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(Sarcasm Alert) The employees at environmental health - like many county employees - will make a decent salary and significant benefits including a generous retirement, healthcare, and healthcare payments for life. It's only fair that the county government pass the total costs they put in place with this structure and all the overhead on to the vendors who receive the service even though the vendors make a lot less than their public 'employees' - get no benefits - have no retirement plans - and generally have to scarp for every dime they make. They will pass the cost on to the buying public until they price themselves out of business.

That is the crux of the problem, when the powers that be decide those cost parameters they usually do so without regard to the fairness to the public's ability to pay. I'm always fascinated when the City Council or Supes get angry at the employees because they (the city or county) is going to have to raise the fees and they know the public will be angry. Don't the powers realize that they put this system in place? Perhaps we can't afford an environmental health department? If we can only justify one-third of a department by workload then perhaps we should be SHARING these services with other counties.

Comparing the fees to the fees in other counties is a sham. In the first place we do not have nearly the income of many counties either in total or per capita, second our small population pushes up the overhead rate, and third the other counties are using the same contaminated 'model' we are to set fees. There is no 'market' and only one supplier.

You know why we don't get enforcement of unauthorized street vendors (I see them weekly) THERE IS NO MONEY IN IT! The local governments will chase you to Siberia for a parking ticket, but if you are 'judgement proof' (broke) they just pass you by. This is simply short sighted and it's how third-world countries operate. A few years ago I was talking to a developer about our impact fees and why he won't build more here. He said, it's true, your impact fees are in line with those in Gilroy, but I can get 0,000 more for the same house if I build it in Gilroy. That sums it up.

Marty Richman

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