On the right track
Supervisor “Hap” Hazard stated in a recent reply (Feb. 11) to an Elizabeth Boyd letter (Feb. 4) “I receive only a salary with no employee benefits in my role as a Supervisor.”
Supervisor Hazard appears to intentionally cloud the focus of Ms. Boyd’s letter by going on to cite the questionable “dangerous” incidents he was involved in during his employment as a Deputy Sheriff. There is a question of credibility regarding these claims.
However, County records indicate our Supervisor’s receive a Board (BOS) base salary of $4,109 a month, a vehicle allowance of $790 per month, term life insurance (at an unknown cost), a generous travel allowance and approximately $450 a month if the County does not have to purchase health care insurance on their behalf. I can find no evidence that Hazard has ever “opted-out” of any of these BOS benefits.
Ironically, after Hazard denied receiving any BOS benefits, it appears he may be the only Supervisor receiving the healthcare reimbursement for employees who do not require health insurance. My understanding is the County’s recently stopped paying this benefit for the County workforce. Did the BOS also have it taken away?
In addition to his BOS salary and benefits, Hazard receives a Sheriff’s Department retirement of approximately $5,400 a month and a retirement health care benefit worth more than $1,000 a month. I intentionally low balled these figures so as not to over dramatize their effect.
Adding it up, Hazard’s total compensation, salary plus benefits, from his two PERS (Public Employees Retirement System) jobs (Sheriff’s and BOS) is conservatively estimated to be well in excess of $ 11,400 per month. Again, if Hazard has “opted out” of receiving any BOS benefits listed above, he needs to provide some supporting documentation and I will adjust my estimates accordingly.
Ms. Boyd possibly misrepresented some of the technical aspects of “double dipping,” but she was absolutely on the right track.
Mono County Assistant Sheriff (Ret.)
Editor’s Note: At Tuesday’s Mono County Board of Supervisors meeting, Hazard requested that Board members look at freezing their salaries to be “fair and equitable to employees.”
Big “A” or little “a”?
People sometimes wonder why flights can’t divert to Bishop Airport if they are unable to land at Mammoth Yosemite Airport (MMH) due to weather. A gentleman that I rode up with on the chairlift one blustery day said he would probably have to drive to Bishop later and collect his daughter because the plane probably wouldn’t make it into Mammoth. He was right about the flight, it didn’t land in Mammoth, but his daughter didn’t end up in Bishop.
Bishop Eastern Sierra Regional Airport (BIH) is not designated as a suitable alternate airport by the airlines (let’s call it alternate with a Big “A”). This designation for the airport is not controlled by the Town but by the air carrier and the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration). To a pilot, any airport is a potential alternate if your aircraft is on fire (alternate with a little “a”). However, during normal operations, it is not legal for a commercial flight to list a non-compliant airport as its alternate on the flightplan.
Besides the legality issue, there would be a number of logistical problems if a commercial flight landed at BIH. There are no passenger facilities, customer service agents, bag handling equipment or personnel, ground power carts, tow-bars, or TSA personnel and screening equipment to name a few. Not to mention that lining up several 50 passenger buses on short notice might be difficult. Could it be done? Sure … but only if you throw tens of thousands of dollars at it. The FAA would have to approve the airport as an alternate and BIH would need a Crash/Fire/Rescue unit standing by anytime a flight might arrive. There’s an old aviation adage: ‘All it takes to fly is airspeed and money.’
If weather is a problem, it is far more practical and cost effective for the airline to hold a flight on the ground or cancel it before it leaves the gate. If it’s already airborne then the aircraft might enter a holding pattern for a short time (fuel permitting) if the weather if forecast to improve. Ultimately it may continue to its next destination or return to the airport it departed from.
In addition, the airline’s aircraft routers are often concerned with having the aircraft and crew stuck out of position.
Yes it’s sometimes inconvenient … welcome to aviation. It still beats the horse and buggy days most of the time.
M.L. Airport Commissioner