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The More Things Change

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This is a request to keep a sharp eye on the hiring, by our Board of Supervisors, of the new Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) Director. The current director receives close to $250,000 in yearly salary/benefits and controls $150 million of our county's $300 million total budget. With this amount of our community's money in the new director's hands, the board's hire needs to have proven results in helping the helpless but also have creative ideas, be accountable, hold people accountable and have sound fiscal responsibility. Maybe the board will select from the private (real world) instead of the public (government) world.

Our transient population is not "transient" and it is not helpless. It's settled here and is wrecking our community. Crime is sky high. Businesses suffer. Tourists roll up their windows and drive right through our communities. Chief Mills, who along with his department is doing a great job, stated 72 percent of his department's violent crime arrests were of members of the transient population. To bring business, doctors, companies, entrepreneurs (job creators) to our county this homeless/drunk/drug/crazy population needs to be brought under control. Jobs create prosperity and prosperity creates jobs. Hopefully, the new DHHS director will understand throwing money at these issues is not working. It is perpetuating. As Jud Elinwood states in the Oct. 22 NCJ "... We Can Do Better." Bring private sector stakeholders along with key DHHS personnel to find more efficient means to help our helpless.

The NCJ's anniversary issue listed problems facing people 25 years ago (Sept. 17). Among these were homelessness and drug/alcohol abuse. Over 25 years of untold millions spent and nothing has changed. I propose that there should not even be a sniff of any new tax put in front of the citizens until vast improvements are seen on these issues.

—­­Rick Brennan, Eureka


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