As Humboldt County's Auditor-Controller, I was surprised to read Mr. Brennan's letter in the Sept. 18 edition of the North Coast Journal ("Hey Big Spender") that alleges that my office was over budget by $1,780,425 in 2014. I don't know where he is getting that figure. My office was over budget by $1,639.99 at the close of the fiscal year, mainly due to having to hire extra-help employees to cover unfilled positions.
The total annual budget for this office was $1,195,711 for 2013-14 — we spent $1,197,350.99. He also alleges that my office was over budget by $4.73 million from 2011 to 2014. Nonsense — we were substantially under budget each of those years.
We have seen recent cases of outside advocacy groups altering our county's financial information and posting it to the Internet, presumably to serve some political agenda. This may be where Mr. Brennan found his wildly erroneous figures. Our financial records are open for inspection by anyone at any time. We are happy to provide real data for anyone who wants to know how their government is operating.
Joseph Mellett, Humboldt County
Editor's note: The Journal confirmed that the numbers cited in Rick Brennan's letter to the editor last week were indeed wrong.