Updated: Jan 21
Thank you to our note-taker for this meeting - Mason Taylor!
Mason chose to report back on the discussion surrounding items 25 & 26 from the Public Safety and Justice consent item section, along with the discussion around item 48, which was a declaration by the County that “Meeting In Person Would Present Imminent Risk To The Health And Safety Of Attendees” (language pulled from the BOS agenda for that particular item).
The Spectacular BOS Chair, Sue Frost, opened with comments. She shared that when people ask what the BOS is doing to combat homelessness, her response is: “it’s complicated.” Which is just incredibly insightful.
Items 25 & 26 were regarding increasing funding for the Sheriff's Department, a famously underfunded department (this is sarcastic btw). Item 25 was a request from the department to add 1 full time Sheriff Records Officer, for the low low asking price of $97,124. Item 26 was a request for Board approval of the Sacramento Sheriff's Office to use $700,000 it had received from the national and state Equitable Sharing Programs (these programs dole out forfeited property to participating departments).
Serna made some good points in his comments. He stated - regarding the fact that mid-year budget adjustments require a supermajority vote of the board - “I’m a little concerned” about a mid-year budget increase when they [the Sheriff’s Department] have a pretty substantial chunk of the general fund already.
(Sacramento County Sheriff, Scott Jones, pictured below)
He also asked for more information, stating/asking “To what degree do we scrutinize these requests… about whether or not their general fund appropriation can… how can they use what has been appropriated.”
The responses given were that: “they are reviewed carefully” (these budget increase requests), and that “it’s a product of that working relationship” (between the Sheriff’s office and the Board/Executive team).
Serna asked to push the item to 2:00 pm and see if there is a representative from the Sheriff’s department to explain the nature of this request..
Nottoli stated (in regard to the request to add a Sheriff Records Officer): “once the position is added, is it added permanently or only under this contract?... because this is a new position.”
Serna commented to the county executive that some transparency around continuing use of ARPA funding was needed.
Sue Frost had some really classic Frosty Sue comments on item 48 (which she supported with reservations). Please find a list of them below:
“We’ve been in a state of emergency for a year and a half now… we have many boards that have to continue operating. I want to make a point, over 95% of people survive COVID… there are more people that die from car accidents than COVID, there are treatments… in other countries they are using vitamin C and D… the PCR test is not a diagnostic test, a physician will tell you, you have to examine that person, you have to show that they have symptoms to diagnose COVID.”
Frost also said that the CDC sent out an alert that changed the way that death certificates were created throughout the pandemic, and she thinks this might have inflated the number of Covid-related deaths on record. “We know now that the Covid vaccine doesn’t prevent you from getting covid,” she said, “[it’s] causing divisiveness between our people… I want to ask this board if we can conduct an investigation of the CDC and the science… to get a better understanding… It goes to our medical freedom and economic freedom”.
Frost requested a resolution that our attorney general has a grand jury investigation of the CDC. She said, “along the way I’ve requested verification of the science and haven’t understood the data… I want to go on record that I am still questioning the data. I’m going to be actively advocating for transparency and to get to the bottom of what is the truth about the numbers and the pandemic, and what can we do to get people to understand that there are treatments… we just need to set the doctors free to practice medicine.”
Serna’s response to this was: “I disagree whole-heartedly with everything the chair has stated.” Serna wanted to make clear that when a chair goes on a long monologue, it can be misconstrued as a reflection of the whole board’s opinion, but he “couldn’t disagree more.” Also, the idea that we should be investigating the CDC is “beyond me.”
Kennedy commented that the board already supported the idea of using “science as a guiding light and not political rhetoric,” and he agreed with Serna. “I continue to support the resolution we passed on a 4:1 Vote... the grand jury has no jurisdiction over the CDC.”
Frost continued “The censorship that we have experienced since the beginning of this whole COVID thing is… it’s incredible. I need to say what’s on my mind, and I think it’s important. I was a nurse… I watch what’s going on in the world… If I’m wrong, great. I want to get to the truth. If we live in a free America, we need to be able to test science and test truth. I’m a free American, I want to stay that way.”
A caller for item 48 (Gabrielle Ingram) stated “we’re going into winter where it’s normally a rampant flu season, you’ve got Covid… [referencing how medical professionals are being required to get vaccinated] if the situation was so severe, couldn’t we not afford to let medical professionals go?” “[Sue is] saying she’s got doctors calling her… let’s hold a town hall and listen to the counter science.”
One caller said he wasn’t planning on commenting on this item until “Sue opened her dumb mouth.” He continued, “Some of you are delusional enough to think that your right to comfort supersedes the rest of our rights to basic safety… just to be clear, if you’re wrong it doesn’t just look bad on you, it means hundreds of thousands of people die… because your personal freedoms… because they make you uncomfortable… If this county is interested in doing investigations, let’s investigate the chair’s connection to anti-vaxxers and the proud boys.”
Following the cash
A salary adjustment of $700,000 for the Sheriff's expenses was requested, and a salary amendment to add an additional Sheriff's records officer at $97,124 annually. The Board is unclear from the staff whether this will be a permanent position, ongoing. The Board requested to wait to consider these items (25 & 26) in the hopes that a representative from the Sheriff's office can answer questions and give more background as to why they cannot make due with the already massive piece of the general budget that their department consumes. Mason (our notetaker) could not find any evidence of the Supes following up with these items at the 2p meeting the following day (10/20). Did you see something we missed? Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Why is this important?
SJPC readers should be aware that the level of misinformation and lack of trust in the work of the CDC, coming specifically from Supervisor Frost, undermines our ability to recover and repair equitably from the impacts of the pandemic. On one hand, Frost is throwing around half-baked ideas like having the attorney general or a "grand jury" investigate the CDC and confirm the validity of their medical and statistical data, but then in the next sentence she is asking that we release medical professionals to be able to practice medicine again. So which is it? Do we only trust physicians or the CDC when the data tells the story that gets us re-elected? Or, do we stand resolute in our decision to trust experts, stepping out of the way when something is outside of our scope?