Wednesday, December 7, 2011 – 12:05 p.m

Has anything really changed in San Bernardino County government?

The answer. Not really.

In 2010, when county supervisors hired Chief Executive Officer Greg Devereaux, it was to allegedly begin an era of new government.

What a misconception.

Devereaux was given whatever he demanded. Such items as more pay, more bennies, a new title, and most importantly, more control, were thrown at his feet.

Anything Mr. Devereaux wanted, Mr. Devereaux received.

And many people were launched from management positions in the process.

At Devereaux’s request, county supervisors, pretty much abdicated their roles as, you guessed it, “Supervisors”.

Key word in the previous sentence being supervisor. Hint…Hint….

The board, again at Devereaux’s urging, gutted their own staffs as a purported “cost-cutting” measure.

Now county supervisors have limited public outreach and no ability to monitor management.

But then again, it’s San Bernardino County.

As Devereaux, the former city manager for Ontario, is now about to enter his third year of a five-year contract it would be appropriate to get a snapshot of just where things are.

  • Most county employee associations have little or no meaningful dialogue with county management. This is primarily due to the current “my way or the highway” philosophy employed by the county. The whole situation is designed to create the atmosphere for imposition of concessions.
  • No real budget reform has been accomplished. This due primarily to the fact Devereaux wants employee takeaways to solve the entire problem. The delay makes the alleged shortfall situation worse.
  • The county is pretty much stagnant. In other words, stale economy aside, county government is literally frozen.
  • Even though Devereaux has cobbled together three votes to support his agenda, political infighting amongst the supervisors is at its highest. The current budget situation being a prime example.

Tuesday’s news of a forty-five percent or $7.75 million cost overrun on a High-Desert Emergency Operations Center is a prime example of the problem.

The phrase “asleep at the wheel” comes to mind.

As I have said before. When you compare San Bernardino County with other Southern California counties, San Berdoo operates like no other.

One has to ask. Are things any different than when Mark Uffer was in charge.

The circus goes on.