Supervisor (D3): Doug Fay
The environmentalist son of a former California Coastal Commissioner, Doug Fay, 51, is a master automotive technician for a Toyota dealership.
Two supervisors have proposed setting up a permanent citizen’s commission to oversee the Sheriff’s Department. Are you in favor of that?
No, it’s the Supervisors responsibility to oversee the Sheriff’s Department. The problems are escalating because of the lack of leadership from the Supervisors. Citizen and law enforcement input that will identify problems, and recommendations that lead to planning solutions are paramount. It will take a team effort. In my opinion, a citizen’s commission without law enforcement participation isn’t a solution.
What role should the supervisors play in the management and operation of the Sheriff’s Department?
Management and operation is the Sheriff’s job. It’s my understanding that the primary roll the Supervisors perform is allocating the funds associated with all aspects of the Sheriff’s Department. By withholding funds they can leverage the Sheriff to do what they want. I don’t agree that this is a good way to do business.
Former Sheriff Lee Baca has proposed replacing the Men’s Central Jail complex. What do you think should be done with the facility? If you believe it should be replaced, how large should it be?
The facility needs to perform at a satisfactory level. If the cost of updating the facility is less than rebuilding or relocating, and could be done in phases, I would support the motion.
If replaced, we need to plan for a facility, or facilities, that can accommodate our expected population 20 years from now. This should be included in the General Plan Update.
Some officials believe the Sheriff’s Department should use vacant jails outside the county to relieve crowding and reduce the need to release inmates early. Do you agree?
I agree that there is an overcrowding problem that should have been addressed years ago. I don’t believe sending inmates out of the County will be financially prudent in comparison to investing into needed infrastructure here in Los Angeles County.
What happened to probation and community service, especially for non-violent inmates? Having inmates pick up trash in exchange for a reduced length of stay should be policy.
What would you do to improve the juvenile detention system, which is under federal review following the misuse of force against children?
Invest the time needed to gain a comprehensive understanding of current juvenile detention system and work with others to make the needed improvements. Currently, it is apparent that the Supervisors are failing to supervise all aspects of the system. Recently, the BOS voted for clerical duties of the system to be contracted.
They continually distance themselves from their responsibilities to supervise.
Prevention is imperative. Intervention and outreach programs need to be improved and promoted. Investing in mentor and educational programs for children that are in the system will be a priority. They should leave the system with confidence in themselves.
State prison realignment has shifted more felons to local law enforcement oversight. How well do you think it has worked? Would you do anything to alter it? Has the program had any impact on public safety?
The system has failed if early releases are occurring. Local jails are for short-term offenders, not felons.
Yes, I would recommend changes that benefit both the incarcerated and law enforcement.
Yes, public safety is impacted anytime resources are stressed and/or moral is low.
Is the Sheriff’s Department doing enough to lower the cost and frequency of use-of-force, harassment and traffic-related lawsuits against the agency? If not, what should be changed?
No. Improved leadership, equipment, training, protocol, more frequent performance (including mental and fitness) evaluations, and overall improved team work. It can be a stressful job. They need all the tools they can get to perform at their best and held accountable for their actions.
Would you support state legislation that would give more authority to Sheriff’s Department civilian monitors? Would you support legislation that would make county sheriffs less autonomous and more accountable to county supervisors?
No. It’s the BOS responsibility to monitor the Sheriff’s Department.
Yes, barriers that obstruct public safety need to be removed.
What would be your top priority in improving the county’s child welfare system and how would you accomplish it?
Preventing children from entering the system. Outreach to the parents and children by offering a variety of voluntary programs to improve their quality of life.
These programs should be policy based on humanitarianism, not politics.
The Los Angeles County child welfare system has been criticized for mishandling victims of abuse or neglect. Many experts say social workers are insufficiently trained to know when to separate a child from a parent. Do you agree, and if so what would you do to improve the system? Do you believe social workers should be required to hold a master’s degree in social service, as some others counties require?
Yes, all social workers should be trained, certified, and sufficiently supervised. I don’t believe every social worker should have a master’s degree. The supervisors should have a master’s degree.
I will strive to make changes to the system starting with a comprehensive evaluation.
The Children’s Special Investigations Unit looks into problem cases and recommends ways to prevent the deaths of juveniles under the oversight of county workers. Because findings in each case have been declared confidential, the public and front-line case workers never learn what happened and how it might have been prevented. Would you support making the unit’s final reports public?
No, as an educator I know mastery of a subject can only be achieved if the problem is understood and solution(s) identified. The front-line case workers can learn through training that does not include the names of the individuals that were involved in actual CSIU investigations.
A special commission on child welfare is expected to recommend overhauling the child protection service and imposing greater oversight on private foster care providers. The group also wants to create a child welfare czar to coordinate services. Would you support such recommendations?
I would support changes to the child protection service including improved foster care provider screening, not a czar.
With more than 36,000 children under county supervision, social workers complain that they have too many cases to effectively handle. The special commission was recently told that 683 caseworkers oversee 31 or more children and that some even have more than 60. Do you believe more workers should be hired? What would you consider a proper caseload? And if more social workers are needed, how do propose to pay for them?
If information was provided that identified on average how many cases a social worker can handle effectively, a proper caseload, I could provide an answer. In general, the most difficult cases should be given to the most experienced workers. A sufficient workforce should be employed and compensated through the County’s budget.
What is your view of the job being done by Department of Children and Family Services Director Philip Browning and would you support his retention?
From what I have read he didn’t want the job given the monumental task of making the Department function at an acceptable level. The 2012 Strategic Plan is a step in the right direction. However, no child should be left with an abusive adult. Every effort must be made to ensure the welfare of children. If Director Browning feels he still has what it takes to be in the leadership position he needs to make that argument. I would support the most qualified candidate to serve. His credentials are exceptional.
A $100 million plan to regionalize homeless services by placing a stabilization center in each supervisor’s district was shelved after community opposition arose in 2006. Should that plan be revived? How should the county deal with the homeless?
The County needs to build upon programs that are successful and embraced by the community. Unfortunately for many, homelessness has become an accepted lifestyle in Los Angeles. There are many ways to change this perception starting with electing supervisors that are humanitarians, not politicians.
Providing transitional housing, meals, clothes, spiritual healing, healthcare, rehab programs, education, jobs, financial assistance, and other means of assistance to improve their lives would be a start at dealing with this social epidemic.
The county periodically assigns the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority to move people off the streets, offering assistance and shelter. Many who go in for treatment, however, quickly leave. How should the county close this revolving door while making sure money is not wasted?
Again, you have to build upon programs that work. Some individuals will embrace faith-based programs while others may not. Former homeless and addicts may have better success at gaining trust than individuals with a masters degree.
I will conduct a comprehensive review of the LAHS and ensure money is not wasted and review current and proposed General Plan language to ensure sufficient programs are available including partnerships that are cost effective and productive.
About 60% of those on welfare are homeless. Some say they remain on the street because their monthly check of around $250 is far less than what it costs to rent. How would you address this issue? With federal housing vouchers frozen and rents continuing to go up, would you support raising the general relief amount? If so, how would you pay for it?
If there was an easy solution to this concern, it would have already been addressed. There are individuals on welfare and unemployment that are capable to work, especially unskilled labor jobs. It is impossible to survive on $250 a month without significant assistance. Without federal assistance, I would form a City/County/State working group with the mission to draft a plan that will identify solutions including funding sources.
As the Affordable Care Act increases the number of people with health insurance, a once-captive client base for county hospitals and clinics will be free to seek care elsewhere—and to take their newfound insurance coverage with them. What can you do as a supervisor to insure that county facilities don’t lose these now-paying customers?
County healthcare providers should be able to accept all clients with or without insurance. All County employees should be insured through the County healthcare system. My impression of the ACA was that it was to provide affordable universal healthcare. It is imperative that the County employs exceptional physicians and staff at its facilities to ensure quality healthcare is achieved and competitive.
County health officials have said they will continue to care for people who remain uninsured, including immigrants without legal status. Do you agree with this policy? Should there be limits to this care?
Yes, immigrants without legal status should be treated to stable condition and assigned a caseworker to assist in evaluating the legal options of recourse. There should be limits to care provided to individuals that have performed illegal actions in the County.
The projected $237 million cost for rebuilding Martin Luther King hospital rose to $281 million last summer. Its reopening has also been delayed for months. Do you think the delays and increased costs are justified? Is there more county officials should be doing to get the project completed; and, if so, what?
Without conducting an in depth comprehensive evaluation of the MLK Hospital refurbishing, I cannot comment on the increased investment into the facility.
Increased project oversight and performance evaluations stipulations should be in the contract and triggered if the project manager/contractor’s performance isn’t satisfactory. Stipulations should include contract termination and/or fines/penalties for failing to perform on time and on budget.
Studies suggest emergency room use is likely to increase at least initially as newly-insured people drop their reluctance to seek care because of cost. Given that most county emergency rooms are already overcrowded, what would you do to manage this growth?
Working with other healthcare providers, ensure that there are sufficient emergency room services throughout the County. Account for current and planned population growth and the needed healthcare infrastructure to serve in the County General Plan Update.
Do you have any concern about the amount of influence business or organized labor groups exert in county politics and this race specifically?
Yes, a specific example would be my campaign. I am not accepting political campaign contributions or contributing to political parties for potential endorsements. The result of these actions has been exclusion from participating in candidate forums and debates.
Supervisors boast of having maintained the county’s fiscal health by keeping purse strings tight during the recession. In that same period, the jails have been overcrowded and fallen under federal investigation; the child welfare system has been accused of failing abused kids due to heavy caseloads; public hospital emergency rooms have overflowed with patients, and programs to move tens of thousands of people off on the streets have seen limited success. What would you do as supervisor to raise new revenue or free up existing resources to address these budget challenges?
It has been my personal experiences with the County that the BOS boast of many things that are untrue. They govern in a convoluted way that divides the population resulting in low moral and performance not only by County employees, also by members of the communities served.
I will serve with integrity, independent of the political influences that corrupt sound resource management. I will hire individuals within my 3rd District office that are competent, professional, and energetic. Together we will get back to the basics of humanitarian service with honor. The majority of our work in the first year of office will be gathering information, deciphering data, and making corrective actions recommendations, especially through the Los Angeles County General Plan Update process. We will be proactive at community outreach and maximum public participation. Restoring public confidence in the BOS is essential if revitalizing our economic growth potential is going to be priority and a success.
The county currently requires many contractors to pay a “living wage” that amounts to $11.84 an hour. Given the current national and local movements to raise the minimum wage to a much as $15.37, do you believe the county’s required living wage should be increased; and if so, to what amount?
I’m not a fan of inflation and a greater separation between the wealth of the working class and the 1% that has the most influence over the welfare of society. Unskilled laborers should be compensated the minimum living wage. It should provide incentive to seek further education and/or skills that lead to promotions and/or career changes that result in higher compensation.
Los Angeles County government has the largest workforce in Southern California, with about 101,000 employees. Many went without pay raises during the recession. Would you vote to give county workers higher pay at this point in the economic recovery?
County workers should be compensated for their abilities, tenure and skill level. I will need to approach the financial structuring of the County with caution and only after gaining a thorough understanding of our financial resources and workforce capabilities, consider higher pay across the board. As an elected official I will not ask for a raise or accept a pay raise without community support. Fiscal responsibility will always be a top priority of mine.
Los Angeles County is one of the few remaining jurisdictions that does not offer peace officers “3% at 50,” which would mean sheriff’s deputies can retire at age 50 and receive 3% of their highest year’s pay for every year of service. Do you believe the county should move to that standard?
If “3% at 50” is an industry standard offered elsewhere, it should be considered in Los Angeles County and approved if feasible. If not currently feasible the BOS and Sheriff will need to take actions to make it happen or our peace officers may seek employment elsewhere.
Current civil service protections prevent the county from moving some veteran employees to posts where their experience may be most needed; for example, social workers who have already spent time in a difficult region of the county cannot be sent back without their permission. Would you do anything to change that civil service rule?
Yes, if legally possible. After reviewing the civil service protections and rules I would poll the veteran employees. If there were obvious areas that needed improvement I would draft an update for consideration.
Oil extraction is on the rise in parts of the county and residents fear that some techniques might pollute the air and water. Do you believe it is acceptable to extract oil and gas in urban settings? Do you believe hydraulic fracturing is safe?
No and not in environmentally sensitive habitat. There are too many unknown impacts associated with hydraulic fracturing due to an unwillingness of the industry to disclose information. Many of the reports I have read are negative. Water storage capabilities in aquifers below urban areas is far more valuable than maximum gas extraction and depletion of that resource combined with the environmental impacts that will be difficult if not impossible to mitigate.
Smart growth and energy renewal programs should be the top priority in the urban area planning processes and General Plan Update.
What is your position on the proposal to transform the San Gabriel Mountains’ Angeles National Forest into a National Recreation Area either managed or co-managed by the National Park Service?
I would have to investigate the motivation behind the proposed change. The ecological function of the National Forest needs to be understood, respected, and the priority over recreational uses. Passive recreational opportunities shall be subordinate to wildlife habitat management.
This essential policy is being lost throughout other areas of the County, especially the coastal areas including wetlands and lagoons.
Should the county make another attempt to ask voters to approve a storm water cleanup fee? If not, how should the county address the cost of cleaning up storm water?
No. The County has partnered with the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission and their purported non-profit The Bay Foundation partner.
In my professional opinion this partnership has done more damage to the Santa Monica Bay and its tributaries than easily recognized. My approach to stormwater cleanup would be to treat the water at the source, within the municipalities where it originates through a wastewater treatment plant. Currently stormwater and wastewater are segregated and managed independently. It is the right time to stop the segregation and start recycling our valuable and increasingly limited water resources.
Trash clean up and prevention programs need to be improved countywide.
The County is currently proposing a policy that promotes natural systems to cleanse polluted stormwater. I disagree with habitat areas being subjected to significant amounts of pollution. It’s unethical.
Given the statewide drought, should the county be doing more to conserve water; and if so, what? Would you limit new residential or commercial development?
Conservation, awareness and education are all good measures.
Recycling and reuse will increase availability. If new recycled water sources become available, excluding desalination of ocean water, and the new residential and commercial development incorporate green technology design and have community support I’ll be voting yes.
The supervisors have been chastised for violating the state’s open meetings law, as they did in 2011 when they met in private with Gov. Brown to discuss state prison realignment. What will you do to improve government transparency and avoid violating the open meetings law and public records act?
Follow the law. I prefer discussions and debate in a public forum, not behind closed doors. I and my staff will post our meeting schedules and events on a County 3rd District website, FaceBook, and use other social media, for example Twitter, to keep the constituents informed and up to date. We will be accessible and transparent, with the exception of legal matters that are strictly confidential.
Unlike a standard practice at Los Angeles City Hall, people paid to lobby county officials are not required to disclose the issues they work on, and they sometimes violate existing reporting standards without punishment. Would you do anything to change the county’s lobbying rules?
Yes, the County lobbying rules should be similar or identical to City of Los Angeles rules. I will require mandatory disclosure information prior to meeting with groups and individuals, including detailed lobbying information.
Each supervisor has a pool of money that can be spent at their discretion and without full board approval. What would you do to insure that the public easily sees how you spend your share?
Have an accountant within my staff that will provide detailed annual and possibly quarterly reports posted on our District 3 website. I’ve read that the annual budget for each supervisor is $3.5 million and average staffing is 30 employees. We will be both conservative and effective at serving the County residents and business interests.
The county’s current campaign finance law is designed to reward candidates who stick to a voluntary spending limit for elections. But critics say the current limit of $1.4 million is too low. Do you believe the campaign finance law should be changed; and if so, how?
There is an obvious and overwhelming problem with politicians accepting ridiculous amounts of special interest money for an office that represents 10 million residents. I would propose that the money raised by individual candidates be fully disclosed and then divided evenly among the contestants.
In the absence of campaign finance law reform I have vowed not to accept any campaign contributions or to spend in excess of the minimum reportable level.
I have invested 51 years of my life and $2,000 of hard earned money to be included as a candidate for District 3 Supervisor. I don’t want your money. I just want your trust and vote.
Should the supervisors create or seek voter approval of a regulatory body similar to Los Angeles’ City Ethics Commission, which attempts to shape, administer and enforce laws regarding governmental ethics, conflicts of interests, campaign financing and lobbying?
They should create it. I’m for it because it will create accountability and oversight. If not, the voters should gather the required number of signatures to get it on the ballot and voted in.
Supervisors also serve as members of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board, overseeing billions of dollars in subway, light rail and bus transit services. Do you use public transportation? If so, how often and what routes?
Yes, I have seldom used bus service in the Los Angeles area and enjoyed using rail service in Australia and Asia. I prefer to commute to work by bicycle and carpool to meetings whenever possible.
The MTA is a valuable resource that needs to listen to the needs of the riders and to solicit potential commuters if they are to be successful at increasing interest and passengers.
Should Metro’s rail system be extended all the way to LAX; and if so, how?
Yes. By implementing the most environmentally sensitive and financially feasible extension possible. A sky train over the center of the 405 freeway or possibly a subway depending on the cost and community support.
What do you believe is the most pressing transportation issue that county residents face right now and how would you address it?
Failing to get people out of their cars and not developing sound smart growth jobs to housing goals and policies that would reduce commuter travel distances in the County General Plan Update and corresponding City General Plans.
Engaging community members in the drafting of policies that potentially will improve their quality of life.
A sales tax for transportation projects (a new Measure R) will likely be on the 2016 ballot. Do you support a tax increase for transit? If so, what specific projects do you think such a tax should fund?
I will support what the public wants and that includes shorter commuting times.
A year ago, Metro and Caltrans converted the carpool lanes on the 110 and 10 freeways into experimental toll lanes that solo drivers are allowed to use. Would you support a similar conversion to toll lanes on other county freeways, like the 405 or the 5?
No. I’m not a fan of toll roads.