Mono Supervisors: politics on the job, a claim and the budget

monocourthouse2008Last month, we looked into how our two counties regulate political activities on the job for government employees. Inyo County prohibits it. Mono County does too, but not for elected officials. The Mono Supervisors may tighten up those rules when they consider a proposed ordinance at their meeting today.

This whole issue came up when citizens questioned the propriety of the Mono Sheriff and District Attorney gathering signatures for their petitions in lieu of filing fees at a County management meeting. At the time, County Counsel Marshall Rudolph said there was a rule that prohibited rank and file employees and appointed officials from engaging in political activity on the job. He said the definition of employee did not cover elected officials.

Since that time, Board of Supervisors Chairman Larry Johnston requested adding to County Code prohibitions for elected officials. County Counsel Rudolph has come up with a draft ordinance to accomplish that. He focuses on prohibiting political activity on County premises. Rudolph confirmed that this prohibition would apply to employees, appointed officials and elected officials. If the Board approves it today, the ordinance would take effect in 30 days.

On another item, the County Counsel’s Office will recommend that the Board reject a claim for damages filed by Attorney Allen Berrey for his client, Youssef Boulaalam. Mr. Berrey alleges that his client was “unconstitutionally and unlawfully seized, searched, arrested and jailed by two Mono County Sheriff’s officers – a sergeant and a deputy – in a way that made him feel as if he had been baited, hunted and trapped for no legitimate reason.”

The claim further alleges violations of civil rights, fabrication of evidence, false arrest and imprisonment and violation of Fourth and Second Amendment rights. Mr. Boulaalam was passing through the Bridgeport area as part of a longer trip. Officers said they stopped the man because they thought he was under the influence. The claim alleges the officers did not investigate the possibility of under the influence and only wanted to search the vehicle. The District Attorney did file a charge of misdemeanor carrying of a loaded firearm in a vehicle.

The Board also expected to spend a couple of hours today on the Mid-Year Budget review.

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20 Responses to Mono Supervisors: politics on the job, a claim and the budget

  1. Seriously? February 12, 2014 at 10:15 am #

    Vote Obenberger out!!!

  2. abobthenabob February 11, 2014 at 12:30 pm #

    How magnificently ironic it is that, with an election on the horizon, these two top County cops take the time and make a special effort to show us their true character.

    To most people, a county official campaigning for county office in a county setting on county time to county employees seems unethical, dishonorable, probably illegal, and just plain stinky.

    But to the DA and the Sheriff, it’s perfectly OK since there’s no law against it (sure claiming the moral high ground there fellas!).

    We can only conclude, then, that their own sense of right and wrong provided them no guidance on the question. I wonder why?


  3. Hopeful February 11, 2014 at 9:28 am #

    I would like to say thank you to Supervisor Johnston for making sure that the “loophole” that Obenberger and Kendall are using to promote themselves while they are working gets closed. There is no reason they should be allowed to do that while they are being paid by the taxpayers to do a job. I guarantee if one of their subordinates were using work time to promote themselves they would have a fit, so why should they be allowed to take advantage of their positions?

    I would also like to thank you Benett, for bringing this out in the public, so everyone is aware of it.

    • Rick O'Brien February 12, 2014 at 7:28 pm #

      If a subordinate were using work time for any reason other than furthering Ralphy’s or Weber’s agenda, he would either be subjected to “the chair” OR, he would cease to BE a subordinate, seeing how it “wouldn’t fit in to the big picture”.

  4. MJA February 11, 2014 at 8:49 am #

    2 cents:
    Whoever came up with the new main street 4 lane to 2 lane back in diagonal parking plan in Bridgeport aught to be seized, searched, arrested and jailed and then given a free bus ride out of town. .=

    • Ken Warner February 11, 2014 at 10:31 am #

      “They” want to do the same thing here in Mammoth because it “…frees up more room for developers…” They actually say that in the draft proposal.

    • Moz coast February 11, 2014 at 4:20 pm #

      It cracks me up that people are still making derogatory comments about this. It has slowed down traffic, made crossing the street much safer, and increased parking. Total success as far as i am concerned.

      • Desert Tortoise February 12, 2014 at 8:37 am #

        Lancaster did the same thing to their old down town and I won’t go there any more. Driving to any of the businesses is more work than it’s worth. You either have to crawl along in 5 mph traffic on Lancaster Bl. or waste time coming in through residential side streets that aren’t so nice. Planners have all these fancy ideas that are completely divorced from what people who actually spend money on things want. Make it hard to get to the store I want to shop at an I will just go somewhere else. How hard is that to understand?

        • Ken Warner February 12, 2014 at 10:15 am #

          DT: exactly so. Seems like the designers are more concerned about making pretty and persuasive brochures to sell their “vision” than to make a human livable and human useable space.

          After all, it’s a lot easier to sit in your office and image how great your idea is than to do real world tests. We are going through the same fantasy cycle here in Mammoth for the Downtown Neighborhood Redevelopment Plan. Lots of pretty pictures showing the “average” family strolling though places that aren’t quite the same when you get there.

          We have a fine example of the disconnect between concept and implementation in The Village. Which is a horrible wasteland that some still insist is a nice place. It’s nuts…

        • bishop rocks February 12, 2014 at 10:48 am #

          I agree. Pave paradise and put up a parking lot. Heaven forbid you walk anywhere.

          • bishop rocks February 12, 2014 at 10:50 am #

            Though admittedly, the back-in parking is definitely unusual.

        • Wayne Deja February 12, 2014 at 1:47 pm #

          Desert Tortoise…I can remember back in the late 60’s-early 70’s Lancaster Blvd. used to be the place….”cruising the boulevard”……then going to the A&W Root Beer on Ave. I……and if any of us got “lucky”(which rarely happened),onto the Jet Drive-Inn Theater….for $ 1.50 a car-load to watch 2 movies….now,from what I hear,Lancaster Blvd. isn’t a good or safe place to be after dark… sad.

          • Desert Tortoise February 13, 2014 at 8:50 am #

            Eh, Lancaster Bl. is safe. It acutally has some nice businesses and restaurants now. But this fetish about people walking down a long boulevard shopping, I just don’t know where it comes from. I go to a store to buy specific things. I want to drive to the store, park, get what I need and get out. Walking blocks from my car to a store ain’t making it for me. I shop elsewhere. Having to cut through a mile or two of residential streets to get to the parking, or crawling along at 5 mph in their prettied up one lane each way street with angle parking spaces and landscaping in the middle isn’t going to pull my business in either. Yet, a real estate agent I have worked with in the past down there claims this has been the best thing to happen to Lancaster Bl.

        • bishop rocks February 13, 2014 at 10:21 am #

          Two words regarding people walking down boulevards spending money, DT: Tourist dollars.

          • Wayne Deja February 13, 2014 at 4:03 pm #

            Yeah,but I don’t see Lancaster,California as a high-end vacation spot for tourists…..unless it’s changed a LOT in the past 6 years.

        • Trouble February 14, 2014 at 7:44 am #

          I don’t know Desert. I’ve seen old pictures of Bishop with people walking and parking all over the place back in the early 70’s. Now, I haven’t seen one person walk into many of main streets businesses in many years. Our teenagers need to get jobs some where local.

      • Badfinger February 12, 2014 at 9:01 am #

        It’s a total Flop as I am concerned 🙂

        • Moz coast February 13, 2014 at 8:47 am #

          I checked this post again to see what people thought of my above comment and i am really surprised to see such an overwhelming shutdown. I understand the negative impression of something so unconventional, but the project has accomplished its goals, which i think is a pretty good measure of success. the whole idea grew out of the bridgeport community’s goals to slow down traffic on 395, make crossing the street safer for the groups of schoolkids, and to try and do something to revitalize main street. Although the latter has not been accomplished and should not be expected during a recession-strained short term, the project did exactly what it set out to do re: speeds and crossing safety. One of the nice things about the project is that it is basically an experiment with paint that can be changed if it doesnt work. If the people of bridgeport think it should be changed back, it can be. If people want it changed back because they dont appreciate slowing down to 30 mph and maybe even having to stop to let someone park during the 30 seconds they are in bp, i say who gives a #%^*. By the way, bridgeport population = 600. Lancaster, 150,000.

          • Ken Warner February 13, 2014 at 9:55 am #

            But the speed limit in Bridgeport was always 30mph wasn’t it? And how about a stoplight?

            Here in Mammoth we face the same problem. People driving really fast in 35mph zone. Stoplights are needed in some places like the crossing to the Post Office that EVERYBODY goes to. CalTrans hasn’t put one in yet.

            And the idea of people walking around and shopping is just a fantasy of the business owners. They want to trap people in their web of consumption and not let them out until they spend all their money.

            That’s what Vons did with their remodel. The move stuff all over the store so you have to walk the whole store to get what you need. And then when you’ve finally figured out where what you want is — they move it again. It’s malicious marketing.

            The marketing geniuses who came up with this idea think that nobody can figure it our. Everybody I’ve talked to in Vons has figured it out and they are pissed. But malicious marketing keeps on being implemented. It’s everywhere….

          • MajorTom February 13, 2014 at 10:16 am #

            I love the experiment in paint characterization. What a great way for Mammoth to work on their downtown plan. Instead of spending zillions to move buildings and model the corridor to resemble every other redevelopment scheme on earth, the large parking lots in front of the buildings could be re-purposed to make a safe walking/ biking experience with some outdoor areas to hang out. Have limited parking in the front to make room for people and more parking and lateral driving to the rear. Might make people want to walk around there and actually be affordable. And if it doesn’t, paint a new design.


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