Chairwoman counters corruption

By Omar Guzman |Staff Writer|

Along with many other cities in America, San Bernardino has long since fallen victim to corruption.

San Bernardino County Chairwoman, Josie Gonzales, has proposed new reform policies to lessen the continuing threat of government corruption, starting with her own district.

“Corruption has always been present in any organization and it is our job to recognize that we must be vigilant and fight against it,” said Gonzales.

According to a County of San Bernardino news release, Gonzales is restructuring her office and realigning her budget in anticipation of the elimination of board discretionary funds. The immediate result is a one-third reduction of her staff effective the 2011-2012 fiscal year.

“We are reducing our employee numbers through attrition, which means that if someone retires or finds another job, we will not fill their positions again,” said Gonzales.

According to the news release aforementioned, Gonzales’s fifth district will lose three staff members, but does not say what will happen to the remaining staff.

“There will be a heavier work load on the remaining staff and I am sure that they will do the best that they can to address the concerns of my constituents, and I ask the public to be patient,” said Gonzales.

Gonzales’s new reform policies are generally aimed at eliminating Board discretionary funds, which means putting a stop to the misuse of taxpayer money for personal gain.

Her reform policies also promote work performance evaluations that will be the basis for any individual’s compensation and benefits.

“These are only initial proposals in addressing a very big problem, the goal as we move forward in addressing my reform policies, is that my colleagues and the public will embrace these reforms and make it their own goal and movement,” Gonzales.

Gonzales’s first reform policy includes amending the current Board Discretionary Fund policy, which will prohibit using one-time tax payer money for ongoing personnel costs.

Her next policy is to eliminate these same Board Discretionary Funds from the 2011-2012 Board of Supervisors’ budget.

Her third policy includes prohibiting city staff from receiving financial compensation or benefits for working on a county campaign or for a political action committee associated with a county elected official.

“It is unethical for city staff to plan a political campaign during their office hours, because taxpayers are paying for their time,” said Gonzales.

Her last reform policy consist of standardizing employment contracts for Board staff, in order to have a basis for a staff member’s compensation and benefits, which will be based on the position and the merits of the employee, as well as requiring work performance evaluations for all Board employees.

“In order for us, the county to fulfill our obligation we must look at our mandates that come from the state of California, which tells us that we provide public services,” said Gonzales.

Gonzales’s reform policies aim to bring an end to government corruption in San Bernardino and will bring change to the County Board Staff.

Here are the actual word for word reform policies from the County of San Bernardino news release…

1.   Amend the current Board Discretionary Fund policy disallowing the use of these one-time monies for ongoing personnel costs as the Grand Jury recommended in its 2009-2010 Final Report, as well as prohibit the use of these taxpayer dollars for sponsorships that promote and draw public recognition of county elected officials.

2.   Eliminate Board Discretionary Funds from the 2011-2012 Board of Supervisors’ budget, saving the county more than $2 million;

3.   Prohibit Supervisors’ staff from receiving financial compensation for working on a county elected official’s campaign or for a political action committee associated with a county elected official; and

4.   Standardize employment contracts for Board staff, tying the individual’s compensation and benefits to the position and the merits of the employee, as well as requiring work performance evaluations for all Board employees.

 

 

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