TOP TEN COSTS OF JOE HARN - Opinion
10. No leadership. As the El Dorado County (EDC) Controller, shouldn’t Harn be leading the charge to prepare strategic plans to maximize county resources? Joe’s version of being Controller is sitting in the back of the room and shooting spit wads at anyone who attempts to improve systems.
9. Joe Harn has a habit of sitting on (or losing) multimillion dollar claims. The cost of not processing claims to the State or Federal Government in a timely fashion can be huge. These delays also damage relationships with the associated agencies.
8. The cost of political power plays. Harn has figured out that it is easy to make a department head or county supervisor look bad. Harn is in charge of the funding of any operation and is in the perfect position to pick winners and losers. Joe creates fiscal logjams making it impossible for departments to pay claims or issue reports. This has gone on for years.
7. Vindictive personality has cost EDC millions in recruiting. Some departments have had almost annual turnover of department heads. Many times the turnover happens even when the department head is in good favor with the Board of Supervisors (BOS). Unfortunately, the quality employees figure out that the situation with Harn is untenable and find better employment elsewhere.
6. Overly cumbersome and antiquated procedures. The Auditor/Controller’s office can hide in the darkness of old systems that won’t provide tracking information or status updates. It’s obvious to any sophisticated review that Harn has not been in the private sector for a long time. Sometimes saving an accounting program that was written in the 80’s costs more than it saves.
5. Lack of collaboration and direction with departments. Joe Harn has adopted a unique interpretation of the title “Controller”. Unlike successful organizations that work to solve problems, Joe Harn has found it professionally advantageous to keep departments destabilized and fiscally dysfunctional. The excessive department staffing to manage Joe Harn’s power games costs EDC millions annually.
4. The cost of inaction. Many department heads have employed a “do-nothing” survival technique that keeps them off the Joe Harn radar. “If I don’t do anything, Harn can’t take me out.”
3. The “Joe Harn Factor”. This is the premium that EDC pays because vendors will typically only work for EDC once, or when a vendor does make a conscious decision to choose to work for EDC routinely, it adds a “Joe Harn Factor” into its contract amounts to account for late payments and unnecessary hassles. Conservative estimates of this impact are in the millions annually.
2. Human Resources (HR) claims. HR claims are typically settled off the record. Ask an EDC employee in confidence and they will tell you about the fire that is behind the smoke. This list will refrain from naming names.
1. Undermining the Board of Supervisors’ authority. Joe Harn accomplishes this by picking and choosing winners and losers.