June 9, 2007

Accountability for $399,000 per year?

Well LAAG knew this was going to be a debacle when we heard of this rumor some months back. Now it has come true. You want accountability? Will give you a guy who is not elected and makes 399,000 per year of your tax dollars. Why the high price? Why 1,000 under 400,000? Is 400,000 to unreasonable. Hell we might as well pay him 600,000 a year. Even at 399,000 he will likely be the highest paid NON ELECTED politician/bureaucrat on the planet. As always, if you don't like this write to your Supervisor (www.knabe.com for Lakewood area residents) and tell them enough nonsense. Let this guy prove himself for two years first. Let him close "Killer King" hospital. Then once we know he is the go to guy reward him with a 399,000 salary. (With killer King gone the County will save a few hundred million a year). But alas it does not work that way when you are "political royalty". Once you get in you give yourself a big paycheck and then do what ever you want. Forget the voters, as they are apathetic and will never vote in a new maverick. Of course here we cant even vote out the 399,000 czar.

Here are some comparison salaries:
What are the highest paying jobs?

L.A. confidential
Will the county CEO-ocracy be honest and transparent?
From the L.A. Daily News
Article Launched: 06/10/2007 08:11:16 PM PDT

Los Angeles County supervisors decided, rightly, last month that their government was lacking accountability. So they created a system that would make someone accountable once and for all - just not them.

That someone is the new county CEO, a bureaucratic muckety-muck who will make up to $399,000 a year in a position temporarily filled by the county's retired top administrator, David Janssen. The new CEO, still to be named, will get five deputy muckety-mucks to boss around, and the buck, as it were, will stop with the whole collective bunch.

The plan - despite letting the supervisors off the hook and tying up more taxpayer money in payroll - is, on balance, a good one. Someone in the county needs to have the power and responsibility to bring order to county government, since the supervisors won't.

But open-government advocates have raised a valid concern.

Under the old regime, in which the supervisors made all the decisions, the public was guaranteed some knowledge of what was going on. That's because the supes are subject to the state's Brown Act, which requires elected officials' meetings to be open to the public.

But a CEO isn't an elected official. Nor are deputy muckety-mucks.

They're bureaucrats. Bureaucrats can get together whenever they want, without telling anyone, and without being open to the public.

And a lack of public scrutiny tends to lead to increased corruption.

The supes assure us this is not a problem. They even got the county counsel to draw up a report explaining exactly how the CEO will be subject to public scrutiny.

There's just one problem: The report's been marked "confidential," so none of us can see it.

How's that for open government?

The counsel explains that this is just standard process, attorney-client privilege and whatnot. But the "clients" in this case - our supervisors - have the right to waive that privilege. They also have a moral obligation to let the public know what they're up to.

This is especially true because the supes will be evaluating the counsel's report for the next two weeks, before voting on a package of openness requirements for the CEO-ocracy.

The public deserves to see the report that will be the basis of their decision. And the supes' willingness to disclose the report will be a good measure of how serious - or not - they are about keeping county government honest.

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