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Q&A Time

I have been asked a number of questions about my thoughts on a variety of issues. Today, I begin answering them. Throughout the campaign I will continue to post Q&As as I receive them.

March 22, 2022

Brendan Ruddis

Everyone else that has retail business that rents say it costs too much and not enough costumers. So my question is how can you help them out and if so how do they get a hold of you?

John Redding

My main response is at the end. Please bear with me.

Retail rents should reflect the value of the space, not what the owner feels entitled to which is bad business. I favor a rental agreement with a base amount and then add-ons that would increase the rent based upon the revenue of the business owner. Let the many business owners collectively bargain for this type of rent.

The County can help offset rental costs by more frequently changing the market value of property upon which property taxes are based, provided the savings are passed along to renters. It would work both ways, meaning it could go up, but at least the property tax would align with business cycles.

The County can help businesses succeed by reducing regulatory and tax burdens that make it more difficult to start or stay in business. And make darn sure the county employees who interact with business owners do so promptly and efficiently compared to the lack of attention that currently exists.

Business owners are suffering from lack of customers, as you say. This is the result of a County without a thriving economy that creates more consumer buying power and new jobs which creates new consumers. Economic development will generate the resources needed to make our communities more attractive to not only businesses but tourists who shop in our retail stores. A growing economy throws off money needed to develop water storage projects, bring Broadband to more people, keep our roads in good shape, and so on.

The status quo is not sustainable. We either grow or wither away which is already happening at an alarming rate. I intend to make economic development, i.e., investing in our County a top priority.

Anna Stockel asked the following questions on March 15, 2022

1. The government org chart and in particular who reports to the CEO and the CEO's decision-making power.

There is a debate regarding the CEO vs the CAO model. If the CEO model means, as I understand it, that the Supervisors have no significant role in decision making whereas the CAO model suggests that they do. I am in favor of a working BOS so that would mean I favor the CAO model. The last 18 months I have been the effective CFO of the healthcare District. That hands on experience helped me to acquire a fundamental understanding how the District operates. That in turn helps me make much better policy choices.

March 15, 2022

2. The CEO and deputy CEO, their salaries compared to other counties, their duties, reports to the BOS.

I have never been fond of setting executive salaries by doing the equivalent of comps for homes. There should be a base salary and then add-ons for meeting goals the further the interest of the public.

March 15, 2022

3. Mendocino County's lawsuit against Sheriff Kendall.

The call for auditing the Sheriff’s office is best understood in terms of the concurrent Defund Police movement. I don’t believe the requested audit was strictly financial but was to be a full audit of policies and procedures with the intent perhaps to transform the operation of the Sheriff’s department. The Sheriff rightfully resisted and this led to a clash between Ted Williams and the Sheriff. It was, in my opinion, pure gamesmanship to underfund the Sheriff’s department and then express outrage over “excessive” costs. (The County should take care of its own excessive spending and not worry about the Sheriff.) The lawsuit was more gamesmanship. To me, this petty rivalry shows that the Board of Supervisors are not serious people doing serious work. This view was later reinforced when the Board unwisely combined the Auditor and Treasurer so that it would have one less elected official with which to deal.

March 15, 2022

4. Funding for the Mendocino Sheriff's Department.

I would use zero based budgeting every year to fund the Sheriff’s department with a healthy contingency allowance included. I would also encourage the Sheriff in every way possible to reduce overtime which is always a budget killer. A lot of the problems between the Sheriff and the Board result from a distrust of each other. I am a big fan on luncheon meetings and would make a regular habit of having lunch with the Sheriff.

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John Redding

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