San Bernardino County CFS scandal highlights imbalance of power in county

SBCo. Board of Supervisors

Last week when Fox 11 Los Angeles aired a scathing report describing child abuse and child deaths in San Bernardino County, Calif., everyone waited for a response from members of the county board of supervisors.  To date, with the exception of a brief prepared statement read by Chairman James Ramos at today’s board meeting, county supervisors have been mute.

According to one observer at today’s regular meeting of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors (BOS), members of the board appeared stoic and disinterested when Ramos read the statement prepared by David Wert, public information officer for the County Administrative Office.  For many, it is incomprehensible that those elected to serve the residents of San Bernardino County could be so uncaring and unapologetic in response to graphic photos of dead and abused children.

But for those who understand the inner workings of San Bernardino County, it is not nearly so surprising.  Simply put, county supervisors are not allowed to involve themselves in the daily operations of county government.  Supervisors Robert “Bob” Lovingood, Janice Rutherford, James Ramos, Curt Hagman and Josie Gonzales choose instead to seek political cover by allowing Chief Executive Officer Greg Devereaux to handle all day-to-day operations and crises while board members are nothing more than well-paid figureheads.

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4 thoughts on “San Bernardino County CFS scandal highlights imbalance of power in county

  1. You continue to fail to understand the difference between “board” and “board member.” Having five individual board members each separately running the county in five different ways behind the scenes out of public view never worked and is what created the corruption. The board as a body now runs the county in public. That’s clearly frustrating to people like you, who used to get special treatment by trading favorable blog coverage to certain board members for personal favors, but it’s a much better way to run government. Maybe individual board members are no longer able to walk into the planning department and intimidate staff into giving permits to campaign contributors, but a whole lot less of them are going to jail.

  2. I think we all understand quite well actually. It is only our dim-witted board members who don’t get the fact that they are the ones elected to office, not Greg Devereaux. Now, please tell me about the personal favors I received from board members in exchange for positive blog entries. Let’s do a quick run-down of the board members in office since the blog has been up and running:

    First District:

    Brad Mitzelfelt: Despised me. His wife sent me a cease and desist letter, which I ignored, and which caused him to despise me even more. His Chief of Staff, David Zook, would call me every time I wrote something he didn’t like and chew me out. Oh yes, I did get a favor from them. You are right. I asked them to redistrict me out of the First District and into the Third District. He did. And our area has been getting much better service from the BOS every since. I did publicly thank him on the blog, if you call that favorable blog coverage.

    Robert Lovingood: Weeks, perhaps a month after he took office, I wrote something about him and he had Joe Brady call and threaten me. Please show me the “favorable” blog entries since that time. And please show me one thing he has done to help me. I can give him a suggestion. Resign!!! That way the First District might have a chance at a real superviros.

    Second District:

    Paul Biane: Well, I did acknowledge on the blog when he FINALLY wore a tie to a BOS meeting. He, in turn, chewed out Pat Dennen for inviting me to the County Fire Christmas Party during one of the darkest moments in my life. I love to post photos of Biane being arrested and in handcuffs. What else have I done favorable for him. And what has he helped me with.

    Janice Rutherfod: Have I written even one positive blog entry about her? I can’t remember as she is the biggest zero ever. Again, tell me one thing she has done for me.

    Third District:

    Dennis Hansburger: I used to make his aide Jessica Austin cry with my stories about him. She would call and beg me to change them. Again, name one thing he did for me.

    Neil Derry: Neil did in fact get good press from me. Why? He was an excellent supervisor. Did he do any special favors for me? I tried to get help from his office as a constituent but Devereaux always put a stop to it. He was so under fire, that he was afraid to do things well within the purview of his office. I did use my friendship with his staff to get one special favor. I asked that they meet with staff members from the Public Defender’s office. The end result to that was that Doreen Boxer and her top lieutenant were fired. But did I gain from that? Oh, maybe a few extra hits, but that is it. It was the right thing to do for both me and Neil. And I might add, Jim Erwin was also part of convincing Neil to look at it.

    James Ramos: Well, you certainly cannot say there were any pre-election positive articles about James, but I did have a change of heart once he was elected. He is an excellent supervisor (in the confines of Devereaux’s power). I have written him many times but he has never responded. I can say that when I have brought issues to him about the area I live in, they have always gotten fixed, as they should. Is that a personal favor to me? Well, if you think I benefit from a stop sign being replaced, etc., I guess so.

    Fourth District:

    Gary Ovitt: Gary got both good and bad articles from me. Mark Kirk was behind the good but you cannot say for a minute that I benefitted from my then-friendship with Mark as he did nothing but do me in. He cause a lot of hell for me. So, although I am not convinced of his guilt with the Colonies charges, all I can say on that one is: Karma is a bitch. He hurt a lot of county employees by his unwillingness to do his job.

    Curt Hagman: Curt is still on my good side but that could change with this CFS situation. We shall see. Name a favor he has done for me. I don’t believe I have had an ounce of contact with him since he took office.

    Fifth District:

    Josie Gonzales: I think that one speaks for itself. First, show me some good blog coverage on her and then show me where she has helped me in any way.

  3. Anyone who has read your blog for any length of time knows how ridiculous the first comment is. But, I did like reading your response. You definitely proved them wrong while at the same time reminding people just who their board members are/were(what a sad lot).

  4. Ridiculous doesn’t begin to describe the first comment. Sharon you provide a community service. We can’t get any true coverage from the local papers on important issues and frankly many of the issues you discuss on your blog are issues the papers would never touch anyway. LMAO at all of the “favors” you have gotten from the BOS??? Hilarious. Enjoy your Labor Day weekend and the slightly cooler weather. Loved your response listing all of the “favors” you’ve received over the years.

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