Jul 3, 2017

We do not need another Sacramento mandate that dictates how we govern our county or that impedes our ability to deliver high-quality and cost-effective services to local residents.”

The County of Humboldt sent a letter recently to the legislature signaling its strong opposition to Assembly Bill 1250 (Jones-Sawyer).  AB 1250, at its core, seeks to stop counties from contracting with community-based organizations (CBOs), nonprofits, local businesses and other private providers of quality local services that counties and their residents rely on. 

This is significant because Humboldt County routinely contracts with organizations and businesses that have the expertise, capacity or the ability to deliver services more efficiently.
AB 1250 has passed the Assembly and will be heard in the Senate Governance and Finance Committee on Wednesday.
“The constraints contained within AB 1250 will jeopardize our ability to provide vital health care, social services, mental health and public safety services for our county’s most vulnerable,” said Virginia Bass, chair of the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors. “We routinely contract for homeless housing services, food and nutrition benefits, children and family services, and so much more.”
Proponents of the bill claim it won’t limit contracting with non-government groups, but the clear intent of AB 1250 is to prohibit these private contracts. The bill imposes significant new restrictions and layers of bureaucracy designed to stop counties from contracting for local services.
For instance, the bill requires CBOs, nonprofits and local businesses to disclose personal information about its employees and officers, including salary and other private information. This not only raises significant privacy concerns, but it will chill private sector’s willingness to enter into contracts with counties to provide services. It also requires contractors to disclose extensive information on a monthly basis. These auditing and review requirements could create unnecessary gaps and delays in service delivery that can pose detrimental outcomes for the people benefiting from these programs.
By restricting counties’ abilities to provide services in the most cost-effective manner, AB 1250 will also increase costs for taxpayers and reduce funding available for other local services. For many fundamental programs, it will not be a matter of who will provide the service but if they can even be offered at all.
“The role of local government is to determine the most effective way to deliver critical services in our communities,” said Bass, who is also 2nd Vice President of the California State Association of Counties (CSAC). “We do not need another Sacramento mandate that dictates how we govern our county or that impedes our ability to deliver high-quality and cost-effective services to local residents.”


  1. Reporting requirements are a pain, but there is currently close to zero accountability with regard to grants to NGOs for social services. That system is rife with backscratching and cronyism. Grant-supported "anti-crime" and "career training" programs in Oakland hired people with criminal records who were still in the life. Nobody required oversight or accountability for results.

  2. being we're in an isolated, extremely rural area w/a low population that's spread out & scattered, we have a reliance upon CBOs, nonprofits and local businesses.

    please no more bureaucracy.

    there will always be backscratching and cronyism, i'm afraid to say. it's the way of mankind all over the world, i'm sad to say.

    weeding out the "problem child"; contractor(s) or individual(s) who do poor jobs i think is a better idea, while those doing their contracted duties well should be able to flourish & grow.

    ya, in a perfect world.
    ya, when firing the wife's nephew is easy.
    ya, when "bureaucracy" is no longer tolerated as the way to run things.

    "All public employees should be demoted to their immediately lower level, as they have been promoted until turning incompetent".
    José Ortega y Gasset

  3. Using Oakland as an example...sorry, even Jerry Brown when he was mayor couldn't change the corruption culture there. Even a later mayor couldn't do things right (http://www.wmlawyers.com/2017/02/bay-areas-latest-political-scandal-distracted-driving-mayor/ ) & she wasn't reelected.
    Yes, there are some groups which should have more oversight but there are also many who are doing great jobs and are respected by those they work with.
    I would trust locals to know more about what's going on than i would trust some faceless bureaucrat who would hide in Sacramento making decisions which affect the lives of so many. Do you read all the local blogs and such? Even if I don't agree with some of them I still want to know what they think could be happening...and do my own research.
    California does NOT need another level of bureaucracy, and where would the money come from to fund this work? Adding to the state budget AND its future indebtedness for pensions and benefits.
    If a group is a nonprofit registered with the Sec of State and the AG then you have a direct recourse to observe (their tax statements & other filings) and report (to the AG).
    Don't pass the buck to someone else.

  4. I wanted to know more about the bill and came across this older report: