Home » Fiscal Responsibility » Lane County Oregon Budget – Room for New Management but not Public Safety

Lane County Oregon Budget – Room for New Management but not Public Safety

We haven’t checked in on Lane County’s budget problems for a while — the Commissioners have been a little quiet lately (Faye Stewart has been the most vocal in requesting new taxes, and he’s been strangely quiet). So you think the County is hard at work dealing with the budget problem? Not exactly. They’re still adding hundreds of thousands of dollars to the budget in NEW HIRES!

We started documenting this a while ago as a joke — the County would implement a hiring freeze instead of laying off people and hiring new management as that’s only common sense, right? Wrong. Commissioners always say they’ll have to cut public safety and close the jail, but it’s strange there’s always room for new management. Have a look for yourself at http://www.co.lane.or.us/jobs/

Here’s a look back at what we’ve found in the past year. This only represents a small fraction of the new hiring the County has done. Ask yourself — when they close the jail and let criminals out, halt criminal prosecutions, and cut public safety, could some of these positions have been left unfilled and the money used for higher priorities? Is hiring new managers while laying off public safety workers your priority? It appears to be Lane County’s priority, and the priority of the Commissioners.

Instead of using the common sense approach, Commissioners Faye Stewart and Bobby Green continue to add new management, and then say no money exists for public safety — if only the citizens would pass a tax increase…

Of course, if a tax increase is passed, based on their previous performance, how many new managers would that pay for? Do you really think they’ll suddenly prioritize public safety when they haven’t in the past?

So on to the list:

Mar 13 2008

  • 207-121 MENTAL HEALTH MEDICAL OFFICER (Official Title: MANAGER) Salary: $122,117-$169,312/annually
  • 208-033 PUBLIC WORKS DIRECTOR (Official Title: DEPARTMENT DIRECTOR) Salary: $78,978 – $118,477 annually
  • 208-009 Sr. System Network Analyst (Working Title: PROJECT MANAGER) Salary: $49,254-$68,203/annually
  • 208-045 YOUTH SERVICES EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM SUPERVISOR (Official Title: PROGRAM SUPERVISOR) Salary: $53,144 – $79,726 annually

That’s not *all* the jobs they’re hiring, but that’s about $350,000/year by itself. How much would that money help the sheriff avoid laying off people who provide safety for the public? Would you rather staff the jail to keep criminals off the street or hire more managers?

Feb 6 2008

  • 208-014 DESIGN ENGINEER OR DESIGN ENGINEERING SUPERVISOR $56,680 – $85,030 annually
  • 207-121 MENTAL HEALTH MEDICAL OFFICER (Official Title: MANAGER) $122,117-$169,312/annually
  • 208-007 Program Manager $62,005-$92,997/annually
  • 208-009 Sr. System Network Analyst (Working Title: PROJECT MANAGER) $49,254-$68,203/annually

Another $350,000/year. As it was once said, a billion here, a billion there — pretty soon you’re talking real money!

July 11 2007

  • 207-025 LAND MANAGEMENT MANAGER $67,304 – $100,956
  • 207-068 MANAGER (Working Title:Project Management Office Manager) $64,353 – $96,530
  • 207-039 SENIOR PLANS EXAMINER $19.92 – $27.59/hour
  • 907-007 EXTRA HELP – Clerical

Another few hundred thousand.

June 12 2007

  • 207-021 BUILDING PROGRAM MANAGER. Filled May 25, 2007.
  • 207-016 Performance Development & Diversity Coordinator. Filled May 30, 2007.
  • 207-025 LAND MANAGEMENT MANAGER. Currently conducting interviews.
  • 207-029 NUISANCE ABATEMENT SPECIALIST. Filled May 25, 2007.
  • 207-024 PROPERTY APPRAISER 3. Conducting interviews.

May 31, 2007

  • 207-044 CLINICAL SERVICES SUPERVISOR ($25-$33/hour)
  • 207-037 MHO CARE COORDINATION SPECIALIST ($19-$27/hour)
  • 207-040 PHYSICIAN ($90,000 – $125,000 /year)
  • 3 Network Programmers/analysts ($50,000 – $68,000 / year)
  • 206-146 ASSISTANT COUNTY COUNSEL (not just one, but two!)
  • Engineering Assistant and Technician
  • Executive Assistant
  • Human Resources Analysis
  • And our personal favorite: 207-029 NUISANCE ABATEMENT SPECIALIST

Are the priorities of Commissioners Bobby Green and Faye Stewart your priorities? Ask yourself, with this kind of bizarre management and fiscal (ir)responsibility, could any size of tax increase satiate the voracious appetite of Lane County Commissioners to spend, spend, spend? Does this list match up with their claims of no waste left in the budget to cut?

How many millions could have been saved over the past year (WITHOUT LAYOFFS) simply by implementing a hiring freeze? Commissioners Stewart and Green are strangely silent on this issue — why not have a hiring freeze?


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