Here is another roundup of some of the most thought-provoking reader comments of the week. Comments are selected by our editors and subject to editing for grammar, spelling, clarity and length.
Click on each topic’s headline to see the article in question.
The public have a right to know if [former county CEO Tom] Mauk, the Board of Supervisors and department heads deliberately violated the EEO [Equal Employment Opportunity laws] for personal or political reasons. Is there a pattern of examples whereby individuals were transferred or promoted into positions across departments for which they were not and still are not qualified according to the position description? It’s that simple.
The taxpayers will be paying for these unqualified individuals for the rest of their natural lives due to their pensions.
I want to see some action from this Board of Supervisors. If this isn’t an abuse of taxpayer funds, I don’t know what is.
— OCservant-leadership / Aug. 29
Great. Disgruntled employees can get their revenge on bosses or colleagues and destroy or freeze their careers with these anonymous accusations.
If there is competition for a county position, what’s to stop one applicant from trying to knock out a competitor with an anonymous letter alleging sexual harassment?
This is going to make it impossible for the county to function or take innovative initiatives if this tactic catches on.
— Clockwatchers Anonymous / Aug. 24
Its interesting how some people try and deflect the emphasis away from the issues by bringing up the anonymous issue. Clearly, county management and the Board of Supervisors are a vindictive bunch, and people who try and raise issues are ostracized and alienated.
— Deepthroat / Aug. 28
For the last several years I have watched all the scandals and backroom deals as reported about the county of Orange. Based on what I’ve learned, if I were a line employee aware of wrongdoing or fraud within the agency, I would be very hesitant to inform my bosses of my observations. I’m sorry, Mom raised no dummy. I would fear retribution.
I mean, if it were just one scandal or two in the county it would be different. But there have been scores of scandals with the highest ranking officials in up to their necks.
You don’t have to be a nuclear physicist to understand that it’s impossible to see so many management scandals in such a relatively short period of time for there not to be systemic dysfunction and corrupted practices in the heart of county operations.
— Beelzebub / Aug. 27
Not sure about the sexual harassment allegations, but there is no question about Daly using the county office for personal and political gains. Nine out of 10 employees hired by the agency since he became the clerk-recorder have been either his friends, friends’ friends, his wife’s friends, his friends’ kids or his kids’ friends.
Above all, most of these people are incompetent. It’s nepotism at its worst. Most of these favorite employees have been promoted to supervisory positions without having the skills to do the job.
Daly has spend a lot of county money promoting his name and image under the disguise of promoting the Orange County Archives and the clerk-recorder’s office. He has spent millions on getting useless software from vendors who have donated to his campaigns.
If some one were to look into the allegations of cronyism, it wouldn’t take much to sort things out.
— OneAndOnly / Aug. 27
It isn’t fair to blame the frontline workers who make 40 grand a year for decisions that are beyond their control. They are doing a tough job. I have seen workers thrown against walls by mentally ill clients and assist homeless clients with lice jumping off them with a smell that would knock you back 10 feet.
They have not had raises in six years, but their individual caseloads have risen by 300% or more. Give credit where it is due. Not many people would do that kind of work for that kind of lousy money.
However, the level of corruption and plain stupidity comes from the top down. Every worker who comes forward with hard evidence of embezzlement, fraud and waste is beaten down, destroyed and abused so badly, no one ever wants to come forward. If a worker at SSA expresses concern about the taxpayers, they are openly mocked and laughed at.
And I know for a fact that huge amounts of theft and fraud have been going on with gross negligence or the participation of workers, and the county will do nothing about it. Thieves are rewarded, and the good, honest workers who report it have their lives and careers destroyed.
Here is one example of how crazy SSA is:
Joe and Moe are both 23 years old. They live with roommates but buy their own food. Both were laid off by a business that closed in the recession. Both had their unemployment run out. Both are applying for food stamps.
Joe sits on his couch all day, smoking weed and watching television. He is making no attempt to improve his situation.
Moe enrolled in community college full time for a certificate program that will help him get a job in a field that is hiring.
Guess which one is eligible for food stamps? That’s right! If you are a student over half time in California and not working 20 hours a week, you cannot get food stamps. But since jobs are scarce, they got rid of the 20-hour work week for nonstudents.
That means that those who don’t go to work can sit around and do nothing but get food stamps, while students trying to better themselves can’t — a good example of what is wrong with this crazy system.
— Kate / Aug. 29
To clarify to all, the article was not talking about social workers. That is a whole other job title and pay scale. To be accurate, we are talking about eligibility technicians and employment and eligibility specialists.
They are the front line in Social Services. They meet and assist applicants and clients with food stamps, Cash Aid/CalWORKS, general relief and Medi-Cal. They see people at their lowest, most needy points of their lives. Most do not want to go to Social Services and apply for programs. It can be humiliating.
I have worked as an eligibility technician for seven years now, and I see how we do serve a need to the public — maybe not a service some folks believe in but a necessary one still. I may not be able to change some people’s view on Social Services but maybe just give some insight.
To you who will nit pick and criticize my words, I say too bad, I know the truth. We eligibility technicians may even see you someday, and we will serve you with a smile and a heart of caring and understanding. The majority of us are good, caring, conscientious workers.
— Myia2963 / Aug. 29
Twenty-four years ago I found myself going to Social Services for help. And they did help. I was on Cash Aid for four months and food stamps for six months while I adjusted to being a newly single mother and got a job to support my two children. (I was a stay-at-home mom until then). I never forgot the kindness I received from Social Services and appreciate that they did not seem to judge me.
So here is my belated “thank you” to people like Sandra, who were kind, and for the programs that were in place to help me those long years ago.
— JoyBear / Aug. 29
OK, here we go again — another waste of your hard-earned dollars.
Let’s face it, this is California. The majority of the people do not want or use public transportation — never have, never will. I’ve heard about the high-speed train for 25-plus years now. Never going to happen. You want to add more public transportation? Put the old [Pacific Electric] Red Car line back in.
The Amtrak station that they just had to have doesn’t generate enough revenue to pay for itself. How do you think this is going to do?
Wake up, City Council. That money could help a lot in solving some of the decay happening in our city.
— Mikew95 / Aug. 29
All very healthy. [Democratic Party Chairman] Frank [Barbaro] has lost his grip on the party, and [Mayor Miguel] Pulido has lost his on Santa Ana.
Folks are getting excited about new leadership. It will be good for everybody.
— Truevoice / Aug. 29
The problem that Pulido faces — and Barbaro, if he’s signed on — is that with a 6-1 City Council majority against him, which looks likely, he’s lost much of his power as mayor anyway.
Maybe he thinks that he can divide and conquer nonetheless once the new term begins, but as soon as his terms are capped, he becomes a lame duck.
The barons on the council did a clever job of boxing in the king.
— Greg Diamond / Aug. 29
City Manager Paul Walters should not involve himself with endorsements of local candidates. He holds a high position of authority as city manager and needs to honor that position with a high degree of integrity.
Being talked into endorsing candidates is not part of his job. Walters should gracefully withdraw his endorsement and refrain from doing this in the future.
— Shirley Grindle / Aug. 27