Modoc-gate The Movie
If ever the captain of the ship was blasé in face of disaster, other than the infamous skipper of the Titanic, it has to be Modoc County’s chief administrative officer.
During the last two meetings of the Modoc County Board of Supervisors, CAO Rick Rudometkin has been less than anxious in reporting on the status of the county’s appeal to the state for financial help.
Two weeks ago Rudometkin almost forgot to make his report to the board, and this week he had little to add to a standing recital that the state is still considering the county’s proposal that the State Treasurer’s Office either make an outright loan of $14 million or underwrite it as security for a loan from California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS).
On the other hand, neither Rudometkin nor the board have publicly revealed exactly what they have proposed to the state. They even forgot to include the advisory ad hoc Monday Night Group in their last trip to Sacramento.
To his credit, Rudometkin did make one significant disclosure this week that went without comment by the supervisors or the public in attendance.
“The state is not allowing us to have any information,” he said. Which may be why Rudometkin has had little to report, but we doubt that statement considering the county is also in the habit of being less than open with the public when it comes to detailing its progress toward replacing $15 million of misappropriated funds to the treasury.
Examples to date:
In an attempt to elicit verifiable information about a variety of on-going fiscal subjects, the Modoc Independent News recently queried Chair Dan Macsay, out-going contract CFO Richard Arrow, freelance bond underwriter Ken Hedrick, financial consultant David Glasser and State Assemblyman Jim Nielsen -- without success.
Calls and e-mails were not immediately returned or, in the case of Hedrick and Macsay their responses were a rote “no comment.”
And when we filed a simple media query with Interim CAO and human resources director Pam Randall regarding the employment status of Glasser and Hedrick this was her reply:
“At this point in time, this is an ongoing process, all information will be brought out at the Board of Supervisors meetings.”
What the heck, we insist on remaining optimistic. Maybe when this fiscal fiasco is all over Hollywood will make a movie about it. We wonder, will Rudometkin play himself?
-- Ray A. March