by Lou Binninger

Politicians and government unions have had an exciting incestuous affair since the day public workers were given the right to organize. Public employees are tapped for dues that are used to fund political campaigns and ballot propositions benefitting unions. Union members are pressured to vote the union way. Union leaders then have politicians by the short-hairs when salary negotiations come around.

These negotiations are done in secret with no one representing those who are stuck paying for the majority of the pensions, the taxpayers. Union members’ retirement pay now is more than the gross income of over half the households in California. The affair is working.

The total public pension liability for all state, county and municipal governments is $106,848 for every household in California, according to Stanford University’s Pension Tracker. Even if pension managers at California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) experience a miracle by earning a 7 percent annual return without any loss over the next 30 years (CalPERS gained 2.4 percent in 2014-15 and 0.6 percent in 2015-16) every household in California will still owe $28,507.

Without any financial smoke and mirrors California has a politician-produced crisis of over 2 trillion dollars in unfunded pension debt. And up until June 25, 2012, legislators ‘cooked the books’ to hide their deviant doings. They allowed government entities to leave the unfunded pension debt off their balance sheets further deceiving taxpayers, slow-thinking board and council members and financial institutions that might be solicited for loans.

The pension problem has been growing due to legislative corruption, union greed and CalPERS mismanagement. The current crisis started in 1999 with Governor Gray “Experience money can’t buy” Davis. Davis was elected in 1998 with more than $5 million in campaign contributions from public employee unions. He would take good care of his donors.

Up until then, CalPERS and other pension funds had a major surplus bolstered by double digit profits in their investment portfolio. However, unions wanted that surplus for bigger pensions and SB-400 was passed by democrats and signed by Davis to do just that.

SB-400 increased pension benefits for all levels of public employees based upon the false assumption that the stock market would continue to achieve record levels. The up to 35% in pension increases stoked the governor’s upcoming bid for re-election. The democrat – controlled legislature and Davis had done the unions a solid. SB-400 was the largest issuance of non-voter approved debt in the state’s history.

SB-400 made more than 200,000 civil servants eligible to retire at 55 — and in many cases collect more than half their highest salary for life. California Highway Patrol officers could retire at 50 and receive as much as 90% of their peak pay. Other police departments got this benefit, as well.

Pension-spiking was the rage. Soon retiring employees were promoted to boost their retirement pay-out. The financial barn-door was ajar and public employees ransacked the place to get ‘what was theirs.’

Proponents sold the measure in 1999 with the promise that it would impose no new costs on California taxpayers. They said the state employees’ pension fund would grow fast enough to pay the bill in full. Were these optimists, fools or liars, maybe some of each?

When the law took effect in 2000, CalPERS investment values collapsed with the bursting of the ‘dot.com’ bubble. Eight years later, the housing market crashed and the recession set in. All this combined with poor investment decisions by the corrupt and unaccountable CalPERS management led to citizens paying the highest taxes in the nation while getting the poorest services.

When Yuba County Administrator Robert Bendorf offers a budget review lately he usually says “we are bringing in more money but the cost of doing business is going up.” That means that the taxpayers are being screwed by rising pension and health benefits for county employees. Yuba City’s finance director Robin Bertagna gave the most transparent and ominous comments recently to the council about the pension and health cost debacle. She basically said this problem will eventually consume the city coffers thus further crippling services. Auditor-Controller Nathan Black says that Sutter County’s unfunded pension debt has risen to $150 million.

Can anything be done? Yes, but most politicians lack the backbone to grasp the nettle.

by Lou Binninger

San Diego may be one of the most visited cities in California and certainly a most beautiful and entertaining place. However, in 2008 the New York Times called it ‘Enron by the Sea’ as it wrestled with bankruptcy caused by employee pension debt. Deals made between city leaders and powerful unions created a massive financial crisis for the eighth largest city in America.

Today, San Diego is the only jurisdiction in California that does not offer defined benefit pensions. The city succeeded with a proposition to change pension plans and overcame multiple lawsuits and union prophets of doom to switch to 401(k) investments for employees.

With San Diego heading for bankruptcy in 2005, voters took charge by electing Republican Jerry Sanders, former commander of San Diego’s SWAT team, as Mayor. Despite being a former member of the police union, he stopped all pension spiking, and pushed the passage of Proposition B, which required all non-police employees hired after July 19, 2012 to receive a funded 401(k) contribution instead of the right to an unfunded defined benefit pension, the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) model.

Unions screamed that the city would suffer economically and would be unable to attract sufficient public employees and firefighters. The proposed combined wage and benefit compensation would be 30 percent below the average of the 17 cities in San Diego County that offer a CalPERS defined benefit program. Unions said the city would become a training ground for other fire departments nearby.

The fire department reported an increase in retention losses the first year but has returned to the typical annual turnover. The city gets several thousand applicants a year to join the fire department and has no problem filling other city job openings.

The University of San Diego’s Index of Leading Economic Indicators says that since converting public pensions to the 401(k) system the local economy has expanded for 58 of the last 60 months. In April, the Index reached its highest level since February 2006. However, in spite of the city’s pension woes the unions waged a four-year legal assault to turn back the voters’ will in Proposition B to reform the lavish and unsustainable CalPERS plan.

Finally, on April 11, a three-judge panel ruled in favor of voters. The taxpayers of San Diego still must pay $2.7 billion in unfunded pension liabilities for employees that joined the city before 2012, but that number is now decreasing.

As San Diego is on the mend financially other jurisdictions are embracing pension reform as well in order to survive. Jacksonville, Florida, began switching all new employees, including police, into 401(k)’s last year. Pennsylvania’s Governor signed a bill to move all new state employees and teachers into a similar plan. And Michigan’s governor is expected to sign a bill to move new teachers into 401(k)s.

Yuba and Sutter County citizens have witnessed a steady decline in services, roads and infrastructure as a greater portion of the general fund is needed to pay extraordinary salaries and benefits. San Diego is an example of how a local government can change their pension system to avoid bankruptcy. And, because of their court battle, a legal precedent has been established for change.

There have been numerous ideas offered to reform the state system but there is little chance for that to occur with a union and democrat-controlled capitol. The hope is at the local level.

By Dan Walters, CalMatters

So here I am again, beginning the third incarnation of my running commentary on all things California, but particularly its politics.

Having written more than 9,000 California-centric columns over the last 36-plus years, first for the late Sacramento Union and then for 33 years for the Sacramento Bee, I and the column have moved to CALmatters.

Four times a week, I will conjure up about 500 words of observation about California politics, and also will travel throughout the state for longer articles about the challenging issues it faces in the coming years and decades.

Why CALmatters? The name really says it all: California matters, not only to Californians, but, because of its unique attributes, to the larger world.

CALmatters is a nonprofit organization founded on the principle that such uniqueness requires journalism that looks far beyond the daily churn of political maneuvering and delves deeply into its underlying issues.

That credo meshes completely with my own abiding interests in California’s continuous economic, cultural, demographic evolutions and the difficult challenges – even dilemmas – they present to its political system.

One current conflict illustrates the syndrome.

California has evolved into a blue state whose voters overwhelmingly support Democratic Party politicians, giving them virtually total control over state government, and generally support the party’s liberal goals, which require more spending.

At the same time, however, those voters have demonstrated repeatedly that they are somewhat averse to paying higher taxes themselves to pay for those goals, even as they embrace taxing others, such as smokers or the rich.

After years of ignoring the deterioration of California’s vital roadway network, Gov. Jerry Brown and his fellow Democrats in the Legislature mustered the will, and the votes, to raise gas taxes and other auto-related fees to increase spending on transportation by more than $5 billion a year.

Despite the demonstrated need, a subsequent poll revealed that most Californians dislike paying the new taxes and, in effect, endorse the Republican opposition, even though they almost never vote for Republicans.

It’s entirely possible that voters will pass an initiative repealing the new road taxes, which would not only put the issue back at square one, but make it politically radioactive and thus even more intractable.

That sort of dichotomy – the clash between reality and politics – permeates California and explains why issues, such as the deterioration of roads and highways, often simmer for years, or even decades, without resolution.

One finds similar dynamics in countless other important matters, such as education, water and housing, whose outcomes will determine whether California’s spectacular history will continue, or whether it, like ancient Rome or Detroit, will see its societal position crumble.

They are the kinds of issues – those central to California’s fate – on which this column has focused in years past and will continue to explore in the future, with a minimum of inside-the-Capitol gamesmanship, although some is inevitable, and a maximum of outside reality.

By Jon Coupal president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.

Members of the California Legislature apparently believe they have the power to change outcomes they don’t like. This is like awarding the NBA Championship to Cleveland by retroactively mandating that all of Golden State’s three point baskets be counted as only two.

While basketball is not on the minds of lawmakers, they are working to interfere with something of much greater value to average Californians, their constitutional right to recall elected officials. The Sacramento politicians think they have found a way to derail what appears to be a successful grassroots effort to recall state Sen. Josh Newman, who cast a key vote imposing a new $5.2 billion annual gas and car tax on already overburdened taxpayers.

The power of recall is a powerful tool of direct democracy. The secretary of state’s website says, “Recall is the power of the voters to remove elected officials before their terms expire. It has been a fundamental part of our governmental system since 1911 and has been used by voters to express their dissatisfaction with their elected representatives.”

In the 29th Senate District, covering parts of Orange, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties, voters have been busy exercising their right to recall their tax-raising representative Josh Newman. Much to the surprise of Sacramento insiders, it looks like the campaign will succeed in gathering enough signatures to force the senator to be held accountable in a special election — already the secretary of state has instructed county registrars to begin counting the signatures. The chance that the recall of one of their own will be successful has lawmakers panicking. Their solution is to surreptitiously change the recall rules that have been in place for over a century.

With little notice, the Legislature amended Senate Bill 96, as it was about to pass in connection with the state budget on June 15, for the purpose of changing the rules governing the current recall effort. The purpose of the bill is shamelessly transparent: “It is the Legislature’s intent that the changes made by this act in the Elections Code apply retroactively to recalls that are pending at any stage at the time of the act’s enactment... .”

Their end game is delay. They want to delay the ultimate vote on ousting Newman for as long as possible, despite the constitutional guarantee to have the vote as quickly as possible — between 60 days and 180 days from the recall petitions having been certified.

Here’s how they do it: First, they try to delay the petition review process by requiring the county Registrars of Voters to check the validity of every signature submitted. Normally, the registrars are permitted to check a random sample of the signatures, saving both time and money.

Second, and more disturbing, is the provision buried deep in the text that states, “Notwithstanding any other law, the Secretary of State shall not certify the sufficiency of the signatures [on the recall petitions] until the Legislative Joint Budget Committee has 30 days to review and comment on the estimate [of recall costs] submitted by the Department of Finance.”

Here’s the kicker. The Department of Finance is part of the governor’s office and the bill does not require the governor’s office to prepare that analysis under any time limit. Gov. Brown, who has already come out against the recall, can simply delay that report indefinitely, which, in turn, would hold up certification of the recall effort and the ultimate election.

Perhaps it should come as no surprise that those in power in Sacramento will stop at nothing to retain their power and influence, putting their own interests ahead of those of average Californians. But lawmakers who disrespect voters should be wary. Polls show that nearly 60 percent of Californians oppose the new gas tax. The higher taxes will kick in just before the beginning of next year’s election season. Voters are very likely to remember who is responsible and choose to retire multiple representatives, not just a single senator, in the regularly scheduled 2018 election.

The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC) is an agreement among several U.S. States plus the District of Columbia to allocate their presidential electors to the winner of the national popular vote under certain conditions. As of June 21, 2017, the compact has been joined by eleven states and the District of Columbia. Now Oregon has passed HB2927 which will make it State Law to give all Electoral College votes to the Popular Vote Getter in all future presidential elections. This Treasonous action by these leftist States will destroy the will of the voters of those states involved and make them a slave state to the populace vote. Thus ringing in the age of Democratic Democracy, something our Founders hated.

(CA, DC, HI, IL, MA, MD, NJ, NY, RI, VT, WA & Oregon) Have all now passed legislation to overthrow the will of the voters in those states. Article 2 section 2 clauses 2 and 3 and the Twelfth Amendment of the US Constitution require States to establish electors that will choose the president and vice president of the United States. These States have sneakily eliminated the vote of the people by making it law to give all their electoral college votes to the national popular vote getter. They are eliminating the voice of their citizens and eliminating the legitimacy and relevance of their State’s involvement in the political process... Eliminating the vote and voice of an entire State.

The electoral college was established for a reason. To ensure smaller populated States had the same vote as all the other States. Otherwise they would have become slaves to the will of the larger populated States and therefore would have no say in a Presidential Election. Because we have allowed Schools to teach communism, for generations, and forsake the Constitution, many people like Oregon Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer believe that the electoral college is “flawed and outdated.” Rep. Keny-Guyer told Oregon Live, “The Electoral College does not fit the ‘We The People’ and ‘One person, one vote’ style of democratic government. OF COURSE IT DOESN'T Our Founders Hated Democracies! That is why they formed a Constitutional Republic!

What will be the point in voting if you don't live in New York, Texas, California, or Florida, where the majority of the voting population resides? Every presidential election will be chosen by these few States if we allow this treasonous skullduggery to move any further without a fight!

I didn't see any ballot initiative about this, did you? So how can they give our votes to someone we didn't vote for? I think we need to rally the masses against this tyranny and quick or everyone in America will be at the mercy of the larger States. Our Constitution is being dismantled before our eyes and we are not even aware of it!.... It is being done behind closed doors and it is those who want to be your slave masters doing it!

Sadly, Civil War maybe our only way out soon. It is better to die fighting tyranny and enslavement, than it is to live enslaved under the thumb of the tyrants.

RW Gless

Marysville, Ca.

by Lou Binninger

The Tuesday, June 20, 2017 Marysville City Council meeting will test the mettle of its members. The council can follow the same failed policies of the past or launch a new direction more fitting for a small town that is broke. The days of the Cargill Meat Company, department stores and a downtown full of auto dealerships are long gone. It is time to deal with reality.

The way small businesses and contractors have been treated both personally and through fees and fines have taken a toll. It’s simple, no businesses no town. It’s time for the council to take charge and set a new tone.

A number of hot issues on and off the agenda may surface Tuesday. They include taking on nearly a million dollars in new debt to keep a very expensive and unnecessary police department afloat, what to do with City Manager Walter Munchheimer, the violating of Buck Weckman’s right of appeal regarding the marijuana dispensaries, voiding the planning commission decision to obey state and federal law, unethical moves by the city administration to undermine opposition to marijuana dispensaries, giving away $58,000 in public assets, hiring a parks worker, pay up to $15,000 for a new city website and the city’s legal firm that has forgotten who it represents.

It would be refreshing to see council members act like they’re representing those who voted for them rather than the city staff, the union or tradition - “we have always done it that way.” Citizens did not elect the council to allow these three influences to set the city’s course.

The council should do what is best for the residents by making whatever changes necessary to get the city financially in shape and the infrastructure improved. The city, even with the new sales tax revenue, is circling the drain while proposing more debt.

After telling citizens that $1.5 million in new sales taxes annually would ‘save’ police and fire the administration is now proposing to add another $870,000 in debt to lease 19 new police vehicles. This is added to the $17 million in bond payments owed on the B Street property valued at $1.5 million and the spiking unfunded employee pension and healthcare liabilities.

Munchheimer has an aversion to working with the county. He resigned rather than seek help from the county and save $20,000 in a personnel search. He and the council did a disservice to the city by not asking the County Sheriff for a proposal to police the city. This is a classic example of going broke by maintaining outdated practices rather than saving a million a year in the policing budget. Stubbornly being stuck in the past is expensive. Munchheimer may have experience but pride comes before a fall.

The first year’s sales tax will be consumed by the B Street property payment, a $288,000 fine from the State Department of Water Resources and employee raises. Nothing is left for parks and streets. The citizens get nothing while paying more and more taxes. It’s the mantra of city after city.

Tuesday, the council will debate and vote on the Planning Commission decision that chose to stay with current city codes in compliance with state and federal laws. However, the dispensaries don’t fit under current ordinances.

The city violated the rights of Buck Weckman who submitted a timely appeal on the dispensaries. The city without explanation postponed the hearing.

Weckman’s appeal will highlight the city violating its own codes to complete their marijuana outlet plan. Will the council have the courage to do what is right? Or, will Rich, Fuidge, Lane and Bordsen double-talk them and the city get sued by Weckman? Of course, going to court would be a cash cow for the law firm. The city is rushing the ordinance change through thus avoiding Weckman’s testimony since city hall knew he could not attend the council meeting.

Munchheimer’s outdated ways have contributed to an eventual insolvency here. Spend up to $15,000 for a small town website, incredible. Expand parks personnel when the city cannot afford its pensions is crazy? The parks need care, but by private industry. The council has an opportunity to look at outsourcing finance and community services positions and go to a 3-day a week city manager.

It’s time for a change. Tuesday will speak loudly one way or the other.

by Lou Binninger

There are some benefits to growing-up in Northern California. You realize that brown cows don’t produce chocolate milk. This understanding is called agricultural literacy which some people have missed out on.

Whether government schools covered that topic or parents, it seems that 7% of more than a thousand people surveyed were fuzzy about the origin of chocolate milk. Seems logical but wrong – if white cows give white milk then brown cows offer chocolate milk.

A 1990’s Department of Agriculture study found that 1 in 5 adults did not know hamburgers were made with beef. And in 2011, researchers learned that more than half of the fourth, fifth, and sixth-grade students interviewed did not know pickles were cucumbers or that vegetables such as onions came from plants.

However, these ag or food literacy rates are not the same throughout the nation. Those living in rural areas and those having higher income and education levels know more about their food sources. Ag literate Yuba-Sutter youngsters can at a glance tell the difference between peach and prune trees and between walnut and almond orchards without fruit or nuts on display. They can also name row crops at a glance.

At one time, the big talk just before summer for students around here was where they were going to work. Many found jobs in orchards or the fields, canneries, construction, retail and restaurants, while some headed to Alaska for the fishing industry.

The thought of work was exciting. It was before the unions lobbied for laws limiting equipment operating to those 18 and older. In one summer a 16-year-old could learn how to drive and maintain a tractor, operate a forklift and bobtail truck.

More importantly a multitude of soft skills were accumulated while having a great time and making money to buy a car. Teens paid with cash and most bought their own. They learned timeliness, diligence, determination, and team work. They experienced laboring under stress and pressure, how to get along with co-workers, following directions and they understood the value of a dollar.

Some were promoted and guaranteed a job for next summer while others were fired, both a great lesson. For Baby Boomers and Generation X, the summer job was a rite of passage.

Today, more and more teens are not working. Those that are working are most likely employed by July, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In July of 2016, 43 percent of 16- to 19-year-olds were either working or looking for a job. That's 10 points lower than in July 2006. In 1988 and 1989, the July labor rate for teenagers nearly hit 70 percent.

Whether its summer or year around, teens are dropping out of the workforce. They are finding other tasks to occupy their time. Some are attending classes to get ahead scholastically. In July of 2016, more than two in five 16- to 19-year-olds were enrolled in school during summer. That's four times as many as were enrolled in 1985, the BLS says. Almost a million students graduated in 2009 having completed an advanced placement (AP) class, up 39 percent from four years earlier. Others not working may just be lazy.

Extra scholastic work and sports camps have their benefits but missing out on job experiences cannot be replaced by reading or hearing about them. College graduates with a spotty work history may make poorly adjusted workers and soon join the unemployed.

For some kids a job may save their life. In two Chicago jobs programs, arrests among participants for violent crime dropped by 42% for one and 33% for the other. The effect continued for at least a year after. Though the work programs could not show future employment or education benefits keeping people occupied for pay had a unique outcome in the city where shooting people is a pastime for some.

Rural and urban kids have differences, but having a job has been a rich learning experience for them in the past. Now, for many, going jobless until they need to support themselves should be interesting.

Sad that some can't understand that the President can "OBSTRUCT" whatever he or she wants under the powers given him/her under the Constitution ... it is especially sad when supposed elected and former elected people as well as a dumbed down media who claim to know the law, spew lies and ignorance, to try and make the uneducated masses believe something that just isn't true... or just to spew to be popular.

The President has the Power TO tell all under him/her to STOP any investigation PERIOD! But this never happened in the Case of President Trump. The Leftist have proven they will lie, cheat, steal and kill to impose their agenda. They also use the less intelligent to do their dirty work and then leave them in it! i.e... Just look at our schools and how they are trying to brainwash our children to believe the communist manifesto is the constitution. The Leftists have no Honor and we must show the dumbed down masses who they really are. People need to educate themselves on the Powers of the President before they spew like Maxine Waters and be thought as much a fool as she is....

RW Gless

Marysville. Ca.

Yes, apparently it is a huge secret. Is there anyone in Olivehurst that knows "Clean up day" is June 24th? At least that's what I heard through "the grapevine". I've heard no announcement from our new supervisor, Recology, the county or anybody else. Do they want people to pile up their "Big" size trash till it looks like a third world country? People's incomes have become so scarce they can't afford to pay for "runs to the dump". Besides keeping this a big secret, we have more BIG news. If you are disabled or elderly and want curb side pickup because you can't get to the "free dump day" - well - good luck! First, you have to know that you have to call Recology and ask for "curb services". Then, they will send you a mess of paperwork to fill out and send back in and hope it gets there in time, and gets approved! What happened to a SIMPLE-FREE dump day??

Louise Dunn

Olivehurst, Ca.

Mayor Ricky may have inadvertently come up with a solution for Marysville’s debt

problem. Since he believes that the city council’s job is to follow staff recommendations,

we could save a bundle by dismantling the council and simply rely on staff. Let me set

the stage.

Walter Muncheimer, retiring City Manager, recommended the council adopt a bid for

$20,000 to pay a headhunter company to fill several vacancies in the City’s

administration rather than go with a cheaper $2,000 option available if they used

existing Yuba County resources.

Muncheimer has made a series of recommendations and decisions that have already

cost the city millions of dollars. You might say his recommendations are questionable at

best.

Yet despite Muncheimer’s dismal track record, Mayor Ricky voted to go with the more

expensive $20,000 option for a headhunter reasoning that “The council should not

interfere with staff decisions.”

All credit is due the four council members who voted against this silly recommendation,

but Mayor Ricky raised a good point. If the council is just there to rubber stamp staff’s

decisions, do we really need a mayor or a city council? Just think of the savings we

could realize from not having to pay their salaries or retirements!

Staff is not elected to serve the citizens of Marysville. They have no accountability to

the voters for their decisions. We did elect a city council and we should expect that they

represent the views of the voters, not staff.

Unfortunately the majority of the city council has acted irresponsibly by voting to allow

two marijuana dispensaries licenses despite the wishes of the electorate. The process

to push these dispensaries through has been tainted from the start and the stench

grows stronger every day.

Just for the record, I have been a medical marijuana advocate for the past forty years. I

do not object to the presence of a dispensary in Marysville and believe that two is better

than one to avoid price gouging. However, I strongly object to the unfair methods used

to award these licenses.

You know a process is corrupt when I (and many others) predicted exactly who would

get the licenses months before the applications were available. Yet that didn’t stop the

city from accepting thousands of dollars from 15 or so applicants that had no chance of

getting a license. The unfortunate truth is that the same two applicants would probably

have won the licenses anyway but the methods used have forever clouded the

outcome.

We have to ask why favorable treatment was given to the two finalists for the

dispensary licenses. We already know that Mayor Ricky received thousands of dollars

from one of the licensees that he failed to mention during his run for mayor last year, but

what was done behind the scenes?

Allegations swirl about bribes, kick backs and campaign donations that were not

reported surrounding these licenses, but we will never know for certain until a forensic

auditor is hired to follow the money. I’m not singling out Mayor Ricky alone. David

Lamon, Walter Muncheimer, and possibly others need to be scrutinized as well.

This needs to be a top priority when the new Grand Jury is seated in July.

Patricia Smith

Chair, Americans for Safe Access

Yuba City

GRADS WITH TEACHER 6 14 17by Lou Binninger

Five Yuba County Jail women recently earned high school diplomas while incarcerated. The graduates were Angela Villa, Amber Williams, Thi Nguyen, Carla Rincon and Marygen Matta.

The ladies benefitted from a partnership between Yuba County Office of Education (YCOE) and the Yuba County Sheriff’s Office (YCSO) to not only offer an adult education curriculum but a high school diploma option starting with the 2016-2017 school year. YCOE has offered adult education in the jail for years along with English proficiency and basic skills classes.

Assistant Superintendent Bobbi Abold and Captain Brandon Barnes put the project together and veteran YCOE instructor Carol Holtz assisted the students.

The expanded program also received help from the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and its Educational Services Division. The agency helped streamline the process of obtaining transcripts so prior credits could be evaluated to see what each student needed to complete.

The course of study complied with California State Standards and College and Career Readiness Standards. The students were required to earn credits in English, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science, and Health as well as Life Skills.

In order to serve inmates that leave custody but still need a diploma, the program is also offered at the Day Reporting Center (DRC) run by the Sheriff and Probation Departments. The DRC is a service center for people on probation and parole to obtain needed skills to succeed.

The jail offers additional classes as well on the following topics: computer keyboard, parenting, sewing, sexual and mental abuse, anger management, health and tobacco cessation, sexually transmitted infections, life skills, relapse prevention, the supernatural and Celebrate Recovery.

Presentations are made by Child Support and Child Protective Services. Local rehabs and shelters explain how to access their facilities. One Stop Jobs assists inmates and a new employment skills class will soon be offered by a retired businessman.

Other services are also available. Since 2008, Sutter-North Medical, Dr. Joseph Cassady and the jail have provided tattoo removal for both jail and juvenile hall residents. The program seeks to remove barriers to work and eliminate offensive messages leading to violence. More than 4,300 treatments have been performed in the jail, juvenile hall and the Sutter-North Surgery Center.

For years, the Sheriff’s Department has funded a fulltime substance abuse counsellor, Randy Inman, to interview and educate inmates to link them with residential rehabs, clean and sober living homes and shelters. Having an in-house advocate has eliminated a major communication barrier to those incarcerated.

The legislature’s decision to house more inmates in county jails versus prison presented an opportunity for local agencies, nonprofits and volunteers to help. Eventually, all inmates are going to return to the community. Community members have an influence in how that happens.

Pictured: left to right Angela Villa, Amber Williams, Carol Holtz, Thi Nguyen, Marygen Matta, Carla Rincon

Marysville City Manager (CM) Walter Munchheimer emailed his notice of ‘retirement’ the day after the council rejected on a 4-1 vote, his paying a headhunting firm $22,000. The County of Yuba offered instead to find a Finance Director for $2,000. Munchheimer already hired the firm with $25,000 to fill the Community Services position. Now, the city council has 3 slots to fill. Munchheimer will be gone by October 31.

Munchheimer, if remembered, it will be for costing taxpayers. He launched a Bounce Back (BB) economic plan with a Blue Ribbon Committee of citizens that never had any bounce, though spent hundreds of thousands of dollars. Remember the outside consultant that was to present a BB report after months of waiting? When the CM called to set the presentation date, the fellow never got around to doing the work. The bid winner then found a friend to complete the contract. Is there a new shelf to hold that report?

And, there was the Measure W Sales Tax Increase Measure, the one that failed. The city was touting being broke. The CM in the middle of the propaganda campaign bought three thousand dollars of new furniture for his office. When they went to furlough Fridays to save money the citizens realized they really didn’t need a fulltime administration after all. Hold that thought.

Munchheimer considered the city council’s directives as suggestions and basically did his own thing. The council in turn lacked the ‘Spauldings’ to hold him accountable. Under his management philosophy the city stopped enforcing basic decency laws allowing the place to become a sanctuary of vagrants.

The CM took no responsibility for those working under him as the Community Services Director decided to stop completing quarterly reports to the Department of Water Resources, twelve of them. The state fined Marysville $3 million. The new sales tax increase that finally passed brings in at most $1.5 million annually to “save police and fire?” The city has holes in its pockets.

The multi-million dollar street and drainage overhaul at 12th and J languished though the city had a grant and borrowed $700,000 from the county with interest and a $7,000 administration fee. No explanation for this blunder either.

Though city and county residents voted twice against marijuana dispensaries the CM and the council forged ahead to ‘save’ the city by taxing the sale of bud. The process of soliciting and vetting dispensary operators was an ethical and legal fiasco replete with violations of the Brown Act and city ordinances, crony capitalism and pay to play. The council is still ditching ordinances and cancelled a June 8 appeal on the dispensary decision to get the rules to comply with their decisions.

It’s a shame the average business doesn’t get this type of coddling. The city wouldn’t have any vacant buildings left.

Recently the city has been making gifts of public funds in the ‘spirit of helping businesses.’ However, just certain people are getting hand-outs. In most places that’s illegal.

One slice of Lemon Street worth $28,000 according to Councilmember Whitmore was donated, not sold to the auto company moving to Tenth and H. Then, $30,000 of rent was forgiven Armstrong Racing since their track was flooded in Riverfront Park this winter.

The Motocross contract specifically says the lessee rented the property knowing the state manages water levels and the city was not liable for flooding. Exhibit B Winter Operation Policy spends more than a page dictating Motocross responsibilities when the water rises. Item 27 of the contract explains the city would not suffer in the case of a loss of business when the facility is inoperable.

Furthermore, most enterprises carry insurance for business interruption and loss from disaster. The Motocross is in effect renting the property for a year around fee though only wanting to pay for the favorable months.

The city’s law firm of Rich, Fuidge, Lane and Bordsen on retainer for nearly $10,000 a month signed and probably drafted the contract. However, the firm’s attorney gave no input according to council members as they voted to give away the public’s revenue.

Since the council will make a decision about 3 administrative positions maybe the legal contract should go out for bid as well. Sometimes service providers become too comfortable and lack the diligence that a new firm may have.

Munchheimer’s high performance scored a raise recently that will reward him with greater retirement benefits. And so goes the world of public employees.

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The Democrats are afraid of the Trump Administration. They fear that they will keep investigating Hillary and when things start falling apart it will be like peeling an onion and all the rotten things the Democrats have been up to will see the light of day. The Democrats in California are afraid. Today I saw our Dictator Gov. on T.V. speaking out against the Pres. All while our communist Senate passed a bill that Pet Shops could only sell Dogs, Cats, and Rabbits that they bought from rescue groups. Now they passed a Law that would punish firms who bid on the border wall. They are running our state like a separate Communist country I thought we were a part of the U.S.A. But they act like we are not. What I would like to know is where is the Republican Party or is there still one in CALIF?

Donald Lewis

Marysville Ca.

California Fish & Game recently stated they passed a law, no one will be allowed to collect insects in this state.

Professors from the U.C. system said “This is absurd.”

California Fish & Game Department cannot make law. This is unconstitutional. Fish & Game is not a duly elected legislative body, elected by the people. Only an elected legislative body may make law.

Fish & Game commissioners are appointed by the governor. Many have no background in wildlife management. There was a recent article in this paper about fishing license sale declining. Many sportspersons have quit hunting and fishing in this state because of over regulation and Ms. Dragoneon laws.

Fish & Game has poisoned the Alpine Lakes to kill the trout population in order to protect the yellow legged frogs. This practice is ridiculous. Trout populations are already in decline.

Fish & Game imposes fines that are absurd. Most judges don’t understand or know the code to which Fish & Game refers to; such as fining sport persons $100 to $900 per shot shell, if for some reason they deem it illegal. According to U.S. Constitution’s 8th Amendment “No fines shall be excessive.” This is no more than a money grab.

Fish & Game misplaced more than 11 to 22 million dollars years ago. After official hearings no money was found. No one from Fish & Game knew where it went, no one lost their job. This is absolutely ridiculous.

California Fish & Game is the worst department of Fish & Game in the western US. They have let the pheasant almost completely disappear. It is not native to California. They should create a program that would help restore the pheasant population. I’m sure sports men and woman would support that.

Western states Fish & Wildlife departments manage their wildlife for the benefit of the sportsperson. They also make millions of dollars.

U.S. Supreme Court ruled the federal EPA could not make law. Stating, “They were not a duly elected legislative body. The same applies to California Fish & Game.

People are better off saving their money and making an out of state trip. Their odds are better to be successful.

Sportsmen organizations or the NRA need to take Fish & Game to task, all the way to the US Supreme Court, if required. Bring them back under control of the people, asking for contributions and donations. The lawsuit that would follow if successful would break Fish & Game. This is maybe what it is going to take. Fish & Game is California’s Gestapo.

David A. Bennett

Yuba City, Ca.

by Lou Binninger

Sutter County Community Services Director Danelle Stylos was fired by Supervisors effective May 23, 2017. Supervisors Flores, Munger and Conant voted in favor of termination. Supervisors Whiteaker and Sullenger voted no.

Stylos was placed on administrative leave by Supervisors after being arrested by District Attorney (DA) Investigators on February 1, 2017. She was accused of making false statements, providing false information, perjury and voter fraud. She was booked into Sutter County jail and released on $25,000 bail.

Some supervisors and department heads were angered by the arrest inferring that the DA’s charges were political and petty. They protested her arrest while aware she was violating her employment agreement with Sutter County. Stylos stated she lived at the residence of a former Sutter County Fire Chief though she actually resided in Sacramento.

Her job responsibilities required her to dwell in Sutter County. She used her fictitious Sutter County address on various legal documents.

Stylos was afforded two week’s severance pay in addition to being paid while on administrative leave. According to Transparent California, Stylos received pay and benefits of $192,015.92 in 2016. Stylos collected approximately $64,005.31 during her absence prior to dismissal.

The case against Stylos is proceeding through court. However, Sutter County officials maintain their terminating of Stylos had nothing to do with the legal charges, but was based solely on an internal investigation performed by outside professional services.

The investigation reviewed her work and regard among fellow administrators and those she managed in her department. Though personnel details are confidential, her firing speaks loudly about her performance knowing it is nearly impossible to dismiss a government employee even when they serve ‘at will.’

Stylos is the second key Sutter County employee to lose their job in less than two years.

In October 2015, Supervisors declined to renew former County Administrative Officer Jim Arkens’ (CAO) contract and placed him on leave with a salary and benefits of $267,598.95. The Supervisors’ decision occurred just months after they defended Arkens’ handling of county affairs in a letter to the Territorial Dispatch.

An outside audit by Gallina LLP revealed that CAO Arkens and Sutter County Supervisors violated accepted government accounting practices by keeping a second set of books on the county’s $10.5 million Chevron Energy Project financing, avoiding Auditor – Controller Robert Stark’s oversight. Supervisors stated they supported the CAO’s handling of the project.

The Supervisors had a habit of circumventing the view of independently elected Auditor-Controller Stark. The solar project started during the term of Stark but the outside audit revealed the financial miscue to newly elected Auditor-Controller Nathan Black.

The lesson of the two dismissals is that staying or going, poorly performing public employees are very expensive.

by Lou Binninger

As debate rages about the ‘homeless’ most miss the fact that thousands of teens have this month completed one of three objectives to protect them from that fate. They graduated from high school. Few teens grasp the significance of their accomplishment though they are not immunized against disaster.

Now, their challenge is to not blow it. Unfortunately the community doesn’t address the next critical goals enough.

Since 8-year-olds don’t plan on someday being poor, in prison, or addicted, just how do they get there? Most young adults have the wrong values and no idea what they are doing. Someone said if you don’t know where you’re going you’ll get there every time.

A Brookings Institution study showed that 98% of Americans could avoid poverty by doing three things: graduate from high school, get married and delay child-bearing until after marriage. This isn’t so much a formula like lining up three cherries on the slots, but it reveals a perspective or set of values that when lived-out leads to a better life.

Proverbs 13:11 says wealth is obtained little by little. That phrase read in context is laden with values often absent today from American society and even ridiculed. The values would include but are not limited to honesty, loyalty, deferred gratification, and selflessness.

According to the National Endowment for Financial Education, 70 percent of people who get sudden wealth (lotteries, big inheritances or favorable settlements to lawsuits), declare bankruptcy within a few years – meaning they’re worse off than before they became rich. Why is that?

If they were poor to begin with, that way of thinking will probably take them back where they started. In fact, not only were many people’s instant wealth short-lived, but in some cases they weren’t long for this earth either.

According to endowment spokesperson Paul Golden, “If you’ve never had the comfort of financial security before, if you were really eking out a living from paycheck to paycheck, if you’ve never managed money before, it can be really confusing.” In other words, there are no bonuses for ignorance or deviant behavior when seeking financial stability.

The opposite can be true as well though harder to study. Take away a wealthy person’s substance and before long through right thinking and right choices they will regain their financial footing.

Cabinet member and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson in a recent interview indicated that hitting the big one was no substitute for years of hard work and good habits which – along with favorable circumstances – can lead to gradual advancement. Of course, though Carson came from poverty and childhood misbehavior, his comments are misconstrued and resented by liberals propping-up the lie that the poor are victims of capitalism and racism. Most Republican politicians are also swayed by this nonsense in voting millions of dollars to fund the poverty industry.

Carson’s comments were addressing what instigates upward mobility. He knows something about it since his brother Curtis Carson is an aeronautical engineer while their divorced mother Sonya Carson worked multiple jobs in Detroit to pay the bills. Sonya suffered from depression and suicide attempts and Ben overcame a period of angry outbursts in his youth.

The Carsons are the Black family that Black race hustler’s and liberals love to hate and mock. The Carsons overcame the adversity that 99% of people will also face at some point in life.

What Carson didn’t address was the devastation caused by substance abuse and the government giving away a trillion dollars a year while holding no one accountable to change. In spite of, or more accurately because of the government funding hundreds of anti-poverty programs we have the same level of poverty as in 1965 when the war against it was declared by President Lyndon Johnson.

According to Economics Professor Walter Williams we are maintaining poverty by funding it. We fund it with no accountability of recipients because we believe they’re victims. So, they don’t have to look for work, donate their time or stay sober - just continue breathing.

‘Homeless’ has become a convenient term that portrays people as victims and disguises what their actual ailment is. Liberals love a good victim story even if it’s a lie. The truth is the taxpayers are subsidizing addicts, vagrants, tramps, thieves and the mentally ill. Workers have no idea what to do with them since the government’s mission is – hand outs with no expectations – no change required.

Classifying the group as victims puts the police on pause since we can’t arrest victims. Politically correct thinking has rendered poverty fighters impotent.

Funding wrong behavior while neglecting to advocate the right choices necessary to produce stability will always result in disaster.

by Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

California’s already overburdened taxpayers are, once again, being blamed for being the problem, now that Gov. Jerry Brown has labeled those who object to his new $5.2 billion gas and car tax as “freeloaders.”

Taxpayers have become accustomed to being insulted by those who want more of their money. A few years back, Barbara Kerr, then-president of the California Teachers Association, said taxpayers who opposed new taxes were “cheap.” This was the same view echoed by high-tech billionaires who financed the successful effort to make it easier to impose new property taxes to pay for school bonds. (It should be noted that billionaires are often insensitive to new taxes that mean little to them, but which can require a significant sacrifice to average California families.)

Californians are already struggling with a heavy tax burden. We rank first in state sales tax and marginal income tax rates and, when adding in the carbon tax, our gas tax is already the highest — and it is about to go much higher. Even with Proposition 13, the per capita property tax burden in the state ranks in the top 20.

It should come as no surprise that average folks find these new taxes onerous, taxes that, conservatively, could cost them and their families many hundreds of dollars a year. Adding insult to injury, much of the new revenue will go to accommodate bicycles and for mass transit, perhaps even the governor’s pet bullet train. This, of course, represents the political elites’ refusal to recognize that, for most people, biking to work, even with bike lanes that crowd out motorists, is not practical. They are equally out of touch when supporting spending close to a hundred billion dollars on a bullet train that will help few, if any, get to work or do their shopping.

In Sacramento, they have no trouble coming up with millions of dollars to pay legal bills for illegal immigrants, billions for the train and gold-plated compensation for bureaucrats. But, somehow, we can’t get our roads fixed unless taxpayers come up with additional bribe money in the form of new taxes.

But wait, there’s more, as they say on those late-night TV commercials. When gas taxes were last raised in 1990, the Sacramento politicians promised the new revenue would be a panacea for all our transportation woes. But spend it all on fixing roads and bridges they did not. When, after a decade of overspending, the state found itself in the red during a declining economy, gas tax money was pilfered for other Sacramento priorities, priorities that did not include new highways or road maintenance. Even after voters approved two separate ballot measures to force lawmakers to spend the billions of dollars in annual revenue on the roads, the state found a way around these mandates, even going so far as to changing the definition of the gas tax so that it would be exempt from the voter-approved requirements.

Well, the governor, and the rest of the Sacramento gang that approved the new gas tax, can call taxpayers “cheap” and “freeloaders” if they want, but they can’t call us stupid. We see exactly what is going on.

If you have driven by the Olivehurst Post Office in the past few months you would have seen a blight in the community with high weeds, overgrown trees, bushes and trash in the parking lot. If you have driven by in the past week it looks as if great improvement has been made; however this is just a band aid fix due to a call to a Sacramento news station. Channel 13 News received the call, they in turned contacted the USPS District office. The following morning a groundskeeper was sent from another post office to trim the high weeds; however with the limited time available to him the job was not completed. There are still weeds and trash along the South entrance to the building and along the entrance to the parking lot.

The inside of the building is not any better. There are holes in the walls and they are filthy, there are stains on the floor and a tile missing from the floor (unusual that only one tile is missing). You can occasionally find alcoholic containers and remnants of marijuana on the counter. The employees should do a walk through in the morning to make sure everything is clean. The flag has not flown in over two weeks due to a broken line. This deterioration has been going on for over five years and is getting worse.

When the customers complain to the window clerks, they are told to call the 800 number. The 800 number generates no results. Complaining to the Consumer Affairs office in West Sacramento generates the same results as the 800 number. The only effort on the part of the USPS came from contacting media. Many residents over the years have followed the channels of complaint with little success. What does it take to have our post office maintained? Would contacting our state representatives help? Do we contact all media in a 75 mile radius and organize a protest marching back and forth in front of the post office with our concerns?

Why are some post offices neglected and not others? Does USPS not know that it is cheaper to maintain buildings, vehicles, etc. then to let them deteriorate? How difficult is it to pick up trash on Mondays, to trim and cut weeds two or three times a year, make sure the plants are watered; to keep the inside of the building cleaned and maintained? The question for the USPS is when will this be done?

The residents of Olivehurst do have a high appreciation for their local post office and its employees but are concerned about its condition and would like to see it restored to what it once was.

Carol J. Donaldson

Olivehurst, Ca.

by Carol Withington

MAXWELL

In 1877, a United States Post Office was established in the tiny community of Occident. A year later, the name was changed to Maxwell in honor of George Maxwell, who donated land in the area for a railroad line.

Originally a depot station on the Northern Railway, the community grew steadily, becoming a prominent point for the handling of grain which included two large warehouses with the capacity of 22,000 tons of storage.

The soil in the area was also adapted to fruit and viticulture with small vineyards planted along with pears, peaches, cherries, apricots and oranges "growing side by side". As the importance of providing sufficient water for these crops grew in importance, the citizenry had great confidence in the development of their area with the completion of a proposed irrigation district which would be headquartered in Maxwell.

On November 22, 1887, the Central Irrigation District was organized by the vote of the electors of the district composed of 160,000 acres of land lying on the plains and in the central part of Colusa County. By April 2, 1888 the question of issuing bonds to raise money for the construction of irrigation works was also approved by the electors.

The source of water supply was the Sacramento River with the head of the canal located near the northeast corner of the county. Its course would run six miles southwest to Willows, follow the foothills to a point midway between Williams and Arbuckle, where its outlet would be in a small creek. It was estimated that the main canal would be 30 miles with sub-canals supplying the lands with water.

Among the members of the Board of Directors was Patrick Hagan, a native of Ireland who arrived to California in 1869. Residing five miles northwest of Maxwell, Hagan was an ardent supporter of irrigation measures and was "impressed" with Colusa County's possibilities of the varieties of fruit and other crops which could be raised in the area.

William Semple Green, Assistant Engineer for the project, was well-known as the "father of irrigation" in the state, who envisioned that the Central Irrigation Canal would "impart life in the land, the orchard and the vineyard, thus multiplying homes, diversifying products, establishing a market and placing Colusa County in the van (forefront) of production, of usefulness and of domestic comfort".

Over the years, Maxwell included two hotels, drug stores, lodgings, four saloons, a photography studio, a hardware store, bakery, three general stores, men's furnishings, two livery stables, a lumberyard, a variety store, two blacksmiths shops and a meat market. There were also contractors, realtors, an insurance office and a physician.

By 1891, Maxwell also boasted of a public school constructed of brick and three churches--Catholic, Methodist and Baptist. There were also lodges including A.O.U.W., a parlor of the Native Sons of the Golden West; a Masonic Order and Odd Fellows.

The Maxwell Mercury newspaper was conducted by John G. Overshiner and was "independent in politics" and "a staunch advocate of irrigation". And thanks to those pioneers and supporters of the Central Irrigation District and other water projects in the region, this would just be the beginning.

The community of Princeton will be featured in July

20170329 103348  5 31 17(L-R): Sutter County Auditor-Controller Nathan Black, Riverside County Auditor-Controller Paul Angulo, Sutter County Assistant Auditor-Controller Ronda Putman, Orange County Auditor-Controller Eric Woolery, former Sutter County Auditor-Controller Robert Stark, Monterey County Auditor-Controller Michael Miller, Yuba County Auditor-Controller Richard Eberle, and Butte County Auditor-Controller David Houser. Photos were taken in front of the Ronald Reagan statue at the California State Capital Building.by Lou Binninger

Orange County Auditor / Controller (A / C) Eric Woolery considers former Sutter County Auditor / Controller Robert Stark a hero. Woolery presented Stark with the Orange County Taxpayer Watchdog Award at the State Capitol for jeopardizing his freedom and wealth to uphold the law and protect the citizens of his county during 30-years in office.

Woolery and other County A / Cs were at the Capitol to testify before the Senate Government and Finance Committee on the need for Senate Bill (SB) 292. Woolery is the instigator of the bi-partisan legislation and refers to it informally as ‘The Stark Bill.’ SB 292 would provide a procedure for A / Cs to obtain county-funded legal help when the A / C and the Supervisors or department heads are at an impasse over the proper management of the people’s money.

Woolery was Chief Financial Officer for the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office when he was elected and became Orange County’s A / C in January 2015. Woolery says working for the District Attorney heightened his appreciation for ethics, good government and abiding by the law without reserve.

As Woolery moved to the A / C position he encountered conflicts with the Supervisors when he questioned the propriety of some decisions. Supervisors wanted to approve a retroactive pension for a fellow board member. Taxpayers were also paying for Supervisor mailers that looked suspiciously like campaign mailers. He took issue with the citizens picking up the tab.

In 1995-96, Woolery was an Orange County resident when the County Treasurer Robert Citron utilized speculative and illegal investments that bankrupted the county. It was the largest Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy in history. ‘Barrons’ financial journal called Citron’s investment strategy using billions of public monies a ‘Ponzi’ scheme. Four thousand county employees were laid-off to begin paying back creditors. Woolery witnessed a government debacle caused from a lack of oversight and accountability.

Woolery began doing research about A / Cs experiencing difficulties and stalemates with Supervisors. He discovered the story of Robert Stark and his assistant Ronda Putman being arrested, charged with numerous felonies and misdemeanors, prosecuted and isolated by county officials. News articles quoted county officials portraying Stark to be a buffoon, incompetent and difficult.

For ten years, Stark funded his legal defense costing more than $300,000 and Putman spent over $60,000. The people continued to re-elect Stark until he retired after three decades. Once Stark announced his retirement, District Attorney Carl Adams dropped all charges saying his goal all along was to cost Stark a fortune and force him from office.

Stark asked the supervisors for help with his legal defense since he was being attacked for doing his job, protecting taxpayers. He was turned away. The Supervisors were a major part of the problem and therefore had a conflict of interest in Stark’s request.

The irony is that the major charge against Stark was misappropriation of funds. Stark never personally benefitted from his accounting watchdog decisions, the taxpayers did. Sutter County Supervisors, County Administrator Larry Combs along with elected and appointed department heads deceptively passed a 35% pension increase retroactive to employee hire dates. This move created massive debt for the county budget – today amounting to $130-150 million in unfunded pension liabilities.

20170329 103251  5 31 17Orange County Auditor-Controller Eric Woolery presenting the Orange County Taxpayer Watchdog Award to former Sutter County Auditor-Controller Robert Stark and his wife Pam.The District Attorney was misappropriating funds. Stark accused the county leaders of wanting inappropriate transfers of funds violating commonly accepted accounting standards.

When Supervisors removed the internal auditor position from Stark’s budget as retribution, department heads were free to do as they wished. Auditing firm Cohn Reznick declined to continue serving the county as departments would not provide proper documents for review.

Woolery’s experience in Orange County and learning from the abuse of Stark and other A / Cs led to Woolery seeking legislation to protect the independence and integrity of the taxpayers’ watchdog. If the bill becomes law, A / Cs can ask a Superior Court Judge to decide the merits of whether the A / C needs outside legal help in an impasse. If so, then the county pays those costs. Currently, only the Sheriff and Assessor have these options. Forty-four of 58 county auditor / controllers support the bill to preserve the independence of the A / C.

SB 292 passed the Appropriations Committee and will soon go the Senate for a vote. Local Senator Jim Nielsen is on this committee and voted for the bill. If the Senate approves the bill it will go to the Assembly where Yuba-Sutter’s James Gallagher serves.

Gallagher’s office said they did not know of the bill since it hadn’t made it to the assembly. His staff suggested that if the Republican Caucus supported SB 292 then Gallagher would probably concur. However, Gallagher was a Sutter County Supervisor when the Board refused to assume Stark’s legal defense bills even though the District Attorney dropped all charges and then resigned while under investigation for arson and misappropriation of funds.