The Priorities of our “Out of Touch” Supervisors

Apparently Orange County Supervisor Chris Norby is still fuming over the presence of a contingent of Sheriff Deputies at the Board of Supes meeting on January 13th. Steven Greenhut over at the Register’s Orange Punch blog, and Jubal/Matt Cunningham over at Red County/OC Blog are ticked off too.

Sheriff Hutchens had the misfortune of having to report to Supervisors Norby and Nguyen that the video of that January 13th Board meeting is the subject of a public records request and that, for some inexplicable reason, a officer responsible for controlling surveillance zoomed in on the two Supervisors. The video apparently captures Nguyen texting during the meeting and zooms in on Norby’s notes for a moment. I have to admit that I cannot find any justification for focusing attention on the Supes during the meeting. But I find Norby’s response even more of an overreaction.

Norby told the Register’s Norberto Santana;mr_magoo

“We’re going to discuss this. I think the public deserves to know the extent to which the department is changing the tone of meetings. We didn’t authorize this.”

At the meeting where this incident occurred, the board in the midst of a major budget crisis, spent one hour grilling Hutchens over her CCW permit policy. In contrast, the board devoted only 37 minutes to their policy regarding mandatory furloughs of county workers. They have spent a mere few minutes over the past two months discussing the needless remodel of their fifth floor lobby “for security purposes.” They have spent no time, discussing the numerous suggestions for cost savings presented by the Orange County Employees Association, and they stubbornly refuse to even discuss trimming the extravagant perks and benefits that they and their executive managers enjoy.

The newly designated Board Chairwoman Pat Bates clearly doesn’t even understand that it is illegal to request, require, expect, or otherwise coerce, employees to work off the clock. But that didn’t stop her from suggesting in her comments regarding the furlough policy that workers will need to “go the extra mile” and put in a few extra hours on their own time to ensure that their clients get served. You can see her comments here at time stamp 03:03:30.

It is in the context of hundreds of workers being laid off, and thousands of workers facing mandatory furloughs, that Supervisor Norby wants to discuss the bull-crap-non-issue of the “tone the Sheriff is setting for the Board meetings.”

Geez Norby. Can’t you think of something more important to talk about?

I’ve got a hint; it starts with the letter B.

Maybe we will learn more at the public hearing that Assemblyman Solorio has pulled together for Friday morning, to bring diverse local elected officials to hear testimony and review available evidence regarding the counry’s actions in this time of budget hemorraging and disfunction to find solutions to these critical circumstances. The Meeting will between 9:00 AM and Noon and will be held at the Rancho Santiago Community College District Board Room. 2323 N. Broadway, Santa Ana, CA 9270.

  17 comments for “The Priorities of our “Out of Touch” Supervisors

  1. Keep da Peace
    January 22, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    Of course, the County will have their favorite court jester parading in front of the crowd yelling, "What, me worry?" If you understnd anything at all about Power Ranger Chris, then you would know why he spent so much time on constitutional issues rather than budgetary issues that he could actually make a difference on, were he inclined to do so. Then again, do you really want someone who spends their time looking for bedspace in the homeless shelter/armories working on the budget?

  2. Northcountystorm
    January 23, 2009 at 2:04 am

    In the scope of things this is not a big deal. But it was stupid and I think even the Sheriff agrees it was stupid. Granted the Board needs to focus more on creative ways to cut the budget to minimize disruption to the public but I'd complain too under the circumstances if I was a Board member. This screw up will pass soon enough.

  3. January 24, 2009 at 12:21 am

    Republican or Democrat. Liberal or Conservative.

    Sandra Hutchens is clearly not interested in what is best for Orange County or the citizens of Orange County.

    Sandra Hutchens has "set the tone" of the most recent BOS meetings because of her unwillingness or inability to address the concerns of the citizens of Orange County and the BOS. Whether or not the BOS is "out of touch" or not. They are attempting to do their job.

    Because of the pressure put on Sandra Hutchens by the BOS as well as OCCCWS and other local, state, and national groups, more and more insights into the real Sandra Hutchens are beginning to emerge.

    It is becoming more and more apparent that "The Real Sandra Hutchens" is not the same one the BOS was duped into appointing.

  4. Kristy
    January 24, 2009 at 12:27 am

    In what universe is it appropriate to use a security camera as a spy satellite to zoom in on the personal notes and text messages of board members? She's got armed thugs ordered to intimidate people who are there to peacefully exercise their first amendment rights and speak out against her policies! It's totally outrageous conduct. Whether you agree with the point of view of the speakers or not, that kind of conduct is out of line!

    I was so glad to hear that we were going to finally have a female sheriff here behind the orange curtain, but with everything she's been doing, I'm beginning to think her appointment was a step backwards for women. It's great to see women like Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton trailblazing into arenas that women haven't been before, but when a woman gets into an office and then completely botches it up, it just gives the chauvanist nay-sayers someone to point a finger at and say "See! Women aren't cut out for these kinds of jobs!"

  5. OCHawk
    January 24, 2009 at 12:28 am

    Keep da Peace: You're right. Can't have somebody worried about whether our Chief Law Enforcement Officer is running afoul of the law, can we? After all, then she might be held accountable for her actions.

    The fact is, Sandra Hutchens was brought in to address very specific problems within the department. Those were: Overtime expenses, jail overcrowding, and abuses at the jails. None of these have been addressed. Instead, she went off on her own rabbit trail regarding her personal feelings about CCWs, and wasted millions of dollars by creating a boondoggle that is sure to cost the county money in lawsuits (not to mention the Supervisors' time as brought up in this article). If you're concerned about the budget, so should you be concerned about all the money Hutchens has wasted fixing a non-issue, while there are so many other problems she could be correcting instead.

    Also remember, she told the BOS during her pre-employment interviews that she felt the OC CCW policy worked sufficiently well, and that her intention was to leave it as-is. She lied, wasted tons of money, and now you and I are footing the bill for it. That worries me.

  6. barky
    January 24, 2009 at 2:55 am

    Liberal, Conservative, Democrat, Republican, Green, Independent or otherwise, we are all granted rights by our Constitution. This Sheriff has not only wasted, and is continuing to waste our taxpayers money, but she has violated our 1st, 2nd and 4th amendment rights. She pledges she is guided by the law, but those are only words. Actions are the real story teller here.

    Ego has no place in public service.

  7. A Concerned Citizen
    January 24, 2009 at 3:30 am

    I don't think that the OC Board of Supervisors is out of touch at all. They hired Sandra Hutchens to do the job of Sheriff of the County of Orange. She has taken actions that have caused the BoS to have to pay attention to how she is running the Department. Some of those actions may expose the County of Orange to lawsuit. This is what is causing the BoS to pay extraordinary attention to what she is doing. This means that the BoS really IS doing their job.

    What is more telling is that Sheriff Hutchens is apparently refusing to release the tape of the meeting, possibly even to the Board of Supervisors.

    Now why would she do that?

    • January 24, 2009 at 3:36 am

      I checked with the Sheriff's Department. They have identified some possible security concerns and are awaiting a legal opinion regarding the release of the security footage. That being said, they have offered the Board of Supervisors and their staff the opportunity to view the security footage.

      • R.A.
        January 24, 2009 at 5:26 am

        Unfortunatetly, she doesn't get to do that. She is claiming that she cannot release the tape due to "possible security concerns." But to show it to the Board of Supervisors is to selectively release it. It's a public record. If they can see it, so can the public.

  8. sonok
    January 24, 2009 at 3:45 am

    She got caught and is now trying to find any excuse not to release the tapes… Typical of ego driven politicians.. Never her fault, she will find a scapegoat, fire the Deputy then think of another way to try and intimidate the public.

  9. A Concerned Citizen
    January 23, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    While I can appreciate the fact that the BoS meeting room may have some “security concerns”, my understanding is that plainclothed Deputies were used inside the meeting room to check specific people that most likely weren’t part of the security concerns that prompted their presence to begin with. Undercover Deputies wouldn’t normally be used in this manner. It could burn them, and make them useless for future UC work. Plainclothed Deputies aren’t so “restricted” as they’re normally uniformed or outwardly/openly identifiable as a “cop”. Furthermore, why would there be a need for additional personnel inside the meeting room if a proper security screening had been performed at the entrance? It seems to me that perhaps this tape shows the activity that is outlined above, and the taping of the Supervisor’s activities on the dias. That might be considered an intimidation tactic against the BoS.

    To me, the timing of this is very suspect. A PRA gets filed, forcing the review of those tapes, then she contacts the BoS to advise them of the possible viewing of the notes (possibly privileged info?) on the dias, then says that the stuff on there isn’t readable, and refuses to release the tape on other “security” grounds? Something just doesn’t smell right.

  10. NoMoreFacists
    January 24, 2009 at 4:08 am

    I thought We got rid of the BUSHCO Facists…. Now our own sheriff is doing it?

    • R.A.
      January 24, 2009 at 5:28 am

      Exactly!

      Carona was corrupt, but at least he was never accused of doing anything like this.

  11. R2D
    January 24, 2009 at 4:17 am

    In these troubling times Sandra Hutchens has made it her "duty in life" to disarm responsible citizens instead of going after the criminals and improving our safety. We have seen that she writes her own rules and feels no reason to answer to anyone. Now she is focusing of the board members. Who's next? She forgets she was appointed, not elected.

    http://www.occcws.comhas opened my eyes and if the police can't protect me and my family, I want the right to do so.

    • NOMOREFACISTS
      January 24, 2009 at 3:22 pm

      Shes brining Bushco Imperialism to Orange County…. NO THANKS!!!! Im going to try to organize a rally against her at UCI!!!

  12. Freedom to Speak
    January 25, 2009 at 2:17 am

    Sandra Hutchens is hidding something. Release those tapes!

  13. safe way
    January 25, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    The Sheriff has let some of the people down. I know the Supervisors have better things to do than to have to answer for their decision to appoint her. CCW was not an issue during her interview. Why did it become the elephant in the room. Maybe it is the atmosphere and subordinates she brought from Los Angeles.
    She said anything to get the job. Now she has it until 2010.

Comments are closed.