Hope for the new year: government make-over

inyo_courthouse.jpgAfter last week’s workshop with budget consultant Dr. Frank Benest with the Inyo Supervisors, some 55 participants met again the next day at the Fairgrounds for more talk about service collaboration and, as Benest put it, “re-design of services.” This talk comes in the face of a $2 million budget shortfall next year and a $4.5 million hole the following fiscal year. County Administrator Kevin Carunchio is optimistic in the face of those big numbers.

First, to questions about how much consultant Benest will cost, Carunchio said there is an initial agreement not to exceed $10,000. This includes the Board workshop and two full-day follow-up workshops plus phone consultations. After that, there may be a longer term contract but not until firm proposals for service changes and savings come out in May.

The second workshop with 55 participants included several agencies – Mono County, the City of Bishop, the Superintendent of Schools, Toiyabe, the Forest Service and BLM. Carunchio said they are all interested in collaborations that could re-design services and save money.

Amdist the talk of reorganizing government are fears of employee lay-offs. Carunchio said, “That’s just what we’re trying to avoid.” Why did he and the Board of Supervisors support expensive pay raises with no money to cover them? Carunchio said in tough times, “The A team must lead. We need to keep and retain talent. It’s not realistic to continue with 2008 salaries and expect better performance. We need to identify money for the long-term good.”

The group session at the Fairgrounds, Carunchio said, did reveal that all agencies have problems. He and others hope that working together will arrive at real answers. County officials are working on providing us with more information about which departments employ individuals who received nearly 30% pay raises as “equity adjustments”. These raises and the first cost of living adjustment in four years added up to the $1.8 million unpaid for next fiscal year.


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21 Responses to Hope for the new year: government make-over

  1. Mono employee December 24, 2013 at 9:55 am #

    It’s nice to see inyo county thinks enough of there employees to give them a raise. In mono county we have gone four years with out a raise they just cut us and make us pay more out of pocket! Now there going to cut us again unlike inyo county who wants to retaine good people mono want to replace us with the cheapest people they can with no raises in site unless your an at will BOSS

  2. Mad as hell constituent December 26, 2013 at 9:10 am #

    When you compare Inyo and Mono county you will find Inyo generates far less revenue than Mono yet Inyo is wise enough to recognize the value of good at-will employees.
    This is a disgrace to we constituents of Mono County who want only the best for our county – not the cheapest employees.

    I wonder what concessions the union has made?

    • Mono employee December 26, 2013 at 9:58 pm #

      Like I said in my post we have not had a raise in four years are paying on our Insurance. Now they want to cut us again !!!

    • Trouble December 27, 2013 at 7:29 am #

      Mad as hell, they haven’t had a raise in four years, been to Vons lately?

  3. Private Sector December 27, 2013 at 10:33 am #

    ^^ typical I’d expect this from a County employee.

    I took a %20 cut in pay five years ago and pay all my health insurance $670 a month.

    I think you need another cut in pay and should pay even more of your health insurance.

    Of course we know all the good jobs in Inyo/Mono County are tax based, or with DWP or Edison. God help you if you’re in the tourism industry.

    • Benett Kessler December 27, 2013 at 11:01 am #

      You are so right. Many small businesses in the Eastern Sierra have no sympathy for those with government jobs who have almost always had a better financial deal. The recession hit local business very hard, and government too.

      • Pedro December 28, 2013 at 12:03 am #

        We all make choices. When I was a teenager and worked summers and weekends my classmates were jealous I had spending money. I was jealous that they spent that time swimming and dancing. Some in private sector made a killing during boom times and are now whining because they didn’t save for the downturns. Some in public sector sacrificed by leaving the area to get education and training and took low paying entry level jobs to work up to where they are now. Then they waited years to get the chance to move back locally to those steady plum jobs.

      • Ken Warner December 28, 2013 at 11:37 am #

        Hey, that guy has a better job that pays more than my job. Cut his pay. Why should I have to find a better job or [gasp] actually learn something that has some value.

        I’ve worked this job for years without trying to do better for myself and this is the thanks I get? Other people get paid more?

        I hate people with better jobs that pay more and have nicer, bigger houses and shiney, newer cars and prettier, skinnier wifes and girlfriends. Life is so unfair to me.

    • Mono employee December 28, 2013 at 1:34 pm #

      I took over an 800 dollar a month cut two years ago! So unless you know what you are talking about you should not assume anything.

  4. Jimmy December 27, 2013 at 10:50 am #

    Yes Inyo agreed several years ago to now give raises to employees in the hopes that the economy would turn around. The economy has not turned around and in fact the Into County cannot afford the raises. And while the employees will get the raises, there is a cost and that cost will be less employees and less services for the residents of Inyo county. These are the facts wether you want to believe them or not. Inyo County is showing a multi million dollar deficit for this coming year.

  5. Local=Loco December 27, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

    Well I am a local who works for a local small business… I haven’t had a raise in 5 years…..have worked harder than I ever thought possible…..pay my own insurance, can’t afford it for my kids…..and all along there are still people out there that support “big business”. County employees are lucky, any way I see it. You have no competition, you don’t loose sleep over the “big business” taking you out, you have sick days, paid holidays, and if someone is a jerk to you at work, you have someone to talk to about it. Stop your whining….come to the real world

  6. Mark December 27, 2013 at 2:27 pm #

    Until the Churn in local government is equal too or more then the churn in the private sector local government employees are making to much money.

    Mono Employee needs to stop their whining and keep their eyes on the prize (pension).

    • Mono employee December 28, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

      How much are we making ? Mark

      • Mark December 29, 2013 at 10:29 am #

        I’ll bite; I am a private sector employee taking home $33.8k a year. Just over %25 of that goes to health insurance. The only pension I have are my investments.

        I also took an $800 month cut in pay, but not 2 years ago, it was five years ago.

        Your turn Mono Employee spill the beans, or anyone else that has the balls to share.

        • Pedro December 29, 2013 at 11:18 pm #

          Mark, no Social Security?

          • Mark December 30, 2013 at 11:18 am #

            yes Pedro if there’s any left to go around.

            Local & State government cash flow usually lags behind the private sector. That’s why I took a cut in pay 5 years ago and Mono Employee is whining about taking a cut in pay two years ago.

            The fact is the private sector isn’t recovering so you public sector employees probably have more cuts coming.

  7. Trouble December 27, 2013 at 5:08 pm #

    Ever since Reagan declared war on unions , people have been crying about pensions. Like ever class person doesn’t work hard enough to deserve one. Bull!

  8. Mongo The Idiot December 28, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

    What about this money?

    Why even discuss lay-offs when there is so much excess on the table.

    I want a strong county foundation built out of caring dedicated well paid people, the cement and mortar looks world class to me.

    (probably wrong, just sayin’)

    • Benett Kessler December 28, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

      Mongo, the $$ for that project comes from the State. Hard to believe they have $33 million hanging around.

      • Mongo The Idiot December 28, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

        If it were my $33 million I would spend it on laying track for Slim Princess from Independence to Bishop.
        That would be a better investment for the state because it would generate excitement about the area and encourage private investment and tourism which in turn would help fund the county.
        It would also honor the original historical 1866 count seat by making it an attractive hub where people would want to live and work.
        I know for me, seeing Princess chug up the valley would make the hair stand up on my arms.
        Seeing a $33 million dollar facility in Bishop will make the hair on my arms lay flat and possibly fall out.

  9. Reality Check December 28, 2013 at 7:00 pm #

    History will repeat itself in Inyo. Take a look what happend in Mammoth recently. First there will be employee pay and benefit cuts, then the employee organizations will be given a choice between more pay cuts or lay offs. This will pit long term employees against short time employees.

    The next logical financial move would be for Bishop to disband the police department and contract with the sheriff’s department.

    This is what happens in a depression/recession. It is a sad time for all of us with a lot of tough choices to be made by private businesses, local governments and families.


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