State government is always growing

Oct. 15, 2012

Katy Grimes: It appears that California state government is thriving and growing, while private sectors businesses shrink, close, or move away from California.

Last week, Gov. Jerry Brown announced another list of expensive appointments to state agencies and state commissions; lot’s of deputy directors and middle management positions, but at very high salaries.

From Brown’s website:

* Kathleen Allison, 47, of Sacramento, has been appointed deputy director of facility support at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, where she has served as acting deputy director since 2012. The compensation is $143,904.

* Monica Diaz, 33, of Cloverdale, has been appointed administrator of the skilled nursing facility at the Veterans Home of California in Yountville. Compensation is $95,808

* Michael Gomez, 59, of Nevada City, has been appointed deputy director of the Division of Investigation and Enforcement Programs at the California Department of Consumer Affairs, and the compensation is $106,308.

* Jessica Pearson, 33, of Sacramento, has been appointed legislative and policy advisor at the Delta Stewardship Council, where she has served as senior policy advisor since 2011. The compensation is $100,428.

* Riley Ray Robbins, 40, of Los Angeles, has been appointed deputy director for communications at the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. The compensation is $110,004.

* Vicky Waters, 37, of Sacramento, has been appointed deputy director of public affairs at the California Department of Parks and Recreation. The compensation is $104,148.

Wait! There’s more!

* Suzanne Chan, 51, of Sacramento, has been appointed operations and accountability officer in the Administrative Services Division at the California Department of Rehabilitation. Compensation is $93,444.

* Connie DaMant, 56, of Sacramento, has been appointed assistant director of the Office of Legislation and Communications at the California Department of Rehabilitation. Compensation is $103,392.

* Elena Gomez, 44, of West Sacramento, has been appointed assistant deputy director of Specialized Services Division at the California Department of Rehabilitation. Compensation is $85,716.

* Sherrie Lowenstein, 44, of Elk Grove, has been appointed deputy director of legislative affairs at the California Department of Managed Health Care. The salary is $120,516. But I don’t see her position listed in the organizational chart.

* Will Shuck, 50, of Sacramento, has been appointed deputy director of external affairs at the California Department of Transportation. Shuck has been chief of staff for Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal since 2008. He held multiple positions in the office of Assemblymember Patty Berg from 2004 to 2008, including press secretary and chief of staff. Compensation is $128,280.

* Amy Wall, 37, of Sacramento, has been appointed assistant director, developmental center closure, at the California Department of Developmental Services. Compensation is $86,256.

There are many more. The governor makes appointments several times each month. Expect to see legislative staff members landing jobs elsewhere in state government as their Assembly member or Senator terms out.

It’s business as usual at the state. While the private sector is operating under a code red, state government hasn’t budged one bit. Some of the appointments appear to be newly created positions. I couldn’t find them on the agency organizational charts.

This is just one more reason Brown’s tax increase ballot measure should not pass. Nor should any of the other tax increase measures. Until the state herd is culled, and reckless spending at the state is stopped, taxpayers should just say no to more spending… especially at this level.

21 comments

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  1. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 15 October, 2012, 08:06

    Bad Buzzard!

    Reply this comment
  2. Barb
    Barb 15 October, 2012, 08:38

    Great read Ms. Grimes! Exactly the kind of stories the public needs to quell the on-going argument whether CA taxpayers should pay more in taxes to support this kind of reckless spending.

    The one position I find quite hilarious is the Department of Transportation director of external affairs @$128,280 a pop! HaHa! What the heck is this, external affairs? What is so external about it? Let’s see……transportation…..we have crumbling roads, potholes, graffiti on highway walls, trash all over, no expansion of roadway systems to support a population of 38 mil, wasting $ on a train to nowhere, and the big whopper, gas prices have skyrocketed!

    But we are all supposed to be good little citizens and let the person do their job…..LOL!

    And here lies the problem: “Government doesn’t solve problems, it subsidizes it!” Ronald Reagan

    Reply this comment
  3. Douglas
    Douglas 15 October, 2012, 09:05

    Speaking of “expensive appointments”

    Michael Genest, Governor Schwarzenegger’s Finance Director, made $177,000 in 2008, is now receiving a $125,000 pension.

    However, he pointed out: “We could have made a lot more money in the private sector. We are making more money.”

    “We” being himself and two other $100,000 state retirees. (Likely NOT union members) who formed Capitol Matrix Consulting.

    And proceeded to author a report for CFFR explaining how state workers are paid MORE than the private sector.

    Ironic?

    Reply this comment
  4. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 15 October, 2012, 09:14

    What is truly outrageous is the age some of these cronyism hires.

    As I told my old friend OCObserver many many many times, the vast majority of gov jobs, and virtually 100% of high level/hi comp gov jobs, are cronyism and nepotism hires. All of the big $$ jobs are. Has nothing to do with skills, nor merit.

    In the real world no one would be getting $100K-$144K in salary alone (add in another $100K in bene’s) for any of these jobs, the people do not have the experience to justify these kinds of comp packages;

    Jessica Pearson, 33,
    Monica Diaz, 33,
    Vicky Waters, 37,
    Riley Ray Robbins, 40,
    Kathleen Allison, 47,

    And not a single one listed here has EVER had a job where P&L responsibility were/are a factor in compensation.

    33 y/o and making $100K PLUS in salary alone???? Most likely been in the work force less than 10 years.

    Reply this comment
  5. Douglas
    Douglas 15 October, 2012, 09:16

    And speaking of Michael Genest:

    from Calbuzz.com, April 8, 2011, on extending Arnold’s temporary taxes.

    “As a Republican, I kinda hate to say it but our tax burden is less now because of recession. The amount of the economy going to state government is lower than it has been for several years. Except for right at the bottom of the recession, you go back 30 years to find tax revenues at this low a level. So, there is a case to be made that we might need to keep those taxes at a higher level for a while.”

    Reply this comment
  6. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 15 October, 2012, 09:16

    Bad bad Buzzard!

    Reply this comment
  7. Douglas
    Douglas 15 October, 2012, 09:42

    It’s not fair!

    Some of these people are making more than a journeyman electrician or plumber!

    Reply this comment
  8. CalWatchdog
    CalWatchdog Author 15 October, 2012, 10:31

    Those are all very good points Douglas. The government insiders and big government types are just as bad. They wouldn’t be making money right now if not for state government. It’s no wonder that so many fight the idea of a part-time Legislature… how would they make a living?

    Katy

    Reply this comment
  9. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 15 October, 2012, 10:34

    Douglas says:

    October 15, 2012 at 9:16 am

    And speaking of Michael Genest:

    from Calbuzz.com, April 8, 2011, on extending Arnold’s temporary taxes.

    “As a Republican, I kinda hate to say it but our tax burden is less now because of recession. The amount of the economy going to state government is lower than it has been for several years. Except for right at the bottom of the recession, you go back 30 years to find tax revenues at this low a level. So, there is a case to be made that we might need to keep those taxes at a higher level for a while.”
    ==
    Dougie- you get a big fat F for the day.

    There should NEVER be any tax hikes in a depression. Income is DOWN, that is why taxes are down, you don’t take money when money is down, you CUT bloated gov salary and pensions, problem solved.

    Reply this comment
  10. Hondo
    Hondo 15 October, 2012, 11:04

    All this fraud comes to an end soon. There is no more money left to steal. I’m guessing the deficit is higher than what they say it is. And all that stealing from Peter to pay Paul is done. Peter is flat broke too.
    When the unions tell us we have to cut all your services to pay the pensions of the service workers, a riot will ensue. And there are far more of us than there are public union workers. The public unions are preparing to ‘weaponize’ according to their leaders. Well, lets get it on. I’ll take your 100k job and do it for 50k with a 25k pension. And I’ll get alot more done.
    Hondo………..

    Reply this comment
  11. Douglas
    Douglas 15 October, 2012, 12:04

    “good points”?

    Maybe accidental. The intended point was that these people are the ones usually referred to in studies that say public workers earn less than equivalent private workers. Higher educated technical and management types. or positions of responsibility. A Caltrans maintenance superintendent may be in charge of a hundred personnel and a multi-million dollar budget and earn less than $70,000 a year.

    Then there are those like David Crane, multimillionaires or VERY highly paid successful private sector workers that come in as a favor to the governor or party. I won’t speculate about what ulterior motives they may have for taking those positions of power and influence.

    The examples you gave don’t seem to be excessive, particularly since they may be supervising career professionals in various departments, and would be expected to earn as much or more than their staff.

    Moreover, I haven’t had a chance to check statistics, but I understand that overall, state government has been shrinking over the last few years, not growing. The number of state workers grew tremendously between 2000 and 2007, but have been decreasing since then. In 2011 there were 467 state and local workers per 10,000 residents, down from 501 in 2007. And still dropping.

    According to the US Census Bureau, total state employee pay as a percentage of state personal income in California is 1.8% (national average is 1.9%)

    With a few exceptions (CHP, engineers, and some appointed (non-union) employees, most state workers have not had a general increase since 2007, and due to furloughs and increased pension and insurance costs, most are taking home less money than in 2007.

    I can’t see how this supports the claim that the state government is “growing”.

    Reply this comment
  12. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 15 October, 2012, 15:09

    A Caltrans maintenance superintendent may be in charge of a hundred personnel and a multi-million dollar budget and earn less than $70,000 a year.
    ==
    Dougie- do YOUR WHOPPERS never end????
    NO Caltrans employee, not even the janitor, makes less than $70K in total comp.

    Educate yourself son;

    http://www​.cagw.org/​assets/cag​w-compensa​tion-repor​t-web-copy​.pdf

    Reply this comment
  13. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 15 October, 2012, 15:51

    Bad bad bad Buzzard!

    Reply this comment
  14. dan
    dan 15 October, 2012, 16:05

    And they wonder why their broke!

    Reply this comment
  15. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 15 October, 2012, 16:18

    With a few exceptions (CHP, engineers, and some appointed (non-union) employees, most state workers have not had a general increase since 2007, and due to furloughs and increased pension and insurance costs, most are taking home less money than in 2007.
    ==
    Actually Dougie every state employee has had raises, ask the prison guards, ask the CHP, ask CalFIRE….and even the one who do not get “raises” are given “step” increases on a regular basis-all of them. So your claim that the gov employees are not making more mnoney is tooooooooally bogus.

    And just read the facts in my links, the proof is right there.

    Reply this comment
  16. Bob Smith
    Bob Smith 15 October, 2012, 20:32

    “We could have made a lot more money in the private sector”

    I know many government workers believe this, but they are delusional, having had no actual private sector experience with which to buttress such a claim.

    I also wonder what he means by “a lot more money”. That $125k pension he’s receiving is the equivalent of about 2.5 million dollars in after-tax capital earning 5%. Where was he expecting to earn that kind of money?

    Reply this comment
  17. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 15 October, 2012, 22:01

    I know many government workers believe this, but they are delusional, having had no actual private sector experience with which to buttress such a claim.
    ==

    IKNOW, it is totally hilarious! These gov yahoo’s would be hard pressed to get a Walmart job with their limited skill set.

    I actually saw an OC lifeguard interviewed on TV where he CLAIMED that those trough feeders could have been making $300K per year in “real etsate”….Hahahahahahahaha….. I would bet at least 50% of life guards (and cops and firewhiners) could not pass the RE salesperson licensing exam.

    Reply this comment
  18. D. DAVIS
    D. DAVIS 17 October, 2012, 08:27

    As a rank and file conservative woman, I think it is time to think about how much government growth has taken place because of women?

    As I look back at American history, I note that there were issues for which thinking changed little for generations. In 1920, when women got the vote, inevitably there was increased questioning of authority and tradition. Throughout my adulthood, I have observed that most men appear willing to take their chances with life as it comes. By contrast, many women take a favorable attitude toward statism. They know that the men in their lives will die or leave them, but the welfare state agencies will always be there.

    Reply this comment
  19. Nancy Lewis
    Nancy Lewis 18 October, 2012, 12:25

    CHP Sergeant Kimberley Abercrombie, was CHP officer Michael Walling and CHP officer Stephen Coffman’s boss in charge of thier overtime and time cards. CHP Walling and Coffman were found guilty of excessive use of force,battery, and intent to kill Joey Pinasco in Stockton,Ca,federal court in Sacramento CA. Feb. 2012. They both made large amounts of overtime at the end of their shift. And then paid days off, and more overtime for investagations!
    Their Sergeant Abercrombie made $137,871.81 in the year of 2008. The same year Joey was shot over 24 times by CHP walling and Coffman.

    In the year 2011 Sergeant Ambercrombie made $239,509.11!! What would make her salary almost double!! this is all posted in Saramento Bee. Cops should not be rewarded for their corrupt behavior!! Officer Walling is now a Sergeant in the SanJose area. What is our liability having these two officers still working? What will happen when they make something else happen? Just pray that its not your son!!!!

    Reply this comment

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