In three days David L. Baker accurately concluded that Ventura County government problems "are overwhelming and there is near financial crisis" and "I don't see the organizational awareness and commitment to improve the fiscal discipline required to turn the county around."
His critique pointed out that (1) county officials' fiscal policy cannot lead to balancing the books, and (2) county officials lack the political will and courage to do anything about it.
Responses by some long-time elected officials seem to discount the message and discredit the messenger. They spurn the challenge to change.
The public has a right to know the true fiscal and political health of Ventura County government and must rely on the press with its independent investigation to inform us.
For too long Ventura County elected posts have been handed on to appointed successors or held as permanent sinecures. Only term limits for all elected county officials would enable the sun to shine on their activities.
CHARLES J. MITCHELL
David L. Baker, with his less-than-one-week tenure here, should go down in history as the greatest chief administrative officer Ventura County has ever had. His early departure with a to-the-point resignation letter was really a class act. It definitely got his point across and touched a lot of nerves that needed touching.
The best thing the Board of Supervisors could do would be to go and find the man, thank him for the wake-up call and then offer him whatever it would take to get him back in the CAO's chair. He definitely has everybody's attention now and probably would be quite effective.
The second-best thing they could do is put up a life-size bronze statue of David L. Baker in the center court of the Ventura County Hall of Administration so that all concerned will remember his message every time they walk in and out of their towers of power, complication and over-regulation.