. Devereaux may need the money from the board budget to keep former the county counsel along with his predecessor on payroll.