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Do Away with Marin County Supervisors' Slush Fund

The last real potential patronage fund in all of California.

How is it the Marin County supervisors have a discretionary fund, called something else after the Marin Grand Jury scathing report of 2001, still available to them? The 2001 Grand Jury recommended elimination of this fund and the supervisors just changed the name, to a real nice community name, and made a few changes to the process.

The fund is still the only fund in ALL of California at the discretion of elected politicians.

Why is this in place? It would be great if you asked the supervisors by email on the Marin County website.

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Craig Belfor November 12, 2012 at 02:41 PM
The thing that amazes me is all the crap they spend money on right in front of our face, like the cars, cell phones, junkets across the country, meals, and unneeded programs. I can only wonder what they need a slush fund for, since they do whatever they want anyway. Even the Port of Oakland party boys didn't need a slush fund.
M. Calwald November 12, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Mr. Henry, We beg to differ. The word on the street is, people are simply 'fed up' with how our local officials are treating the citizens. I am glad we have a challenger in the BOS race....finally. The county is in debt. The city is in a financial mess. We cannot continue the path our local officials have gone down. The slush fund is another example of how our BOS are out of touch with the citizens. The Board is tired and needs to change.
Al Dugan November 12, 2012 at 05:41 PM
I don't need to, Toni Shroyer is running. Maybe Micheal Allen can help Judy Arnold on her campaign as she supported him along with all the rest of the Marin County Supervisors. Entrenched and embedded politicians are in for an interesting time in the future. Chester, I like your confidence.
B Gallagher November 12, 2012 at 08:22 PM
Chester you are allowed your opinions in which you are entitled. It's also nice each of us have our own vote in which we can cast. Ms. Arnold has a lot of issues to answer for. One being she has been a big supporter of Marin Community Foundation's SUNN. SUNN is a small group of Novato residents who want more and more subsidized housing in Novato without fiscal sustainability. Ms. Arnold also has not been a good steward of county funds.
Craig Belfor November 12, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Judy will go a long way towards getting my vote by eliminating the slush fund and voting against more wino warehouses in Novato.
John Parnell November 12, 2012 at 09:25 PM
What's that question, Chester?: "Toni, how do you find the time or energy to give so much to better your community?", or is it "Why do you care so darn much?" As to the political patronage, vote-buying slush fund, it is about time we have a Supervisor who will try to get rid of it, instead of use it to their advantage. Every time I see Judy Arnold spending OUR money for this, the headline always reads "Judy Arnold gives XYZ $$$". If one were to get their news just from the headlines, it would appear that Judy is Novato's greatest philanthropist.
John Parnell November 12, 2012 at 09:30 PM
Chester, why did you delete your comment? It now appears that I am a crazy man referencing something that doesn't exist. I don't know why you would delete: "Talk is cheap and one would think a Council member might have a chance to win District five and not some newcomer . If you think your realtor will win she needs to answer one question for the public.. She will be asked that question time and time again during her campaign"
Linda November 12, 2012 at 09:36 PM
Chester, I know which Council member is thinking about running for supervisor.. We got the survey in the mail to see if we would vote for them . Think the cat is going to come out of the bag real soon .
Bob Ratto November 12, 2012 at 09:56 PM
John You are certainly not crazy..Chester and Joe are one and the same, also uses/has used Bud Light, Jim L Grimes, My Way or the Highway, all the same poster. It is interesting to say the least, think about it being like "sybil", but carrying on a conversation with multiple personalities is interesting to say the least.
Bob Ratto November 12, 2012 at 09:59 PM
Don't hold your breath waiting for it, money is "crack" to politicians.
Owen Peters November 12, 2012 at 10:05 PM
Denise Athas, our mayor, is a realtor. She's voted on a few good things and many not so good things. Judy Arnold will have to answer for her voting record. She has voted on some good things and many many not so good things. We need to weed out the perpetual government worker/politician that doesn't have the fiscal responsibility the private sector must have in order to survive. The issues will speak for themselves. I am so glad there is someone running against Judy Arnold. Everytime I drive by Millworks we can all thank Judy Arnold for that beast of a building.
Owen Peters November 12, 2012 at 10:08 PM
Chester, please mention the positive things Judy has done. She does hold hands with developers, that we do know.
Al Dugan November 13, 2012 at 12:53 AM
In case anyone wants to see what the Marin Grand Jury said about this fund when the recommended it be eliminated please read the report Supervisor's Discretionary Fund March 13, 2001 at link: http://www.co.marin.ca.us/depts/GJ/main/cvgrjr/2000gj/index2000.cfm This is of course the Marin County web site.
Al Dugan November 13, 2012 at 01:21 AM
Sorry this is for the slush fund, the other blog....so many problems with the supervisors it is hard to keep track.....
Fortherecord November 13, 2012 at 01:41 AM
For the record, Judy Arnold taks credit for helping the Mother's Club bring Whole Foods/Millworks to Novato. She was very clever in doing so. She got her big building and The Mother's Club got their Whole Foods. I am voting for anyone who is running against Judy. Joe Kreins or Gail Meyers. Anyone. I have had enough of the same ole same ole.
Fortherecord November 13, 2012 at 01:45 AM
sorry about the typo...I meant to type takes Wanted to correct this before I get bashed for the error.
Bob Silvestri November 13, 2012 at 02:03 AM
Whether or not the current County Supervisors eliminate the slush fund of their own accord is not the point. This issue speaks to their character. They've had plenty of time and opportunity to do the right thing, but not one of them has had the strength of character to take action on such an obviously self serving, dis-service to the taxpayers. That they may ultimately bend to public pressure makes no difference. We don't need leaders who can't lead. It's time for a changing of the guard.
Bob Silvestri November 13, 2012 at 02:06 AM
And a word of advice. Don't listen to or respond to anyone posting a comment who is not using their real name or doesn't have a photo of themselves. The "transparent" public debate cuts both ways.
Craig Belfor November 13, 2012 at 02:26 AM
Bell didn't have a slush fund.
Bob Ratto November 13, 2012 at 02:33 AM
Well said, when Al posted that it was recommended back in 2001, it made my head spin!...11 years later, and nothing done. The reason nothing is done is this is political patronage at it's worst..."here, I will dole out some money to your super-worthy cause"...and of course, you will re-elect me... The computer fiasco? $30MM+ gone, lawsuits ongoing Pensions may be well over a billion?...(depends upon return assumptions) Kowtowing to ABAG/MTC/BAAQMD..check Handling of Lucas'?...disaster ...and the list could go on and on...you are right, it is time for a changing of the guard! P.S. The book is a great read so far!...Just need more time to finish it!
John Parnell November 13, 2012 at 03:42 AM
Bob - Very good points, and as always with you, so eloquently written. I can't wait to read your book btw. Also, you're so right about the trolls. Life is too short.
John Parnell November 13, 2012 at 03:43 AM
I really should have said "Bob's".
Al Dugan November 13, 2012 at 10:13 PM
Mr. Gallagher well stated. The one issue that really drives me crazy is spending $30M on a computer system and we have nothing for it. As I have said many times my board would have fired me immediately just for that. These supervisors have two assistants and I run a international company and have on assistant. Where is the accountability?
Al Dugan November 14, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Well said and right on point by both Bob S. and Bob R. Steve Kensey gave $5,000 from this fund to the Canal Alliance before the election this year. Mr. Kensey carried this area in the his election bid. I have a real problem as it is difficult to believe this did not influence voting by contributing to this group. This is a classic case that shows the fund gives incumbent supervisors and additional $125,000 of "stealth" patronage money and is a significant disadvantage to any challengers. I believe the Grand Jury should again address this issue. And Bob S. you are right, the biggest issue if their failure to do the right thing on this issue.

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