Here is another roundup of some of the most thought-provoking reader comments of the week. Click on each topic’s headline to see the article in question. Comments are selected by our editors and subject to editing for grammar, spelling, clarity and length.
Assembly Candidate Julio Perez’s Address
It seems to me that the Voice of OC was created to provide a news source with credibility in Orange County. When Voice regurgitates substandard, sensationalisitic Orange County Register stories that have not even been fact-checked, well, you might as well be the OC Register.
— OC Truth / March 22
Would it not be both prudent and responsible to get your own fiscal house in order before attempting to take on the complex and politically charged task of working for California’s fiscal responsibility?
These are hard times for sure — you obviously know that, but hiding from bill collectors, avoiding your responsibilities, gives me no confidence you are mature enough to represent the district. A man with a master’s degree should be smart enough to deal with a $5,000 Chase [credit card] bill. Seriously, you come off either dishonest or inept.
— Kenlaysnotdead / March 22
Lobbyist Gets Extra Time to Speak
The First Amendment seems to have been cancelled by the Costa Mesa right-wing Republican majority that are attempting to create some form of independent Costa Mesa Republic. We’ve had the People’s Republic of Santa Monica, and now we have the Fascist Republic of Costa Mesa. Shame on the people of Costa Mesa for allowing this tyranny to continue. When will the recall begin?
— Dr. Dan / March 21
Dr. Dan, the citizens of Costa Mesa have the opportunity in November to change the current makeup of the City Council. Three seats are up. It also looks like the charter will be going on the November ballot instead of June.
— Sam Grady / March 21
Bustamante Scandal Snags Another County Exec
Even if it’s paid leave, it’s the last stop before he [Jess Carbajal, director of OC Public Works] is invited to retire to spend more time with his family or be fired.
I’d be surprised if any other senior manager gets the ax. Carbajal is the sacrificial lamb. That being said, if I was one of Carbajal’s “special” appointees I’d be real nervous right now.
— OC Bureaucrat / March 20
Many (maybe most) county workers are very concerned about the current state of the upper leadership in our county. I’m a longtime county resident and short-time county employee, and I’m very concerned about my job and the health of the county.
I attend many meetings with high-level managers from most county agencies. These meetings are consumed with discussions of staff’s low morale; lack of trust and respect for the board and executive management; and complete disgust for the waste of time and money. I’m sure a poll would disclose that a very high percentage of county workers have no confidence in the current leadership in our county government.
The Carlos [Bustamante] mess is only the latest issue among many. The real facts are not being told. The board was aware, the CEO was aware and Carlos’ bosses were aware of his activities. I almost feel sorry for Carlos, because he must of thought it was OK. He wasn’t even trying to hide it.
Who is going to pay? As usual, the lowest-level person they can blame — the human resources director, who worked directly for Carlos. I bet his boss and everyone else slides. The county workers and taxpayers deserve better.
The current Board of Supervisors does not have the respect or trust of county workers, and if you are a taxpayer, you shouldn’t trust or respect them either. The board doesn’t need to be full-time. We need business professionals who are full-time [county employees] during the day. The board doesn’t really need to do anything more than approve the budget and hire a good CEO to manage the county.
There is a voter referendum process with a handbook posted on the registrar of voters website. If the board and CEO don’t shape up, maybe we should get a petition going to change to a part-time government.
— OC insider / March 18
Santa Ana Ethics Committee
Residents in attendance expressed disappointment that the next meeting of the Santa Ana ethics subcommittee was put off until after the November election. That would be seven wasted months. Some might get the impression that the committee members and the council do not really want to tackle this issue.
Santa Ana has an ethics code with no teeth, and that appears to be the way the SA Council would prefer it to remain.
— Junior / March 22
A ‘Sick’ County Office Building
Like these workers, I once worked in a building that was making me sick. Because mold was the suspected cause, tests were run and nothing was detectable. So I must be a hypochondriac. The building could not be at fault.
The best relief I ever got was retirement. That was the same thing I heard from a few co-workers. Unfortunately the long-term exposure has left some permanent sensitivity problems. Ignoring these complaints can have long-term quality-of-life consequences.
The real test of a sick building is not what some expert can find. That’s only a tool. The real test is whether sick people feel better when away. Vacation or maybe even just a long weekend may bring significant relief. If so, the building is still suspect, no matter what some analysis shows. Focusing only on one item discovered to have once been present is ignoring the multitude of other problems possible.
Don’t be too quick to dismiss the complaints of suffering employees.
— Gil Vice / March 20
“The real test is whether sick people feel better when away.”
The power of suggestion and human psychology could be major factors in whether someone “feels better” when away from the workplace. That is why empirical scientific testing was required to evaluate the work environment for toxins. Apparently nothing significant was found.
I understand that the employees association had a hand in choosing the evaluator. Now that the tests have been completed, you really have no cause to complain just because you don’t like the results.
— Beelzebub / March 20
Paramedics in Santa Ana
The Orange County Fire Authority’s plan will not reduce the level of paramedic service to the citizens of Santa Ana. For the majority of medical calls, patients will have paramedic-level assessment on the first response, which should be arriving in less than five minutes 80 percent of the time.
This may be from a single-paramedic team, an overtime paramedic working on a basic life-support (BLS) unit, or a former paramedic who dropped his or her certification working on a BLS unit. If needed, paramedic-level care (scope, drugs, intubation) will arrive soon after or be cancelled and freed up for other responses.
This article covers the nuts-and-bolts difference in the way paramedic service will be delivered. Better or worse? No, just different.
As a medic here in Orange County for over 25 years, I worked all of the systems: two-medic advanced life-support vans, medic squad, medic-engine, paramedic assessment unit, basic life-support unit. They all have their advantages and disadvantages. But because of the dedication of those who always answered the bell, the level of care was never compromised.
Emergency rooms are getting more crowded. Budgets are being squeezed. And OCFA’s plan is only different. You can do all the studies you want, but just like in LA city, liars figure and figures lie. That’s today’s reality.
— Adrian Montoya / March 20
Very poor reporting.
Let me ask you a question. Santa Ana is currently running six two-man paramedic units. Are nine two-man units (the Orange County Fire Authority’s plan) better than six?
Additionally, would you concur that one paramedic is better than none at all? Currently there are 10 fire engines and all three truck companies that do not have paramedics on them. With the new OCFA plan, every unit in the city will have at least one paramedic on it. That means the citizens will have paramedic-level care to their door step in a timelier manner, more so than the current Santa Ana system.
Additionally, the extra paramedics will be available to treat firefighters that are injured at emergency scenes in town or out of town on brush fire deployment.
Sounds like a better system to me.
— Smoke eater / March 19
Another Outsourcing ‘Mess’
You can thank our Anaheim City Council for another mess contracting out city employees. Why don’t you hire back the city employees who were doing a great job?
So now they want to increase the budget to pay for outsourcing. Now who is going to cover the extra cost? Is the City Council going to lay off more employees?
Thank yourselves, City Council members, for another mess and the code enforcement manager for not fighting to keep a great program in house.
What a shame. What is happening to our city?
— Anaheim Taxpayer / March 19
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