Supervisors approve $2.4 million handout to county workers

December 3, 2014

christmas moneyThe San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors has unanimously approved a proposal to give county workers $1,000 each in what is described as a move to offset rising health care costs.

Each full-time county worker, including all five supervisors, will receive the full $1,000 payment, and part-time workers will get prorated amounts. The payments will cost the count about $2.4 million.

At Tuesday’s board of supervisors meeting, about ten members of the public spoke out against the idea, saying it amounted to a gift of public funds. County officials defended the payments by saying they completed the previous fiscal year with a $30 million surplus in the budget and that employees accepted pay cuts over the course of the recent recession.

The California Constitution forbids gifts of public funds by state or local agencies, except to orphans, abandoned children, families with a disabled unemployable father, the blind, handicapped or institutions serving them. It also prohibits governments from dispensing money without the public benefiting.

But, courts have several times deemed cash bonuses to long-term employees to be incentives to continue working for their respective agencies.

Prior to Tuesday’s hearing, County Counsel Rita Neal vetted the proposed expenditure before placing it on the agenda. Still, some members of the public are considering filing a lawsuit against the county for approving the payments.

A successful lawsuit could block the county controller from disbursing the funds or recover funds that are spent.


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aft50s

Yes, I “really” am surprised given the general state of the economy and the roads.

I hope Lynn Compton is the one to file the lawsuit.


Does anyone know how many residents live in the County, I will be sending a request for reimbursement to each of 5 morons for myself and my wife.


aft50s

Sorry, this was in reply to kayaknut’s question


ANTELOPE

Way to go supes! Makes a lot of sense (not) considering the present county pension plan has $25.2 mm in unfunded liabilities of which $25mm accrued in 2012 alone. The grand jury needs to look into this unwarranted gift of public funds.


HarryMalone

Antelope…not $25.2 million, but $346 million!


How in the hell can SLO County have a $30 million SURPLUS and yet SLO County’s pension system has $346 million in UNFUNDED pension liabilities?


toryrand

its over $500M


Kevin Rice

Anyone else notice this: The accusation of legality isn’t defended with “here’s why it’s not illegal”—instead, it’s defended with “we have extra money this year and good intentions”.


These people think everything is legal as long as it’s for a good (suiting them) reason.


st33L

This is complete bullshit. So after people in the private sector got hosed with significant healthcare increases both in premiums and deductibles, we now have to cover the rise for the public sector? Hooray for liberals!


racket

What do you mean? We in the private sector have Obamacare.


Pelican1

So…the five guys leaning on their shovels watching the one guy down in the ditch will ALL get $1,000.00. And the supervisors, despite the reprehensible behavior of some, voted themselves the $1,000.00? UNBELIEVABLE!


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Paso_citizen

Yes, Virginia, there is s Santa Claus (actually 5 of them – aka SLO Board of Supervisors).


Just one more example of the wonderful things that can be done with money – when you

have no worries about where that money comes from – or that there is essentially an

unlimited supply. Just tack on more taxes – the citizens might say ouch!; but will follow

along like the little lemmings they are – over the cliff we go – ho – ho.


It takes very little imagination, or investigative effort, to ascertain that the vast majority of

the public employees in this county have much, much better pay, health benefits, and

retirement benefits than those that slog away 8 hours/day for an non-government

employer. Always have and always will.


So suck it up and be happy. The next time you can not afford to see a doctor or take

or child to a dentist – just remember that county employees can – on your dime!


kayaknut

Anyone “really” surprised?


NorthCountyGuy

This is armed robbery at the point of a government gun.


Why can’t the overpaid freeloaders on the over-bloated county payrolls pay for their own retirements and health insurance?


OnTheOtherHand

While I agree that the payments are immoral and unethical, please don’t generalize that all county/government employees are overpaid or freeloaders. The scum rises to the top of the pond in government too. Sometimes, you can actually find clean water at the bottom underneath the scum. Many times, the guy on the tree trimming crew or the gal behind the front desk answering questions or part-timers in many other base-level positions are making about the same as equivalent private-sector employees. They do get better benefits (more holidays, insurance coverage) which is nice but still doesn’t put them into the extravagant pay category. Even the cushy retirement benefits don’t help them until they can retire.


Save your justified wrath for those higher up the pay ladder and start from the top down since the most greed and arrogance is found there.


Pelican1

“The California Constitution forbids gifts of public funds by state or local agencies, except to orphans, abandoned children, families with a disabled unemployable father, the blind, handicapped or institutions serving them. It also prohibits governments from dispensing money without the public benefiting.”

HOW IS THE PUBLIC GOING TO BENEFIT?

This action needs to be challenged in the courts.


Theo P. Neustic

Seems to me that “the public benefiting” is a pretty vague requirement and I’m sure it’s been spun in their greedy little heads into something that seems plausible to them.


Theo P. Neustic

This is outrageous.


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