Probation officers pay raises

In Monday’s article regarding pay increases for San Joaquin County probation officers, http://www.recordnet.com/news/20160321/probation-officers-to-receive-pay-increase, I unknowingly omitted how much officers currently make, and how much they stand to make with the increase.

There are four probation officer position classifications, as well as part-time officers. Each position has five steps or pay grades.

Here is what the four positions currently make annually in the county probation department, from the lowest to the highest pay grade:

PO I — $42,259.20 to $51,398.40
PO II — $48,460.80 to $58,886.40
PO III — $53,433.60 to $64,934.40
Unit Supervisors — $62,764.80 to $76,300.80

These salaries will increase by 2 percent each year for the next three years. Instead of calculating each year’s increase, I calculated what each pay grade stands to make by the end of the three years. I rounded all decimal points upward when calculating, as is done when doing your taxes.

PO I — $44,794.76 to $54,482.31
PO II — $53,368.45 to $62,419.59
PO III — $56,650.22 to $68,830.47
Unit Supervisors — $66,530.69 to $80,878.85

Hope this helps readers who wanted to know more!

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South Burkett Avenue house ordeal continues

Late Monday, I received a call from Doris Carollo,the Visalia resident who has control over a house on S. Burkett Ave. in Stockton.

http://www.recordnet.com/article/20160228/NEWS/160229712/0/SEARCH

While she appreciated my effort to relate the ordeal she is going through with a local investor, she continued to attack the tenants who have moved in to her grandmother’s home with the help of said investor.

She said she told them to leave six months ago, and they haven’t. They do drugs. One of their sons collects social security for bogus reasons.

She then asked if I contacted the district attorney’s office. I said yes, and the office couldn’t comment because they had not received a complaint. This upset her, and she claimed she had spoken with the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office, which directed her to start eviction proceedings, and that should qualify as a complaint. Eviction proceedings could cost $3,000.

I had to remind Ms. Carollo that I am not an attorney, nor a representative of law enforcement, I encouraged her to get an attorney then file a formal complaint against the investor with either Stockton PD or the Sheriff.

When she said she couldn’t afford an attorney, I told her it’s the only way to get the ordeal resolved.

It’s a sad situation, but I hope that after reading my article, an attorney or member of local law enforcement will investigate further. Hopefully, an attorney out there will step forward to help either Carollo and her family, as well as the tenants in the home.

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Medical marijuana cultivation banned in San Joaquin County

All cultivation of medical marijuana is banned in the county.

My article in today’s Record states that commercial growers would be allowed to cultivate. However, that was based on the supervisors’ April 7 meeting in which the county ban was introduced.

At that time, it appeared that only personal cultivation would be banned, pending approval of AB 34, which would have allowed commercial growers to obtain licenses from the state. It also would have allowed agencies to determine if they wanted commercial operations in their jurisdictions.

Apparently, it did not pass in 2015, therefore, commercial cultivation, as well as dispensaries, is also banned in the county under its ordinance.

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SJC Republicans happy with FPPC ruling

Susan Vander Schaaf, president of the San Joaquin Republican Party, returned my call on Monday to comment on the recent fine her organization had been handed by the California Fair Political Practices Commission.

My story on the $5,000 fine levied by the FPPC ran Monday.

Vander Schaaf said the SJGOP was satisfied with the FPPC decision.

She also said the FPPC agreed that the misplacement of an entire $50,000 contribution was a simple oversight that didn’t cause any harm.

Vander Schaaf however would not comment as to why it did happen, just that it was a mistake that will not happen again.

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FPPC ruling clarification

Bill Emmerson did not lose his bid for State Senate in 2012 as reported in my FPPC article today. He resigned abruptly.

That was somehow omitted during my own editing process before being turned in for further editing.

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County display at the Capitol gets makeover

Susan Eggman’s legislative aide Christian Burkin let me know today that San Joaquin County’s display in the corridors of the State Capitol has been given a makeover.
Every one of California’s 58 counties touts its resources, attractions and features with their own display in the Capitol corridors, he said.
The project to update the display dates back to late-2013, when Eggman noticed the display was looking a little worn and dated.
The display, managed by San Joaquin County, had not been updated for at least eight years, according to Burkin, and no funding had been allocated for its maintenance.
Eggman’s staff worked with then-San Joaquin County Agriculture Commissioner Scott Hudson to create an advisory committee that included representatives from other elected officials in the county, as well as the SJC Board of Supervisors.
The group came up with some design principles, which were eventually brought to life by the Modesto-based Never Boring Design. the company was one of several that were considered, Burkin said.
The update cost about $7,000, borne by the county, and reflects San Joaquin’s combined urban and rural character. he said. It also incorporates the port, agriculture and the importance of the Delta.

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More the Woodbridge Wilderness Area

My story on the Woodbridge Wilderness Area Master Plan http://www.recordnet.com/article/20151027/NEWS/151029741 was printed in today’s record, noting that it will not be presented to the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors in December as originally planned.
There were many reasons why the county parks commission chose to hold off on the presentation, the biggest of which that the consulting firm that drew up the plan failed to include how much any of the amenities — or even parts of the project — might cost.
There were other reasons for the delay as well.
Commissioner Mary Fuhs said that many WWA volunteers and residents who live in the nearby area didn’t really want to see a lot of the amenities suggested by the consultants to be included in the master plan.
Those amenities included an amphitheater that could be used to present educational programs; wayfinding signs with information relating to how long the trail loops are; and a 200-foot-long boardwalk that would traverse the length of the meadow inside the WWA.
Many of these amenities were the basis for commissioner Christian Phillips to conclude that the more of them you put in the wilderness area, the more wilderness you’re removing from the area.
He said when you call something a wilderness area, you don’t expect many of the amenities suggested by the consultants to be present.
Parks department director Duncan Jones said amenities such as the boardwalk — an elevated wooden pathway — are becoming more prevalent in parks and wilderness areas across the state.
Boardwalks provide year-round accessibility in wilderness areas, and help reduce erosion.
However, they do take away from the natural aspect of a wilderness area, to which Phillips alluded.
Jones will be bringing a revised master plan to the commission later this year.
The master plan can be found here: http://www.sjgov.org/uploadedFiles/SJC/Departments/Parks/WWA-Master%20Plan-DRAFT-COMPLETE-2015-10-08.pdf

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Perceived ethics violations

At today’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Bob Elliott presented a list of actions performed by fellow supervisors that could be perceived as code of ethics violations.
Most of them were directed at board Vice Chair Chuck Winn with regards to his vote during the appointment of the new county assessor-recorder-county clerk, including campaign contributions received from Steve Bestolarides.
Elliott also cited chair Kathy Miller’s disclosure of research in making her final vote that ultimately gave Bestolarides the job last month.
He said while Miller noted five other supervisors had become county assessors and were currently serving in that capacity, she did not disclose that only one of them had been appointed while serving as supervisor.
That information was revealed in one of my earlier blogs.
However, I must make it clear that Kathy Miller did not withhold any information with regards to current assessors and their previous careers as supervisors.
During the Aug. 25 board of supervisors meeting, she was not asked by fellow supervisors or anyone from the public how those former supervisors had become current assessors.
When I contacted her after the meeting, I only asked which county assessors had previously been supervisors. She provided me with just that — a list of the five, which also had the year in which each had taken the job.
I took it upon myself to research each assessor and discover how they got the job — information that is readily available to the public with internet searches.
Elliott said that the information presented in my blog could be perceived as an ethics violation because Miller did not provide that openly.
In my humble opinion, I don’t see any possible violation, as she only disclosed the information in which she was asked to provide.

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Current assessors who used to be supes

This week, Supervisor Kathy Miller switched positions on appointing a new assessor-recorder-county clerk and voted in favor of fellow supervisor Steve Bestolarides.
Miller said during the Aug. 25 meeting that researching all 52 current assessors, recorders and county clerks (because some offices are not combined like San Joaquin County’s), influenced her decision.
During her research, Miller said she found 18 of the current county assessors had held posts at the city council, board of equalization and county supervisors levels prior to their current jobs.
Of those, she said 5 had been supervisors.
Miller sent me a list of all 52 assessors she researched. Indeed, the assessors in Napa, Nevada, San Francisco, San Mateo and Yolo counties had all be county supervisors prior to their current posts.
Here’s the thing: only one had been appointed while serving as supervisor.
Carmen Chu was appointed to San Francisco County’s Board of Supervisors in 2008 to replace the legally embattled Ed Jew. She was then elected to the position in 2008 to serve the remainder of his term, then successfully ran for re-election in 2010 to serve a full four-year term.
She did not complete that term, as SF mayor Ed Lee appointed her to the county assessor’s job in 2013.
Mark Church, the assessor in San Mateo County, was a supervisor there from 2001 to 2011. He too, became assessor while in office in 2011, but ran for election to do so.
Yolo County assessor Freddie Oakley was supervisor from 1997 to 1999. She became deputy assessor in 2000, then ran for election to be assessor in 2003.
The other two assessors were elected to their posts after leaving their respective supervisorial positions.
Napa County assessor John Tuteur was county supervisor from 1973-81, then successfully ran for assessor in 1998.
Similarly, Nevada County assessor Sue Horne was supervisor from 2001-2008, then ran for election to the her current post in 2010.
So Miller is right. It’s not uncommon for supervisors to become assessors. However, it’s rare that a supervisor would be appointed to the position while still serving on the board.
Just food for thought.

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Corrections

Apparently, it was unclear when the supervisors would continue its discussion of the appointment to county clerk-assessor-recorder in a sidebar accompanying my lobbyist ordinance story in today’s paper.

The sidebar state’s “Tuesday’s meeting.” It should state the Aug. 25 meeting.

Also, the resulting vote in my story on that proposed lobbyist ordinance was wrong. Here’s what actually was approved:

The San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors on Aug. 18 approved a lobbying ordinance as presented by a 3-2 vote, giving direction to the county administrator to bring back a report on its effectiveness to the board in early 2017. At that time, the board will will decide to retain the ordinance, modify it or eliminate it.

I apologize for the lack of clarity in the side bar and the mistake in my story.

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    Wes Bowers

    A native of Pacifica, he lives in Lodi with his wife Lorraine. He’s covered just about every journalism beat in the Bay Area since 2000, as well as in the Lodi-Stockton area since 2013. He has a large collection of Judge Dredd comics, Spaghetti ... Read Full
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