August 31, 2014
Ukiah Daily Journal
I was pleasantly surprised to read the Opinion Section of the UDJ on August 17 when you touched upon the un-responses provided by our local government officials to the pointed and revealing reports published by the County Grand Jury this year. A few days later, Jonathan Meadowbrook in his column "It's All Good" followed up with even more criticism of the officialdom denials in their responses to these reports..
If only the public would realize that the County Grand Jury consists of 19 volunteer citizens whose sole purpose is to look out for the rights and protection of all others in the county by reviewing and investigating the operations of the local governments. Of particular importance is that the Grand Jury functions under the jurisdiction of the Superior Court. Especially in this day of government distrust, the unique authority to delve into the intricacies of local government to see that the interests of the public are being rightly served should be appreciated and defended by all.
Unfortunately, the reports stir little fanfare in the media and limited publication leaves few people with knowledge of the important findings and recommendations contained in these works. It is the officialdom that, when exposed by some of these reports, reply with non-responsive denials and excuses that are intended to mute the need for corrective action. The CEO even contracted with a Bay Area law firm to assist in her denials while others respond with statements such as "the number come from the County Auditor therefore they must be correct." Or, "the Grand Jury doesn't understand." And, "People lie", etc.
I encourage the public to read these reports and become aware of the findings made by the Grand Jury during its several year- long investigations. Some copies of the reports are available at the individual libraries and some governmental offices. But the reports and responses of the officialdom are readily available online at www.co.mendocino.ca.us/grandjury/ web site. Read the reports and then read the responses and make your own conclusions as to what should be done.
— Don Howard, Ukiah