August 4, 2020 Executive Committee Meeting Minutes-Via Zoom

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Member/Alternates Only Meeting

Virtual meeting via ZOOM


Present:   Deborah Barmack, Peter Barmack, Carole Beswick, Mike Burrows, Ken Coate, Kevin Dyerly, Louis Goodwin, Mark Kaenel, Lowell King, Pam Langford, Bill Lemann, P.T. McEwen, John Mirau, Dan Murphy, Vikki Ostermann, Dan Roberts, Kristine Scott, Paul Shimoff and Ray Wolfe.

Guests:  Matt Knox, Supervisor Dawn Rowe, John Sobel and Georgine Trujillo.

Announcements:  1) An additional item for discussion today (AB 1253) will be introduced by Paul Shimoff.

Motion by L. Goodwin/Second by K. Coate/Passed:  Minutes from June 30, 2020.

Kristine Scott, Past Chair presiding.
There will be two initiatives regarding the San Bernardino County Supervisors on the ballot this November:

  • County Charter Reform (proposed and supported by the County Supervisors)
  • San Bernardino County Supervisor Compensation Reduction and Term Limit Initiative (proposed and supported by Red Brennan Group)

Charter Reform
Supervisor Dawn Rowe explained that the goal in Charter Reform was to develop a set of reforms that would modernize the 107-year-old document by removing outdated language and incorporate proven good governance practices.  The following items are included in the proposed reform:

  • Allow the Board of Supervisors to call for special elections to fill Supervisorial vacancies and to remove the Governor’s authority to make appointments to fill such vacancies
  • Require the Board of Supervisors to create a Redistricting Commission to redraw boundaries of supervisorial districts every 10 years (ensures public process)
  • Protect campaign finance rules and enforcement of those rules (forces lobbyist transparency)
  • Limit County Supervisors to a total of three four-year terms (closing a loophole)
  • Limit and fix Supervisor salaries to 80% of the salary of Superior Court Judges and require public hearings for any effort to change Supervisor salaries and benefits (a $30K reduction in salary)
  • Require the Board of Supervisors to publicly review County Health Officer orders
  • Replace gender-specific references to reflect gender diversity
  • Require the Board of Supervisors to adopt rules of order for its meetings e.g. Roberts’ Rules of Order

San Bernardino County Supervisor Compensation Reduction and Term Limit Initiative
A change in term limits and compensation is proposed.

  • County Supervisors would have a single 4-year term limit (reduction from three consecutive 4-year terms)
  • Maximum compensation changed to $60,000.00 per year (reduction from $180,000.00)

As both initiatives are on the same ballot there are valid concerns for voter confusion.  Voters may vote “yes” on both initiatives.  If both pass, which ever gets the most votes will prevail.

Both initiatives were discussed.  Voters will typically embrace reductions in government and salaries.   Education and clear information are needed on the effects of a drastic salary cut for the Supervisors.  Long term consequences may include:

  • Reduction of quality candidates
  • Limiting potential candidates to those that can afford this level of compensation (reduced to the wealthy)
  • Much more responsibility will be placed on staff (who are not elected) to run the County
  • Limits representation in geographically massive districts due to long commute times. Typically, the larger districts also have the greatest need for representation as they have many more unincorporated areas.

A coalition has been forming to combat the Red Brennan Group’s initiative.  The coalition continues to look for partners and currently has support from labor unions, developers, and realtors.  The budget for the coalition is $1M.  The group has already raised $250K but expect that number to increase to $750K by the end of August.  They need grass root support.  They will supply talking points to support their position and ask associations and friends to use text, e-mail, phone communication to “get the word out”.

A Q & A period followed.
Guests were excused.

Inland Action has not been asked to join the coalition opposing San Bernardino County Supervisor Compensation Reduction and Term Limit Initiative.

The Committee members agreed that Inland Action “in-person” meetings should not resume until the County has been removed from the state COVID-19 “watch list”.

A letter of support has been requested for the California State Transportation Agency Secretary David Kim for various SBCTA projects: Xpress West, Boring Co. And Zero Emission Multiple Units.  An example letter was screen shared with the meeting participants.  Discussion ensued.
Motion by P. Langford/Second by D. Roberts: A drafted letter will be sent via e-mail to the membership.

AB 1253 was summarized by Paul Shimoff.  The proposed legislation intends to add 3 additional layers of tax to high income earners.  The proposed tax increase would be effective immediately and would mean some in the top tier would have a combined federal and state tax rate of 54%.
Motion by L. Goodwin/Second by R. Wolfe: The Executive Committee recommends opposing AB 1253.

Meeting adjourned at 9:00 a.m.