Published in the Sacramento Bee, Sept. 26, 2013
Re “Veto bill, let courts contract out in dire times” (Editorials, Sept. 24): Contrary to the editorial, Assembly Bill 566 doesn’t prevent contracting out. It requires accountability. Courts must show they will really save taxpayers’ money when they do it, just like cities, counties, schools and libraries must.
If such oversight had been in place earlier we could have avoided wasting half a billion dollars on the Computing Center Management System (CCMS) boondoggle and more on the Airport Courthouse in Long Beach, along with a 33 percent cut in the court budget since 2009. Those are why the courts face “dire times.” The Judicial Council is the only state agency in California not subject to open government laws and they want to keep it that way. If the bureaucrats there weren’t so arrogant and unaccountable, the court’s unions wouldn’t have to be the ones standing up for the public’s right to have the judiciary’s money spent wisely and transparently.
— Debra O. Pearson, Fremont, president of SEIU Local 1021 Alameda court workers