On Sanitation District raises, Supervisor Nelson Does Taxpayer’s A Solid

R. Shawn Nelson, 4th District Supervisor

Doing someone a “Solid” is doing a favor. As the OC Register’s Tony Saavedra reports, that’s what OC Supervisor Shawn Nelson has done regarding OC Sanitation District management raises that were voted on (illegally) in secret at the end of September.

From Saavedra’s report:

But for County Supervisor Shawn Nelson, the Orange County Sanitation District might have gotten away with a fast one.

The sanitation district board on Sept. 28 approved pay raises for 17 managers and 18 “confidential” workers during a closed-door session.  The vote was in violation of  the state open meeting law — the Brown Act — because the workers are not represented by any bargaining group.

The public never got to question the raises, generally about 2 percent,  especially problematic in such a down economy. Nelson — who sits on the board as an alternate director — said he spotted the violation and called agency attorney Brad Hogin.

“I made a mistake,” Hogin told the Watchdog. State open meeting laws require that pay raises for employee groups that are not represented be discussed and voted on in public.

The Sanitation District will rescind its vote Nov. 16 and retake it during a public session.

While we disagree with Supervisor Nelson on a variety of policy issues, this is an area we happen to agree on. Trying to slip raises through for executives and managers under the nose of public scrutiny is something we rail about often. Violations of the Brown Act are something we keep bringing up for numerous public entities. Good catch Shawn!

Read Saavedra’s OC Watchdog story here.

  1 comment for “On Sanitation District raises, Supervisor Nelson Does Taxpayer’s A Solid

  1. November 8, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    We made a mistake.

    That’s the bottom line – plain and simple. And we took action to correct the mistake immediately. The item is scheduled to go to the board in full session at the next board meeting.

    The agenda for the meeting will be posted by close of business tomorrow (November 9, 2011) on the District web site at http://www.ocsd.com/about/board_of_directors/agenda_n_minutes.asp.

    “As soon as the mistake was made and identified, I immediately directed corrective action be taken,” said General Manager Jim Ruth. “This agency’s core values demand that we aspire to the highest degree of integrity, honesty, trust, and respect with you our community.”

    See the confidential agenda reports(http://www.ocsd.com/civica/inc/displayblobpdf2.asp?BlobID=8934) Supervisor Nelson requested on October 24, 2011. Supervisor Nguyen, the representative to the Orange County Sanitation District Board attended the meeting.

    more information at http://www.ocsd.com or
    http://sfy.co/MsX

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