Home > Bonnie Neely, elections, Virginia Bass > Grand Jury slams Supervisor salaries

Grand Jury slams Supervisor salaries

The Humboldt County Grand Jury released a report Tuesday criticizing salaries paid to the county Board of Supervisors.

The BoS voted themselves a pay raise in September 2008 in a 3-2 vote with Jimmy Smith and Johanna Rodoni dissenting.

The GJ found Humboldt Supes are paid 29% higher than counties with similar populations, and “78% higher than the average salary of the surrounding and regional counties with similar economies and governance structure.”

The report also targeted additional longevity pay, which is currently earned by just one member of the BoS, Bonnie Neely.

The GJ recommends the supes:

  • decrease their salaries for the 2011 fiscal year,
  • do away with longevity pay,
  • allow a third party such as the Grand Jury to determine salaries.

At least two members of the Grand Jury are supporters of Neely challenger Virginia Bass.  Secretary Lee Ulansey and member Robert Morris each donated $1,500 to the Bass campaign.

  1. Anonymous
    April 13, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    No surprise here. The Grand Jury recommendations are often political which is why they are so routinely ignored.

  2. Goldie
    April 13, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    oh my, (keeping it clean). This would be interesting if brought to the people on the ballot. I see no reason these salaries should be this high.
    Our county and budget are so strained right now I could see a little downward adjustment in their take home making a lot of sense.

  3. Senior Citizen
    April 13, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    I love it when people refer to Lee Ulansey as an artist

  4. Anonymous
    April 13, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    Lee Ulansey is working on his greatest artistic triumph right now; a new world order here in Eureka. The artist plans to recruit, groom and lead into power his minion of straw (wo)men. Starting with Bass and then working on Marion Brady in the City Council and god knows who else.

    Dorothy we’re not in Kansas anymore… but pay attention to the man behind the curtain.

  5. Humboldt Politico
    April 13, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    Are they overpaid? Yes, but even if they all took a 25% pay cut, it would only save the county $100,000 a year.

    What they didn’t look at was department heads. Didn’t the just retired Loretta Nicolas make about $140,000 a year plus benefits? And her replacement about that much?

  6. the reasonable anonymous
    April 13, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    Kudos to Heraldo for posting this piece. H has been accused of being a partisan tool for Bonnie’s campaign, but this post isn’t especially flattering to Bonnie. After all, she was one of the three to vote themselves the pay raise, and because she is also the only beneficiary of the longevity pay.

    Anyhow, people can attack the messengers (the Grand Jury), but what about the message (the county-by-county comparison of Supervisors’ salaries)?

    Is anyone disputing the fact that three of our Supervisors voted to pay themselves more than any other County supervisors in the area, even as they were cutting services to their constituents?

    I know the Supervisors’ salaries are only a very small part of the county budget, but let’s face it, voting themselves raises to their already-high salaries — at a time when most people have been really struggling to make end meet — was seen by many as (at best) a sign that they were out-of-touch with economic reality, and (at worst) an act of political insider arrogance and a slap in the face to the voters.

    The basic question is: Are all the other counties underpaying their Supes or are we overpaying ours? I’m inclined to the latter point of view, so I think that it’s entirely appropriate that those Supes who voted themselves the big raises should take some heat for it during this election campaign.

  7. Scott
    April 13, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    Pretty high salaries but can we compare with some other coastal counties to the south, Sonoma, Marin, SF, etc.? Yeah, Humboldt is away from it all, but it is coastal California, unlike Shasta, Trinity and Siskiyou. Mendo’s a close second.

  8. Goldie
    April 13, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    $100,000 here and $100,000 there, it could add up, you know.
    Retirements are a up and coming big problem. How this is going to be handled I have no idea. Money from China? But just because one part of the system is out of whack does not justify creating or defending more unreasonable decisions. It has to stop somewhere. Put some single working moms in office who know how to make a dollar stretch. Import some Amish or Quakers or Martians and give them the job. We need a new kind of thinking around here.
    I am a citizen. I want value.

  9. Eric Kirk
    April 13, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    Personally I think the only reasonable basis of comparison is with counties of similar populations. What Trinity pays is irrelevant.

    Of note though that the only person who voted for the increase who’s likely to suffer any political fallout for it is Bonnie.

  10. Not an Expert
    April 13, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    according to the NCJ, in 2008:

    Director of Health and Human Services Phil Crandall makes $161,621.

    County Administrative Officer Loretta Nickolaus makes $148,733.

    District Attorney Paul Gallegos makes $136,331 per year.


  11. the reasonable anonymous
    April 13, 2010 at 9:13 pm


    It seems that you’re complaing that the Grand Jury was comparing apples to oranges, but then you go on to suggest comparing apples to watermelons instead!

    Median incomes in Sonoma, Marin, SF, etc., are quite a bit higher than here, as is the cost of housing, etc. Total population and the size of government staffs are MUCH, MUCH larger in Sonoma, Marin, SF etc.

    Comparing our Supervisor’s salaries to those in Marin, Sonoma, and SF would be pretty meaningless. That would be like comparing the salary of the Mayor of Eureka to the salary of the Mayor of New York City, on the basis that they are both coastal.

    The Grand Jury used comparisons that, while not perfect, were certainly far more appropriate than those you suggested, Scott.

    It will be interesting to see folks trying to spin away the undeniable fact that our Supervisors are overpaid, and that several of them voted to overpay themselves even more, and did so at a time when they were also cutting services to their constituents because of budget woes.

    So far we’ve seen attack-the-messenger, and we’ve seen let’s-compare-apples-to-watermelons. What will be the next ridiculous justification for these salaries? Stay tuned, I’m sure there are more to come!

  12. the reasonable anonymous
    April 13, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    Well, let’s compare Humboldt County to Shasta County:

    As far as population size, Shasta County has about 180,000 people as compared to Humboldt County, which has about 130,000.

    Median household income for Humboldt is about $40,000 annually. For Shasta, the figure is about $42,000.

    So, Humboldt has a smaller population, and lower median income, yet our county supervisors vote themselves salaries about 50% higher than Shasta’s supervisors.

    Are our supervisors 50% better? I doubt it.

  13. the reasonable anonymous
    April 13, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    So comparing Humboldt to Shasta is more or less comparing apples to somewhat larger apples, or at worst apples to oranges.

    Here are the watermelons Scott wanted to compare to:

    Sonoma: About 470,000 people, median income about $62,00

    Marin: About 250,000 people, median income about $90,000

    San Francisco: About 815,000 people, median income about $61,000.

    So, I think Shasta makes the best comparison so far.

  14. Anonymous
    April 13, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    I took a look at the rest of the report, it is pretty interesting, well done and appears unbiased. Definately worth a gander.

    As an aside, it makes no sense for Ulansey to devise this for political gain as the report seems very likely to cost his candidate and all the others a big salary increase. Kudos to all the Grand Jury members, well done. I don’t see any way that the Supes can help but to drop their excessive wages a notch or two. Three times the average wage in Humboldt is something to be ashamed of.

  15. Jeff Leonard
    April 13, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    I was going to make a comment, but the facts speak for themselves.

    I’ll tell a story instead:
    On Sunday, I was going door to door in Myrtletown. At the first house, I talked with a nice couple and their friend from Fairfield Street in Eureka. The husband made this comment, “I won’t vote for Bonnie because I’m still mad at her for voting herself a pay raise”.

    I was surprised, because I thought this issue had long been forgotton.

  16. the reasonable anonymous
    April 13, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    I think this issue is going to cost Bonnie a significant number of votes, and I think it should.

    But despite this and other problems, I think she’s probably going to win re-election.

    Why? Because neither Jeff’s campaign nor Virginia’s campaign seem to be able to articulate any compelling reasons why we should vote for them (not just reasons why we should vote against Bonnie).

    I’ve been asking on several threads for supporters of each of the candidates to provide a list of the Top Ten Reasons to vote for their candidate, with an emphasis on concrete accomplishments. Bonnie’s supporters came up with a respectable list, but neither Jeff’s nor Virginia’s supporters have come up with even a Top Five list.

    These folks have plenty negative to say about Bonnie (at least some of which I agree with) but little to offer in terms of what their own candidates have accomplished in the past, or what concrete items they are committed to for the future. So, shameful self-voted pay raise notwithstanding, I think Bonnie is more likely to prevail on Election Day.

  17. Ion E-town
    April 13, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    7:51 So Marian Brady is going to run for council where does she live? who is she running agianist?
    She’s to the right of Rex Bohn!

  18. Bolithio
    April 13, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    So a teacher makes what? 45-65k/y depending on their seniority and district. A teacher goes through a grueling school experience, followed by the wonderful rift/layoff cycle until if they are lucky enough to get in permanent. They do this because most teachers are sincerely interested in making a difference, so all the BS is worth it for them.

    A politician claims to be interested in making things better for other people. When their salaries are three times of most teachers, you have to wonder how committed they really are to their civic duty. Big surprise that its 2-3 to make more money when everyone else is SOL.

    100K or more is a ton of money. Justified? I dont know, but when its lay-offs everywhere, everything is being cut, were loosing health care, and on and on – the fact that they are voting to increase their wages beyond a already fat check has permanently lost my confidence in those three.

    This should rile the angry mob way more than a muddy field.

  19. Not a Eurekan
    April 13, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    are we to presume that Virginia Bass or Jeff Leonard wouldn’t cash their paychecks?

    Maybe Virginia would keep selling pharmaceuticals or Jeff would keep working for the State Workers Comp Fund and be the supervisor as an evening/weekend hobby.

  20. Lodgepole
    April 13, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    How about we just lower their salaries, and leave the politics out of it.

  21. Bolithio
    April 13, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    “”are we to presume that Virginia Bass or Jeff Leonard wouldn’t cash their paychecks? “”

    What does that have to do with anything? The question is if they would vote to increase their pay during a recession.

  22. Bolithio
    April 13, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    What if their salaries were based on the median wage of the citizens? In that way, there would be incentive to promote jobs and economic growth.

  23. Walt
    April 14, 2010 at 6:19 am

    Bolitho, what are you, a SOCIALIST?? (Shudder!) Next you’ll want to tie the salaries of the CEO caste and the Movie Star caste to the median wage of the citizens! Don’t you realize they are not like “citizens?” They are our betters, and their wealth tinkles down to us, as does their glory. Ingrate!

  24. April 14, 2010 at 7:24 am

    County supervisors in rural counties are supposed to be part time positions filled by citizens giving back to their community, much as those who serve on school boards, fire boards, etc. That means they continue to work at a day job with discretionary time off to attend the high number of meetings and events that go with the territory.

    Part of the problem that Bonnie and others have created by spiking the pay is that several people now file for these positions for a **job** and the attractive salary.

    By any reasonable comparison to like sized counties in CA, Humboldt is WAY out of whack in supervisor pay, and the longevity bonus is a huge insult.

  25. Anonymous
    April 14, 2010 at 7:35 am

    I think Marin County Supes make more but much larger population and budget. San Francisco makes a lot less than Humboldt. Can’t remember Sonoma salaries.

  26. humboldturtle
    April 14, 2010 at 7:37 am

    “Giving back” to their community? Noblesse Oblige enters, stage right.

    The curtain rises on a clearing in the woods. Crawford is the wolf and Bonnie is Li’l Red Riding Hood. Hiding under his sheepskin, the wolf breaks into song: “Hello, Little Red Riding Hood. Your job’s sure lookin’ good. It’s everything that the big bad wolf could want. AWWWwwwooooo…”

    How much does the Grand Jury cost us?

  27. Plain Jane
    April 14, 2010 at 7:53 am

    The county listed closest to Humboldt in size is Napa. Note their supervisors pay scale? I’m sure if Chris had been successful in his bid for supervisor he would have only done it part-time and would have eschewed any payment at all to “give back” to the community. Of course, the truth is people like Chris want the job to “give back” to themselves and their friends, just like it is in many rural counties where graft and corruption makes up for the lower pay.

  28. A Non A Me
    April 14, 2010 at 8:03 am

    The simple point is that the Supervisor’s salary is out of whack with the income of most working folks, and especially with Bonnie, who gets the highest, is out of touch. Her claim that they had to take a 10% pay cut during bad budget times, means that they deserve the higher salary is arrogant. Most working families will face income losses and are forced to adjust. Just another reason Bonnie needs to go.

  29. Plain Jane
    April 14, 2010 at 8:13 am

    You Bonnie bashers sound like a bunch of socialists when talking about the pay of an elected official, but when the subject changes to the pay of the financial industry executives who caused the financial crisis, you scream FASCIST at the suggestion they should have to take a pay cut. Suggesting that executive salaries be tied to a multiplier of the worker’s wages, same thing. Makes one wish such hypocrisy was painful.

  30. Goldie
    April 14, 2010 at 8:14 am

    Jeff Leonard what do you have to say about the amount of salaries? What do you have to say except that people are mad at Bonnie? What is your stand on this? As steward of our community what would you suggest would be a remedy to this situation?

  31. April 14, 2010 at 8:16 am

    The simpler point, A Non A Me, is that EVERY salary in the political class has become “way out of whack with the income of most working folks.” It’s the American way, circa 2010.

    For me, though, the more important point is what the supervisors DO, not how much they’re PAID. Look at county government, and decide for yourself whether the supervisors are doing a good job.

  32. mresquan
    April 14, 2010 at 8:19 am

    Chris C wrote”Part of the problem that Bonnie and others have created by spiking the pay is that several people now file for these positions for a **job** and the attractive salary”

    Well considering Bonnie was your sides tool in office for 16 years,I’d say you would be speaking of Nancy Flemming,Jeff,and Virginia,her opponents since she was turned on by former supporters for taking some stances against their will.

  33. Plain Jane
    April 14, 2010 at 8:31 am

    Good point, Mresquan. They never have a problem with the pay of supervisors or those getting perks from supporters (Rodoni’s special deal with PALCO) so long as the supervisor doesn’t rule against anything they want. Their main problem with Neely is her position on the CCC and refusal to just rubber stamp anything these self-appointed, wanna-be rulers of Humboldt County have planned. Electing their candidates is a leap into the past where the golden rule is “those with the gold rule.”

  34. Bolithio
    April 14, 2010 at 8:44 am

    What some of you dont realize is that you cant box everyone in. Just because some of us don’t support Bonnie doesn’t make us this stereo type neo-con you keep labeling people as. This is what keeps distancing people from either movement – liberal or conservative. I think its great – because both of these close minded movements are headed no where. Time to loose this useless black and white point of view, and actually start listening to each others ideas. This is the only way we will get out of this rut we find our selves in.

  35. capdiamont
    April 14, 2010 at 8:57 am

    The problem with your “point” is that was eight years ago, and is biased on a stereotype. It also wasn’t during a bad economic time, such as now. It also doesn’t recognize that some “Bonnie bashers” were not around during that time frame.

    Cutting their pay in half, would fix a lot of pot holes, etc. Also, by making them part time, it hopefully will force the meetings to be after 5pm when working folks can attend. Instead of making them take time off.

    Since some of the supervisors don’t like the Grand Jury setting the pay, how about we make them have to put it to a vote every year with three choices? a) Increase pay b) No change c) Decrease pay.

  36. Apple Picker
    April 14, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Yes, and there’s no reason an apple picker should earn $6,600 a month of the Supervisor’s position either. It’s just gross financial negligence that allows for this to happen…..meanwhile the state is about to go completely insolvent after all this fiat stimulus runs out. Nice job Humboldt county!

  37. Plain Jane
    April 14, 2010 at 9:06 am

    “Are our supervisors 50% better? I doubt it.”

    Considering the serious budget problems in Shasta County, you could be wrong.

    “About 40 positions in the Sheriff’s Office are at risk of evaporating in county budget cuts.”

    “McKenzie said the budget for managed care through the Department of Mental Health was cut in half, about $1.1 million.”

    “Child welfare services are to receive a 10 percent cut, but administrators at the county level do not know where the cuts are to be made.”

    “Ewert said the cuts to public health due to declining sales tax and vehicle license fee revenues has forced Shasta County Public Health to make difficult cuts to prevention, education and immunization programs.”

    “The cuts included eliminating HIV testing and counseling, which affected an estimated 345 people, according to the staff report. Also cut were three dental programs for children, which affected an estimated 1,608 children.”

    “Immunization clinics were cut or eliminated altogether to achieve a total savings of $21,135 in 2008-2009 and $58,509 in 2009-2010, according to a public health staff report. An estimated 1,338 clients were affected.”

  38. Goldie
    April 14, 2010 at 9:09 am

    Bonnie Bla Bla Bla. Ms. Bass Bla Bla Bla Jeff Bla Bla. The salaries are too high for our current economic situation. Services are being cut. The amount of the salaries is the topic. After that I would say the amount of the salaries of other local government and county employees needs to be justified.

  39. Babushka
    April 14, 2010 at 9:18 am

    And what,pray tell, has the Grand Jury accomplished in the last fifty years? Now they’ve gone from completely irrelevant to allowing themselves to be used politically. This is the only County office for which the main qualification is availability.

  40. Plain Jane
    April 14, 2010 at 9:22 am

    The supervisors’ responses:

    “Lovelace said the supervisors who initially approved the raise have since declined to take the 3 percent raise for the 2009-2010 year.

    With the 3 percent increase in 2008-2009, the supervisors’ salary increased to $77,000 (not 79,200 as cited in the GJ report). The 3 percent raises were less than the staff’s recommendation.”

    Smith said the county is working on a detailed response to the report, which, he said, did not take into consideration some relevant information, such as the supervisors’ past voluntary pay cuts.

    ”We’re doing a detailed response to that because the information is inaccurate,” Smith said. He reemphasized his ongoing decision not to take any increases.

    Neely and Lovelace made similar statements.

    ”As best as I can tell, the grand jury deliberately avoided certain information that didn’t tell the story they didn’t want to tell,” Lovelace said. ”

    “Neely wrote in an e-mail that she declined the longevity increase in 2009. She said she also took a voluntary 10 percent reduction in salary in 2003 and 2004. Neely said she felt the salary discussion would be more productive in another setting.”


  41. capdiamont
    April 14, 2010 at 9:34 am

    Lets see here, the report has been in the making since the last BOS vote on the matter, is a committee, yet is been swayed by a few non Bonnie members?

  42. Plain Jane
    April 14, 2010 at 9:42 am

    The 2 of jury members who are publicly and financially supporting Bass should have recused themselves. Determining elected officials’ salaries is not the business of the Grand Jury and the fact that they inserted themselves into the issue and misrepresented the facts, i.e. the actual salary and that the supervisors voluntarily declined the pay increase proves it is just a politically motivated hit piece.

  43. Bolithio
    April 14, 2010 at 9:48 am

    I cant believe you are defending this PJ.

  44. April 14, 2010 at 9:51 am

    Cap, you peabrained pud-coupler, you forgot to say “Bon-Bon.”

    Loving hugs!

  45. anon
    April 14, 2010 at 9:53 am

    Maybe all the candidates should be asked if they would commit to a pay cut immediately after the election (and put it in writing).

  46. capdiamont
    April 14, 2010 at 9:53 am

    Opppsssss!!!! Sorry! Bowing, and asking for forgiveness.

  47. Plain Jane
    April 14, 2010 at 9:55 am

    Funny Bolithio. I’m not a bit surprised that you are buying it since it fits your views.

  48. Anonymous
    April 14, 2010 at 10:01 am

    The Grand Jury does indeed attract some really odd ducks. Lee Ulansey is one of the stranger ones. Just about everything that comes out of his mouth is political so it no surprise this report was skewed for political purposes.

  49. Bolithio
    April 14, 2010 at 10:14 am

    Buying what? That our politicians are disingenuous? Yup!

  50. Plain Jane
    April 14, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Buying this Grand Jury BS without even hearing what the supervisors have to say. Not very open minded of you. :P

  51. ANON
    April 14, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Really PJ??? So just because 2 people on the GJ have other political views, then the facts regarding the Sups salaries are not valid?

  52. Plain Jane
    April 14, 2010 at 10:57 am

    If you had bothered to read the thread and the T-S story on it, you wouldn’t be so sure the GJ presented the “facts,” ANON. Furthermore, it isn’t other “political views” that is the problem but the FACT that 2 of them have contributed large sums to Bass.

  53. ANON
    April 14, 2010 at 11:05 am

    With regards to the facts- The salaries listed compared to those salaries of ours sups speak for themselves-
    Perhaps, I should have used “supported other political views”, instead of “have other political views.

  54. Consumer
    April 14, 2010 at 11:07 am

    As is usually done around here, the two supervisors who voted against the raise were running for election that year. Someone who has alot of time could do historical research on that. The salaries are public record. Lets list actual salaries including benefits, retirement. travel, etc.

  55. tee see
    April 14, 2010 at 11:15 am

    The Board salaries are high compared to pay for other County employees. They have increased considerately more over the last twenty years than that of the other employees. Of course, what that means is County employees are underpaid compared to similar employees in comparable Counties. Chew on that one for a while.

  56. Plain Jane
    April 14, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Except they didn’t even get the actual salaries correct, ANON. The supervisors are paid $77,000 a year and none of them receive the 10% seniority bonus or the 3% cost of living increase. It’s not surprising that some of you can’t recognize the political bias going on here since you didn’t wait to hear both sides of the case before forming your opinions. There are lots of people who make more than $77,000 in Humboldt County, including but not limited to many department heads, cops, PG&E and phone company employees, real estate and insurance agents, computer consultants, etc. Averaging professionals’ salaries and McJob wages is disingenuous, to put it politely.

  57. Locke Smith
    April 14, 2010 at 11:38 am

    I’m new on this site, but I have a question. Has the underlying principle about which everyone is talking been discussed?

    In other words, do we want to have everyday citizens filling political offices at great personal sacrifice (think Washington, Adams, or Jefferson) or do we want those postions occupied by a permanent governing class motivated by money, power, perceived status, or all of the above (think Boxer, Thompson, or Chesbro)?

    I opt for the former. Hence I agree the supervisors are paid too much. A part-time Board meeting in the evenings would be an improvement to what we now have. It would force them to pare their activities to the essentials while also giving us more opportunities to observe what they are doing–perhaps even give an opinion on occasion.

  58. Goldie
    April 14, 2010 at 11:43 am

    Excellent post Locke Smith…… I agree.

  59. Plain Jane
    April 14, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    What you are suggesting, while it sounds great in theory, would result in only the wealthy elite (like Washington, Adams or Jefferson) being able to afford to hold office. Without knowing the responsibilities of a supervisor, its very easy to believe the job could be done on a part-time basis in the evenings. In practice that may or may not be true. The idea that the job entails only BOS meetings is ridiculous. Moving the meetings to evenings would mean paying county personnel overtime for their required attendance at these meetings as well.

  60. the reasonable anonymous
    April 14, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    If the supervisors are already voluntarily declining part of their salaries, then:

    (1) That suggests that they acknowledge that the salaries ARE too high, and

    (2) It should be no problem for them to vote to lower these salaries and eliminate the “longevity” pay.


  61. Plain Jane
    April 14, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    HEY! How about if we make all county employees part-time so we could employ a larger number, close all offices during the day and open them at night so people don’t have to take off work to handle their business with county? (sarcasm)

  62. the reasonable anonymous
    April 14, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    I agree with the idea that CEO salaries should be tied to a multiplier of their workers’ salaries. This is long overdue.

    The case for relating the Supervisor’s salaries to the median income in the county is even stronger, since they are playing with our tax money, which we are required by law to pay.

    With CEOs, at least in theory we can choose not to do business with their company if we don’t like their compensation structure. County government, on the other hand, is a monopoly, and in my book that jusifies greater regulation.

  63. High Finance
    April 14, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    Those of you who are advocating cutting department head salaries because some are higher paid than even the Board of Supervisors are missing a huge point.

    The department heads actually work for a living. What the hell does a Supervisor do that warrants a full time job at that kind of pay?

    Someone made a joke about what would Jeff do, keep working at St Comp Fund & make the Supervisor job a evening & weekend job. Or Virginia to keep selling pharmaceuticals?

    WHY NOT? There is no reason the Supervisors have to work any more hours than a city councilman.

  64. Bolithio
    April 14, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Why do supervisors make more than teachers? What is harder about their job? Shouldn’t government jobs be about a decent wage with benefits? Anyone defending these top dollar government salaries likely works for the government. Beware.

  65. Plain Jane
    April 14, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Not me, Bolithio. I’m self-employed.

  66. Locke Smith
    April 14, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    I realize BOS meetings are not all that the job entils. As a rule of thumb, however, I find that the less time any governing body is in session, the less mischief they can cause.

  67. Locke Smith
    April 14, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    I also realize the danger of creating a situation where only a wealthy elite could participate. But limiting the scope of what the supervisors could get their hands into would decrease the time necessary to do their legitimate job. Would this attract the same civic-minded type who make things like Little League, Girl Scouts, or Special Olympics work now? I would like to think so, but I’m sure some of you have plausible arguments against my view. I’m listening.

  68. Anonymous
    April 14, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    If you asked Jimmy Smith to tell you how many hours he puts into attending meetings, reading reports, educating himself about the issues before him, going to events, meetings and celebrations for his community I PROMISE you it will at least match the number of hours a teacher spends at his or her job each week. A salary for this position is more than justified IMHO but the wage IS too high.
    Bonnie is a really bad example of greedy excess! Half her energies are given to another high paying job: the CCC. She is raking it in big time. We should all be pretty furious that she makes probably 6 times the average salary of her constituents.

  69. Locke Smith
    April 14, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    I’m not suggesting their salaries be eliminated, just reduced so they don’t get too comfortable where they are. Does the term “public SERVICE” ring a bell for anyone?

  70. Lives Here
    April 14, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    Locke Smith, I suggest you go to a BoS meeting, then a city council meeting, and compare the two agendas, the size of the budgets, and the geographical area being governed. What the supervisors do is staggering. It is certainly not a part-time job. And truth be told, being an attentive and responsible Eureka city council person involves much more time than the measly $500/month they are currently comped (IMHO).

    Suffice to say, this high-and-mighty finger-waggling at Bonnie is straight-out hypocritical for Jeff and Virginia if they don’t immediately produce statements saying they will, if elected, refused the current $77K salary and propose, say, a $40-50K salary for themselves. But, they won’t.

    At least we know Jeff is reading The Humboldt Herald. Jeff, a list of your top ten accomplishments has been called for over and over again, from a variety of bloggers. Why are you and Virginia running away from this challenge? Aren’t you telling everyone that you’re “The Best Person For the Job”? Without specifics, this is just another empty slogan.

  71. the reasonable anonymous
    April 14, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Yes, given that supporters of both Virginia and Jeff do post to this site, and have plenty of ideas about why we should vote against Bonnie, it’s pretty amazing that neither group has come up with a top ten (or even top five!) reasons to vote FOR their candidate.

  72. Plain Jane
    April 14, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Sounds like a lot of class envy going on here. I personally prefer people with experience running government and don’t mind them being comfortable where they are. Paying people well for doing a good job keeps them honest since the opportunity to supplement their incomes through backroom deals is always present.

    CCC meets once a month for 3 to 5 days so could hardly be considered half time for which they are paid a minimal amount per diem.

  73. A-Nony-Mouse
    April 14, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    Most of a Supe’s time is spent dealing with people like some of you. That alone wastes a lot of time! However, there is much real work to be done. I did not notice that even one of the detracters above offered to cut their own pay by even one cent. Kind of hypocritical, don’t you think? Read the damn TS article and look at the fact that the 3% was voted in during ‘good times’ but was refused when hard times hit, as was the longevity bonus.

    Notice that the GJ report was the result of ‘a complaint’. Makes you wonder just who complained and why (Hi, Crawford. Are your ears burning?). Then the so-called report misrepresents the truth and tarnishes by inuendo without giving the Supes a chance to respond. Nice work, Ulansey. I’m sure there was no bias in the way you presented this ‘info’ (sarcasm!)

    The job of Supervisor carries a lot of responsiblity. The least administrator at HSU makes more than the Supes do for that reason. Most county (and city, for that matter) professionals make more than that. PJ’s right when she says you can’t average business and professional salaries with McJobs to find pay levels. when I hear a cry from all the fine folks above who make over that amount to have their salaries cut, then I’ll pay attention, not before. $77,000 sounds like a lot but it’s a pretty reasonable amount for a responsible lawmaking and administrative position. True, I never made that much. But I never had their responsility or had to deal with the never-ending stream of constituents demanding my time and help. It is truly a 24/7 job.

    As to being part time, do you really want someone overseeing the complexities of this county just when they have a monent, in their spare time, if they get around to it? That’s a poor way to do business.

  74. Oldphart
    April 14, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    Let’s keep this to the salery issue and not individuals. They are overpaid. This is Humboldt County and how many people do you know that make over $70,000 a year? If you reduce the salary, they would work less hours because, perhaps, they would hold another job. Good. Elected officials should be a part of the community they represent and not a body apart from that community. It is called Public Service which is akin to the Peace Corps, volunteering for the Red Cross, Cancer Society, Boy Scouts, Little League, etc. That is what creates a strong and liveable community. It’s not about how much you’ve goe, its about how much you appreciate.

  75. Oldphart
    April 14, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    How much you’ve got. I can goe with that.

  76. April 14, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Ok, I have to say this because it is too eery. It sure seems politicos are following lead!

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  77. TEN
    April 14, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    let us see Bonnie has made in excess of 1.5 million dollars working for the county her top 10 should be a lot more impressive i can think of a few people who have created jobs and donated to their community who did not get paid. so bonnie made 150,000.00$ per top 10 item you keep referring to, where are we now. Less Jobs,the library is beautiful from the front since it is closed 60% of the time that is its best view

  78. A-Nony-Mouse
    April 14, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    Sounds like Ulansey, Morris, and their lapdogs maneuvered this report for political reasons. They should be dismissed from the GJ. The GJ should have more important work to do.

  79. Plain Jane
    April 14, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    “how many people do you know that make over $70,000 a year?”

    I know many many people who make more that, some MUCH more than that. Ask Chris Crawford how much he makes. Do you really think people who make less than $70,000 are buying all the $300,000+ homes around here?

  80. Lives Here
    April 14, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Wow, TEN, didn’t know Bonnie’s Top Ten list burned you up so much. A much better use of your energies might be helping Jeff and Virginia with theirs, rather than disparaging Bonnie’s rather impressive accomplishments.

  81. A-Nony-Mouse
    April 14, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    I suspect all the developers who are contributing huge sums to Virginia are making far more than that as well.

  82. April 14, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    How much did it cost for the fire at the library? Are those tiles at the entry alcove foyer manufactured of ceramic or porcelin (darn things look neglected and are a tripping hazzard all chipped up, popping up, etc)? It is nice to have nice things IF these things can be paid for and maintained. Kinda a blightful “white trash” look the front of the county library has going on.

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  83. the reasonable anonymous
    April 14, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    “class envy”

    Are you channeling HiFi now?

  84. A-Nony-Mouse
    April 14, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    TEN, add up your income since you started working (assuming…) and, unless you’re very young, you’ll be amazed at the total.
    Let’s see, if the library is closed 60% of the time, it must be open 40%. (0.4 X 24 = 9.6) That’s 9.6 hours a day it is open on average? Pretty good in this economic climate, I’d say. Far better than most counties of our size.
    Now , about those top ten lists for Virginia or Jeffy that you HAVEN’T produced yet…..!!!!!

  85. Reinventing the Wheel
    April 14, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Bass must be waiting in silent desperation hoping for a miracle from this obvious political-stunt that benefits her developer-donors. Donors that Leonard had won-over by the time of his second city council election.

    With Humboldt County’s first supervisor majority willing to hold our Good Ol’ Boy developer’s accountable for illegal sprawl, (Ken Bareillis), it’s little wonder this Grand Jury report appears today. It could have drawn similar conclusions years, or decades ago. (Citizens have always complained about Humboldt’s top salaries, with some justification. At HSU all you need is a B.A. in P.E. and republican credentials for appointment to MANY $180,000 posts).

    Neely, Lovelace and Clendenen have all demonstrated some responsibility in refusing the increases, they have my support.

    HSU’s “community” may have to walk-out to get their unelected executive’s attention.

  86. Plain Jane
    April 14, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    “class envy”

    Are you channeling HiFi now?

    LOL! Just throwing it back at the hypocrites.

  87. the reasonable anonymous
    April 14, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    “Neeley, Lovelace and Clendenan have all demonstrated some responsibility in refusing the increases…”

    Well, that’s a majority on the Board, so why not just vote to reduce the salaries? I think many residents would really appreciate a move like that, as it would recognize the tough times facing so many residents. Even a 10% cut in their salaries would be an important symbolic action.

  88. Not A Native
    April 14, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    I’d say the money is just a symbolic issue. The people most concerned are really all about “strangling the beast”.

    If thats what the electorate wants, there are better ways to achieve that goal without creating the kind of corruption thats well know in places where officials are low paid. The fact is that most ballot issues for local bonds and local taxes are passed.

    According to the census bureau, the median HumCo household income in 2008 was $39,600. Households with very large incomes mmove the average up from the median. Therefore I’m certain that the average HumCo household income is quite a bit higher than $39,600.

    So, a Supe salary is in the range of the average HumCo household income.

  89. the reasonable anonymous
    April 14, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    The average salary of Rob Arkley and a McDonald’s worker would be in the millions, but that doesn’t give a very accurate picture of how the McDonald’s worker is doing. Average incomes are not very meaningful, that’s why median incomes are usually the measure that receives the most consideration.

    If you have any evidence that low-paid officials are more corrupt than higher-paid ones, I’d like to see it. As far as I can tell, if someone is corrupt they will always want more.

    I agree that this issue is mostly symbolic, but I would just point out that symbolism is very important in politics, and in society in general.

  90. Plain Jane
    April 14, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    Assuming that most people who run for supervisor make more than the average household income, (I’m betting that both Bass and Leonard do) how could they afford to take a huge pay cut in order to “serve” the people and why should they?

  91. Plain Jane
    April 14, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    *make more than the median household income too.

  92. the reasonable anonymous
    April 14, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Well, ask yourself why should the President of the U.S. take a pay cut, as they all do, to serve in that office? Why should judges accept lower pay than trial lawyers? Why should congressional candidates give up large private sector salaries to accept a job as Congressman or Senator for less pay? Because (1) It’s taxpayer money that they are playing with, and (2) it is a privilege to serve in public office, not an entitlement, and not something they are forced to do against their will.

    Anyway, if a majority of our current county supervisors are alredy voluntarily declining part of their salaries, then apparently they DO recgnize that the pay is seen as excessive, and apparently they CAN afford the “pay cut.” So why not just vote to reduce the salaries? I’m still waiting for the answer to that one.

  93. Plain Jane
    April 14, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    Foregoing a pay increase is not the same as cutting salaries. When they voted the cost of living increase things weren’t so bad (and the county still is doing pretty well) and when the economy dumped they didn’t take the pay increases or the longevity bonus. The answer to your question about national level politicians is obvious. They are going for the prestige as well as the delayed bribes after they leave office via consultant / executive jobs they receive from the industries they benefited while in office.

  94. the reasonable anonymous
    April 14, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    “Foregoing a pay increase is not the same as cutting salaries.”

    Agreed! Cutting the salaries would be far more meaningful.

  95. Not A Native
    April 14, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Open your eyes and stretch your mind RA. Low pay is a route to corruption. As the FBI says, its all about “need and greed”. And you must not have traveled in any developing countries or been reading the news about the challenges of NGOs to give aid in Haiti, Iraq, and Afghanistan. I’ve never been asked to pay bribes in any country where public officials are well paid, but often in countries where they aren’t.

  96. the reasonable anonymous
    April 14, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    So if we don’t pay our Supervisors salaries that are much higher than similar counties, they will accept bribes? Well then I guess we’d better pay up! What a racket.

  97. truth speaker
    April 14, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    reasonable, reasoning with jane and not native about anything having to do with local politics is a bad idea. they don’t get on here to discuss things. they get on here to defend, to the death, people they like whether or not it’s reasonable. facts do not apply. plain emotion and not smart are anything but reasonable and open to change.

  98. the reasonable anonymous
    April 14, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    What you say is applicable to most commenters, unfortunately. Not just on the left. So why do I bother? Good question. I guess it’s because every once in a while someone DOES engage in meaningful discussion. Or else I’m just a glutton for punishment. Uh-oh, if we apply Occum’s razor…

  99. Plain Jane
    April 14, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    Who here could meet their financial obligations if they took a big pay cut? People who think $70,000 is a large salary must be very poorly paid. I can’t think of a single profession, aside from teaching, where people don’t make at least that much, and even many non-professionals make that much and more.

    They’re hiring at McD’s, Speaker. You might qualify.

  100. the reasonable anonymous
    April 14, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    “low pay is a route to corruption”

    Then we should expect little corruption among CEOs, bankers, and other highly-paid occupations, right? I’m not sure that’s quite how it works out in the real world!

  101. GENE
    April 14, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    The supervisors’ salary level is set by county staff recomendation and approved by the BOS.Who do you think approves county staff pay levels?Lets get real on this issue and correct the problem.
    A few decades back,I belive it was during Supervisor Anna Sparks tenure the BOS voted to change the way their salary level was set. The Supervisors’salary use to be set by the GRAND JURY.—go figure

  102. Oldphart
    April 14, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    PJ – then I take it you would never join Peace Corps because they must all be corrupt. Nice reasoning.

  103. Goldie
    April 14, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    Plain Jane, According to your numbers I am very poorly paid but perhaps that is not the main point.
    I think their salaries are too high. I think many will think they are paid to much in a time when programs that support the communities general health and welfare are being cut back. I think that is an important point.

  104. Plain Jane
    April 14, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Way to set the strawman spinning, Oldphart. No one has even suggested that ALL of any group is corrupt regardless of their pay. What sort of power does a PC volunteer have that could be exploited for personal gain even if they were corrupt? Are they going to charge poor people to dig their wells, FFS?

  105. Anonymous
    April 14, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    I didn’t read all of the comments. But, my question
    is: If Robert Morris did sit on the jury and did
    contribute $l,500.00 to V. Bass’s election, is there
    a ethical or conflict of interest problem. This also
    applies to Lee Ulansey and his/her contribution.

    I am going to go hunting. I have already contacted
    those in charge of local grand juries. They are
    waiting for all the facts. Any information will be

  106. Plain Jane
    April 14, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    What is being cut in the county budget, Goldie?

  107. the reasonable anonymous
    April 14, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    So the arguments I’m hearing so far are:

    Since those running for office tend to already have high incomes, they are entitled to high incomes when in office, otherwise that’s an unfair “pay cut.”

    The salaries may be too high (or at least perceived as too high), but a majority of the current Supes are voluntarily not accepting a portion anyway.

    If we pay them less, they’re going to be more likely to take bribes.

    Underwhelming, to say the least.

  108. Plain Jane
    April 14, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    “Since those running for office tend to already have high incomes, they are entitled to high incomes when in office, otherwise that’s an unfair “pay cut.”

    That isn’t what I said at all. Expecting them to take a cut in their current salaries isn’t fair. If they choose to take a position at a lower salary that is their choice, but everyone getting out their pitchforks because supervisors are paid a decent salary which is less than what most of them would make in private business is ridiculous. It’s all the rage to hate on government these days, but still ugly.

  109. truth speaker
    April 14, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    SCHOOLS jane. schools are being cut. 100k in savings would be three in teachers just by bonnie getting paid what other supes get paid. jane, i’m sorry to resort to anonymous name calling but you are pathetic today. you spout your socialist propoganda (the public controlling private lands, the rich giving more to the poor) and sometimes you make good points and i agree with you. today, you are in outerspace. humboldt is an economically depressed region. it follows no logical sense that are supe would make that much more than neighboring supes from counties in similar economic positions. jane you are being argumentative just to be argumentative or possibly you are really plain bonnie and are trying to defend something that should just be ackowledged as wrong and corrected.

  110. Lodgepole
    April 14, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    “…which is less than what most of them would make in private business..” I call bullshit.

  111. Plain Jane
    April 14, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    That’s not the county budget, Speaker. Care to try again?

  112. Plain Jane
    April 14, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Leonard and Bass probably make at least that much in their private jobs, Lodgepole. As I stated up thread, many professional and even non-professional positions more than $70,000 a year. Who do you think is buying the houses around here? I’m beginning to understand why some of you are so anxious for those “good jobs” at Home Depot.

  113. Lodgepole
    April 14, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    You’ve stated a lot up thread. “..probably make..” don’t mean shit to me. What about lovelace, bonnie and Jimmy?

  114. Anonymous
    April 14, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    Humboldt County Supervisors deserve more money – to compensate them for having to listen to all the nut cases who lecture them during BOS meetings.

  115. mresquan
    April 14, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    It’s hard for me to believe that Jimmy made upwards of $80,000 in any year of fishing.Lovelace likely was paid around $35-36,000 topped out for the HWC,and I can’t imagine that Jill nor either Rodoni took in that much in a given year.

  116. Lodgepole
    April 14, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    I agree Mresquan, therefore I cannot justify their current salaries.

  117. Anonymous
    April 14, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    I know that some work comp companies pay their adjusters $60,000+ and pharmaceutical reps make $100,000+. Exactly what Leonard and Bass make isn’t public information. “Lovelace, Bonnie and Jimmy” could work in any number of industries in management and make over $100,000. Neely is also a paralegal and has a real estate license.

  118. Plain Jane
    April 14, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    No, but Rodoni had his special rent deal to subsidize his salary.

  119. Plain Jane
    April 14, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    For some reason my post at 5:58 registered as anonymous.

  120. Not A Native
    April 14, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    RA twists and distorts points beyond their meaning or extrapolates them irrationally. Good imitation of the public figure he share initials with.

    Just because paying too little guarantees corruption, that doesn’t imply that paying a lot guarantees no corruption. Need and greed are separate motivating corruption factors. Need is fundamental, and applies only to poor compensation because it involves basic survival that is common to everyone. It goes away when compensation isn’t inadequate. I don’t ever want a officeholder to be considering their personal (needy)situation when making a decision. If it does come up, thats what conflict of interest voting rules are for.

    Greed is more a function of an individual, voters try to reject candidates who display it. In fact, a lot of the commenters here are essentialy arguing which candidate might have shown more greed(plane trips, power hunger, favors for friends, large fundraising) and therefore is subject to corruption.

  121. Plain Jane
    April 14, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    I KNOW! We can offer the positions in a reverse auction and those who will do it the cheapest get the jobs! That would save money on elections and salaries. We might even find people who would do the job for nothing if we ignored the inevitable corruption which would result.

  122. Goldie
    April 14, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    What would be right? What would be fair?

  123. oldphart
    April 14, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    All this talk about corruption. If the Sups made $40,000 a year they would somehow be corrupt? If you are gonna be corrupt, what you make doesn’t make any difference. Its your own morals. The majority of people making over $70,000 in Humboldt County do not make that kind of money. Those positions at Piersons you are always defending do not pay that kind of salary. It is the government employees who make that for the most part. I just filed my taxes and I make $70,000. But the “straw man” bs about the people who purchase houses is just that – bs. Talk to some lenders about the folks who are currently looking for homes. It is a two income family that qualifies, and neither of them make $70,000 each. But, then just pull some more numbers out of your ass.

  124. oldphart
    April 14, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    I should revise that and say that only the top tier government employees make over $70,000. There are plenty that don’t.

  125. Plain Jane
    April 14, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    If someone as dumb as the old fart can make $70,000, how hard can it be?

  126. Anonymous
    April 14, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    Do you consider school teachers and administrators to be government employees?

  127. April 14, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    “The majority of people making over $70,000 in Humboldt County do not make that kind of money.”

    Oldphart, are you having a brainphart?

  128. April 14, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    I, Jeffrey Lytle, am submitting a friendly challenge to all 5th District Supervisor Candidates to mandate that,

    “if elected to the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors, said elected will pledge to cut the position’s salary base no less than a minimum 33% and demand that those taxpayers monies be re-classified, re-allocated and re-appropriated back toward 5th District needs; and, that those redirected funds will not be associated with any other board, commission, committee, agency, municipality, etc., advisory in nature or not, and regardless of political jurisdictions – either locally, State or Federal.”

    Note: emphasis being that the money hits the ground in the unincorporated areas. The reality is that a public petition process shall most likely be necessary in order to ~~~~~~ separate each supervisor position’s salary from another so as to allow individual reductions for the term of that specific supervisor choosing to do so ~~~~~~~In other words, encourage the local union representing county employees on the merit that a county employee (The People are the employer) has a right to take less money for a service rendered which will never be exactly like any other service rendered by any other supervisor. Labor is not equal in and of itself.

    Many people are struggling, just lucky enough to make it from paycheck to paycheck; and , for those who are less fortunate, we can only hope for the best. With all that is before us today, it is with absolute importance that we, as a community, navigate through these hard times with a focus toward social and economic unity. It is these times and past, when people have experienced fluctuations with their comfort levels, emotional and physical, that public funding has been debated and scrutinized with regard to fiscal responsibility and proper stewardship for the most basic of public services. After all, we are supposed to be a government of the people, by the people and for the people.

    Fiscal Responsibility includes many “technical things” for which an acting steward of the people should have, but nothing more important is, “that of what is inside that person” – character. Character is showing continual good faith toward honesty, being forthright and candid, having openness and transparency, being a stickler for facts, etc…; and, believe it or not, being able to understand the needs of many who have made their own sacrifices and expect the same of public officials too.

    For so many years, elected officials have given themselves raises, benefits, and other privileges that many citizens in the private sector could only dream of receiving. At the end of the day, medical costs, healthcare prevention examinations, gas cards, opportunities to travel and mingle, fine dining and entertainments, etc… are what taxpayers can base their comparisons on with regard to personal comfort levels. Most elected officials simply do not feel the economic poking and prodding that affects the incomes of so many community members not in a position of privilege. The Board of Supervisors voted themselves a raise in 2005 and again this past year. With better paying jobs lacking in availability due to a diminished local industry base, now is no better time than to give back to the people what the people have been giving for years – tax monies.

    9% raise over 3 years * T-S Article – Sept. 17 — Supes’ raises — The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to authorize a 3 percent increase in their salaries for the next three years.
    Supes Hiring Freeze/Furlough Plan * Supes Take Final Vote * Raises spread around * L.T.T.E. – Pay Raise Wrong

    Note: Please leave a “respectful” suggestion of where this extra money could be better spent within the boundaries of the 5th District.

    Jeffrey Lytle – Humboldt County 5th District Supervisor candidate

  129. oldphart
    April 14, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    Hey Plain Jane, insulting other posters gets real old. Have a courtous discourse here. Or fold it five ways and put it where the moon don’t shine. Heraldo said you get attacked all the time. Ever wonder why? And I’m dumb. sheesh

  130. April 14, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    Mr. Lytle, you might want to think of a more suitable blogonym, since you are apparently a candidate for public office. “Henchman” has a certain nasty ring to it, don’t you agree?

  131. oldphart
    April 14, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    And yes that was a brain fart. I meant to say that the majority of people in Humboldt County do not make $70,000+. Just so we are clear on that.

  132. oldphart
    April 14, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    And anyone gets a check from the city, county, state or feds is an employee. That includes the maintence folks, the postal carriers, the fish & game dudes, the teachers, etc.

  133. April 14, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    With two income families being a reality for the past 3 decades, double the number of jobs and double the number of those running personal deficits. Say, how many incomes in a family does it take to understand the truth about the American economy? I dunno off hand, but my guess is that the braintrust of the family will require a 3rd income….maybe even a 4th – dependencies will dictate. So very real and transparent! Oh, the pain!

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  134. April 14, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    The only thing nasty it seems is manipulative postings.


  135. Plain Jane
    April 14, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    Jeff has put in his bid.

  136. oldphart
    April 14, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    Don’t talk about the topic, attack the posters. And once again, I’m dumb.

  137. April 14, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    “The only thing nasty it seems is manipulative postings.”

    Manipulative? WTF? I was simply suggesting that “henchman,” which means something to the affect of “one prepared to engage in dishonest practices by way of service” to most of us, is not an appropriate sobriquet for someone running for public office.

    It’s really not an appropriate nickname for anyone who wishes to be taken seriously.

    Sorry, my mistake.

  138. April 14, 2010 at 7:38 pm


    Old Phart, I am dumbest and I am sure EVERYONE AGREES! You are not the loser – leave that for me.

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  139. April 14, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    Henchman – a trusted attendent or follwoer.

    this definition happens to be the first meaning in the advanced dictionary I use.

    Manipulation it is, very sad.


  140. April 14, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    “Henchman – a trusted attendent or follwoer.”

    Uh, okay. So, Mr. Lytle, let’s suppose that we buy your notion that “henchman” is not clearly a pejorative, isn’t it presumptuous to call yourself a “trusted attendant” of justice?

  141. the reasonable anonymous
    April 14, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    It’s not about hating government, or getting out pitchforks, it’s about whether Humboldt voters believe that their Supervisors, who are in the unusual position of setting their own salaries, are paid too much for a county of our size and economic situation.

    If you think they aren’t overpaid, then obviously you think cutting their pay would be unfair.

    If you think they ARE currently substantially overpaid, considering the small population of our county, and a median income below $40,00 annually, then cutting their existing pay seems only reasonable.

  142. Goldie
    April 14, 2010 at 9:38 pm

       /ˈhɛntʃmən/ Show Spelled[hench-muhn] Show IPA
    an unscrupulous and ruthless subordinate, esp. a criminal: The leader of the gang went everywhere accompanied by his henchmen.
    an unscrupulous supporter or adherent of a political figure or cause, esp. one motivated by the hope of personal gain: Hitler and his henchmen.
    a trusted attendant, supporter, or follower.
    Obsolete. a squire or page.
    Use Henchman in a Sentence
    See images of Henchman
    Search Henchman on the Web
    1325–75; ME henchman, henshman, henksman, hengestman, OE hengest stallion (c. G Hengst) + man man1

    —Related forms
    hench·man·ship, noun

    2. flunky, lackey, cohort.

  143. Mike Buettner
    April 14, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    What’s wrong with using Jeffrey Little?

  144. Anonymous
    April 14, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    The job of supervisor does not have an ‘average’ application process or an ‘average’ skill set to be successful. Compensation needs to be tied to the expectation of the job not to an arbitrary ‘average’. Just try to hire someone in the private sector with the expectation of a supervisor for less than $70k. The position should be compensated to the level of performance we expect. If the person doesn’t meet the expectation then they are replaced at their four year review (election).

  145. Lodgepole
    April 14, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    “Compensation needs to be tied to the expectation of the job…”

    That’s awfully persuasive. You just tell me how much, it’s all good.

  146. Anonymous
    April 14, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    “The position should be compensated to the level of performance we expect.”
    You mean pay them great and they will be great? Do you give your kids the money before they mow the lawn?

  147. April 14, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    As Goldie has pointed out, Mr. Lytle may want to find a dictionary that was published in the twentieth or twenty-first century.

  148. Anonymous
    April 14, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    Based on the many many many posting of Henchman, I have always subscribed to the notion you meant definition number 1.

    Now you claim it is number 3?

    Hard to swallow.

  149. Lodgepole
    April 14, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    “Just try to hire someone in the private sector with the expectation of a supervisor for less than 70K.”

    Earth to anon@9:55, apparently it’s no problem for many counties. Look at the numbers Heraldo provided at the top. Of the 6 counties listed, Humboldt is the only one over 70k per year, about 2k/month over the next best paid.

  150. mresquan
    April 14, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    I believe that those 6 counties all have higher unemployment rates.

  151. Lodgepole
    April 14, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    So what?

  152. April 14, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    Somebody (Me) must not be looking in a medieval dictionary, lol.

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  153. April 14, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    7:58 CPR,

    No presumption on my part.


  154. the reasonable anonymous
    April 14, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    In actual modern usage, the word “Henchman” has a rather negative connotation to most people, so “Henchman of Justice” sounds a bit contradictory.

    But “Henchmen of Justice” WOULD make a pretty good name for a motorcycle gang!

  155. April 15, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    Mr. Lytle is not worth another word, else I’d call him knave.

  156. Not A Native
    April 15, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    I don’t think the supes are grossly overpaid. Their pay is within a reasonable range and it makes the position attractive to a lot more people to seek the office.

    And the “good” salary also gives incumbents an opportunity to completely devote themselves to the job, not having to continue other vocations to “make ends meet”. I support a full time supe position.

    And just like any other “good” job, the salary is an incentive to perform as best they can and makes the less desirable aspects of the job more tolerable. In the local vernacular, the supes are “hardworking good people”.

    Many(all?) of them have forgone recent pay raises as a symbolic gesture of solidarity with the increased numbers of economically struggling folks. I believe that’s politically sufficient.

  157. the reasonable anonymous
    April 15, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    I think you just did, and in a rather churlish manner at that!

  158. the reasonable anonymous
    April 15, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    Oops, that was supposed to be a response to Shakey Speare.

  159. A-Nony-Mouse
    April 16, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    Not A Native has it right. You get what you pay for. If you wanted bums from under the bridge, I’m sure you could get them cheap. Ever serve in an elected office? Something weird happens, Suddenly all your friends become petitioners wanting you to fix their problems. You are always ‘on’ whenever you go out. Your privacy is gone. Now, is all that worth anything? If you do a good job, you get re-elected to a decent paying job. If not, you’re gone. Simple. Good system, eh?

  160. A-Nony-Mouse
    April 16, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    I think it’s called Democracy, or something like that.

  161. disturbia
    April 17, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    First, JL is not an adjuster so he doesnot make the big $$ and VB just started the RX job so either she is really good and if past performance serves well, I would say she is not making $100k.

    Next since they both are elected into an public office I would think that this would be public information. Maybe a form is required each year to file…..

  162. anon
    April 17, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    VB isn’t doing the rx job. She was laid off awhile ago. Thats why she’s looking for a new gig.

  163. April 18, 2010 at 12:02 am

    A-Nony-Mous raises a good point – the less friends an elected official has would mean better output and results since personal conflictions (like the ones decision makers have inside their head when taking a vote on an issue that a special interest – or not – friend of that candidate is involved because of accepting money or some other endorsement during a campaign or while in office). Being picky is actually good politically, imo.

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  164. Anonymous
    April 18, 2010 at 8:02 am

    You get what you pay for. why are we paying so much more than everybody else?

  165. TR
    April 20, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    It appears that there is much ingnorance about the Grand Jury system. It is mandated by law. If one judges the Grand Jury from one report that they do not like, very closed minded.
    As for donating to a canidate so what. If your canidate wins, the salary concern affects them also.

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