Voice of Our Commentators

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 Register’s Anaheim Connection

“Instead, another division of Freedom Communications would attempt to drum up coverage from media outlets other than the Register, Kushner said.”

So Freedom Communications is setting up a PR firm too. So much for that firewall between editorial and the business side.

Its going to be very hard for a Register reporter being pitched by corporate to say “no” to a story when pitched by people who have the ability to have a say on his/her employment.

— DanChmielewski

More Scandal From San Diego

Talk about smut media. This is something I would expect to read in a 50-cent tabloid entitled “Which San Diego politician is the biggest sex freak?”

VOC has way too much class for this garbage. Don’t turn the publication into a cheap thrill.

If Hueso saw DeMaio masturbating in the men’s restroom, why didn’t he report him to the police? As a man who is familiar with the law, he must know that masturbating in public is a criminal offense.

If this was routine public behavior on the part of DeMaio that many people were familiar with, why weren’t the police contacted and DeMaio arrested? I call it hogwash.

Sounds to me like a Democrat [Mayor Bob Filner] got run out of city government on a rail for lewd behavior, and now we have some sour grapes. So the hand-wringers are going on the offensive to take the attention away from Filner.

Disgusting. All of you, grow up.

— Beelzebub

Dual Language Education

I have heard good things about the dual immersion programs.

After hosting exchange students from abroad, I can see that our educational system has room for improvement compared to other countries’. There are other countries which successfully start at a young age to teach students multiple languages.

Our education has been embarrassingly dumbed down. I think of the self-esteem movement, which focused on making students feel good about themselves regardless of how little effort they put into learning or developing positive character traits.

As many American students don’t even know how to speak proper English, there was an attempt to make “Ebonics” an accepted language. We wouldn’t want to hurt any students’ feelings by correcting their grammar.

Meanwhile, the rest of the world is passing us by, and we are graduating students who barely qualify for minimum-wage jobs.

— Concernedcitizen

Nowhere to Play

No contradictions here. I never claimed that homeless people do not ever disturb the peace. They very often do.

I never claimed that all music and music bands disturb the peace. They don’t always do that. I am simply trying to make it clear why we have laws and ordinances that attempt to regulate these things.

There are venues that will open their doors for you if you are willing to show a little more patience and diplomacy. When they do eventually open their doors, you will be able to enter with a broader smile and be able to pat yourself on the back for achieving a successful relationship.

Then again, if you actually want to engage in real civil disobedience via rock protest, give us a call. Voice of OC knows where to find us.

— Got your back

Costa Mesa’s Anniversary Party

Definitely seems that Costa Mesa is paving the way to a corrupted political system. It’s just red flag after red flag that there is some type of behind-the-back handshaking going on here. He [county Republican Party Chairman Scott Baugh] is not even able to defend himself with any paperwork or numbers.

At least have restaurants and venues from the city of Costa Mesa; it’s the Costa Mesa affair, right? It would only make sense for a city event to bring revenue and publicity to businesses within the city itself and cycle the the cash flow within the city.

I guess it only makes sense if you’re not crooked and funding oneself.

— Wethepeople

A no-bid contract going to a political ally? Sadly that hardly counts as news these days.


Discrimination Against Reservists

That is wrong on all levels. These men and women are protecting our freedom, and they want to deny them fair opportunity? Just another example of the rarified air in the higher offices affecting the common sense of so called “leaders.”

Service to the country shows leadership, something that this county desperately needs. Should they be promised a spot they didn’t earn? No. But if they earned it, then they should not be denied it just because it is inconvenient to the officials.

I bet it is pretty inconvenient to uproot your life to serve, but they do that. Fair is fair.

— Kate

Comments are closed.

Voice of Our Commentators

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.

Kathleen Tahilramani Speaks Out

I used to work at the [county] watersheds and coastal resources department. I did a 10-week, unpaid internship which was actually 12 weeks long, because I came into a project early and stayed till it was done. Then a yearlong temp assignment while the position I was working on was going through the recruitment process.

And in the end, my supervisor’s wife got my job.

— Paul Lucas

This is so sad, but oh, so true. It happened to me too. I thank Norberto for exposing it, and I hope he doesn’t stop.

I have worked in county, state and other county jobs. Orange County is more corrupt than the others, mostly because we only have one newspaper controlled by the leaders in OC and no news because we are orphaned to Los Angeles and San Diego.

OC is like a small, corrupt town. I don’t really see much hope for it changing, mostly because it is the worst-kept secret in the world. It is all done in the open, because they know that no one will challenge them. If they do, they are squashed.

— Ithappenedtometo

I worked for the county of Orange for many years and observed the flagrant disregard of equal employment opportunity regulations.

Behavioral health in the Health Care Agency were very bold in promoting their friends and then reclassifying the position to a higher level. If you were not associated with their group, you were denied promotions, received poor performance evaluations, were transferred and given poor or “no comment” recommendations for jobs in other agencies or departments in retaliation.

They would target certain people to get rid of them if they did not go along. I saw incompetent people get promotions while hard-working people were forced out or denied promotions. Human Resources just ignored this behavior. The employees paid for this illegal behavior but also the taxpayers and the clients.

I hope the FBI investigates their hiring and promoting history.

— WhiteCloud

Thank you, Kathleen [Tahilramani], for having the courage to speak out. The public needs to know what is happening at all of the agencies.

This woman was high up on the totem pole, so imagine what a woman on the front lines in a lower-level job has to face when she tries to take allegations of corruption and abuse to bosses.

This county is filthy with waste, theft, fraud, nepotism, cronyism and crime. Until the public begins to demand that this change, nothing will change.

I know a female worker who has sent letters, faxes and emails to the Board of Supervisors, the director of her agency and the DA to no avail. There needs to be open forums where women can speak about the ridiculous abuses going on.

The county got themselves a female attorney to try and crush female plaintiffs. How transparent is that?

I can’t speak to other agencies, only my own. Mine is heavily female; save for the director, most top positions are female. Some of those women got there by being the hatchet woman for the top dog, willing to destroy anyone with a voice.

Also, many of the women in these jobs who have been there a long time barely have a high school diploma. They got the jobs thanks to their moms, sisters, aunts and such. One family has eight siblings in management positions. What are the statistical odds of that?

It is also heavily minority run, with is fine, except that reverse racism is rampant, and they abuse the bilingual pay program. It is great to see minorities in high positions, but not at the cost of everyone else being slapped down, and it is one minority in particular that rules.

The taxpayers and the voters of this county are the only ones who can change anything.

Go to the Board of Supervisors meeting this week and demand that the women in this county be free of harassment, assault, abuse, nepotism and cronyism. We who work in the agencies can’t do this. They will fire us, and we will never be heard from again.

The worst part of this is that the county uses women at high levels of all the agencies to beat down the other women. These three high-level ladies are not totally innocent. At some time, they were the ones that were ignoring women on the lower levels who came to them for help. They need to admit that they used to help the bigwigs and come clean about it all.

— Kate

If the Voice of OC is going to attach the term “Republican operative” to people, shouldn’t it define it? Does that mean someone who works for the Republican Party? Who works in Republican campaigns as a consultant, staffer or activist?

Take Chip Monaco, for example. I’m pretty sure he’s a registered Republican, but he’s not a party activist. I don’t recall that he’s ever worked on a political campaign. So how is he a “Republican operative”?

Steve Franks has never been a Republican activist. Neither has Alan Murphy. Mark Denny hasn’t been active in GOP politics for many years. Phil Tsunoda is a registered Democrat.

So how exactly are these guys “Republican operatives,” a loaded term with definite overtones of shadiness?

My hunch is that if Norberto, whom I like and respect, tried to define it, he would realize the pejorative he used to describe these individuals doesn’t really apply.

— Matthew Cunningham

I know firsthand of at least one position that was opened up for 10 minutes after 12 a.m. A particular person was notified to log on and apply on that date and time. The recruitment was then closed.

If that’s not rigged and predetermined, then I don’t know what is.

— Erica

There’s one of three ways this can go:

1. The FBI puts the thumb down one person, and then they fall like dominoes. Part of the deal with the FBI is sentence leniency for giving up other people.

2. We start a list of those on the gravy train, and they get voted out. Much more difficult.

3. Nothing changes.

— Centercut

This saga makes me sick. I was there to see much of the shenanigans in one major department. It’s all true. Anyone who thinks the CEO is going to clean this up does not understand he was promoted to do the opposite. Ditto for the head of CEO human resources.

I was asked to sit on an appraisal panel — and score in pencil. I bombed out a candidate for a lousy interview, and the candidate is promoted. What do you think?

This stuff, unfortunately, happens all the time in every department. Equal employment opportunity is a joke in the OC. It’s not what you know but who you know. If you dare to question or balk, you are off the bus and likely to end up under it.

— Smith2

This case is going to cost millions to litigate and pay out.

She seems to be very articulate and probably has lots of documents, emails and witnesses eager to come forward to back it all up.

She also has years of grand jury reports time and time again investigating the corruption of the county CEO, Human Resources and the Board of Supervisors.

— Cacityguy

First, great reporting, Norberto. This is journalism at its finest.

Some of you might wonder what to do now. Here’s a handy, step-by-step list:

1. Get a video camera.

2. Figure out who is running for any county government office. Find your county supervisor and others in countywide offices. Ask all of them what they know about this and what’s their plan to stop the gravy train. Get it on video.

3. If they don’t know about it, they don’t get your vote. If they do know about it but give a gravy train answer, they don’t get your vote. If they vow to stop the train, thank them.

4. Check and see if the people who vow to stop the train have ever done anything like this before. If they haven’t, they’ll never make it. They don’t get your vote.

5. If you find someone who vows to stop the train, and they’ve done something like this before in their life, let us know here. Tell your friends. Upload your video to YouTube. Get the word out.

— Centercut

Contamination Fears Persist at the Eckhoff Building

I don’t understand. Didn’t the union hire their own consultants on this? They must have taken tests or at least looked at the results of the tests done by the county?

What do they say? Weren’t the state and feds contacted about this by the union? What did they say? They haven’t prohibited occupancy of the building, have they?

Now you have an independent medical doctor who says he would place his own family in that building. But it sounds as if they are permanently shutting down the Red Room. Wasn’t that the original beef?

I understand that this might interfere with some of the lawsuits against the county, but at some point you have to acknowledge the truth of the results. And if you don’t like the results, go get your own results and compare them with the county’s results. Does that make sense?

— Beelzebub

Santa Ana’s $700,000 City Manager

Nothing justifies this compensation package. And on top of that, it will raise the bar on all surrounding cities’ salary negotiations for their city managers.

With most people debating whether to buy groceries or pay the electric bill, this kind of robber-baron behavior is just plain sick.

— Paul Lucas


Spitzer’s Silence on Canyon Development

My guess is that [Supervisor] Todd [Spitzer] is sniffing out the political campaign contribution situation with the developer and its cronies. Once that’s finished, I’m sure he will get up-to-date on the facts concerning the Santiago Canyon housing issue.

Todd always seems so well-informed on other major issues that pop up on a week-to-week basis. He always has long-winded opinions on those matters. Yet this Santiago Canyon issue has been on the burner for years and is centered in his district.

Maybe it will come down to a decision over what is more important: money or the will of his constituents. Which one of those do you think will cross the finish line first?

— Beelzebub

Comments are closed.

Voice of Our Commentators

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.

Santa Ana’s New City Manager

The cost of hiring this “new” city manager [David Cavazos, city manager of Phoenix] is roughly the same as for both of our U.S. senators, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, combined. For the city manager of a midsize city? This is insane and corrupt.

I hope the City Council does a good job of explaining themselves. All this talk of sunshine and open government appears to have been posturing for special-interest progress.

— Sylvia Beltran

There was a party in Phoenix when he announced he was leaving.

I have worked at the city of Phoenix for many years, and I have never seen such money wasted on political nonsense while the employees are still taking furlough days and have not had a raise in three years.

Cavazos takes the ultimate pension spike and jumps ship. The books look good because we are all doing the work of four people for this slave driver.

He’s your problem now, and I would gladly give him a ride to California.

— Marta

I have no idea if this guy is any good at his job, but I will say he appears to suck at being someone of integrity, and that kind of behavior is exactly what got Santa Ana into the muck pit to begin with.

Santa Ana should have kept looking when they saw how he suckered Phoenix into more money for a job he didn’t stay in. What makes y’all think he is going to be any more upfront with you?

— Cynthia Ward

Am I remembering this correctly?

A few months back, there were stories about Santa Ana being almost insolvent and possibly unable to make payroll or pay their bills. Now, they have a big chunk of change for a new city manager.

Where’s the money coming from?

— Reggie

Zoning for Homeless Shelters

All cities in California will have to comply with Senate Bill 2 in their next housing element or risk state sanctions.

SB 2 doesn’t mandate that any city create homeless shelters; it only requires there to be zones within the city where a shelter can be put.

So if a group has the money to build a shelter or rent a building and make it into a shelter, the city has to allow it.

— Sincerely yours

Sincerely yours, back up and think about this for a second.

So SB 2 forces cities to zone land for homeless shelters. What company is going to rush in and build homeless shelters? Answer: none. This will only allow big government to select certain cities not on their favored lists and say, “OK, we are going to build a big homeless shelter here whether you like it or not.”

The only thing that stopped the county cold in its tracks from constructing that 20,000-square-foot homeless shelter in Fullerton was the Fullerton City Council that told the county to “get lost.” Under SB 2, it sounds as if the cities won’t have that option in the future if land is zoned for homeless shelters. They will be forced to have one.

I don’t mind if all cities must provide homeless shelters sized according to their populations. I like that idea. I just don’t like it when big government gangs up on a city or two and forces them to have big homeless shelters while other cities are not required to have any.

— Beelzebub

Another County Budget Crisis

Here we go again.

Drag out the usual threats to cut where it hurts, including public safety. Toss in the usual cries from Nick [Berardino, general manager of the Orange County Employees Association] and all his staff, who hit the blogs on cue. Throw in dire warnings from [county Finance Director] Frank Kim, and lastly bring in the supervisors for public comment and hand washing.

Everyone in county government knows there is fat to cut, top to bottom. Just cutting one paid holiday will save a ton of money. All the “perks” that Nick is so fond of attacking would not add up to as much as that one move, which would apply to every employee. You won’t save it in paper clips, car allowances or other such nonsense.

— Smith2

So let me get this straight: The county screws this up by not dotting their i’s and crossing their t’s, and now they want to cut from employees? Typical.

Smith2, the point is not that the savings will be made from [supervisors’] car allowances but rather that the Board of Supervisors should lead by example. If you are going to ask for cuts from employees, then you should first cut all of the perks you get.

Shared sacrifice does not seem to be the theme. Just look at the example of Moorlach attacking pensions but then taking the very pension he is attacking.

— Pnator

It seems to me that this has been pending for at least two years now, with the Board of Supervisors threatening job layoffs at every turn.

My question is this: If the county is facing this potential cut in revenue, why have they broken with the hiring freeze and have been filling every position under the sun the last year and a half?

At any given time there are at least 25 to 40 very high-paying jobs listed on the county’s website. (High-paying to me is $60,000 per year and above). Maybe because all the executive assistants and buddies haven’t been hired yet?

— Cacityguy

Conflicts of Interest at CalOptima

The continual abstentions by CalOptima board members clearly points to the incestuous relationship that has formed between them and the hospitals to the detriment of the public interest.

I realize that there is going to be the occasional conflict, but this borders on the ridiculous. If every issue becomes a conversation for legal advice, then it’s quite apparent that these people are incapable of serving as board members.

It’s clearly time for an intervention to clean up CalOptima and get people on the board who can serve as intended. Let’s hope the purge begins soon.

— Don Draper

The composition of the CalOptima board of dIrectors has always been riddled with conflicts of interest, given that any member who represents an entity in Orange County that receives MediCal funds through CalOptima as reimbursement for services has a conflict of interest.

Why the state approved this kind of representation for county-organized health plans is beyond comprehension.

— Roslyn

Nepotism in Garden Grove?

Having over 30 years’ experience working for city and county agencies, I can’t tell you you don’t go from an intern to senior account specialist without connections. For these guys to say they didn’t have anything to do with their relatives getting hired, I say b.s. Let’s see the application, interview and ranking for all the applicants for this job.

Parks and rec jobs are part-time temporary, and those girls earned every penny of what they got. But when you have noncollege grads with no experience other than internships moving into $60,000-a-year jobs, it’s nepotism pure and simple.

— Cacityguy

Toxic Fingernail Salons

The nail industry needs reasonable regulations that will not bankrupt the salons but will ensure the health of the employees and patrons. I too have walked past salons, and the fumes are killers.

Personally, I think the whole fake nail thing is nutty, but it does keep entire families self-sufficient. I hope I don’t read in 10 years that the fumes were responsible for a variety of illness and poor health.

— Insider2

Comments are closed.

Voice of Our Commentators

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.

Another Harassment Lawsuit for the County

[Human Services Director] Steve Danley and [county CEO] Mike Giancola exposed at the same time. They are bust buddies, like “brothers,” so it stands to reason they should hold hands as they get outed for what they have done, allowed to have done and what they continue to do.

Note, all three lawsuits involve Danley and Giancola. And the Board of Supervisors sings their praises over and over. And yet, three lawsuits from three top-level managers, all with years of experience and no negative performance issues.

It is exposed for all to see, Danley and Giancola both elevated to top levels in the county. Both are there only to protect the Board of Supervisors and “fix” problems. Problems such as those pesky women who have the nerve to actually do their jobs, follow county law, policy and procedure and behave ethically. Yes, those are the people who get destroyed. There is a pattern.

And the Board of Supervisors will have to face the FBI, FPPC, IRS, DA, AG and the courts and explain how Giancola and Danley in the role of wolves were allowed to wreak the henhouse. And all investigations will lead to a dark cesspool of high-level corruption, cover-ups, malice, lies and deliberate infliction of harm on anyone who came forward and told the truth and needed protection while doing so. And the Board of Supervisors along with all their fixers will be held accountable for breaking the law.

Just wait, boys. The Board of Supervisors will throw you under the bus fast to try to protect themselves.

FBI, do your thing. You are needed here desperately.

— Insider2

This story relates the operation of a shadow government, namely a group of Republican zealots who are controlling county government so that they and their friends profit. This time it is Republicans. Next time it could be Democrats or some other group with a similar strategy.

This Republican cabal is in the process of trying to seize control of the $10-billion county retirement system or OCERS by successfully getting the county supervisors to appoint them to the OCERS board.

Wake up, OC. Ten billion dollars and the solvency of county government itself is at great risk.

— Equal Time

Watch this be settled for six figures. That way all the facts are concealed or washed away. Just like with the cops. That’s the way the game is played.

The supervisors always play hardball with the lawsuits unless they or their political cronies are at personal risk. Then they settle. And once they settle, all the evidence is buried.

The system is starting to work as it should. Oh, they can attempt to refute [former county deputy CEO] Alisa Drakodaidis and discredit her. But [Paula] Kitchen [former county equal employment opportunity official] is the third high-ranking woman to step up to the plate and make some very serious allegations that are likely very true.

At some point the supervisors must acknowledge some real, serious problems or look like imbeciles. I’ll bet all of the supervisors are chomping at the bit to hurry up and run for that next elected office to distance themselves from the mess they’ve created.

And I’ll bet all are hoping that the FBI report is delayed for long enough so that they can attain that next elected office before the truth is exposed.

The FBI needs to hurry up. Work overtime into the night, if need be. Clean house. If you need a lackey or gopher to run errands or deliver sandwiches to your desks, let me know. I’m available.

— Beelzebub

Supervisor Nelson, reorganizing Human Resources has been done multiple times since the 1970s to no avail. The problem is not the CEO or HR, it’s you and your fellow supervisors, who never hesitate to call appointed department heads to direct them to accommodate political appointees to nonexistent management jobs “or else.”

This has been going on for decades and violates every tenant of equal employment opportunity rules and regulations. Anyone who even questions this process is marked for retaliation, transfer or demotion.

So you can change the window dressing again and again, but as long as the Board of Supervisors pulls this c**p, there will be lawsuits, allegations of favoritism and no respect for any of you.

— Smith2

The On-Again, Off-Again Xerox Contract

Under the current information technology structure, any selection of a vendor will be an epic mistake and will cost the taxpayer well in excess of any listed price of the vendor.

To support this statement you need to view the fact that the Board of Supervisor themselves mentioned how they were considering Verizon and then Xerox brought their bid down. Again, this was not supposed to happen after the “best and final” offer.

To make matters worse, Xerox sent a letter stating that they would stop services at the end of the month? (They did send a retraction.) What does that tell you about the tactics being used?

If Xerox did stop their services, what would the county have done? People need to realize how brazen these long-term contractors have become.

It is clear that alternatives should be considered at this time. I am glad that [Supervisor Shawn] Nelson stood up and held the line.

— Loyal OC Resident

I can’t believe the Board of Supervisors is even still considering this. If this was their own and not the taxpayers’ money, would they go into business with a company that lies to them and threatens them?

If they would, then I think the electorate should wake up and stop voting for crazy people. The only explanation besides stupidity is that somebody is on the take. Maybe this is what the FBI task force is looking at.

— Stunned

Here is how this will play out.

Patel will get thrown under the bus. Did you see the last Board of Supervisors meeting? Nelson is doing the setup to blame Patel for the Xerox IT contract mess.

Truth is, Patel was a good little cadet and did what the Board of Supervisors told him to do on this contract. And then the Voice of OC just had to mess it all up.

So now, what to do? Make it someone else’s mistake, and since the county has a long and stinky history of fired, retired and jailed former IT managers, let’s play bus crush with Mr. Patel.

Poor Mr. Patel struggled to pretend to be incompetent so as to not out the board. He will soon learn that he is in no position to cater to these folks. They got caught, and he is going to eat it.

— Insider2

This company already is threatening to cut off critical services by holding the county hostage and asking for more money. And this board wants to give them more power? This is crazy!

— NotSorryForMe

Private Ambulances


About 4 years ago I was transported from Hoag Hospital to a rehab hospital. They insisted I be transported by ambulance. It was not a fire department ambulance. It was Care, who tried to charge me $700.00 for a two-mile taxi ride after my insurance paid $250.

They are milking the taxpayers. More effective rate? Bull!

— Dweezle

Comments are closed.