Taxpayers to fund $2.4 million giveaway to county employees

November 30, 2014

christmas moneyBy KAREN VELIE

San Luis Obispo County Supervisors are slated to vote Tuesday on a $2.4 million payment to employees described as an offset to rising health care costs. The proposal comes a week after the board voted to raise a variety of public fees.

In the consent agenda item (items to be passed without discussion), county staff requests that every full-time county employee receive a $1,000 payment while part-time employees will receive a prorated amount. The county employs between 2,400 and 2,500 employees.

In the staff report, Human Resources Director Tami Douglas-Schatz says that department savings have led to reserves which can be passed to the employees through the proposed one-time payment.

If approved, the taxable but non-pensionable funds will be dispersed to county employees regardless of whether they utilize county provided health care plans or when they began working for the county. The employee can then use the funds for whatever they want including travel and Christmas gifts.

The proposed giveaway was brought forward by Douglas-Schatz before receiving approval by Board Chair Bruce Gibson. County Counsel Rita Neal also vetted the expenditure which was added to the agenda the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Nevertheless, the California Constitution forbids gifts of public funds by state, county or city governments except to orphans, abandoned children, families with a disabled unemployable father, blind, handicapped, and the institutions serving them, according to Article XVI, Section 6. The law bans governments from dispensing money without receiving a public benefit.

In several cases, government funded cash bonuses to 10 year or longer employees have been deemed in court a public benefit as the bonuses incentivize seasoned employees to continue working for the government.

If Tuesday’s resolution is passed, county taxpayers could file a suit to recover the funds spent or to block the county controller from disbursing the funds.

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51 Comments

  1. wineguyjc says:

    A giveaway of public funds – WTF. Really, the give away is that these crooks get paid. Go by County Admin any day of the week and see who is out front on their personal phone conducting consulting on the side on county time. Go to goodwill in SLO everyday of the week and see which low-life county employees are spending hours on government time looking for great deals at goodwill industries. If this isn’t enough, just check out which county engineers provide professional engineering services for local developers that they then conduct plan review for at the County – can we say conflict of interest. Which low-life county employee has worked as a realtor, has owned a side business that they managed on County time for on and off for a decade. Go to Kennedy Fitness any day of the week or any other gym in SLOTown and see which government employees spend 2 – 3 hours a day working out on County and City time. Then there are those low-life employees who arrive at work at 8:30 am, eat their breakfast in the breakrooms on County time, then by 9:00 am go to their desk, then leave at 11:00 am daily to go to the gym, work out for 2 plus hours daily, then leave by 4:30 every day. The issues go on and on. By the way, which County employee is Registered with the State.

    (1) 15 Total Votes - 8 up - 7 down
  2. willieslo says:

    I pay county property tax every year for this!
    If I stop paying my property tax the county will put a lien on my home and sell it all for this!

    (6) 8 Total Votes - 7 up - 1 down
  3. HarryMalone says:

    Hold the GD phone…

    This $1,000.00 is to be given to EVERY SLO County employee to

    “offset to rising health care costs.”

    DO NOT A SUBSTANTIAL AMOUNT OF COUNTY EMPLOYEES ALREADY HAVE FULL BENEFITS WITH HEALTH CARE PROVIDED?

    (10) 26 Total Votes - 18 up - 8 down
    • diamond says:

      How many of these employees are going to offset healthcare costs with this bonus? Zero. It’s obviously a Christmas bonus. They are going to offset their credit cards. Taxpayer theft period!

      (7) 23 Total Votes - 15 up - 8 down
  4. JMO says:

    Not much to add, except to say I HATE Obamacare. It is a huge tax increase to me and my family. To all the liberals that doubt me, here’s more proof. The county government (talk about a group of liberal Obama voters) bald face admits Obamacare is a huge cost increase, so to make it “fair” they give $1,000 to their full time employees!

    (8) 28 Total Votes - 18 up - 10 down
  5. centralcoastscott says:

    You have to consider that SLO County is a “government town”. How else can all these tax and fee increases for voted for and approved? Think who the top employers are in SLO County; county government, all the city governments, some state agencies (DMV, ASH, CMC), some federal agencies (TSA, immigration), the many police departments, the sheriff department, all levels of school systems (K through college), etc. I was once told all these government agencies account for 41% of the total payroll count in SLO county. If true that’s a slippery slope to even more government control of its citizens.

    (13) 21 Total Votes - 17 up - 4 down
  6. Jorge Estrada says:

    If it is a Christmas gift then it will be accepatable to use In God We Trust dollars.

    (3) 13 Total Votes - 8 up - 5 down
  7. TaxMeAgain says:

    Didn’t they just beg you for a tax increase? LOL. Will the voters remember when the next begging session comes? Will the county say that schools, fire, or police service are on the line? Only time will tell….

    (12) 30 Total Votes - 21 up - 9 down
  8. ConfedOfDunces says:

    I guess it’s not a crime if you announce it. Try that in the private sector. “Hey Boss, I’m handing out your cash because it’s there.”

    (17) 29 Total Votes - 23 up - 6 down

Comments are closed.