April 2011 - Sierra Scoop Column

Last month I spoke about the County’s “At-will” and Public employees. Since then I have received new information that should have been made more publicly known. According to a reliable source within the County, all “At-Will” employees gave up their automatic 2% pay increase in 2010 and 2011. At the same time, the Union Employees continue to receive their increases. However, when questioned about “Merit Pay” or “Performance Pay”, I was told the 5% increase is not added on to the employee’s base salary. It appears that some have received this “extra” pay.

“At-Will” employees do also live by some of the rules in the Mono County Public Employees contract. Things such as COLA increases, all benefits (Health, Life, Dental and Vision insurance) and vacation. All employees pay nothing ($0) towards their Health, Dental and Vision insurance and only 8% - 9% of the cost of Pensions. Based on information gleaned from the budget, it appears that “Benefits” are running upwards to 58% of base salary. For example, a $100,000 position costs the County about $158,000.

As Supervisor Hazard said at the March 8th Supervisor’s meeting, “Uncle Mono is broke!” So just how much should anyone have to pay when Uncle Mono is broke?

My figures under the “Want to save money?” section needs some updating. Based on new information from the County, there are 50 “At-Will” employees not counting Sheriff Deputies. 29 receive a “Car Allowance” ranging from $657 - $817 per month. 15 are provided a vehicle which the County pays for all maintenance and fuel (note that all are allowed to drive to and from home if they live within the County). It costs the County about $21,000/month or $251,000/year for just those taking the car allowance. It’s unknown at this time the true cost of provided vehicles.

It is time for all Americans to step up and get involved. Read the agendas (available on Friday before the Tuesday meeting) which are available at www.monocounty.ca.gov

Contact your Supervisor at let them know how you feel about these and other issues. Here are their email addresses - District 1, Larry Johnson, ljohnston@mono.ca.gov. District 2, Hap Hazard, hap04@msn.com, District 3, Vikki Bauer, vbauer@mono.ca.gov, District 4, Tim Hansen, thansen@mono.ca.gov, District 5, Bing Hunt, bhunt@mono.ca.gov.

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