Aug 26, 2010

$500,000 (Show Me The Money)

In this article on the SET Political Review, Philip R. Klein writes:
Well...the Review has been taking a look at the budget. And it seems there are some little hidden secrets and a study four years ago that seemingly tells the story of where the fat goes in Jefferson County, Texas. And where can it be found? Well.....in fuel?

The Southeast Texas Political Review has found that almost $500,000, that is a half a million dollars, could be saved by the county if it stopped using patrol cars for take home cars and private security jobs. Yes - you heard it here first - Jefferson County Deputies are using patrol cars for private security work. Meaning they are using Taxpayer Money and Taxpayer cars for private security work.

Well, how much? Well the Deputies make around $25 to $40 per hour doing private security work while OFF DUTY. And the fuel to get them there - the car to get them there - and the wear and tear of the car including fuel usage at events is all paid by you and me.


Now adding insult to injury - the practice is forbidden by every single police agency in Southeast Texas with the exception of......you guessed it....Port Arthur. Where officers can check out a unit for a private security job if it is in the city of Port Arthur. If not - well.....just take a cruise down Highway 366 early in the morning and late in the afternoon and you will see what we are talking about.
Klein lied about seeing the budget, since his evidence is a bad photo of a page from a five-year-old document available free to the public, not an actual page with fuel costs from the Jefferson County 2010-2011 Budget. Show me the money, Philip. Klein is currently involved in another lawsuit with similar circumstances.

In a previous statement, PRK publicly admitted that he doesn't know how to read a county budget:
Well - the Marine Division - which is the Jefferson County Navy - a part of the Jefferson County Sheriffs Department. Why this is not a part of the SO budget...well we do not know.
Read the "Dirty Secrets of Jefferson County Part 1" here, although there was never a sequel.

Philip is confused about funding
for a department in the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office; likewise, his claim of finding fuel savings in the county budget is impossible, since one needs gas pump and vehicle usage records that are not included.

Instead, PRK's claim is based on this formula from the Klein School of Idionomics, with numbers purportedly taken from the 2005 MGT Performance Review:
So we took the MGT study and applied to units and each car driving around 50 miles a day at five days for off duty jobs - including stall time where units simply sit there. And guess what? We got a whopper - $500,000 in fuel and costs to maintain the fleet for private security jobs in Jefferson County.
Deep thoughts: "We took the MGT study and applied to units driving around 50 miles a day for off duty jobs."

Fact check:
Fuel costs for law enforcement was not addressed in the MGT Performance Review. See for yourself.  Show me the money, Philip.

Instead, Philip provided a bad photo of a page from this report, with these underlined sentences taken out of context:
Administrative staffing and expenditures for the offices of the commissioners and county judge appear to be high when compared to peer counties. Jefferson County’s commissioners and county judge should reduce their administrative staffing by at least four employees, for an annual savings of about $160,000.

The county has no long-range strategic plan to guide its operations. Only the county judge’s office has a formal strategic plan.

Jefferson County should establish a countywide strategic planning and budgeting function, and develop a long-range strategic plan based on input from all county departments and employees.
Philip's conclusion:
We particularly enjoyed the comments where the only long term planning process was being performed by the county judges office - and not the entire county. Hmmm....who was the county judge at the time of the report? Was it Walker? No - it was GRIFFITH.

As well, this one page shows how out of control government was back in 2006 and how porked up it was. Now - and again - we are going to lay off police officers because nobody wants to give up the pork? Really? Are the county fathers that set in their ways.
Especially note that PRK admitted taking one page out of context. From another page in the MGT Performance Review:
In Jefferson County, each constable has a staff of five to ten individuals. (Page 7-38)
The county’s six constables’ offices experienced an overall decrease in workload between 2002 and 2004, yet their staffing levels generally remained constant and their funding rose. Furthermore, the constables’ workload is not distributed evenly; Precinct 8, for instance, with the highest staffing, had the second-lowest workload of all precincts. Eliminating one constable and redistributing the workloads would allow the county to save about $116,000 annually. (Page ES-7)
Quoting Philip, "What does this mean in our simple little words that you the taxpayer uses?"

This means the MGT Management and Performance Review recommended eliminating a Constable's office because of decreased workloads, and that Philip R. Klein has a simple little mind.

Inconsistencies within the The MGT Management and Performance Review are obvious. While Judge Griffith purportedly had a strategic plan, the review found that:
Indeed, the initial planning for Ford Park is an indication of what can happen without a formal strategic plan. Because the county did not have longterm goals for the park, last minute design changes resulted in additional costs. The lack of a strategic plan continues to plague operations of Ford Park. Although the economic downturn has severely hurt Ford Park operations, the lack of direction and mission for the park have left the county unprepared to deal with the financial issues impacting park operations.
Apparently, Judge Griffith's master plan consisted of "Build it, they will come."

4 comments :

Anonymous said...

It is my understanding, that the vehicles Klein uses, are purchased by the plant. The plant pays for cars, puts on all the stickers, then eventually will donate cars to city. Sounds like a good deal for the city of Port Arthur.

Anonymous said...

vehicles he is talking about in article, not uses. oooops

Anonymous said...

Count on Phil: he'll always be the first to spread misinformation. And don't wait for a retraction because it'll never come.

Gus Pillsbury said...

Thanks to the reader who caught the typo in my title! Philip is claiming a savings of $500,000, not $50,000 as I originally wrote.