The county continues to raise salaries of employees without collecting back taxes that are long over due on property, 4.2 Million in Pot Taxes for 297 pot growers going back to 2018, and without adding the estimated 25 percent of properties in the county that are not yet on the tax rolls. Not one new assessor has been hired to raised taxes on the unassessed.
Yet the rest of us are expected to pay sales, property, hospital, fire, and library taxes faithfully. It is time the. Tax collector start collecting or we ought to vote her out of office. If she needs more people in her office to collect taxes, you must fill the seats. Because without revenue coming in, roads fall into disrepair and so do the mentally ill.
Mendocino County Observer
• POB 490, Laytonville, CA 95454 • Tel.: 707-984-6223 • email: email@example.com •
March 27, 2023
To: The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors
Subject: Mendocino County Ordinance No. 4507, “CPRA Ordinance”
For the past seven months subsequent to the Board of Supervisors approving Ordinance No. 4507 (“CPRA Ordinance”), the Board has been faced with challenges regarding the legality of the Ordinance from media organizations, good government groups, county residents, and at least one Supervisor, John Haschak.
The crux of the dispute is whether the Ordinance’s provisions relative to record duplication fees comply with the California Public Records Act (CPRA).
The CPRA specifies that, “Copies of records may be obtained for the direct cost of duplication, unless the Legislature has established a statutory fee. The direct cost of duplication includes the pro rata expense of the duplicating equipment utilized in making a copy of a record and, conceivably, the pro rata expense in terms of staff time (salary/benefits) required to produce the copy. A staff person’s time in researching, retrieving and mailing the record is not included in the direct cost of duplication.”
The courts have ruled that, “The direct cost of duplication is the cost of running the copy machine, and conceivably also the expense of the person operating it. ‘Direct cost’ does not include the ancillary tasks necessarily associated with the retrieval, inspection and handling of the file from which the copy is extracted.”
In direct contravention of the CPRA’s unambiguously restrictive fee-setting phrase, the “direct costs of duplication,” Ordinance 4507 unlawfully permits the County to include in record duplication fees, costs for, among other things, staff time spent searching, researching, reviewing and redacting records.
Supervisor Haschak, who originally voted with his colleagues to approve the Ordinance, has since had a change of mind regarding his vote. He stated that while in attendance at a recent California State Association of Counties (CSAC) conference, he learned that while counties are legally allowed to recover the direct costs of document reproduction, those costs cannot include the ancillary time of staff spent on non-reproduction tasks.
Supervisor Haschak now advocates for the repeal of the Ordinance.
I believe the foregoing summary fairly captures the core of the dispute surrounding this Ordinance.
I could go on at length amplifying the narrative and legal arguments, but I believe most of us at this time have enough familiarity with the issue that it’s unnecessary to do so.
Therefore, I respectfully request that the Board of Supervisors, as soon as possible, place on a meeting agenda an item to rescind/repeal Ordinance No. 4507, the so-called “CPRA Ordinance.”
Thank you for your consideration of this most important matter.
Editor & Publisher
Mendocino County Observer
I oppose the marijuana tax amnesty