California is a tinderbox, regularly a source of conflagration aided by misguided land management and obscene budgets. Here are quotes from email discussion participants on different subjects, that when presented together paint a sad picture of the state.
* From someone who thankfully evacuated safely from the recent Northern California fires – pictures of the burned out Fire Station and comment:
“The untold story is about the undone and untimely fire suppression, fueling the firestorm. This was the same fire as the 1964 Hanley fire, when no one died. But, today’s safety budgets put only a fraction of safety personnel on the job for the appropriation. Instead, there are obscene salaries and pensions consuming the budget. The people who perished in Coffee Park were burned by the fire that started two hours earlier and 18 miles away.”
* From someone who follows the state’s budgets, especially salaries and pensions:
“I understand the state has a legal mandate to funnel 40% of state income taxes to the educational/UC system. In reality, they are getting over 55% of taxes now. The educrats are enjoying criminally luxurious compensation because of this, while students also get to go into debt paying tuition for nothing more in return. A colleague sent this article below out, what I believe is representative of California’s government problems. Please put this link up on any blogs, mailing lists you may have.”
From the article in question:
“Officials in the University of California president’s office improperly interfered with a state audit of UC finances, instructed campuses not to ‘air dirty laundry’ in an audit survey, and misled the regents about why they did it, according to an investigative report reviewed Tuesday by The Chronicle….
…The overall audit [preceding the survey audit] found that the president’s office had accumulated $175 million in funds it hadn’t disclosed to the public, had paid its staff far higher than comparable state employees, and had relied on weak budget practices that kept the regents unclear about how money was spent.”
* Let’s connect some dots, and vote responsibly when requests for funds are on the ballot.