1995-1996 Santa Barbara County Grand Jury
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 10, 1996
Contact: Spencer Boise, Foreman
Phone (805) 568-2292
GRAND JURY FINDS FAULTS IN CONSOLIDATED DEPARTMENT
The 1995-96 Santa Barbara County Grand Jury released a report today pointing to numerous shortcomings in the management of the county’s Clerk-Recorder-Assessor Department. The Clerk-Recorder Department was consolidated with the Assessor office in 1993. The Grand Jury investigation focused primarily on the Appraisal Divisions, and did not include the Elections Division.
As part of the investigation, the Grand Jury interviewed more than 40 percent of the Appraisal Divisions’ personnel. The Grand Jury visited county Clerk-Recorder-Assessor offices in Santa Barbara, Lompoc and Santa Maria.
Among the Grand Jury findings:
The Grand Jury report recommended division managers meet with their employees on a regular schedule to help correct the negative perception that employees have of their current management. The report also recommended that the Board of Supervisors instruct the county Personnel Director to closely monitor promotion procedures and personnel actions taken by the Clerk-Recorder-Assessor Department for compliance with Civil Service Rules.
- A climate of distrust, discontent and disrespect for department managers is pervasive throughout the department.
- Many management problems identified by the 1988-89 Grand Jury regarding personnel hiring and promotions are still in existence, causing low employee morale. The report cited three instances of questionable personnel actions.
- The cost of administering the consolidated department is $379,364 higher than before consolidation, rather than resulting in predicted savings.
The report said Supervisors should reconsider the consolidation if the recommended 1996-97 follow-up Grand Jury report is still not favorable.
The full report is posted at on the Grand Jury’s World Wide Web page. Copies of the report are also available at the Superior Court Jury Services office at 1100 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, or call 568-3139.