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First District News
Weekly Board Update
Are You the One? I need to make a new citizen appointment (from the 1st District) to the Riverside County Emergency Medical Care Committee (EMCC). The EMCC meets four times per year (3/18, 6/17, 9/16 &12/16) at 9 a.m. in Riverside. In short, the EMCC serves in an advisory capacity for the Board of Supervisors concerning all aspects of emergency medical care within the county, and reviews the operations of each of the following:
a. Ambulance services operating within the county.
b. Emergency medical care offered within the county, including programs for training large numbers of people in CPR and First Aid.
c. First Aid practices in the county.
If you have the background, time and desire to serve (mostly uncompensated) on the EMCC, and you reside anywhere within the First District, please email us with your information and background/experience.
Is This Really the Cost of Government? It clearly costs money to maintain and operate a civilized society. Somebody has to pay for all the public services, facilities, and safety nets that federal, state and local governments provide to us. We, the taxpaying public, expect that our hard earned tax dollars be used wisely and effectively for the common good. Regardless of political persuasion, we just want to make sure that our tax dollars are put to good use. In 2019, American workers (taxpayers) worked 105 days (until April 16) before they had paid enough federal, state and local taxes to enjoy Tax Freedom Day. In the spirit of asking “how are WE doing locally?”, our office took a quick look at a few small instances of spending at a couple of our county community centers.
· $5,166 to replace four burned-out light bulbs. (Apparently they were very high up).
· $700 to replace doggie poop bags in a dispenser.
· $178 to replace two black trash bags missing from the trash cans.
· $336 to buy and hang 6 ft of plastic chain in a walkway.
Your gut reaction might be to wag your finger at the employees who did this expensive work. That (in my opinion) would be unfair. The employees are generally hard-working, dedicated, and were only doing what they were told to do. Behind each one of those listed expenses (and there are a dozen more examples) is a formal policy, adopted practice, or just simply put - a bureaucratic government maze of spending time to document, record and track the every movement and duties performed by these employees. It’s all about "Billable Hours.” How much valuable productive time is lost to generally non-productive documentation of an employee’s every move, every day, and then submitted up the food chain to be evaluated by another employee, who then submits it up even higher. I know - I can hear the reply emails screaming to me about how we have to make sure our employees are productive and actually performing.
My question is, when does the scale tip? When does the quest to satisfy a one-size-fits-all bureaucratic tracking mandate turn otherwise hard-working productive employees into near full-time bean counters? The examples listed are indeed outrageous. On Tuesday's Board Agenda is a proposal to start reducing the "centralized" government approach to county government projects and repairs.
Changing of the Guard. On Tuesday, January 7th, the first item of action at the 9:30 a.m. Board of Supervisors meeting will be to elect a new Board Chair and Vice Chair. I enjoyed my time in the barrel (well most of the time), and it seems fairly certain that current Vice Chair Supervisor Manny Perez will bump up to the Chairmanship. I suspect the 2020 Vice Chair position will go to either Supervisor Karen Spiegel or Supervisor Jeff Hewitt. You are always welcome to access the live Board meetings on your computer or on some local cable TV providers. With the exception of the occasional protestors, and some off-the-wall comments you wouldn't want young children to hear, most meetings are pretty tame and informative, if you like that kind of stuff.
As always, please feel free to email your thoughts, suggestions or gripes. My staff makes sure that they all make it to me (except the really vulgar ones).
Kevin Jeffries, First District Supervisor
PS. If you want to learn more about your community, a list of our public Municipal Advisory Councils and other local organizations is on the back page of this newsletter.
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Lakeland Village Cookies with Santa!
Hundreds of kids came to see Santa at the Lakeland Village Community Center on Dec. 11th. In addition to seeing Santa; Cops For Kids gave out toys, Studio 395 hosted a cookie decorating table, the Boys & Girls Club and EVMWD provided craft tables and Riverside County Sheriff Explorers assisted with the event.