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Smart Voter
Sonoma County, CA November 2, 2010 Election
Measure N
Civil Service Ordinance Amendment
County of Sonoma

Majority Approval Required

Pass: 87,550 / 59.6% Yes votes ...... 59,440 / 40.4% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Jan 6 3:01pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (397/397)
Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments |

Shall the Sonoma County Civil Service Ordinance be amended to provide that the director of human resources be appointed by the Board of Supervisors and to add the director of human resources to the list of unclassified employees?

Impartial Analysis from County Counsel
The County of Sonoma has a civil service ordinance which was adopted in 1950 by initiative. The ordinance provides for a Civil Service Commission, which establishes rules to implement the purposes of the ordinance. The civil service rules set out procedures that must be followed in the event of employee discipline or layoffs to protect employees in the classified service. Changes to the ordinance require voter approval, unless the ordinance specifically permits such changes without voter approval. For example, in 1994 the ordinance was amended by the voters to allow the Board of Supervisors to change the status of appointed department heads from classified (subject to civil service protection) to unclassified (not subject to civil service protection).

As currently written, the ordinance provides that the director of personnel must be appointed by the Civil Service Commission, and specifically provides that the director of personnel shall be in the classified (protected) service. The amendment would change the appointing authority from the Civil Service Commission to the Board of Supervisors, and would change the position from classified to unclassified, consistent with the status of other county department heads. The amendment would also change all references to the "director of personnel" to the "director of human resources," since the personnel department has been renamed the department of human resources.

If a majority of the voters voting on this measure vote "yes," the measure will be adopted. Otherwise, the measure will fail and the ordinance will remain unchanged.


By: s/ Kathleen Larocque Deputy County Counsel

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Arguments For Measure N
Measure N updates the County Civil Ordinance adopted in 1950 to give the Board of Supervisors the ability to directly appoint the Human Resources Director.

The Director of Human Resources is the only department head not appointed by authority of the Board of Supervisors except for elected department heads. This means the person with the responsibility for labor negotiations, employee benefits, and training and development of the County's more than 3,800 full time equivalent employees is not directly accountable to the Board of Supervisors.

Measure N will align the County's personnel system with a proven practice that is already in use throughout the state. A practice where the Board of Supervisors appoints and holds accountable the Human Resources Director.

In these difficult financial times, we all understand the need for efficient, effective, and accountable government. Measure N improves accountability by ensuring a key member of the management team is answerable to the Board. As your elected representatives, this ability will bolster our management of the County organization to deliver a wide variety of public services through a dedicated and talented workforce.

We respectfully request your support for Measure N.

s/ Valerie Brown, Chairwoman First District Supervisor
s/ Efren Carrillo, Vice Chair Fifth District Supervisor
s/ Shirlee Zane, Chair Pro Tem Third District Supervisor
s/ Paul Kelley Fourth District Supervisor
s/ Mike Kerns Second District Supervisor

(No arguments against Measure N were submitted)

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Created: January 6, 2011 15:01 PST
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