Sunday, October 16, 2016 – 10:05 a.m.
In four years on the board, Supervisor Robert Lovingood has only one single accomplishment…sort of.
New Beginnings in the First District
When Robert Lovingood ran for office back in 2012, he and his supporters championed his business acumen. He was presented as an “all business” go-getter who would roll up his sleeves and get to work on behalf of the voters in the High Desert.
With a nation and county still reeling from the Great Recession, it was a solid job creation and fiscally conservative message that fit the political climate at the time. And he seemed like a credible, sincere fellow.
“Do-Nothing” Bob: Fair or Unfair?
Now that we have four years of his track record to look at, we see that the High Desert voters were snookered. Some have derisively mocked Supervisor Robert Lovingood for his lack of record and jokingly referred to him as “Do-Nothing” Bob.
Nope. Very Fair. Actually, too kind!
Originally, I thought these were just pithy put downs that we see every political season. But, I did some digging into his record and was shocked to discover how absolutely devoid of any real contributions and accomplishments the last four years were for Lovingood.
It isn’t an exaggeration to basically state he did nothing…literally. Let me repeat this because I am not exaggerating and will document it below.
Bob’s Got 94 Problems…
Including the upcoming meeting on October 18, there have been a total of 94 general board meetings since Lovingood took office. You can find a list of each one and their agendas here. Go to a regular board meeting agenda and open it. Once inside simply do a search for the word “Lovingood” and then locate each instance where Supervisor Lovingood was listed as a “presenter.”
A graphical spreadsheet representation can be seen in the below image (click to enlarge) or you can download the spreadsheet here:
Out of 94 regular board meetings, Lovingood is not listed as a presenter in 75 instances. That means he has brought nothing before the board for a vote. No policy change to improve county efficiency. No project to improve infrastructure. No initiative to create jobs. No measures designed to reduce crime.
Zip, nada, zilch.
He was just up there on the dais like a bump on a log 80 percent of the time.
So, what about the other 19 meetings? Surely, Lovingood offered up a plan for something, right? Nope.
In 17 of the remaining meetings, the only actionable item he brought before the board for a vote of his peers were contracts to hire employees to his staff or give them a raise. For example, when he hired a lobbyist who lives 300 miles away in Paso Robles to a $122,000 a year contract to fill a part-time position. Yes…you read that right. A six figure salary for a part-time job to a lobbyist who doesn’t even live in the region.
Hell, Las Vegas is closer!
So, that leaves two other meetings. On November 3, 2015, Lovingood presented an item exploring the possibility of converting a county service area to a community service district. I am not even sure if this ever amounted to anything. Regardless, nothing terribly significant.
That leaves one meeting in which Lovingood made a meaningful proposal. On March 1, 2016, right around the time candidates had to file papers to run for office in June — Lovingood directs the County’s CEO to work with county staff to improve prosecution of welfare fraud in the county.
Why? Because during Lovingood’s tenure in office welfare fraud prosecutions dropped from 296 in 2012 to a scant 87 in 2015. And while I don’t have numbers in front of me, I am pretty sure the welfare rolls increased during this period which makes those numbers even worse.
Let’s Give Bob a Participation Medal
So, kudos to Supervisor Lovingood for your one lone accomplishment while in office. I mean…if you call stopping the bleeding and attempting to get back to the point where we started when you started your term in office an actual accomplishment.
The next time you hear “Do-Nothing” Bob talk about what he has done to lower crime, reduce homelessness, or create jobs — ask him where the beef is! He doesn’t have one damn policy or initiative presented to the board and passed by his colleagues since he took office that has actually moved the ball forward.