The Marin Independent Journal has been covering the Marin County Board of Supervisors' "community service" fund, discretionary fund, "slush fund" or whatever it is called now. In his column last Sunday, Dick Spotswood mentioned it again as one way to improve civic culture.
The numbers of fund balances was very interesting. The two supervisors with the highest balance: Susan Adams with $164,252 and Judy Arnold with $140,491 are both up for reelection in 2015. What a war chest. The other three supervisors have the smallest balances with Kate Sears $132,097, Katie Rice $70,274 and Steve Kinsey $25,327.
Is it an coincidence that Kinsey, who had a hotly contested election in 2012, has the smallest balance and in 2012 gave away $61,369?
In essence this fund gives the incumbent supervisors a large sum to be distributed and used for political patronage as cited by the Marin County Civil Grand Jury and "Alliances are created and favors curried by reason of such payments."
This fund needs to be completely eliminated, not just modified to make it look different. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is a duck. I will be monitoring use of these funds by Adams and Arnold in the coming two years very carefully if it is not eliminated.
The Marin County Civil Grand Jury should again address the details and use of these funds in detail as the supervisors continue to exhibit hubris in their use of this fund.