Guest Editorial Freschi

In general, it is not the policy of the Sierra County Prospect to take issue with another media source: we encourage readers to write letters to other publications.  However, in this instance, the Sierra Booster is merely a vehicle, like an edition of the Wall Street Journal, which we would normally carry an editorial on. 

Savage Attack Day

By Mike Freschi

For some reason the March 5th, 2010 issue of the Sierra Booster became what I’ll call the Savage Attack Day (SAD) issue. It began on page two and continued with letters to the editor. The SAD issue was host to attacks on the Board of Supervisors, the Loyalton City Council, and Sierra County citizens who actually went to the Board of Supervisors meeting on February 16, 2010.

Let’s start at the beginning of the SAD Booster issue. There is a quote that reads: "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." As you read through the rest of this article you’ll find the quote is misplaced in the context of the SAD.

The Plumas Bank’s Loyalton branch closed.

That action by a corporation, in business for profit, was that company’s only possible response to a monthly loss of over $7,000. It is certainly not the responsibility of the County or City governments to recruit a replacement. Maybe a group of Loyalton residents could take on that task. What would change the fact that the required level of activity for any financial institution is not available in the Loyalton area?

Solid Waste Fee increase of June 2nd, 2009.

The assertion that the Board of Supervisors (BOS) "tried to raise your solid waste fees without being on the agenda" is not accurate. The 6/2/09 agenda includes:


10. Resolution establishing solid waste fees for the 2009/2010 Fiscal Year.

The discussion included the following:

The Director continued to explain that they had intended to have the study about two months ago so the Board had the tools to make a change in direction before the beginning of the next budget year. It looks that they will be two months behind schedule and will expect to have the report done in July. The Board will hopefully have this tool by August 1st in order to be in a position to see all of the alternatives, what their relative costs are, and determine how to reorganize the solid waste system.

The result was:

Following further discussion the Board moved to adopt the resolution establishing solid waste fees for the 2009/2010 Fiscal Year with the existing fees.

Merit increases approved by the BOS.

Below I have quoted…… From a Sattley Group posting of October 19, 2009.

I've read and heard several explanations of the Merit Raises for some county employees. One version is the creation of an "elite class" within the public employee ranks. Another is the raises given to "certain county employees". The facts have been explained in the October 15, 2009 edition of the Mountain Messenger quoted below. The point is that the Merit Raises go to the newest and lowest paid county workers as a condition of employment. Department heads are NOT included.

DOWNIEVILLE–We all want it both ways: certain citizens have complained about County employees being furloughed at the end of the year. Services won’t be available between Christmas and New Years. Yep, that’s smaller government.
The Supervisors dismissed that public inconvenience: in fact, there is very little that needs doing at the Courthouse that time of year, and department heads will be available to tend emergencies. The saving continues.
But many public employees will no longer face furloughs. The supes were informed that some 40 employees, particularly in the Health and Human Services department, are not paid through the general fund: their furloughs save the County nothing.

Given the lack of objection by those employees still facing furloughs, the supes promptly rescinded the mandatory time off for those who don’t cost the County.
Auditor Van Maddox explained the worst-case-scenario didn’t happen, yet. Still, future savings may be necessary, as the state budget is far from balanced.

A $16,000 (.08% of the County budget) savings had been realized by doing away with employee merit increases. However, the legal and moral argument that new employees were promised merit increases as a term of employment, and that the new-hires are being doubly hit (they, too, get furloughed) carried the day. Merit increases were reinstated.

No "decency" to allow citizens to vote on the pool assessment. "Against" the motion by Supervisor Pat Whitley.

Here, we come to the current issue being used for furthering the agenda of the most vicious, dishonest, and self-serving people in Sierra County.

The POOL: The Sierra County Prospect has two editorials addressing the POOL. They are exactly correct and they are here and here. One point the editorials made very clear is captured in the following paragraph:



A Pool Called Duplicitous

It is fairly clear that some of the people who brought the pool issue forward did so knowing it had no chance. For them it was an opportunity to test members of the board, a kind of "loyalty" test. Whoever supports the pool supports Loyalton, and economic growth, and a vibrant community. Whoever votes against it is against us, against Loyalton, against growth. Parading the images of splashing children and pain free oldsters in order to discredit a local supervisor is not only short sighted, it’s simply mean. Still, people will do that, and if you think I mean you, well, you know better than I do what your motivations were.

The SAD issue’s comments and letters were generated with the same short sighted, mean and duplicitous motivation.

Tom Dotta’s letter:

What else can we expect from a person that never has anything constructive to add to………anything!

Jennifer Johnson’s letter:

Impassioned pleas?

I was there watching the proceedings and didn’t see "impassioned pleas". There were no "heated arguments". There was not a "battleground" on taxes. The other board member who was "not allowed to speak at all" had made a motion after all discussion was concluded. There is no "discussion" after a motion, only voting.

Four county supervisors silenced close to 1,000 people.

First, there is a lack of a real business plan on behalf of the POOL. People will not vote for anything so vague and unexplained.

Second, why would anyone want a relatively expensive indoor POOL, open for only three months, when a much less costly outdoor POOL, open for only three months, would fill the same needs?

Third, The Board of Supervisors has a responsibility to put issues before the voters that have reasonable merit.

The voters have NOT been silenced:

The voters have made their choices and they will do so again in the same spirit of the last election.

Mike Freschi

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