Jan 022018

We’ve been pushing a consistent theme about Sheriff Stan Sniff, he did not plan to fail. He failed to plan. The 22% Increase in crime from 2015-2016 is a symptom of that.

Sheriff Stan Sniff whose Compensation Package is a staggering $335K+, who got a 20% raise while officers were getting pink slips had a priceless angle for a July 13, 2015 Press Enterprise article about the law enforcement budget:

Riverside County supervisors and Sheriff Stan Sniff continue to differ over the value of a planned review of the county’s public safety expenses, with supervisors calling it a fresh look to find savings and the sheriff blaming board-approved pay hikes for boosting his costs.

It appears that the Sheriff needs to be in control and while complaining about a shortage of resources he fought against an audit or a performance review. Said audit could potentially find millions in dollars that could be re-allocated.

The call for review arose amid complaints by the 17 cities with contracts for sheriff’s services over a 7 percent increase in their contract rates. Several cities have said contract costs are becoming hard to afford.

Ah hah, now that makes better sense. The cities that hire the Riverside Sheriff to be their police force were getting squeezed while the Sheriff keeps crying poor. The Sheriff? While raking in $335K+ himself is crying about the 2012 deal with the Sheriffs that the Riverside County Board Made.

“That reality is this: The county’s fiscal woes stem from a series of large, annual, compounding salary hikes granted by the county to labor unions over the past eight years – even during the recession and with no input from the department heads on the size and likely consequences of such disbursements at a time of slumping revenue,” he wrote.

Supervisors in 2012 agreed to raises in exchange for union concessions to quell what county officials said were unsustainable pension costs.

An audit “might help on the margins,” Sniff added. “Provided it is truly independent, objective and does not merely deflect attention from the elephant in the room. And that elephant, of course, is immovable: What can auditors do to alter personnel and labor costs – already fixed and determined by the county’s multiyear labor agreements – which directly account for 82 percent of the sheriff’s budget?”

Unlike the Sheriff, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors and the police negotiated a compromise and a long term contract that the Sheriff is disparaging. Further, the Sheriff was attacking the idea of an audit.

Apparently, the Sheriff Prefers to pay Time-and-a-half versus hiring more employees. Perhaps the “hiring freeze” is a negotiating ploy to cry poor?

Then supervisor John Taviglione chimed in and lit up the Sheriff:

Supervisor John Tavaglione said Sniff’s department, in the past three fiscal years, approved $18 million in overtime expenses.

Sheriff’s officials said overtime went up due to a hiring freeze and public safety realignment, which shifted responsibility for certain low-­‐level offenders from the state to counties.

Whoops. The hiring freeze was the Sheriff’s Idea. The Overtime was approved by the Sheriff.

Don’t worry, history repeats itself…

  One Response to “Sheriff Stan Sniff VS Riverside County – Scapegoating and Control: Hiring Freeze and Overtime Boomerang on the Sheriff”

  1. Let’s talk about these pay increases Stan always speaks of, he really needs new material…I’ll also discuss a couple Press EnterLIES articles…the articles I will be addressing are “Pay Raises driving up the sheriff’s contract rates” 5-28-17, PE Editorial Staff and “What do supervisors earn”, 7-01-17, Jeff Horseman.

    In the 5-28 article, Stan says the departments “labor/benefit costs have generally increased roughly 5 percent every year on average over this past decade.” Funny that is now 8%…While I agree that wages and benefits are the largest portion of the law enforcement budget, let me give you a little history. In 2011, the county unilaterally imposed a one year contract on RSA members to include a 5% pay cut, paying 5% of the employer contribution to PERS and a reduction in the flex benefit amount of approximately $220 per month. Depending on where a member sat on the pay scale, this affected RSA members an average of 14-19% decrease in wages and benefits.

    In the subsequent contract, RSA and the county agreed to a 4 year deal, that over the term of the contract, was worth approximately 22% overall in wage and benefit increases. As another stipulation of the contract, RSA members agreed to cover the remaining 4% of the employer contribution to PERS. To this day, RSA members pay between 9% and 12% of the total employer cost of the PERS contribution. So one can do the simple math that it is essentially a 3% increase in wages and benefits for a 5 year term. Additionally, the increases ceased in July 2015, meaning a member at the top step of a classification has not seen an increase since that time.

    Fast forward to July 2016, when the county and RSA sat to negotiate a new contract. RSA, wanting to be a partner with the county, did NOT come to the table asking for across the board wage increases. Quite the opposite, RSA was content with status quo for another 2 years.

    That brings me to the 7-01 article. Imagine the dismay felt when it is realized our supervisors are amongst the top paid in Southern California. Additionally, Stan makes more than his neighboring counterparts. While members of RSA make a good living, let’s put this in context, RSA ranks 7 of 11 in overall compensation when compared to other agencies within Riverside County. When compared to the 5 surrounding sheriff’s departments, RSA members rank 5 out of 6 in overall compensation.

    Despite the fact there have not been across the board wage and/or benefit increases in 2 years and RSA not asking for wage increases for another two years, It is disheartening, in the least, to learn that the hard working, law enforcement professionals of RSA are bearing the brunt for the county’s budget woes. Even as the cost of living, which affects everyone, is increasing on average of 2.3% a year.

    Let’s also talk about the fact that the 2nd floor played a major part in the imposition, despite Stan claiming he does not negotiate with RSA. He had his rep, Asst. Sheriff Raymond Gregory sitting in and the management concessions that they wanted, and imposed had Stan ALL OVER it. It seems that everything RSA had either won, in arbitration and/or settled due to an arbitrator/BOS/court decision he came after…The SWAT on call, disciplinary matrix, zipper clause. Funny, in mediation, when we were negotiating with the “county” and the mediator, it wasn’t the county (HR) sitting with the county’s attorney, it was Gregory…Gregory said that RSA used the zipper clause like a hammer…

    So, Stan crying wolf is a bunch of crap…Open up your books Stan…where are you hiding the money?

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