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Supes may raise county manager's pay to $300,000

Original post made on Dec 7, 2012

The Board of Supervisors in San Mateo County is poised to hire on a permanent basis County Manager John Maltbie -- he's been interim manager since November 2011 -- and quickly raise his salary to $300,000 from the $270,233 that the permanent position now pays.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, December 7, 2012, 11:12 AM

Comments (34)

2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 7, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Absolutely ridiculous!!

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Posted by gunste
a resident of Portola Valley: Ladera
on Dec 7, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Public employees have managed to get the best of all income worlds. They have better benefits than most private employees and now frequently exceed their remuneration.
Using the "comparative" level for salary determination plays along with the way public managers have set the scales, by forever increasing the "average" through frequent activity. - In my opinion, $300,000 for the County Manager is excessive. Then, it is considered that someone making that amount needs a car allowance? Does he not get one of the many County cars? Next we will see the awarding of extra money for living in an expensive area.
Please add how much Mr. Maltbie is pulling down in retirement benefits - On top of his proposed salary? And Medical Benefits?
Lets add it all up.

All this in a County that is short of money, skimps on projects and had to ask for more taxes to pay the way. - But then we know that "Other People's Money" is cheap for those spending it.

2 people like this
Posted by Michael G Stogner
a resident of another community
on Dec 7, 2012 at 12:54 pm

San Mateo County Health workers have not received a raise in 4 years.

Under Don Horsley's leadership Sheriff's Deputies got 3% raise without public's input how? Placed it on the agenda. He gave the APPOINTED Controller an 11% raise he didn't ask for, and now he is giving John Maltbie an 11% raise that he didn't ask for. Nowhere did the Supervisors ask the public if there are any qualified candidates who would like to have this job for a 10% DECREASE......It was never asked.

2 people like this
Posted by Joanna
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 7, 2012 at 12:56 pm

I got sick reading this filth. How dare they use our money to pay a PUBLIC employee $300k!

$270k is far far far too much as it is.


Who is responsible for this???

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Posted by Scholar
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Dec 7, 2012 at 1:36 pm

What can be done?

2 people like this
Posted by Michael G Stogner
a resident of another community
on Dec 7, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Who is responsible for this???


Don Horsley, Adrienne Tissier, Carole Groom, Rose Jacobs Gibson, and maybe Dave Pine lets see how he votes.

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Posted by Joanna
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 7, 2012 at 3:55 pm

This is the contact information for the supervisors:

Dave Pine, 1st District

Carole Groom, 2nd District

Don Horsley, 3rd District

Rose Jacobs Gibson, 4th District

Adrienne Tissier, 5th District

Can someone make a form letter or something to get the message across that this is unacceptable?

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Posted by Joseph E. Davis
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Dec 7, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Absurd and outrageous. Unfortunately, par for the course in one-party ruled governments.

2 people like this
Posted by Lurker
a resident of another community
on Dec 8, 2012 at 5:38 am

Maltbie was caught accosting a decoy police officer posing as a prostitute but James Fox never charged him... Hmm.. If you work for the County, seems like you always skate.

San Jose Mercury News (CA)
April 29, 1993
Section: Local
Edition: Alameda County/Am
Page: 1B

S.L. WYKES AND DAVID BANK, Mercury News Staff Writers

In a closed session today, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors will
discuss its response to a sheriff's department report alleging that County
Manager John Maltbie attempted to solicit an undercover policewoman posing as a
prostitute. But supervisors said Wednesday they still have confidence in Maltbie
and don't expect him to resign.

In a detailed report released Wednesday, San Mateo County sheriff's deputies
said Maltbie parked near an adult bookstore in unincorporated Redwood City last

Thursday, asked the decoy if she was "working" and suggested she get into his
car. Maltbie, who was not arrested, was identified later by the license plate on
his 1988 Acura Legend and in a photographic lineup by the detective who acted as
the decoy.

Maltbie denied the allegations Wednesday but refused to answer questions about
events surrounding the incident, which took place during a scheduled undercover
operation that resulted in six arrests.
District Attorney Jim Fox said Wednesday that the conversation between Maltbie,
46, and the decoy officer did not show the specific intent to request sex in
exchange for money that prosecutors need to press charges.

''I know I did nothing wrong," Maltbie said in an interview in his county
office. ". . . Anybody in my position makes enemies along the way, but I don't
want to characterize this as that."

All four county supervisors said Wednesday they stand behind Maltbie, a former
Milpitas city manager who left the No. 2 spot in Santa Clara County government
to take over San Mateo's county management in 1989. He has earned a reputation
as a brilliant, effective and sometimes abrasive administrator who has
eliminated many high-level posts in county government. He earns $134,000 a year.

County Counsel Tom Casey suggested that supervisors hold today's hurriedly
scheduled meeting. Supervisor Ruben Barrales said the board would seek
clarification of the "Maltbie situation" and would issue a statement clearing up
the incident "one way or another."
Barrales called Maltbie "an excellent manager" and said, "I don't think it's an
issue that affects his job performance. I support John Maltbie."

Board President Mary Griffin, who is returning today from a vacation in Hawaii,
said Fox's decision not to file charges should put an end to the matter.

''It sounds to me that it's a non-story, but there are those who would escalate
it," she said.

Supervisor Tom Huening also said he supports Maltbie.
In the sheriff department's 16-page investigative report, the supervising
sergeant said he believes Maltbie "was attempting to solicit (the officer) but
wouldn't complete the deal until she was inside his vehicle" but that he was
sophisticated enough to avoid any words or actions that would result in arrest.

The decoy officer carried a concealed radio transmitter and was monitored by
five other officers nearby. Maltbie later questioned why a tape of the alleged
>conversation was erased.
>>Sheriff's Lt. Ken Frank said it is standard procedure to keep tapes only of
>>exchanges that end in a citation for the misdemeanor of soliciting for
According to the sheriff's department report, the man identified as Maltbie made
two passes by the Redwood Adult Book and Video store at around 9:45 p.m. in his
1988 Acura Legend before pulling into the store's parking lot. The section of
the North Fair Oaks neighborhood is known as a meeting place for prostitutes and
their customers, Frank said.

The man beckoned the officer to his car, according to her report. She noticed he
was wearing suspenders and that a dress jacket hung on the back seat. The car
was equipped with a phone.
''The subject asked me, 'Do you want a ride, are you working or do you want a
date?' " according to the report prepared by Detective Trisha Sanchez, who posed
as the prostitute. "I asked him what he wanted, and he said, 'Get in.' "

>>Sanchez asked the man if he was a police officer. He said "no" and again asked

>>her to get into his car.
>>''I've been burned before," the man said, according to another officer who
>>monitored the conversation. "I don't discuss this on the street. Why don't we go
>>across the street to where we can talk?"
>>Under standard safety procedures, decoy officers do not enter cars. When Sanchez
>>would not get in, the man broke off the contact and left.
>>Thinking the man and the car looked familiar, Sanchez asked the monitoring team
>>to note the car's license number. Later, she told the team's supervising
>>sergeant she thought the man was a county employee, according to the report.
>>About 15 minutes before the exchange, Maltbie left early from a meeting of the

>>City/County Association of Governments in San Carlos, according to Ray Miller, a
>>Brisbane city councilman who chaired the meeting.
>>Maltbie has declined to say where he was last Thursday night.
>>When an officer had a dispatcher check the license plate number through the
>>Department of Motor Vehicles, the dispatcher responded, "It comes back to your

>>boss, John Maltbie," according to the sheriff's department report.
>>Frank said that license plates are often noted by officers working the
>>prostitution detail, and reports are occasionally written on encounters that
>>don't result in arrests.
>>The district attorney, the county counsel and the board of supervisors president
>>were all notified that evening of the incident.
>>On Monday, Sanchez identified Maltbie as the man who had talked with her from a
>>driver's license photo from the DMV.
>>The actions of the sheriff's department in the case are likely to come under
>>scrutiny at today's meeting. Maltbie has questioned the accuracy of the
>>investigation, pointing to erasure of the tape.
>>No bar to effectiveness
>>Maltbie said in an interview Wednesday he is eager to put the matter behind him.
>>He said the incident had not damaged his effectiveness and would not affect his
>>oversight of the sheriff's department's $46 million budget.
>>''These allegations have been very painful to me and to my family because they
are simply untrue," he said in a prepared statement.
>>Acting Sheriff Paul Hale said he stands by the investigative report. He denied
that the disclosure of the incident was politically motivated, saying he had "no
political ax to grind. . . . Mr. Maltbie has to explain his own actions. The
(deputies) are just doing their job, and they're doing a fine job."

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Posted by Lurker
a resident of another community
on Dec 8, 2012 at 5:46 am

The San Francisco Chronicle


San Mateo County Board Backs Accused Manager
Decoy prostitute said he made advances

BYLINE: Bill Workman, Chronicle Peninsula Bureau


LENGTH: 251 words

The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors sought yesterday to dispose of the controversy over allegations that county manager John Maltbie tried to pick up a policewoman posing as a prostitute.
After meeting behind closed doors with Maltbie for half an hour at the Hall of Justice in Redwood City, the board issued a four- paragraph statement that praised his ''distinguished record as a public servant'' and gave Maltbie a strong vote of confidence.

The board concluded, after reviewing police and media reports, that ''no action is warranted in the matter.''
The executive session came a day after District Attorney Jim Fox announced that no charges would be filed against the 46-year- old Maltbie, who sheriff's Deputy Trisha Sanchez said had attempted to solicit sex from her during an anti-prostitution operation by police April 22 in unincorporated Redwood City.

Fox said there was no evidence that Maltbie offered to pay for sex, which is necessary to prove that an act of solicitation for prostitution has taken place.
Although Maltbie has insisted that he did nothing wrong, he has declined to say publicly whether he stopped to talk to the decoy hooker.
''There was no crime,'' said Supervisor Mary Griffin in the supervisors' private parking lot after the meeting.
When pressed by reporters on whether Maltbie had disclosed his whereabouts on the night of the incident, Griffin said: ''The statement is there is no statement. I'm late for a Rotary luncheon.'' And she drove off.

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Posted by Lurker
a resident of another community
on Dec 8, 2012 at 6:51 am

The San Francisco Chronicle


D.A. Won't File Charges Against Maltbie
No proof county manager tried to solicit paid sex

BYLINE: Bill Workman, Chronicle Peninsula Bureau


LENGTH: 675 words

No charges will be filed against San Mateo County Manager John Maltbie in connection with a Redwood City incident in which authorities say Maltbie stopped to talk with an undercover policewoman posing as a prostitute.
District Attorney Jim Fox said yesterday there was no proof the county official intended to solicit a sex act from the phony hooker when he talked to her about 9:30 p.m. last Thursday.
''If someone attempts to solicit a sexual act, but not for money,'' no criminal act of soliciting for prostitution has taken place, Fox said.
The decision to not file criminal charges against the 46-year-old county manager came after Fox and his top advisers reviewed reports of a police undercover operation that suggested that Maltbie may have been trying to pick up a prostitute.

''I'm gratified that the district attorney, after reviewing all of the relevant information provided by the sheriff's department, has decided to proceed no further on (the) allegations . . .'' the county manager said in a statement.
Maltbie, who is married and has two children, said the allegations had been ''very painful to me and my family because they are simply untrue.''
Last week's anti-prostitution detail led to the arrests of six men who allegedly offered to pay for sex acts with undercover Deputy Trisha Sanchez.
Maltbie, whose identity was not known at the time, was not detained. But Sanchez asked other officers who were nearby monitoring her conversations to take down his license number because she recognized him as a San Mateo County employee.
In her report of the incident, Sanchez said the county manager had asked her, ''Do you want a ride? Are you working, or do you want a date?'' after he had motioned her to come over to his car, which was near a bowling alley at El Camino Real and Northumberland Avenue in unincorporated Redwood City.
The neighborhood is a well- known strolling area for hookers that gained wide notoriety at the time of the 1985 Super Bowl at Stanford Stadium when police began to crack down on prostitutes.
Sanchez said she twice asked Maltbie what he wanted -- standard police practice in establishing prostitution charges. Maltbie responded: ''Get in. I don't talk on the street,'' according to the policewoman's report, copies of which were released yesterday.
When she refused to get in his car, Sanchez said, the county manager drove off.
The district attorney's decision was announced as rumors spread through the Hall of Justice in Redwood City that Maltbie might resign or that the supervisors might seek his resignation.
Maltbie said he had no intention of leaving his $ 133,000-a-year job and had the support and confidence of the Board of Supervisors.
He noted that a police tape recording of the alleged incident had been erased and was considered useless in the review of the case by both Sheriff Paul Hale and the district attorney's office.
Maltbie also suggested in his statement that he has created enemies in his job as county manager and that ''perhaps some of them have added fuel to this story.''
The county manager refused to confirm or deny that the incident had taken place, saying only that his written statement ''speaks for itself.''
However, Assistant District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said there was no doubt Sanchez had accurately identified the county manager. While police failed to establish that Maltbie intended to solicit a paid sex act, ''positive identification by the deputy was not an issue,'' Wagstaffe said.
Maltbie confirmed yesterday that he had discussed the allegations against him with three of the four supervisors and said they had been ''very supportive of me.''
Supervisors Mike Nevin and Ruben Barrales both said the incident had not affected Maltbie's ability to continue as county manager.
Nevin, a former San Francisco police lieutenant, said supervisors have scheduled a special executive session for this morning, apparently to discuss Maltbie's situation, but there was no indication the county manager's job was in jeopardy.

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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Dec 8, 2012 at 7:13 am

Sure makes us happy that Measure A passed.

Our politicians always spend our money so wisely, don't they?

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Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Dec 8, 2012 at 11:29 am

Agenda Item 15 for Board of Supervisors December 11, 2012

Resolution authorizing and directing the President of the Board of Supervisors to execute an agreement with John L. Maltbie for services as County Manager for a term beginning December 23, 2012 through and including December 22, 2016 (Supervisor Adrienne Tissier)

This is the same Supervisor that brought Measure A to the ballot. She failed to mention that her partner in a public relations company is/was a board member of Seton Medical which put up close to $1,000,000 plus staff on the Yes on Measure A campaign. Also Seton Medical is a client of that same company, that information would have been nice for the voters to know.

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Posted by Comparison
a resident of Atherton: other
on Dec 8, 2012 at 12:38 pm

What the...?????

Put this org chart in place at any tech company in the valley and this EVP is making serious bank, along with huge options.

Web Link

Top it off with his qualifications and experience?

Seriously, folks, chill....

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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 8, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Tell you what Comparison. When and if Maltbie cleans up the useless, disfunctional mess that is county building and planning I'll think he deserves a raise. Until then, the San Mateo County Building Department has a BAY AREA reputation as THE WORST building department that anyone should have the misfortune to have to deal with.

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Posted by private sector
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Dec 8, 2012 at 4:00 pm


With an org chart like that, he's not an EVP, but in the C suites. Downside? Reporting to a dysfunctional Board (ie.. elected officials.)

20 years with the same company, in the C suites, he's got options coming out of his ears. But you'll never convince these folks, look at their posts all over the place, but they're hidden between Stogner & Hickeys SHD rants.

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Posted by Funny
a resident of Atherton: other
on Dec 8, 2012 at 4:08 pm

Funny that the public sector workers (mostly cops) posting here have claimed:

1. Atherton is NOT A BUSINESS so cost cutting measures businesses might logically employ should be disregarded.

2. But high private sector salaries should be used to justify high public sector salaries.

This guy could not get hired at a senior executive level in a silicon valley company. Bad comp.

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Posted by private sector
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Dec 8, 2012 at 4:31 pm


1. I don't know the guy from Adam, but look at the chart posted. What would YOU compare that to?

2. I also haven't read the "city is not a business" thread; figure it's well populated with posts like the above. Y'all got serious "issues" in Atherton!!

3. I'm unaware of any cops living in Felton Gables.

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Posted by Funny
a resident of Atherton: other
on Dec 8, 2012 at 7:59 pm

@ private sector

1. An org chart for a governmental entity with management responsibilities that decidedly do not include realizing a profit, creating a valuable product, generating revenues through the much more difficult method of enticing rather than forcing (taxation), garnering customer satisfaction (with, unlike [especially appointed] government jobs, direct and immediate consequences if it doesn't occur), etc. The point being, if he were qualified to become a SVP at a tech company with all the corresponding pay and options (it's now restricted stock), he would have, or that wasn't important to him, or didn't fit well with him, and in any event there should be no expectation of corresponding pay.

2. No doubt.

3. True enough...sometimes posters indicate where they work rather than where they live.

@ lurker

So what? I don't believe that incident has any bearing on his effectiveness at his job. It even shows to me that perhaps he ruffled a few feathers with county cops and the D.A. back then which might be a good thing in terms of his independence and willingness to challenge things. Still, given the economic circumstances, and his existing pension, the $270K to $300K move is poor timing and the wrong decision at the wrong time.

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Posted by Joseph E. Davis
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Dec 9, 2012 at 8:58 am

If he worked at a private sector firm, I am not obligated to do business with that firm - I only do so if it provides the best service for the money.

If I choose not to contribute money towards the inefficient, corrupt mess that is our local government, someone with a gun will come to my house and haul me away.

That is the reason why private sector and government sector compensation should not be compared. There is far too little accountability in the government sector.

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Posted by Katy SB
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 9, 2012 at 11:08 am

So we can finally retire the silly "run government like a business" meme, at least, perhaps burying it with the even sillier "run it like a family checkbook" notion.


Thanks, boys!

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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 9, 2012 at 1:42 pm


yes we can bury that meme as long as we bury the other meme - the comparison with what one person does in the public sector and comparing it to the private sector when trying to justify ridiculous pay scales. Agreed?

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Posted by Funny
a resident of Atherton: other
on Dec 9, 2012 at 2:16 pm

No deal for me. It's all based on common sense.

If a common sense concept such as "if you're budget is in the red, costs must be cut" is used by business, that doesn't mean it automatically doesn't apply to government because business and government are different.

If a government job has the same supply/demand characteristics as a job in the private sector, it would make sense for compensation to be similar. In the comparison made in this thread, it does not (SMC Manager similar to tech SVP).

The answer is it depends on the situation.

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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 9, 2012 at 4:20 pm


what job in the public sector would have the same supply and demand characteristics?

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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Dec 9, 2012 at 4:30 pm

I don't want to wander too far off the topic of this thread (ie, the new County Manager's salary increase).

That said, I do think that government should be run more like a business. By that, I mean you live within your means. If times are bad and tax revenues are low, you don't build a $6 billion train from Modesto to Bakersfield. By that, I mean when you say that a tax is going to pay for roads or going to pay for mental health care, that you do it.

And there are issues of supply versus demand in the public sector. Our President says let's hire 100,000 new teachers. Really? Is that the answer? Before you do that, why not check on the demand of our society on our students and see if we are, in fact, graduating students with the skills needed to survive. And, if not, find out WHY before you throw money at for more teachers or higher salaries. In the private sector, we don't make "investments" before we know the expected return. In the public sector, we just make 'em and hope.

A little common sense would come in handy once in a while.

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Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Dec 9, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Lets not forget it was just over a year ago that our Supervisors had a closed door meeting that lasted over 4 hours that caused David Boesch to resign. They caused the resignation of a perfectly good employee that we had for $270,000 a year I don't think he had 9 weeks paid vacation either. This job should be replaced for equal or LESS than the previous employee. Put the job description out to the public to see if any qualified people reply.

Board of Supervisors please remove agenda item 15 from the Dec 11, 2012 meeting.

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Posted by curious
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Dec 10, 2012 at 6:54 am

he can't live on $270,000. ? doesn't a raise in salary mean he has earned it ?

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Posted by Joseph E. Davis
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Dec 10, 2012 at 11:27 am

> doesn't a raise in salary mean he has earned it ?

In the competitive market economy, it generally does, or firms tend to go out of business. In the corrupt, self-dealing, low-accountability government sector, where taxpayers have no choice but to support their rulers at the point of a gun, it doesn't.

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Posted by Bob
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 10, 2012 at 11:50 am

Maybe I missed it, but I didn't see one comment supporting this possibility.

That said, you know the supervisors are going to do what they want to do. When was the last time they listened to what the residents had to say? In this case $300,000 -- really? I don't think so.

It's a good thing we pass a measure to give the supes some more money to spend.

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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 10, 2012 at 11:57 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

And once he is paid at this level - guess what? Everyone reporting to him will now get a raise, etc, etc, etc....

Total annual cost - hundreds of thousands of dollars

Lifetime costs with pension increases - millions of dollars

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Posted by Former Resident
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 10, 2012 at 1:36 pm

And, for comparison, compare with Chief Executive Officers of corporations who receive dozens of millions of dollars for doing essentially the same thing!

Like him or not (and I don't have an opinion here), this guy is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 12 months a year, and is responsible and must be available at all times, even on vacations, when sick, etc.

Not a job I would want -- and I know some current and past city managers and county managers.

A lot of work -- incredible responsibility -- and when ANYTHING is done wrong, EVERYBODY knows!

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Posted by More Former Resident
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 10, 2012 at 1:38 pm

I forgot to mention, look at how much the Chief Executive Officer of Hostess is getting paid to run the company into the ground and have it picked apart. He is getting something like $12,000,000 to be a total failure -- and blame it on others.

Or the P G & E bankruptcy a decade ago...

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Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Dec 10, 2012 at 6:24 pm


As soon as Warren Slocum is sworn in we will have 2 out of 5 Supervisors who have publicly stated they will not be taking/receiving the salary of approx $120,000 per year paid for that position. Here we have two gentlemen forgoing their salaries for the full term they are in office and one of them will be voting tomorrow on a pretty big raise to a fellow County employee that does not seem to share their idea.

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Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Dec 12, 2012 at 8:20 am

The vote was unanimous according to this article.

Many county employees feel betrayed, Many taxpayers feel betrayed

Web Link

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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