During the Feb. 9 Riverside County Board of Supervisor’s meeting, Supv. John Tavaglione (2nd District) chastised County Sheriff Stan Sniff.
According to the supervisor, he believes the Sheriff’s Department has not been diligently cooperating with the consultants, who have been hired to evaluate the efficiencies of the county’s public safety programs.
During his opening comments, Tavaglione praised the 16-point plan Supv. Marion Ashley (5th District) submitted for review at the previous board meeting. However, Tavaglione was concerned about county employees’ reaction to the possibility of furloughs and four-day work weeks.
“There was some angst among employees because of talking about furloughs and closing on Fridays,” he said. “This is just an item to be looked at. Just because it’s on the list doesn’t mean it will happen.”
But he made it clear that jettisoning these options would depend upon the savings KPMG, the consultant hired to evaluate the county’s public safety budgets, finds.
“We know there will be potential savings that will be achieved from that and will allow us not to have to implement items in the 16-point plan,” he stated.
But then he added that during his discussions with the consultants he was hearing that the information they needed from the Sheriff’s Department was surprisingly slow in arrival.
Since the report is expected by the end of March, Tavaglione then said, “It [had] better stop, because if the sheriff thinks this board is going to approve anything, it is not going to happen unless we get information on when the efficiencies will be achieved.
“I don’t want this sheriff to leave a legacy his predecessors have,” Tavaglione continued, referring to his vote to support Sniff’s appointment after his predecessor, Bob Doyle, resigned in 2007. Doyle had accepted a state appointment with the Board of Parole Hearings.
“I hope the sheriff will play by the rules and make sure we get the information we need,” Tavaglioine added as he finished his comments.
“Since October 2015, when the review began, Sheriff’s Department staff began meeting and working with KPMG, and have since released thousands of pages of the requested documents for their review. In addition, department staff have arranged numerous ride-a-longs, visits and interviews with employees at the various bureaus ...” Sheriff Sniff replied later in the week. “There are some requests - received both in written and verbal form - however, that require clarification so the appropriate information can be retrieved and prepared for release to KPMG. Likewise, there are other requests for information that require staff research and preparation prior to release. These factors may cause unforeseen delays, but these delays are reasonable and understandable given the breadth and scope of the audit and aggressive time line.” Sniff said he remains committed to cooperation with the review.
But then, when you’re spending godknowshowmuch on outside consultants to put additional data-retrieval tasks and research burdens on already burdened employees for the purpose of cutting their income… “Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers.” Luke 11:46, Matt.23:4. But bottom line: better furloughs than firings, better workweek cuts than workforce cuts, better Timesizingdotorg than downsizingdotbiz!