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Quote of the Day

“There’s going to be some pretty painful choices. We want the community to be engaged — none of (the choices) are going to be roses and cream puffs.” Humboldt County Administrative Officer Phillip Smith-Hanes on upcoming budget cuts.

Hit the link for the full schedule of public workshops.

    May 1, 2011 at 8:33 am

    Community engagement only starts wehn fiscal responsibility was crap-canned? Hmm, when times are bad, ask for input; when times are concealed and co-opted, hush, hush, hush…..quiet.

    Phillip is a good man who unfortunately works for some shady “elected” characters and has to deal with enough shady department heads to boot. Of course, the blame is put by the “elected and appointed” locals upon the state – finger pointing is a dead give-away when identifying the guilty. As if the state ONLY manipulates Humboldt County’s General Plan, budget or it’s budget sub-committee comprised of 2 supervisors who probably have little to no business experience; or, for whose business experience is FLAWED because of really not understanding economics other than what a person is told to say or brainwashed to remember as an automated, systematic “braindead” response based on repetitions of false economic theories.

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

    May 1, 2011 at 8:36 am

    Slow news week this past week, eh?


  3. High Finance
    May 1, 2011 at 9:34 am

    “Painful choices” ?

    Does that mean the Bd of Supes will address the high cost of luxurious pensions ?

  4. Charlie Bean
    May 1, 2011 at 9:46 am

    Just curious Lytle what would you do different?

    Let’s quit harping on past actions of the BOS and try to see that they are different and just by chance they are trying to do things differently.

  5. Decline To State
    May 1, 2011 at 10:07 am

    This could be construed as to mean the Board of Supervisors have run out of ideas on what to do about the budget and are hoping that maybe we’ll do the job they were elected to do. Campaign promises and boasting-FAIL.

  6. SNaFU
    May 1, 2011 at 10:11 am

    Business as usual. Arcata gets another “GRANT” to save da fishes.

  7. 69er
    May 1, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Why do WE the voters always blame the elected and the issues WE put in place and not WE who did the deed???

  8. May 1, 2011 at 10:30 am

    After all the bitching and moaning about the (10 year’s worth) amount of “public input” on the GPU, you’d think this attempt to involve the public in the budget process would be welcomed with open arms.
    Guess some folks are NEVER satisfied.

  9. Anonymous
    May 1, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    I think it’s nice to know that Smith-Haynes loves roses and cream puffs. Like, those are his happy moments.

  10. Big Al
    May 1, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    its going to be daisies and day-olds from here on out…

  11. Mitch
    May 1, 2011 at 12:33 pm


    The pensions which public employees have earned are not on the table, unless you believe in breaking promises and laws.

  12. Bud Weiser
    May 1, 2011 at 12:49 pm


    Blow it towards the door.

  13. Walt
    May 1, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    Just a few silly questions: if we’ve had deficits at all levels of government for decades, why do they all have to balanced RIGHT NOW or the world will end? If this were all a ruse to eliminate unions, taxes on the rich, and governmental controls on the powerful, wouldn’t those of us on the left feel a little foolish agreeing to bust unions, slash welfare, and close the planning department? If the poor have no roses or cream puffs, can’t they eat Big Macs and Red Bull?

  14. Mary Jane Cunningham
    May 1, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    there are large buildings and many employees @social services. I do not think any money gets to homeless people. Apparently the money pays the bureaucrats salaries.

  15. What Now
    May 1, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Mitch says:
    “May 1, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    The pensions which public employees have earned are not on the table, unless you believe in breaking promises and laws.”

    “Mitch says:
    May 1, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    The pensions which public employees have earned are not on the table, unless you believe in breaking promises and laws.”

    Mitch, in conversations it is quite apparent HighlyFried DOES believe in breaking promises and laws if it benefits himself, disadvantages someone he dislikes or allows him to leach something off of ANYONE ELSE in his usual parasitic fashion.

  16. May 1, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    The American Aristocracy is looting the treasury. That means that pensions, Social Security (already paid) are definitely on the table. They have used the fear of foreign enemies for decades to steal the money through military expenditures, You know, the military spends the money in certain districts and not in others.
    Domestic enemies are the only enemies we have to worry about. Look at the profits of the Fortune 500 while we cut off medicine to the elderly. Think of the free-reign infectious diseases will have since there is no preventative health care.
    It’s not so much the traitors the bother me, as much as it is the “Jews-for-Hitler” mentality of the people who defend the traitor’s right to undermine our country, while stealing our children’s future.
    There’s a wicked fight brewing.

  17. Anhysbys
    May 1, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    How come when gas is $4.50 a gallon, the Hi Fi’s of the world are not asking for the luxurious pensions (actually stock options, etc) at Exxon/Mobil to be eliminated. We all pay for these too.

    I guess I missed that part where low-level government employees caused two wars, spilled oil in the Gulf, crashed the stock market, sold bad loans, and shuffled all of their money into offshore accounts to skip paying taxes. I guess they really are to blame – let’s take away their “luxurious” pensions (that they paid into for 30 years).

  18. High Finance
    May 1, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    So many people here who understand nothing.

    First, the deficits today dwarf anything we have ever seen before. Deficits that threaten the very economic stability of the country. The national deficit in February was more than the deficit for the entire YEAR of 2007, which was a very bad year indeed. The state deficit is over $28 billion dollars !

    Next, the incredible pensions that Humboldt County employees get is unheard of in the private sector. Many government employees in Humboldt can retire at age 50, others have to wait until age 55. AND their pensions are twice, three times or more than what we private sector workers get and we have to wait until age 67.

    WHO the hell do you people think pays for these incredible pensions ? You do ! Even those of you who don’t pay taxes ! We all pay for it with reduced services and fewer cops on the streets ! The pension costs in Humboldt amount to over 22-27% of payroll costs ! An incredible amount !

  19. May 1, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    The deficit only matters when a democrat is in office. The republicans have sold out this country in more ways than one.

  20. Down the Road
    May 1, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    True Hi-Fi but, don’t overlook the parasitical social
    services that are redundant and costly. Look at the
    county’s budget. Philip Crandall has made social
    services a business with taxpayer’s money. Half of the
    programs he has are unnecessary. The recipient and
    the employee are both in the leech category.

  21. High Finance
    May 1, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    No argument there “Down the Road”.

    But all this pales to the breaking news, Osama Bin Laden has been shot & killed. His body is in US hands.

    Obama statement coming in the next few minutes.

  22. Anon
    May 1, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    Phil Crandall’s executives for Dept of Health & Human Services (no client services at that address) a few years ago started out paying over $58,000 a month in rent for 84 people to occupy the space. Was that really a good decision (especially since it has a 3% raise every year and may be up to $70,000 a year and they actually rented more space after the initial lease)?. Think anything is wrong with this??

    Planning Dept (Girard) hires consultants to find places to build low income and transitional housing for a good fee and they came up with lots that could not be used – too close to streams, already built out, etc.) Think that was a good use of funds?? What does his departments actually do? They seem to hire consultants to do their work. GPU (rewrite) has cost millions of dollar as they did not want any citizen group to look at it first and come up with comments for them to analyze. And it is still going on and on costing more money. Ever try to get a permit?? Costs a lot if you have to jump through hoops because someone there states it is not that simple to get a permit and they want you to do something that is not in writing in the plan. Nothing simple about that.

    Why does everyone drive their cars home – DA’s office?? They are not first responders to a crime and have heard that from quite a few people. DA’s cars get driven to some personal places if you just look around and it has been reported. What happens?? Nothing. Iyt has been said they could be called out instantly on a “crime”. Lots of things like this that most of the BOS have already heard in complaints, but what do they do?? Nothing. Now that they are in a real problem they want to transfer Headwaters Funds. Should they? Economic Development has not done any economic development and they still get paid plus pension and health benefits. Should they? These are just questions to be answered – any ideas about any of them. If so, go to one of the meetings and tell them. Will they listen or is this just making us think they are looking for solutions?

    May 1, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    Charlie Bean says:
    May 1, 2011 at 9:46 am
    Just curious Lytle what would you do different?

    Let’s quit harping on past actions of the BOS and try to see that they are different and just by chance they are trying to do things differently.

    Response: Please, make no mistake, I did not single out the BOS. In fact, at times, it is hard to blame the BOS when it is staff that has gone AWOL or Dept. Heads who are not running a cleaner ship. Yet, it is true too that the BOS (top down authoritative approach) definately causes pains upon the Department Heads (new supes will be a part of these pains too)….so they beat each other up from time to time, kinda like siblings. Phillip has done an amazing job keeping people informed and offering his insights; and yes, some shady characters still exist, sadly, because before and after any election is the relative reality that enough public employees carry-over.

    What I would do different = Would a majority of any voting membership approve of what I would suggest and/or be capable of doing? IOW, how do you know that an elected official is a free thinker or a “controlled thinker”?

    Much of the private sector business job creation reality has to do with external forces and consrictions outside of the purview and legal decision-makings of local county government. Tax funded economics is not long term success, historically. The area needs to capitalize on its regenerative natural resources beginning with IMPROVED public relations to get into the ear drums of business vc’ists amd consumers (small busineses, industrial, commercial too). Then, get more serious with the retainments of local water rights lost to state claims/takings…since water is a business catalyst for the northcoast.

    Likewise, in accordance with already on the book state laws and county ordinances, continue policy implementation language for code enforcements and fines – too many costs are not being repaid by the violators of land use codes. So many little things to do at the local level, not really a few big things like at the federal and state level. Generally, most people who want to do business or create work are not wanting to cause problems. If government oversight is minimal, but fair, then trust increases.

    Right now, trust is low and many a folk have been back-stabbed by public employees who take, take, and take more than a fair share when any process is commenced. SO, effectually, this county lacks repeat customers (process applicants). That is a lot of private capital just sitting and waiting because of trust being broken . That is a lot of people who don’t want the county to get 1 penny more of their hard earnings knowing that the costs and fees and shenanigans should not be what they are. This is partly why county departments depend on newbies more and more for that private sector capital flow; whereas, the grant kickback projects have their usual community business connections.

    Also, a calculated and time framed, incremental downsizing of county government – too big to fail syndrome.


  24. Anonymous
    May 2, 2011 at 12:08 am

    As a percentage of GDP, the U.S. has had far worse deficits throughout its history.

    May 2, 2011 at 7:43 am

    12:08, not when adjusted for the Fed’s roll-playing!


  26. Anonymous
    May 2, 2011 at 9:33 am

    Earth to HiFi. Earth to HiFi. County employees pay into their own retirement all through their working years. Their pensions are not yours to steal.

  27. Anonymous
    May 2, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    “High Finance says:
    May 1, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    Next, the incredible pensions that Humboldt County employees get is unheard of in the private sector. Many government employees in Humboldt can retire at age 50, others have to wait until age 55. AND their pensions are twice, three times or more than what we private sector workers get and we have to wait until age 67.”

    Hey HiFi,

    Let’s see how the numbers stack up. Anyone in the PERS system can retire at 55 you just get a reduced pension. Let’s say a person came to work at the County, (maybe one of those wonderful fellows who have kept our roads open all winter) at the age of 20 and a top salary of $3000.

    After 30 years at age 50 with a top salary of $3000 that fellow’s pension would be $1800 a month.

    That $1800 does not include any medical that would have to be paid for out of pocket and if that fellow at age 50 is married he would also pay for his wife’s medical which I think right now is around $600 a month.

    Most folks who start working for the County at age twenty don’t stay 30 years they take the experience they have and move on to better paying jobs.

    These “incredible pensions” that the County workers have worked hard for use to be pretty normal. There’s a reason why job retention at the County is not very good, it’s very low pay.

  28. May 2, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    I was gonna say it but Anonymous at7:14pm said it for me. Pensions are EARNED. Local government pay is NOT very good. Many stay on because the benefits are at least predictable. HiFi, if you want to believe the worst case, you will, and nothing anyone can say will penetrate your fog. Sail on.

  29. Anonymous
    May 2, 2011 at 2:49 pm


    It will take much more than local governments defecting from the media/industry/academia propaganda machine, (called: “plenty for the deserving”), to reeducate a generation deluded by free-market deregulation.

    Few are willing to challenge this feel-good fantasy where politicians take credit for developments they enabled by easing regulations, while citizens are promised the benefits will trickle-down!

    Hard working Americans are uninformed of what this illusion costs them, their nation, and their descendants. They subsidized the conspiracy by industry to flood the market with higher-priced/higher-profit necessities that average Americans can’t afford: bigger cars, bigger homes, bigger medical procedures, and bigger financing tricks and traps, with fewer U.S. workers, lower taxes, and unprecedented looting of the U.S. Treasury!

    It’s all ancient history, according to the media blackout.

    If the public were informed, half might begin to vote. (A shocking travesty also ignored by national and local media). Until then, our leaders will follow the money that elected them, and their constituents will suffer in quiet, obedient solitude.

    Corrupt to the core.

  30. Charlie Bean
    May 2, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    Thanks for the feedback Lyle! More need to hear different views.

  31. High Finance
    May 3, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Mouse you are sadly uninformed in the pay of government employees. Why do you insist on popping off about this area ? You have no experience in this.

    Public employees are better paid than the private sector for most ranks. Then they get a health insurance plan to die for (pun intended), more paid holidays than the private sector gets. They also get paid vacations that can add up to four weeks a year — unheard of in the vast majority of private sector jobs !

    Then, to top it off, they get to retire with full benefits at age 50 for public safety employees and age 55 for the rest. While private sector employees dependent on SS must wait till age 66 or 67. Then most private sector employees get at least 50% more in retirement benefits while many, many, many get 200% or more.

    And all this is being paid directly by us taxpayers. But even retired people like you Mouse, pay indirectly by having reduced governmental services. Services curbed because of a lack of money for other things besides retirement.

    “Local government pay is NOT very good” ?? Nonsense.
    For God’s sake Mouse, get INFORMED !

  32. High Finance
    May 3, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    And by the way, yes SOME (but not all) government employees pay into their retirement plan. HOWEVER, any shortfalls of the PERS system has to be made up by the general fund.

  33. Boris
    May 3, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    Mr. High Finance. Why are you so angry? You live in a beautiful country yet you seem to hate your American countrymen much.

  34. skippy
    May 3, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    HiFi @ 12:39 is accurate. He knows what he speaks of.

    On another note, Monday’s County Community Budget meeting presented by CAO Smith-Hanes highlighted some of the budget difficulties: revenues are not meeting expenses, many County programs (such as the lion’s share of the colossal DHSS programs) are state mandated services, employee negotiated salaries make up nearly 50% of the $303 million budget, the Vehicle License Fund monies supporting various law enforcement services sunsets in June, and a host of other conflicting problems between what are the ‘discretionary’and ‘dedicated’ expenditures.

    In short, it ain’t pretty. Despite yearly departmental cutbacks and various monies shoveled about, the General Fund isn’t operating at a sustainable level– going from $13 million five years ago to $1.3 million presently. Another estimate leaves reserves at a paltry $250,000 for the close of this fiscal year. Next fiscal year, the County is looking at a funding shortfall of approximately $6 million– if something isn’t done now. Folks, this is serious. Very serious.

    You may want to pay attention. You may want to attend the future meetings listed below.

    The Board of Supervisors meeting moved ahead today to start clarifying budget figures for department heads by initiating the layoff process for 46 employees, 30 of which reside within the Sheriff’s Office. Between last night’s community budget meeting and today’s BOS meeting, the County is floating the idea of increased taxes and gauging public sentiment: a 3% utility tax, Transient Occupancy tax increases, and a 5/10% of a sales tax increase, all of which will need approval by voters hopefully by November.

    Supervisor Bass made a fleeting poke getting hands into the Headwaters Fund monies ‘as a nexus’ for future business interests; when queried, CAO Smith-Haynes surprisingly said that although the Headwaters charter specifically doesn’t allow funding for such ‘fiscal emergencies,’ there are ways around this– it could be done. The other Supervisors wisely left this end run tactic on the Headwaters fund alone. An AFSCME (the County employee’s union) representative remarkably offered that citizens are in the mood for increased taxes to maintain the present level of county services.

    Last night’s Community Budget Meeting and more details are reported in today’s Times-Standard by Donna Tam
    and can be found here.

    Ms. Tam’s further report on today’s Board of Supervisor meeting and county layoffs will appear in tomorrow’s paper; yours truly will link it here when it arrives.

    Future Community Budget meetings are being held throughout the County and should you wish to attend (and as Heraldo also linked above), they are as follows:

    May 4, Wednesday
    6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
    McKinleyville High School multi-purpose room
    1300 Murray Road, McKinleyville

    May 5, Thursday
    6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
    Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department
    320 South Fortuna Blvd., Fortuna

    May 9, Monday
    6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
    John Haynes Memorial Veterans Hall
    483 Conger, Garberville

    May 10, Tuesday
    6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
    Jacoby Creek School Gymnasium
    1617 Old Arcata Road, Bayside

    May 11, Wednesday
    6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
    Eureka Veterans Building
    1018 H St., Eureka

    May 12, Thursday
    6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
    Community Services District, Board Chambers
    135 Willow Road, Willow Creek

  35. Fact Checker
    May 3, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    High Finance said “Then, to top it off, they get to retire with full benefits at age 50 for public safety employees and age 55 for the rest.”

    Most PERS employees must work 36 years to obtain “full retirement” and they pay about 7% of their paycheck every week for 37 years so they can live their last few years in retirement. Because the private sector predator-capitalist do not have a similar program, we should be envious of those who do have a program like this. What is wrong with you HiFi? Why do you spew so much hate? Why do you hate your countrymen so? P.S. No health care for life, they must pay for their health insurance after retirement.

  36. Plain Jane
    May 3, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    It’s retired class envy, Fact Checker. HiFi, with all his bragging about how rich he is, is jealous of public employees being able to have a comfortable retirement.

  37. May 3, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    When governments run into fiscal trouble and have to start making cuts, the razor is most often applied to the lowliest employees that the government employs. Last in, first out.

    When we prune a tree we usually start at the top and work down, and that is a principle that is more logical to apply when pruning the tree of government.

    We should, if we need to eliminate jobs, start at the top with the department heads. After all, it is these worthies that have driven their fiscal departmental ships into the iceberg. Bad economy? Wise capttains learn to sail in rought seas, it is an expected part of the duty.

    As an added blessing, eliminating a department head will save 5 or 6 jobs at the bottom of the totem pole, and I will bet that you get more governmental services from these 5 or 6 than you ever will from a department head.

    have a peaceful day,

    May 3, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    Anonymous says:
    May 2, 2011 at 9:33 am
    Earth to HiFi. Earth to HiFi. County employees pay into their own retirement all through their working years. Their pensions are not yours to steal.

    Response: Ok, let us say public employees pay X%, but not 100% overall. Now, flip it over to the private sector……let us say private employees pay 100%, but not less than 100% overall.

    Danger, danger Will Robinson.

    I especially like the “historical” comments about public employees doing public work because of how caring public employees are, that public employees don’t do what they do for the money (benefits are a result of money), but that they do what they do because they enjoy giving back to the community….. Now, how many times have many of us had to digest those heartfelt words of adoration, joy and appreciation?


    May 3, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    Thank You Skippy,

    Note: Of the county employees layed-off, let us consider the 30 from the sheriff’s department. Now, are any of them up for a potential lawsuit based on conducts unbecoming??? For sure, this is a department that needs defunding if its employees are gonna be trouble-makers.


    May 3, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    HB says,

    “…We should, if we need to eliminate jobs, start at the top with the department heads. After all, it is these worthies that have driven their fiscal departmental ships into the iceberg. Bad economy? Wise capttains learn to sail in rought seas, it is an expected part of the duty.”

    Response: unless it is the lower level types that are trouble-makers!


  41. skippy
    May 4, 2011 at 8:29 am

    As reported and promised @4:31, today’s two Times-Standard articles by Donna Tam and Thadeus Greenson are in. Either 46 County layoffs are occurring… or increasing taxes are needed plugging the gaping $6 million hole of dripping red ink. The patient has been bleeding dry, hemorrhaging, for quite some tme now:

    “If the county isn’t able to stabilize its revenue stream, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors will have to implement cuts that will reduce law enforcement response, dissolve entire departments and programs, and close Sheriff’s Office substations…”
    “County Moves Forward with Layoff Noticing, Law Enforcement Cuts”

    “Humboldt County staff presented the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors with three tax options Tuesday to offset declining revenue for law enforcement funding…”
    Officials Concerned Over Possible Loss of Vehicle Licensing Fees; County Looks at New Taxes to Make Up for Revenue Loss

    …the Times-Standard chose not to mention one Supervisor’s flirtatious and clever attempt latching onto the multimillion dollar Headwaters Fund Trust to balance this fiscal emergency– despite it’s very clear charter disallowing such actions.

  42. skippy
    May 4, 2011 at 9:40 am

    Yours truly is hearing whisperings the Grand Jury may inquire into the comments attempting to access the Headwaters Fund to balance the County budget yesterday.

    Considering CAO Smith-Hanes comments to Supervisor Bass during Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors session to ‘work around this’ and that ‘it can be done,’ such an inquiry, even if informal and verbal by the Grand Jury, is clearly warranted.

    As readers may remember, the County recently came under fire with similar ‘inside dealings’ of using the Headwaters Trust for their own Community Development purposes rather than its intended economic stimulus in the Grand Jury’s recent report found here.

    In short from the report:
    “According to the Charter:
    “the Headwaters Funds are segregated from the General Fund and budget of the County. The funds are irrevocably
    committed to the Headwaters Fund and cannot be used for financing ongoing government operations. The funds are
    considered “unavailable‟ to the County for general purpose spending or working capital, even during times of fiscal
    (page 4, HWF Charter)

    In other words, the County must exercise a disciplined hands-off approach of trying to use the Headwaters Trust monies to balance their own shortcomings of dripping red ink.

    Diligent efforts must be made to protect and insure that these stimulus funds are used for what their intended and mandated use should be– economic growth and job creation– and not cleverly manipulated for the short term, one-time, ‘fiscal emergency’ fix for the County’s ongoing deficit.

  43. High Finance
    May 4, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Read Skippy’s post at 4.31pm about the looming cuts coming to county government Plain Jane, Boris, “Fact” Checker.

    Then read the Times Standard of this morning and hear about some of the coming tax increases.

    Then come back and tell me again how any NON government employees cannot be angry at all this ????

  44. Plain Jane
    May 4, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Why get angry at the workers, HiFi? They didn’t cause this mess, the people YOU voted for did. You would be more honest if you looked in the mirror and blamed the person you see there for being a self-centered, ignorant pig who elected Bush, et al.

  45. Teacher
    May 4, 2011 at 10:32 am

    As usual, Plain Jane is right HiFi. Grey Davis, Diane Feinstein, and the other democratic leaders of our state have done fantastic things to keep our state thriving. George Bush, and George Bush alone, sent this state to hell. I don’t mean to over-simplify, but everything is your fault HiFi/conservatives.

  46. Fact Checker
    May 4, 2011 at 11:14 am

    High Finance my friend. Bush the lessor put America into Chapter 13, complete financial reorganization, send the bill to the middle class while slashing obligations to the middle and lower classes. I understand how upsetting this is but you really need to get some help with your anger. Perhaps some anger management classes would be in order.

    Humboldt County Anger Management Therapist – Anger Management …Eureka California – Marriage & Family Therapist

    The therapists in Humboldt County, California have broad skills and are able … If you’re looking for help with anger management in Humboldt County or for …

  47. Plain Jane
  48. Plain Jane
  49. Plain Jane
  50. Plain Jane
  51. Plain Jane
    May 4, 2011 at 11:41 am

    So, the Enron scam, with the help of Bush / Cheney and Governor Pete Wilson, cost the state of California 40 to 45 BILLION dollars and California received pennies on the dollar in return. What is our budget deficit again?

  52. Mitch
    May 4, 2011 at 11:45 am


    I’m sure we’re supposed to let bygones be bygones. So they stole a few tens of billions, funded a recall of a governor, and put their own guy in to make sure they could keep stealing. Why must you be such a hater?

  53. Teacher
    May 4, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Plain Jane, possibly the one thing we agree is that George Bush severely hurt our country in virtually every way imaginable. What we disagree on is whether or not he and his party should be held solely responsible.

  54. Plain Jane
    May 4, 2011 at 11:52 am

    I know, Mitch. And I shouldn’t expect teachers to know that Dianne Feinstein (as corrupt as they come, btw) has nothing to do with how the State of California is run.

  55. skippy
    May 4, 2011 at 11:53 am

    This is a little column for what will be the biggest news for the coming year. No, it’s not roses and cream puffs, either. It’s far stinkier and stickier.

    It’s a complicated mess with no easy solution or a way out: a Rube Goldberg machination created over time of dedicated versus discretionary services suffering from the poor economy, (a supposedly) unanticipated loss of revenue, and the State’s lack of timely fiscal clarity for Humboldt County.

    In Monday’s Community Budget meeting, Eureka resident Don Davenport said he was against asking people to pay more taxes, especially because he thinks he’s seen too much growth in government. He said he didn’t understand why the county waited until now to engage the public.

    Good question.

    ”If you lived off those reserves for years and waited until you were down to $250,000 and then cry uncle. That’s not good businesses. That’s not good planning,” Davenport said.

    County CAO Smith-Hanes said the reserves were expected to last three years, but the county’s revenue has continued to drop for five years. Third District Supervisor Mark Lovelace emphasized that the county has been receiving less revenue because specific taxes set by the state have not increased over the years, but the cost of doing business has.

    But no one fully saw this coming over several years? Really? Yours truly did, you probably have, and undoubtably the County Department administrators clearly did. There was more than just an inkling of thought going on here, folks. For what the Board of Supervisors make in salary ($72,000) and our County CAO ($164,000), one would think the problem and planning were well in hand towards being resolved, as Mr. Davenport pointed out, long ago.

    This is a very serious growing fiscal problem. One wonders, as Mr. Davenport reasoned, how we got into this relative financial pickle so fast– or why it was addressed so late. The County is timidly afraid asking the County AFSCME Union for wage concessions (think Wisconsin) and less reluctant to impose new taxes before the voters. But it appears new taxes will be the easiest option the Board will pursue despite it’s not enough to cover the projected deficit.

    The Supervisors certainly don’t want to reduce expenditures for another year– nor have their own hours and salaries reduced as last year’s Humboldt County Grand Jury Report recommended.

    Weigh in. Attend the Community budget meetings listed @ 4:31. Tonight’s (Wednesday) meeting is in McKinleyville, tomorrow (Thursday) is in Fortuna. There are also other meetings set for next week. Or take what you get. This isn’t the last you’ll hear of this issue. Far from it.

    Yours truly is not confident this problem is in good or capable hands.

  56. Plain Jane
    May 4, 2011 at 11:54 am

    Sure Teacher. I did love how you took HiFi to task for blaming public employees for the mess. Well done!

  57. Teacher
    May 4, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    PJ, she is a senator and approved measure after measure of GW’s including voting to fund and go to war. If you are going to blame Bush at the federal level, why wouldn’t you hold our, California, senator’s accountable.
    Careful calling Feinstein corrupt, PJ. She is a “liberal” (despite the fact she does nothing to support the liberal agenda). And since she’s a “liberal,” she’s on your side and that’s all it’s really about, right?

  58. Plain Jane
    May 4, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Wrong Teacher. Feinstein is a crook, not a liberal. She claims to be a liberal because that’s what you have to be to get elected Senator in California. She is a war profiteer of the worst sort – voting to give military contracts to companies in which her husband has majority interest. I find your straw man characterization of my personal integrity offensive.

  59. High Finance
    May 4, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    Plain Jane, 10.21am. The “workers”, meaning government employees, sure did have a big hand in all this.

    Why else do you think the employee unions spent a hundred million dollars over the last 20 years electing Democrats to power in California ????

    It is so that when the public employees unions sit at the bargaining table they are represented on BOTH sides of the table. Just because you’re a liberal Plain Jane, doesn’t mean you have to act like a moron all the time.

    It is laughable that Teacher (who is getting one of those lavish government pensions) claims the Democrats have done “fantastic things” to keep the economy going !! Really, pray tell us Teacher about how fantastic California’s economy is !!!

    Teacher makes the absolute most ludicrous statement of the week here, when he says that “George Bush and George Bush alone sent this state to hell”. Thank God you are no longer teaching anymore !

    I am not saying the spending on government employee wages and benefits is the sole cause of California’s desperate budget mess, but it is sure a big part of it.

    I’m not sure the Republicans would have been any better, but who knows ? The Democrats have been firmly in control of the State Assembly and State Senate for decades.

    And then you bring out the old canard of Enron connected with Bush/Cheney. How can you say something so stupid ? The Enron scandal occured on Pres Clinton’s watch and it was the Bush Justice Dept that prosecuted and sent the Enron people to prison !

  60. High Society
    May 4, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    High Finance says:
    May 4, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    “Just because you’re a liberal Plain Jane, doesn’t mean you have to act like a moron all the time.”

    Sigh. The therapists in Humboldt County, California have broad skills and are able to work … They can help with Humboldt County anger management classes, anger …

  61. Plain Jane
    May 4, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    HiFi’s delusions and inability to click on links which would spare him the embarrassment of proving, once again, that he doesn’t have the slightest idea of what happened or when and prefers to live in ignorance. Oh well!

  62. tra
    May 4, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    I know this is old-fashioned, but I’ve always liked the idea of putting aside money during the good years, in order prevent the need for deep cuts in services during the bad years (just when many of those services are needed most). Apparently Humboldt did have some reserves, perhaps even a good deal more than in some other counties or other entities, but still apparently not nearly enough.

    The problem is that when times are good, and revenues are rolling in, government tends to expand to absorb most of the additional revenues in order to try to provide more of the services demanded by us voters. Meanwhile, many people also want their taxes cut during the good times, and most seem to care more about that than paying down debt or creating reserves.

    Then when the bad times hit, we’re faced with either deep cuts in services, or large-scale deficit financing, or large tax increases, right at the time when all of those three options can be counterproductive to economic recovery.

    If we could actually show some fiscal discipline in the good years we might be able to avoid this repeated pattern where we make our recessions worse by drastically cutting government spending just when it is most in need.

  63. Plain Jane
    May 4, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Here’s just one link to read so you don’t strain your clicker, HiFi.


  64. Mitch
    May 4, 2011 at 1:34 pm


    No need to make him click:

    Arnold Schwarzenegger
    On May 17, 2001, future Republican governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and former Los Angeles Mayor Republican Richard Riordan met with Enron CEO Ken Lay at the Peninsula Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills. The meeting was convened for Enron to present its “Comprehensive Solution for California,” which called for an end to Federal and state investigations into Enron’s role in the California energy crisis.[26][27][28]
    On October 7, 2003, Schwarzenegger was elected Governor of California to replace Davis.
    Over a year later, he attended the commissioning ceremony[29] of a new Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) 500 kV line remedying the aforementioned power bottleneck on Path 15.
    There were no power shortages or outages while Schwarzenegger is governor, and the Enron corporate officers were swiftly arrested and tried. Those arrested and tried included Treasurer Ben Glisan, Jr., Andrew Fastow, Lea Fastow, Richard Causey, Jeffrey Skilling, Kenneth Lay, Dan Boyle of Enron and Merrill Lynch bankers Daniel Bayly, Robert Furst, William Fuhs and James Brown.

  65. Teacher
    May 4, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    HiFi, I thought it would be pretty easy to tell I was being sarcastic when I blamed George Bush for all of the country’s woes. I was trying to agree with you because I thought you brought up a good point.

  66. High Finance
    May 4, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    Sorry Teach. I should have known better.

    May 5, 2011 at 8:48 am

    Good workshop last night at the McK High School Multi-ourpose room.

    Some notes:

    Representaion of people = mostly senior citizens. The mid-lifer’s were few and far between, but were mostly the politically active. Less than a handful of young parent-aged folks. An employee from the airport mentioned energy eficiencies after the meeting like motion sensors for lighted rooms that stay lit all day long, etc…every little bit helps lower expenditures (obviously after the asset is paid off = motion sensor and labor install costs).

    Public Safety concerns: shocking because the McKinleyville Community Plan put together over 10 years ago involved nearly 90-100 meetings; AND, the one big problem (for that Plan’s adoption) noted was sheriff funding (located in conditions for approval). Now, people want to moan and groan after not wanting to face reality for the past decade+. So, no offense to many of the old geezer men and women who showed-up, but they obviously don’t pay clear attention to details in local, state and federal politics. Fact – look at their voting record at ALL political levels.

    Lt. Steve Knight was present and offered that patrolling is not a mandate for the Sheriff (legal jargon involved). Too many folks were stupified by saying that there is a need for sheriff’s deputies. This statement must be proven moreso than just conjecture. The people claiming for Sheriff’s deputies are mostly old folks – folks who normally are not abused by misconducts from the sheriff’s deputies they support. Now, what kind of FACTS will these diehard police state folks (who can’t fend for themself) be willing to research? Further, if Lt. Knight says it is abut all the money it costs to train the deputies, then why do they abuse and not equally protect civil rights during service calls? Power and control, inlaid with political retaliations is a big reasonwhy senior citizens are incorrect on the needs for sheriff deputies. No need to employ any human being unwilling to do their job honetly, ethically, morally, and most importantly, legally civil and constitutional. I find the matter of policing like that of a conspiarcy theory – it does not matter what happens because certain people will always taint the truth to their benefit, whether it is a perceived benefit or an actul benefit. Personally, time for more citizens to become SCOP – put thy efforts where thy uninformed mouths are…..

    Pay decreases and voluntary furloughs – ok, so, those who don’t take voluntary furloughs are all about the money in THEIR POCKET. What was that again about public employees doing their jobs not for the pay and benefits, but because they want to make a positive difference on the community? Furloughs is a step in that direction. Outsourcing can’t just happen without eliminating the public employees job first so that the service can be outsourced under another job title. If this is what needs to happen to shrink the size of unproductive and inefficient government, then so be it.

    Incorrect statement: The statement was made that sheriff’s travel often to Willow Creek form the Mack Town sub-station. It was stunning since deputies live over their in Willow Creek. Are they on vacation all the time in the river town? Nope! In speaking with some seniors WHO DO KNOW SOME STUFF, and politically, we agreed there exists a sub-station in Willow Creek where deputies reside close by. SO, have service calls increased two-fold, three-fold, etc…?

    Recoverable costs – The county needs to get 100% of the damages on County maintained infrastructure from the insurance companies of their policy holders who damage county assets. This is a county counsel job as well to support various departments in their efforts for damage claims like vehicle accidents, property damage that affects infrastructure exterior of the private property, domestic violences and family unit damages to the infrastructure (like subdivision requirements and mitigations being breached and defied, dumping toxins down the drain – homeowners insurance, etc…). Permits and fines too for those doing business illegally within public infrastructure areas (like Round Table Pizza, the franchised corporation, yard sale signs, shopping center signs, etc…) Equal Protection of the laws and constitutional rights.

    State and Federal Mandates without the attached funding being provided to local jurisdictions. This caused yet again another round of “special assessment taxation schemes”. The latest NHUHSD bond measure passed with around a 54% rate of approval, leaving 46% who DO NOT APPROVE. Fact is, 54% is hardly a majority of the community, but tax dollar manipulators and benfactors will always lie and cover-over truths to benefit a small circle of citizens – this is why every election cycle, most scrupulous candidates search for the small circle of citizens to set-up a political agendized conspiracy to take money from as many people as possible to funnel it to the preferred local friends, politically, who are the businesses that will be kick-backed the funds. Talk about tax dollar launderings!!!!!!!

    Much dire stuff to reveal, but those who refused to pay attention will find out their fate soon enough, sadly. This is the result of people too easy to believe that which politically what they are unwilling to individually research as a free thinker using brain skills…….Think people, think!

    The public workshops are mentioned on the county website; and, hopefully, the IT department will create a comments section on areas only that which we, the people, will have a non-mandated say in. All the other mandated stuff is really untouchable, so the county should not waste more time and resources on taking comments on stuff outta our control; yet, they can still explain generally what is occuring as it occurs or is foreseen. The dreaded dark hole is to waste time and energy while trying to save time and energy – double edged sword.


  68. Reinventing The Wheel
    May 5, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    PJ, I had forgotten about Feistein, and her husband’s financial ties to weapons mfg. It further explains her votes in favor of U.S. taxpayer loan-guarantees for U.S. weapons purchased by Columbia. (Another public subsidy not included in the retail price of “cheap” big box products).

    Also, it’s astounding how there’s continuing concern about public salaries and benefits, even as the Big’s continue looting the U.S. Treasury! Where’s the blazing headlines expressing outraged that 61% of taxable U.S. corporations pay ZERO taxes!? (According to former U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan in his recent book, “Take This Job and Ship It”).

    …..a testament to the effectiveness of self-censorship in the U.S. “free-press”.


    May 5, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    Good points above RTW.


  70. Corporate tax
    May 5, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    If you tax a corporation all you do is downsize their workforce and capital expenditures and shrink the National GDP. Corporate tax is double taxation. Good tax practices always minimize double taxation. Tax should be collected when it’s distributed in wages or dividends, capital sales tax. Take some accounting and economic classes. The only way to grow taxes is to grow industry and business.

  71. Economics PhD
    May 6, 2011 at 12:50 am

    And the only way to grow Industries and businesses is to lower taxes!

    You were joking, Right?

    Economics is the art of explaining tomorrow why predictions made yesterday don’t come true today.

  72. Reinventing The Wheel
    May 6, 2011 at 12:54 am

    Can we award “Corporate Tax”, AKA hiFi an honorary degree in Economics now?

  73. Plain Jane
    May 6, 2011 at 5:48 am

    An honorary degree from the Reagan School of Economics at Beck University. It’s appalling how many people truly believe that particular big lie, but shouldn’t be surprising considering how many years they’ve been telling it. How bad does it have to get before these saps wake up?

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