Wednesday, June 15, 2011

El Dorado grand jury urges volunteer citizen reviews of operations

By Carlos Alcalá
Published: Wednesday, Jun. 15, 2011 - 12:00 am | Page 2B

El Dorado County should make use of private volunteers in evaluating the efficiency of government operations, the 2010-2011 grand jury wrote in sections of its report released Tuesday.

The full report was supposed to be released in tandem with the regular Board of Supervisors meeting, but it was pulled back due to production errors, according to Steve Baker, foreman for the grand jury.

The full report, to be released at the June 21 supervisors' meeting, will include matters that are "more controversial and more consequential," Baker said.

He said it would be inappropriate to talk about the sections released Tuesday, as he felt their release was premature.

However, the report's recommendations included suggestions that the county Chief Administrative Office needs to create a clear statement of operating principles and create review teams to evaluate whether departments are meeting those principles.

The report called for inclusion of private citizens with appropriate expertise in the teams' deliberations, while recognizing the potential for conflicts of interest.

"It is time for county government to reach out and incorporate in a very practical way the substantial and relevant experience and expertise of the very community it is intended to serve," the report said.

In addition, the report – in the six sections released Tuesday – recommended closer attention to waste and abuse in the county's plan for prescription drug care and greater attention to security involving patients placed on psychiatric hold, in the wake of the March 2010 death of mental patient Linda Carol Clark, who was shot and killed by police after stealing an ambulance.

The released sections also cover proper use of the supervisors' consent calendar, improved customer services in the county's Development Services Department and potential savings in Sheriff's Office operations.

Potential Sheriff's Office cost savings could come from tightening policies on take-home vehicles and reducing duplicative phone service, the report said.

Read more:

No comments: