WatchSonoma Watch

County launches $591,000 staffing plan for economic development


Sonoma County supervisors Tuesday approved spending $204,000 through June on four new jobs centered on economic development and business attraction.

It is the first step in hiring plan that calls for $591,000 in new county spending annually over the next five years.

The positions include three county jobs and one contract position. The expenditure is linked to a planned increase in county spending on economic development and private-sector job creation.

The plan was driven by Supervisors Mike McGuire and Efren Carrillo and endorsed by the full board in November.

The $204,000 expenditure this fiscal year is to be paid out of a fund supported by hotel bed taxes.

But going forward, that source will not be sufficient to pay for the entire program, including a $188,000 per-year customer service ombudsman job at the Permit and Resources Management Department, county staff reported.

Supervisors did not make any decisions about the future expenditures or where the funding would come from.

The other three jobs include two county Economic Development Department positions — a business retention specialist and an economic development specialist — and a time-limited, contract position to help local businesses over regulatory hurdles. The three jobs account for the remaining $403,000 in new annual spending.

31 Responses to “County launches $591,000 staffing plan for economic development”

  1. Jim says:


    Couldn’t have said it better myself.

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  2. mockingbird says:

    The county does not need another manager. As county rank and file staff have been laid off and vital programs closed the managers are still ALL WORKING AND VACANT JOBS ARE GETTING FILLED with their county paid 5% deferred comp and other perks are added to their retirement income. Time to get rid of some high paid managers. People complained in this post about PRMD. They are UNDERSTAFFED with rank and file employees but the managers are still there. Complain to your BOS representative from your district because the BOS approves everything that the managers come up with.

    Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  3. Steveguy says:

    Why eve have a government when they can’t do the job that we elected them to do ? And it seems to me that most everything that they actually do is bad for the citizens and the future.

    But the moron voters think that the same ones that got us into this are smart or honest enough to get us out ? There should be a test for voting, as we sure aren’t served by our current system.

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  4. Jim says:

    @ Bear

    You are correct. The system is broken, permanently. The creation of useless, unnecessary government positions by a bankrupt government, that pay ridiculous salaries, further increase the $500+ billion unfunded pension liability, and are admitted to be unfunded going forward by the thieves creating them should cause a massive recall over everyone involved. Response…nothing.

    There is no accountability at any level of government. Spending “cuts” are merely smoke and mirrors, basically lies to get votes. Look at the pathetic attempt at cutting the deficit by the “committee”. The two mafia families (Republicans and Democrats) couldn’t agree on cutting $1.2 trillion over 10 years. yet, in that same 10 years, the deficit will grow to over $10 trillion. Whoo-hoo, cut a dime from a dollar of spending. The Sheeple were led to believe, by the propaganda spewing media, that it was one side’s fault. Yet, nothing was ever going to get done. Those who have the IQ of a plant knew that before the “negotiations” began.

    I stand by the statements I’ve made over and over. The US government is the most corrupt in the world. Those who don’t believe it are the same morons who point fingers at the “other side”, while becoming more of a mindless, government dependent drone.

    Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  5. Skippy says:

    “credentials to be electable”?

    We are the most credentialed society in history with the lowest ability to actually accomplish anything.
    In 1940 the average American had an 8th grade education, yet 96% were literate.
    These uneducated lunkheads defeated the Nazis and the Japanese from a dead start in less than 4 years from Pearl Harbor, then built the world we now know and handed it to us Boomers free and clear.
    The 10th anniversary of our Pearl Harbor, 9/11/2011, saw a big gaping hole at Ground Zero filled with Diversity and Sensitivity counselors wringing their hands over offending the perpetrators.
    As our fathers sweated, we actively stopped teaching what it means to be an American. Today’s overly credentialed youth are functionally incapable of doing anything save complain about all the things they think they deserve.
    America is quickly fading away, because we no longer know who we are, and have no reason to exist, much less excel.

    To the point, enabling another layer of Big Govt to spendspendspend tax dollars in a futile attempt to advance economic development is symptomatic of the root problem.
    Big Govt only stifles growth.
    If they really wanted to advance growth, they would get out of our way and let us get our flabby butts to work.
    But of course, they don’t.
    We might realize how little we need them.
    Then what would the legions of Diversity Trainers and Community Organizers do for a paycheck?

    Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  6. Social Dis-Ease says:

    The ‘credentials’ in an ICLEI infested government like our’s has to do with loyalty, how devout, how adherant, how much ICLEI training has the applicant had.
    Will they play ball?
    The ‘credentials’ the PEOPLE are gonna use after we evolve past this oppressive chapter will be; were you a ‘good german’ during this period?
    Did you go along to get along?

    Not political allegiance,
    humanitarian allegiance.

    This will be on the test this semester,
    humanitarian is the correct answer.

    Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  7. bear says:


    Yay! You’ve got it exactly right!

    Bad news is I don’t think it can be fixed.

    SERIOUS campaign finance reform? SERIOUS enforcement?

    Not likely.

    Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  8. Jim says:

    @ bear…

    “credentials to be electable”?

    Huh? Based on who we have in CA, the “credentials” are the ability to lie, a history of overspending in lower office and the history of conning the idiot Sheeple into voting for them.

    The majority of politicians are career politicians and have no clue how the economy works. Look at their voting records and you’ll see that the majority vote for unfunded positions and projects, with hypothetical (exaggerated) estimates of how to pay for them.

    A fiscal conservative can’t win in CA because the voters are morons. They are easily manipulated into believing that cutting useless government departments and workers, and eliminating wasteful projects and programs is a bad thing. The sponge-headed dopes then re-elect thieves for multiple terms.

    Thumb up 19 Thumb down 3

  9. Sandy M says:

    It must be time for the Supervisors to hear from us residents, because they seem to think it’s their County, (not ours) to do as they think as they please. They are out of control and need to be reigned back in! Here’s email addresses if anyone wants to actually do something besides complained on this website:


    Thumb up 14 Thumb down 2

  10. bear says:

    Somebody here should be in charge of all government spending.

    Who’s running for office, or has the credentials to be electable?

    All I hear is BS.

    Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

  11. Whatever says:

    Damn unions at it again!! When will we rise up and say no more! Oops. Never mind.

    ICLEI! ICLEI! AGENDA 21! AGENDA 21! Grab your tinfoil and guns and head for the hills! Save yourselves and your private property!

    Vote YES on Jim Judd and NO on Loonbat Woolsey!

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 10

  12. Jim says:

    Spend money to make money??? Are you serious!?!?!?

    The government SPENDS, period. The government doesn’t make money, they take it from the economy. Government employees are paid through fees and taxes. The government doesn’t make a product, doesn’t provide a service, they just spend significantly more money than they steal from the economy.

    These positions are a perfect example of how government works, and why every county, city and state will be bankrupt. The county is broke. They create 4 new unnecessary positions at outrageous salaries (and pensions, don’t forget the hundreds of billions in unfunded pension liability in this state) and ADMIT they have no means to fund the jobs going forward. So they will have to TAKE more money from the economy to pay for these unnecessary jobs going forward.

    It is unbelievable how no one does anything. The same thieves get re-elected over and over. They actions are blatant but the Sheeple just don’t care that they are getting robbed. These jobs, though know to be unfunded, will never be eliminated. The government never shrinks. Absolutely amazing.

    Thumb up 24 Thumb down 6

  13. Em Five says:

    Friends, helping friends (in this case, four friends) make a wad of dough at public expense. And when nothing is accomplished except a few getting rich off the many? Why, the many can just go fish…or to the unemployment line. Ahh yes, your government in action. And they wonder where groups like The Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street come from.

    Thumb up 25 Thumb down 4

  14. Commonsense says:

    This decision seems a little lacking in this economic climate. I really find it hard to believe that they needed to create a whole new position in order to try and improve the process at PRMD (i.e the relationship between their function and who they serve daily). Actually, insanity is government doing the same thing over again and expecting a different result and the voters continually supporting them with our votes, yet complaining when things don’t change/improve. Spending more and creating more government layers hasn’t improved anything. Maybe we should start re-organizing depts and change the way they operate, then see if we really need to increase the spending/amount of positions.

    Thumb up 22 Thumb down 4

  15. Social Dis-Ease says:

    In a fascist/socialist society government does create jobs.

    They won’t just get out of the way and set the free market free.

    ICLEI will DELIBERATELY crash the old model, you know, the most successful, admired, prolific, devine societal model ever conceived. So…
    they can usher in ICLEI’s fascist communitarianism.

    Question: Why do we belong to ICLEI?

    That question is the basis for a movement. From here on out this year that will be known simply as:
    The answer to all that ails our local political, civil, municipal dynamic lies in…
    ‘the Question’.
    Join the Santa Rosa Neighborhood Coalition as we look the 800 lb. gorilla in the eye and ask…

    Thumb up 19 Thumb down 6

  16. Missy says:

    Greg, you need to run. There’s so much corruption here in Sonoma County, so much pork it’s choking us.

    Thumb up 17 Thumb down 8

  17. Look at the numbers says:

    $188,000 is likely the total cost of the position, not the salary. This total would include health insurance, workers comp, employer contribution to Social Security, etc. Once you subtract all that, the actual salary is not unreasonable as people are making it sound. Sometimes you have to spend money to make money. I’m glad the County is being proactive to spur economic development and create more jobs. And government absolutely can and does play a key role in stimulating and supporting new private sector jobs. Examples include technical assistance, industry analysis, low-interest loans, infrastructure development, etc, etc, etc.

    Thumb up 6 Thumb down 24

  18. Lets be Reasonable says:

    @GAJ – Do you really think the tourists are coming here to look at our roads!?

    Thumb up 6 Thumb down 12

  19. Graeme Wellington says:

    Why do our elected official create yet another $100,000 position do their jobs? I’m fed up reading this same story. This is absurd. You can’t buy a magic bullet with a hundred $100,000 employees. Someday, our leaders will lead. But the ones Sonoma County keeps electing over and over have proven again and again that they can’t. Sonoma County… It’s your fault.

    Thumb up 29 Thumb down 6

  20. Ring Ring Ring says:

    Even with the new job, the insane one would simply sit there on a stool pretending to be important when everyone knows different.

    Observers just laugh.

    Thumb up 18 Thumb down 3

  21. Grapevines says:

    An ombudsman (conventional English plural: ombudsmen) is a person who acts as a trusted intermediary between either the state (or elements of it) or an organization, and some internal or external constituency, while representing not only but mostly the broad scope of constituent interests.

    What this description leaves off is that to be one in Sonoma County, where the Board of Supervisors spend money as if it grows on grapevines, you get paid $515 a day, 365 days a year. Do the math people, that is what they are paying this person.

    Sure is reassuring that we can’t seem to find the funds to fix the roads, but we can keep throwing money away on positions in the government.

    I used to just suspect that the virus that infected the city of Bell had found it’s way up this way. Now I’m convinced of it.

    Thumb up 28 Thumb down 7

  22. GAJ says:

    @LBR; half a million bucks would amount to a 10% increase in the annual road budget.

    Attracting more tourists to experience a crumbling infrastructure seems like putting the cart before the horse.

    Obviously the budget for road maintenance should be multiples of the existing $5million per year.

    Thumb up 24 Thumb down 6

  23. Greg Karraker says:

    I have believed that I could become elected supervisor by running with only one campaign promise: Elect me, and I will abolish PRMD.

    Countywide resentment towards those meddling, arrogant losers is so extreme that you can feel the tension when you walk into their office. Sit waiting uncomfortably waiting for your turn to talk to one of these twerps, and you are almost guaranteed to hear at least three loud, heated arguments.

    PRMD does not need an $188,000 per year ombudsman. They need to swell the ranks of next week’s unemployment report

    Thumb up 23 Thumb down 10

  24. Missy says:

    Why are we spending $188,000 on a useless paper pushing position? No one should make over $100k in the Sonoma County government. No one.

    You want to work for the government? Fine but do NOT enrich yourselves on our dime.

    Thumb up 26 Thumb down 10

  25. Ring Ring Ring says:

    Its all about money and the worship of money by those who can manipulate others out of that money through smoke screens.

    Insanity loves money.

    Insanity does anything it can to have money at the expense of others.

    Insanity thinks wrongly that it is invisible to observers.

    Thumb up 15 Thumb down 5

  26. Lets be Reasonable says:

    @GAJ – half a million doesn’t go very far when it comes to roads. Doubling the number of tourists, on the other hand, would go a long way towards boosting our economy, which would then provide enough new revenue to make a real dent.

    Thumb up 11 Thumb down 11

  27. Lets be Reasonable says:

    @Jim – “The Government DOES NOT create private sector jobs. When will these idiots realize this?”
    That’s debatable, but government can certainly steal private jobs from other areas – just look at Texas.

    Thumb up 13 Thumb down 8

  28. Steveguy says:

    This money spent is for the benefit of whom ?

    Oh, feed the bureaucrats !

    Thumb up 28 Thumb down 5

  29. Canthisbe says:

    “But going forward, that source will not be sufficient to pay for the entire program, including a $188,000 per-year customer service ombudsman job at the Permit and Resources Management Department”,…

    If the Permit and Resources Management Department is so bad that it needs a $188,000 per-year customer service ombudsman to help citizens cope with it, the Department needs to be redone.

    It will be iteresting to see who gets this job. Of course it will have to someone who has expereince working with the Department and knows the inside of how Sonoma County operates. Pretty good chance that they will also have just lost their re-election or need just a few more years to spike their County pension.

    Thumb up 27 Thumb down 5

  30. Jim says:

    The Government DOES NOT create private sector jobs. When will these idiots realize this?

    $188,000/year customer service ombudsman? Is this a joke??

    So, four new jobs that they ALREADY KNOW won’t be paid for “going forward”. Again, government spending because they have the money now, with no resources to pay in the future. So four new pension drawing positions that aren’t paid for. Freaking unbelievable!

    Thumb up 31 Thumb down 7

  31. GAJ says:

    Wouldn’t it be smarter to spend the money on the crumbling roads?

    What’s “economic development” in an economy heavily dependent on tourists when the roads those tourists will use are crumbling?

    You do realize we get over 7 million tourists per year, right?

    Thumb up 32 Thumb down 4

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