Mono Sheriff Braun offers Letter to Editor

Letter submitted by Ingrid Braun

Editor:

The Mono County Sheriff’s Office’s Press Release on April 28, 2016 regarding schedule changes clearly caused concerns for the Mono County Board of Supervisors, and I apologize for any misunderstanding. I understand the Board’s concerns, and I appreciate the continued dialogue between the Sheriff’s Office and our esteemed Board.

Sheriff-elect Ingrid Braun

Sheriff-elect Ingrid Braun

The intent of the press release was not to malign to Board of Supervisors, nor to place blame. It was meant to make the public aware that our Office is currently understaffed, and that has caused us to reduce our patrol hours. We are understaffed because we lost employees to higher paying positions and our recruitment efforts have not been successful in filling vacancies that were only recently unfrozen. The salaries we are budgeted to offer, coupled with high employee retirement contributions and the cost of living in Mono County, make it difficult to find qualified candidates.

We are continuing our recruitment efforts, and we hope to fill these positions in the near future.

When we have regained our footing with field deputies, we will return to our former schedule. I also hope that upcoming contract negotiations for our Deputy Sheriffs’ Association and our Public Safety Officers’ Association will yield more marketable salary and benefit packages.

Sincerely,
Ingrid Braun
Sheriff-Coroner

 

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53 Responses to Mono Sheriff Braun offers Letter to Editor

  1. Trouble May 19, 2016 at 2:11 pm #

    Maybe we should farm out our legal system, like the rest of corporate America . Or pay employees a living wage.

     
    • tourbillon May 21, 2016 at 7:34 pm #

      The lowest deputy salary being offered is over $60K per year. In addition, that comes with health benefits and retirement at 50.

      Apparently, people qualified to be deputy sheriffs do not consider that to be a “living wage” in Mono county. Do you?

       
      • 1776 May 22, 2016 at 1:41 pm #

        Tourbillion, it really does matter what we think, it is the marketplace dictates the wage and benefit package. Very few people are willing or qualified to be cops so there are more job openings than cops. Mono County has low wages and high housing prices and high cost of living. In California there are are more job openings than there are qualified applicants.

        The 800 pound elephant in the room that the Sheriff is not talking about is the rock bottom low moral of employees due to the 1980’s, my way or the highway, management style of the Undersheriff and how he treats employees and members of the community. Word travels fast around the state about where not to apply for a job.

         
      • DESCO May 22, 2016 at 7:21 pm #

        I was was making more than $60,000 a year as a carpenter and no one was shooting at me. I was lucky enough to rent a cheap dump in the Mammoth ghetto with a garage that I could afford. And that was 16 years ago. I was so embarrassed by my living conditions that when my brother and his wife came to visit from out of state I would not let them in my house. The end of small towns in America is near. Police, fire, public works and all the laundry list of services needed can no longer be provided by the taxes paid by a few thousand people. I wish I had some answers.

         
        • T-Bone May 25, 2016 at 4:33 pm #

          How often are local LEOs shot at? Actually one of the safer jobs in the area.

           
      • Just saying May 22, 2016 at 8:15 pm #

        Naw, you should look into that a little more… and many people are qualified, just not certified, or willing. Respect to LEO’s.

         
        • 1776 May 23, 2016 at 10:03 am #

          At this point there are no solutions to fix the Mono County Sheriff’s Department. The County simply does not have the money to pay what it costs to recruit and retain quality deputy sheriffs without cutting other important programs such as the Paramedics.

          Sheriff Braun really needs to be honest with the public about capability. What is her plan for emergencies in our communities when nearly half the deputies live in Nevada and she has not developed any viable emergency call out procedure? How does her department respond to emergencies in our communities when roads are closed and there are no resident deputies anymore?

          What is Sheriff Braun’s plan to rebuild relationship’s with other county departments and volunteer groups such as Volunteer Fire Departments and SAR that have been been degraded by the actions of her Undersheriff?

          While some things are out of Sheriff’s Braun’s control, she as not addressed some core issues that were problematic with the two previous administrations such as call out procedures.

          After a year and a half in office, it is time for Sheriff Braun to step up and be totally honest with the public about what her department can and can’t do.

           
  2. Niko May 19, 2016 at 3:02 pm #

    Part of the recruitment problem is the pay and benefits, no doubt. The other part of the retention and recruitment problem is Braun. The sheriff’s dept moral is at an all time low. If Braun would stop to look around and ask why everyone is leaving, she might just realize that she and her undersheriff are not as great as they think. Obenberger had the same pay and benefits to deal with as Braun had yet Obenberger was able to retain employees. And when testing was open, he had many prospective applicants apply, even under same pay benefit packages.

     
  3. Rick O'Brien May 19, 2016 at 8:02 pm #

    Sheriff Braun, I’m sure there are plenty of retired peace officers living in the area that you could put on the streets as reserve officers (deputies) just until you can fill the void . It worked for Mammoth PD under former Chief Watson didn’t it ?

     
  4. Concerned May 20, 2016 at 7:23 am #

    Our board of Supervisors need to take a hard look at where they are spending our tax money. In my way of thinking we need to spend money on Emergency care (Paramedics), fire dept’s and Law Enforcement. Too much is being spent (imho) on advertisements. The County has allowed employees to move out of state and in some cases use a county car to travel from home to work. When an employee moves out of the area, then we lose that tax money.
    Several County Road positions have been vacated and have not been filled. Look at our roads in Northern Mono County. Wake up Sups, and pay attention to what is going on in our County. Why advertise for our County when we don’t have enough Law Enforcement personnel to guarantee the safety of our visitors.

     
    • Bj May 20, 2016 at 5:40 pm #

      The priority is advertising because a board member owns a business in the county. Please help him with his sales.

       
      • Mono Person May 24, 2016 at 7:27 am #

        And he collects TOT at 12%, that goes to the county. Don’t blame the business owners.

         
  5. Rick Scholl May 20, 2016 at 7:43 am #

    It is sad when most law enforcement agencies in CA are hiring and paying significantly higher wages and benefits than Mono County. The CHP and MLPD wages are so much higher that is causes moral issues within the Sheriff’s Office and continued turn over. I hope the DSA and PSOA is successful in their negotiations and the Board of Supervisors understand the true cost of always having to fill vacant positions because of low pay and benefits. Good luck.

     
  6. Eastern sierra local May 20, 2016 at 9:24 am #

    Good work Sheriff! It’s great that you’re pointing out staffing and cost of living issues in Mono County (as well as Inyo County) and how it relates to finding qualified candidates to fill positions. This is a systemic issue throughout the Eastern Sierra not only with the Sheriff’s office but most of the major employers in the area.

     
    • BK May 24, 2016 at 4:48 am #

      I agree sheriff, the fact that your pointing out staffing and cost of living issues is great. Now PLEASE do something about morale. It’s at an all time low, and that’s pretty bad.

       
  7. Niko May 20, 2016 at 10:01 am #

    No agenda here…

     
  8. Mountain Watchdog May 20, 2016 at 10:46 am #

    Face it. These are not good times. The drought continues. The County is going broke.

     
    • Low Inyo May 21, 2016 at 5:10 pm #

      Mountain Watchdog…..Depends on what your idea of “good times” are…..if I want to dig out problems in the area here,I probably could,just like any area where there are people and population….but I ain’t going to do it….just filed my Social Security retirement….quit one of my jobs..kept one..more free time to enjoy things here in the Sierras’….I couldn’t care less about the so called Counties money problems,which aren’t effecting me the least bit…..and very little I can do about the drought,except maybe pay a higher water bill every other month….as long as there’s water in the creeks and lakes and plenty of trout.

       
      • Mountain Watchdog May 23, 2016 at 10:35 am #

        Low Inyo – my point is, these are not good economic times for the vast majority of Americans. I’m not referring to the mega-wealthy Southern Californians who have mansions in ski areas that are only used occasionally. The downward spiral began when places like Taiwan can produce a better product much cheaper than any made in USA product. Coincidentally, not all businesses are suffering. I.e., the San Francisco Bay Area with the help of nearby Silicon Valley plus the liberal life philosophy that many are clamoring for, is today selling homes for $1 million dollars each. Once again, only the wealthy can afford to buy. The natives are restless in mainstream America, and the Bastille is about to be stormed. There are those amongst us who believe it is worthwhile to put the “fellow” back into the
        Fellow American” notion, rather than “it’s all about me.” Its an ethical dilemma.

         
  9. Charles O. Jones May 20, 2016 at 1:46 pm #

    Perhaps a pie chart showing the taxpayers where the various tax revenues come from would be helpful. It would be nice to see how the various revenue sources support and impact the overall budget.

     
  10. Presto May 20, 2016 at 4:34 pm #

    Fraud, Waste, and Abuse. It’s what govt. does best.

    The taxpayers should DEMAND a private company come in an do an internal audit of both Inyo and Mono counties. All DEPTS. YEARLY NO QUESTIONS ASKED. THAT’S FAIR.

    I know someone will say they do have audits, which is true. They are done by the state and if first couple depts. pass an audit they stop.

    It should be done yearly and honestly, and all depts. and available for the public to see. Without our tax money they don’t exist. We have given to much trust and leniency to our public employees and it’s time to take it back.

    This is in my opinion one thing that both folks on the left or right could agree upon. Hopefully one day soon us lefties and righties will realize we have more in common than we thought.

     
  11. Jonathan May 20, 2016 at 4:56 pm #

    All good comments. Let’s not forget that a certain northern Supervisor tried to add even more expenditures and burden to law enforcement by requiring an adventure trails system like Inyo County without the approval of the rest of the board (See this weeks front page Sheet Article). New leadership is needed, four of the Supervisors work well together.

     
    • Interesting May 21, 2016 at 2:11 pm #

      Im sorry, how would that burden law enforcement? An adventure trail system does not come at a huge added burden to law enforcement. Inyo County Sheriff has not seen a signifigant increase in calls for service due to the trail system. So I would like to know why you think otherwise john. And I think you should just come out and say it. Vote for John Peters for district 2 supervisor. No need to pretend to be a random citizen commenting.

       
      • Low Inyo May 23, 2016 at 6:21 am #

        Interesting…….That is only because the “adventure trail”….much less than the ORV’ers wanted it to be..and business’ hoping to profit from it…is a total flop….no millions of tourist dollars coming into the Owens Valley from it …no increase in local business’….no one coming from SoCal to “pop wheelies” on our local streets….The Owens Valley will never be a mecha for the off roaders that want to travel local residential streets going into the towns to buy a hamburger and fries….the off roaders up here travel the secluded dirt roads and areas far from town….not Lubken Hwy. going on an “adventure” from Boulder Creek Resort to the Alabama Hills…then onto the local stores and taverns…..

         
  12. Niko May 21, 2016 at 11:44 am #

    Amazed how everyone is questioning and pointing fingers at the supervisors but no one has questioned the Sheriff…I don’t recall the previous Sheriff’s having this problem…

     
    • Presto May 22, 2016 at 3:54 pm #

      Agreed Niko- in reality the board of supervisors have limited power which has been slowly stripped away over time.
      The one with the most power is of course the position that needs no votes every 4 yrs.

      The C.A.O. and the director of the dept. that takes up the biggest piece of the annual budget.

       
    • Rick O'Brien May 22, 2016 at 9:39 pm #

      Are you FREAKING kidding me…? The previous Sheriff was nothing BUT a big problem ! His mid-evil methods of doling out punishment, ignoring court orders AND ignoring the Supervisors whenever he felt like it. The sheriff is doing the best she can with what she has. Try comparing what a local CHP officer makes, compared to his Mono County Deputy counterparts, who are doing the identical job. A few years back, when I was considering applying at Mono Sheriff’s, I called the station to ask a few questions, and my first one was WHY does such a small department have such a high turn-over rate, because they were constantly hiring. The Lt. I talked to told me that they would hire a deputy, pay to train them, and when they were POST certified, they’d bail to a better paying agency.
      Bottom line is, if Mono County wants to attract qualified applicants, the $$$ situation has got to be competitive. With the shifts that these guys (and gals) are working right now, makes me wonder when they ever get a day off.

       
      • Rick O'Brien May 23, 2016 at 6:01 pm #

        If I were 20 years younger…

         
      • BK May 24, 2016 at 4:53 am #

        Rick,
        Your ignorance and love affair for Braun is clouding your judgement. Since Braun and her arrogant undersheriff has taken office, the turn over (retention) has gotten worse and is only going to get worse. Not to mention morale is at an all time low. 99% of the department would give there left arm to have OB back. But I guess you’d know everything because you did call and talk to a LT.

         
  13. and again May 22, 2016 at 5:48 am #

    The Supervisors continue to throw our tax payer monies away on frivolous things. The airport is one. If the airport was a viable investment, we shouldn’t still be subsidizing it after all of these years. Good money after bad and all that. The supes and upper management continue to scratch their heads about why good hardworking employees are fleeing as fast as they can. They continue to treat the heart of Mono County like a bunch of school children who can be won over with an insincere thank you. Without the emloyees there is no one to do the job the public, you know the voters, show up for. Hardly any of those six figure department heads can or would do the ACTUAL job. I know of several county employees that make less an hour than the proposed new minimum wage. So why I ask you would anyone want to work here

     
    • Charles O. Jones May 22, 2016 at 4:22 pm #

      Why???
      I can think of a lot of reasons people would want to live and work in the Eastern Sierra. Unfortunately though, there aren’t an abundance of good paying career opportunities here. A county job with a steady paycheck, benefits and a retirement system is better than many other job opportunities in the region. That said, the county, (just like any employer) needs to offer a sufficient compensation package if they hope to attract and retain good employees. If they don’t, they will continue to have a revolving door.

       
      • DESCO May 23, 2016 at 5:49 pm #

        C O J
        The whole world would like to live in the Eastern Sierra. If the whole world lived here then nobody would want to live here. I believe that’s called a paradox, or L.A. In order to pay a “living” wage to government employees more and more of your wages will have to be taken from you. Eventually for a week of your labor you would receive a bag of groceries and a chit to pay your rent. When I lived and worked in Mammoth most restaurant employees had two or three jobs and two or three roommates, just to get by, and live in this beautiful place. One winter’s night one of the waitress’s showed up at Whiskey Creek with an obvious case of pneumonia. Three people did not make enough money to heat the place where they were living. This whole thing is a very, very complex problem. Again, I wish I had some answers. As near as I can figure anyone currently running for public office, from president down to dog catcher, doesn’t have any either.

         
  14. Trouble May 22, 2016 at 10:10 am #

    Jonathan, the adventure trail has nothing to do with their budget money woes. It would actually bring in added income and tourist. I’d have to say the airport law suit is the real problem.

     
  15. Low Inyo May 22, 2016 at 11:34 am #

    Trouble….if the “adventure trail ” was O.K.’ed to the extent the ORV’ers wanted it to be,and the business owners hoping to profit off it,it would’ve been nothing but a big problem…not only to the people and homeowners living here,but to the wildlife,the land and the vehicles having to maneuver around groups of unsupervised SoCal kids and adults doing as they please…..then going home and leaving us locals to clean-up their messes…seen it happen to areas in the Antelope Valley back in the 80’s,where the land is still decimated to this day….

     
    • Bob May 24, 2016 at 11:58 am #

      Most of the places in the Antelope Valley we rode are residential neighborhoods now.

      I’ll take dirt bikes over section 8 housing and gangs any day.

       
      • Low Inyo May 24, 2016 at 2:29 pm #

        Bob….Remember Littlerock Dam ?… the nice quiet campgrounds,the lake loaded with trout….the 5 mile drive behind the little cafe,into the creek area….also loaded with trout ?…remember the days you could go with your family on a Sunday morning and have a picnic and a fun day ?…..without the drunken late night parties and brawls…the chaos going on during the day….constant Law Enforcement presence…google “Littlerock dam-mud bogging”and see what the area looked like before the area was finally closed down due to the destruction of the environment and the endangered species that were wiped off the map due to the ORV’ers reckless and immature behavior.

         
        • Trouble May 25, 2016 at 8:56 am #

          There you go Lower, you point out all the negatives . But you forget to mention the fact that all these trail system trails already are open to the public to ride on. Why don’t you debat what the system really will allow riders to do?

           
          • Low Inyo May 25, 2016 at 4:01 pm #

            They wanted 70 +…..what did they get…..6 ?….and those 6 are not even close to the areas to bring “millions of dollars of tourism ” into the County…it’s a flop….

             
        • Bob May 25, 2016 at 10:11 am #

          Wayne it was actually the stocking of trout that put the toad and the frog on the endangered species list. DFG no longer stocks the creek or the lake. They removed the fish from the creek by electric shock and built a fish dam to stop any fish that didn’t get zapped from going into the spotted frog habitat.

          The USFS changed the name from Little Rock Dam Recreation area to Little Rock Dam Facility. Off roading is only allowed in the dam basin.

          When the population increased in the AV the dirtbag factor increased too. These are the people that trashed the dam.

          Regardless of what you say about the ORV’ers it was the invasive trout that took out the native frogs and toads. I’ve hiked the entire length of the creek from Mt Waterman to the store. There are still some monster size naturalized trout in the upper reached of the creek. I’m talking 30 inches plus!

           
          • Low Inyo May 25, 2016 at 4:04 pm #

            Bob….google “Littlerock Dam ORV images”……then tell me (or Wayne) that they didn’t have anything to do with destroying the lake, the area,and beyond….

             
    • Mono Person May 25, 2016 at 6:54 am #

      That’s a bunch of BS, I LIVE here and run on many trails in the area – nothing is “decimated”. I run into motorcycles and atv-ers very rarely and when I do, they are always polite. Please just stick to your low-Inyo and let the people who live and make their living here decide what is best. We are not a bunch of idiots – we live here because we love it and will not let anything be destroyed.

       
      • Low Inyo May 25, 2016 at 5:22 pm #

        Mono Person….if you read my post,you’ll see I mention it’s the SoCal ORV’ers that do(or would have done) the majority of the damage…it seems most local ORV’ers,they might be just as annoying as the SoCal ORV’ers,but it seems they don’t do quite as much damage…but those that were pushing for the 70 + trails,through the city streets and residential neighborhoods,up to the doorsteps of the fast food restaurants and local taverns,they were kissing-up to the tourists(hoping for the “millions of dollars of revenue”) more so than hoping to attract the locals….like you say,and like I’ve said,the locals travel the far-away areas and trails….not looking for ways to get around town on their “boy-toys” to grab a burger and fries or a few cold beers and hit back onto the trails intoxicated….but really,all a mute point…I’ve traveled the roads…in my truck…that are on this failed “adventure trail” system….and have yet to see a single group of “guys” on their “toys” with their bulging wallets heading into town to spend their fortunes in the Owens Valley.

         
      • Charles O. Jones May 25, 2016 at 5:45 pm #

        Public lands belong to the public – that means all of us – not just those who happen to live nearby. Every citizen has the right to voice their opinions on the use of public land. And you are not entitled to make decisions for all of us based on your address.

         
        • Mountain Watchdog May 26, 2016 at 10:07 am #

          Charles O. Jones – Hopefully you are not referring to Eminent Domain that “legally” stole the lands from Native Americans. This, I believe is something the United States will ever be forgiven for.

           
        • Mono Person May 27, 2016 at 6:40 am #

          All I am saying is that we have been and will be fantastic stewards of the land that surrounds us. And to not take our small voice into consideration when making decision about the land that surrounds us is wrong.

           
  16. Sean May 22, 2016 at 8:00 pm #

    Someone above was asking about the county budgets and where does the money go. You can see it here:

    http://www.monocounty.ca.gov/sites/default/files/fileattachments/auditor_-_controller/page/4952/2015-16_mid-year_budget_review_uploadable.pdf

     
    • sugarmagnolia May 24, 2016 at 8:15 am #

      Thanks Sean, that was an interesting read. Definitely a few surprises. Something everyone should read!

      I think many of us are under the impression that Health and Human Services is one of the biggest expenditures, I was surprised to see its almost all paid for by non-County revenues.
      Quite simply, our need to police people’s lifestyles seems to be costing american’s a lot of money. The DA, LEO, and Jails appear to have the highest negative operating expenses.

      I’m not saying we shouldn’t have laws or shouldn’t enforce them, but maybe we need to look at what we police and simplify it. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
      ie. police the crimes against other people (and their things). Maybe we should leave the rest alone.

       
  17. Mono employee May 23, 2016 at 6:45 am #

    Sure hope our board members are paying attiion to what is happening with there employees. Seems like they care more about the IT department for mammoth that how there treating the rank and file employees. Spending money on a contractor for the community center in Crowley again come on board.

     
    • Mountain Watchdog May 24, 2016 at 10:45 am #

      Restaurants that have been around forever are closing, very qualified department managers have departed. including one in the legal department who has been around the longest in the county and now works for Inyo county, CAOs are turning over at a record-breaking pace, most of the board responsible for slashing everybody’s salary (but their own) are still around and rumors of conflicts of interest abound …
      Bye-bye mono county.

       
  18. Niko May 23, 2016 at 4:29 pm #

    O’brien….never said the past Sheriff was teriffic but he provided more safety to the communities by maintainIng staff. Now staffing is at an all time low, with deputies taking patrol cars to carson. People don’t become cops to become rich and from what I have heard 1776 has addressed the real problem.

     
  19. Timmy May 23, 2016 at 6:29 pm #

    This is the absolute worst board for employees ever. No wonder about a dozen or so Mono employees have left for other counties this year. Mono pays to train them, then they go work for other counties.

     
  20. and again May 24, 2016 at 7:10 am #

    Mono Employee, not only do they NOT CARE, they blissfully feign ignorance

     
  21. Presto May 25, 2016 at 1:44 pm #

    This is simple. Have the Board of Supervisors vote and approve for an independent private accounting firm to come in and Audit EVERY DEPARTMENT.

    Watch the Director of each Department run for the front door. Audits are there Kryptonite!!!

    That is the formula. Good Luck!

     

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