Colleene Preciado, Orange County’s Chief Probation Officer, fired off an email to her staff on Friday evening in another demonstration of the misinformation campaign being launched by County executive managers regarding the current budget crisis.
HuÂ·bris: Overbearing pride or presumption; arrogance.
Her message (full text here) begins with an eloquent demonstration of her own hubris. “Recently, I noted some new information has been circulating in the media with regard to our midyear operational and workforce reduction plan.Â Of those communication pieces that came to my attention, I found some misinformation I wanted to clear up so you are not getting mixed messages about what we are doing.Â I want you to be assured you are getting the facts and not exaggerations, falsehoods or otherwise.Â As probation employees we are trained to give the facts and not embellish to create a bias one way or the other.” She thenÂ goes on to exaggerate, embellish, and out-right lie.
Preciado claimed that “Managers (including executive managers) will not be receiving a raise.” False! County managers have not given up their raises.Â Nick Berardino, OCEA’s General ManagerÂ answered her claim in an email today (full text here) stating; “The managers haven’t given up their 2% MIP, they only deferred it. Yes, deferred!Â In addition, she failed to point out that the managers are scheduled to receive a wage increase of 3% in June 2009!”
Preciado further states; “Manager positions will be eliminated along with non-manager positions as we have previously indicated.Â Â The workforce reductions we are making will equal 10.3% of our manager positions and 3.2% of non-manager positions.”
Berardino points out what she leaves out and/or embellishes. “The Department refused to consider any of the cost-saving options OCEA has presented, including removing one of the recently promoted Deputy Chief positions.Â Would that not save staff positions and programs?Â Up until April of 2008, the Department was able to function with three Deputy Chiefs.Â The Chief now argues that due to “operational needs” the Department cannot operate with anything less than four (4) Deputy Chiefs!Â Furthermore, why does the Department need seven (7!) Assistant Division Directors in Juvenile Hall? Why does the Department continue to need the same number of Institutional Directors/Assistants when they just eliminated 92 juvenile beds?”
Preciado continues; “During the bankruptcy, I was a director at juvenile hall. We pulled together as a department to find ways to trim costs in every way possible.Â We worked together for solutions.” Berardino responded with an additional fact that could not more clearly demonstrate the hubris of Preciado, and County executive management, in this time of budget crisis.
“The Chief indicated she remembers that during the bankruptcy “We pulled together as a department…….to find ways to trim costs in every way possible.” Why won’t the Department do that now? The Department and the Chief have not discussed ANY alternatives to layoffs. The Department came to tell OCEA of what the Department intended to do…No discussions, no engagement, no collaboration, and no “pulling together”!Â We have provided the County and Department suggestions to “trim” costs including those mentioned above. We have also suggested they do the RIGHT THING and give up some of their perks, including car allowances, to save jobs. We have heard nothing but resounding silence to all of OCEA’s suggestions.”Â
But most telling of all was this final tidbit of information from Berardino.
“The Chief is very involved with several committees across the County and State – maybe that would explain why the Chief could not find the time to attend the final budget meeting with OCEA.Â Again, it is all about priorities.”