Politicking on the job for elected officials

mono_courthouse_10-08.jpgAfter a lot of debate, a vote by Mono Supervisors allows elected officials to keep conducting political activity on the job while rank and file employees can not.

Supervisor Chairman Larry Johnston brought up this issue and wanted to create a fair rule that applies to all. Johnston said, “If we’re restricting employees, we should also restrict elected officials and candidates in their political activities in County offices. For me, the ordinance we came up with did that.” Supervisor Fred Stump agreed and said that even if we can’t affect national and state politics, we can make them fair locally.

Other Board members did not share their views. Johnston and Stump voted in favor of the new ordinance. Tim Alpers, Tim Fesko and Byng Hunt voted no. County Counsel Marshall Rudolph had come back to the Board with an ordinance that would have included elected officials and all other employees. Because Rudolph referred to no political activity on County premises, things got complicated. First amendment issues were raised and questions about renting County facilities for political meetings. The County Counsel did list a number of exceptions to the rule in the proposed ordinance.

Inyo County has a simple personnel rule that says no political activity on the job, including employees and elected officials. There have been no issues or reported violations over that simple rule. Mono County has a provision that restricts employees from political activity on the job, but the definition of employee does not include elected officials. Instead of changing the definition of employee, the Supervisors and County Counsel focused on an ordinance that restricts activities in County offices and facilities.

Chairman Johnston said fellow Board members “lost sight of the point.” He also said, “A reasonable person would not go to a job site and ask people to sign their election petition, but there are people who will. Our ordinance addressed that.” Johnston said he is disappointed the ordinance did not pass. Said Johnston, “This is a loop hole that needs to be closed.”

 

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13 Responses to Politicking on the job for elected officials

  1. Dunce Club March 12, 2014 at 7:05 pm #

    Mr Johnston you said it right “A reasonable person would not go to a job site and ask people to sign their petition” but we are talking about someone desperate to lean on people for votes. Just like him bringing the goon squad to lean on the BOS. This is how he operates.

    I can’t believe that the BOS couldn’t get this passed…

     
  2. George Orwell March 12, 2014 at 8:17 pm #

    “All animals are created equal….but some animals are more equal than others.”

    Animal Farm

     
  3. Witness March 12, 2014 at 9:27 pm #

    What’s wrong fesko? Alpers? Hunt? Whatever happened to ethics! This is the same thing that is continuously wrong with mono county administration! Do as I say not as I do approach! Time and time again administrators in mono county disregard policy, government code, mou’s! There is no accountability for those violate the above! But if one employee does anything in violation he or she is called on it and given disaplinary action! Or given the golden handshake, ” leave or your fired” ! How about we join the 21st century and uphold what has already been in place! The constant opinion lately to interpret laws as they see fit is not right! Step up and enforce what is right!

     
    • Desert Tortoise March 13, 2014 at 2:26 pm #

      The accountability comes in the voting booth. Don’t like the people who represent you? Look in the mirror, look at your neighbors. We chose them in free and fair votes. If they are that bad, choose someone else. We’ll see who is re-elected. Don’t blame anyone but ourselves for who represents us.

       
  4. Heather March 12, 2014 at 10:16 pm #

    Does anybody know, or was there any indication or statement as to why Hunt, Alpers, and Fesko voted no? The reasoning behind such an asinine decision would be interesting to hear.

     
    • Desert Tortoise March 13, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

      “Because Rudolph referred to no political activity on County premises, things got complicated. First amendment issues were raised and questions about renting County facilities for political meetings. The County Counsel did list a number of exceptions to the rule in the proposed ordinance”

      I think the answer is they were unhappy with the wording.

       
  5. Underdog March 13, 2014 at 7:36 am #

    The right way and the Mono County way. No new chapters written by the board this day, and another opportunity to project positive change lost!

     
  6. Ben Holgate March 14, 2014 at 9:00 am #

    Inyo County is also the only County in CA that doesn’t recognize Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday as a National Holiday, so I wouldn’t look there for a guiding light regarding civil rights issues and the first amendment.

     
    • Trouble March 14, 2014 at 12:47 pm #

      Inyo County is maybe 2% black, why should we do MLK day?

       
      • Benett Kessler March 14, 2014 at 1:32 pm #

        Because Martin Luther King was an extraordinary man who led not only Black people but white people through an important civil rights and human attitude change. He studied the methods of Gandhi and managed to use the same non-violent methods to achieve a level of human equality. That’s why.
        Benett Kessler

         
        • Race relations March 14, 2014 at 3:42 pm #

          I see the racist rednecks from Inyo are out in force today.
          I feel for you Benett.

           
        • Ken Warner March 14, 2014 at 3:57 pm #

          So we should celebrate Dr.Martin Luther King’s noble life and profound effect he’s had on all races by going skiing for a week, buying expensive dinners, getting drunk and generally having a great time exercising your civil rights trying to — non violently — hook up with the babe at the end of the bar.

          What’s the matter with Inyo County? Can’t they see???

           
      • Mongo The Black Idiot March 15, 2014 at 8:04 am #

        Hi Trouble,
        We don’t celebrate MLK Day because he was black, we do it because he was an exceptionally gifted and insightful speaker whose passion and love for people drove him nonstop in his fight for the underprivileged.
        Here in America, the nation of immigrants, we cannot afford to be afraid of those who are different than us. Nature surely loves diversity, it is our differences embraced that make possible our maximum potential as humans. Our fears of strangers and those who are different from us keep us from reaching our potential.
        I would say that MLK is the most meaningful holiday for me. I find myself reflecting on some of the things he said.
        “Grant that I may not pray alone with the mouth; help me that I may pray from the depths of my heart.”
        “Every man must do two things alone; he must do his own believing and his own dying.”
        “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
        What an amazing person.
        Thanks for sharing your thought Trouble. Without questions like this it would be impossible for some of us to even find our passion.

         

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