The Humboldt County Public Employees Union Endorses Karen Paz Dominguez for Auditor-Controller

Press release from the Humboldt County Public Employees Union:

Karen Paz Dominguez

Karen Paz Dominguez [Photo from her campaign page]

AFSCME Local 1684, the Humboldt County Public Employees Union, endorses Karen Paz Dominguez for Auditor-Controller. After careful observation and deliberation of candidate statements, Karen has emerged as the obvious choice for our community.In 2016 Humboldt citizens voted down Measures Q and R in recognition of the importance of an independent Auditor-Controller’s office. Karen Paz Dominguez has consistently shown a predilection for transparency and independence in her time as Assistant Auditor-Controller. Her opponent, however, has said in recent public forums that he supports taking greater direction from the Board of Supervisors and CAO’s office—precisely in contradiction to the voice of Humboldt voters.

The need for transparency, integrity and accountability are all the more important following Ms. Paz Dominguez’s discovery of millions of dollars in unmanaged trust funds—which she had the courage to bring to public knowledge.

Karen Paz Dominguez is the best choice for Auditor-Controller. Her knowledge, skill, integrity, and bravery to ensure transparency in County finances has earned her the endorsement of working people and their families.

We encourage everyone to vote for Karen Paz Dominguez for Auditor-Controller by mail or at the polls on June 5th.

-Alythia Noland, President, AFSCME Local 1684



  • Unfortunately, she apparently recommends withholding taxes approved by the people to support their local volunteer fire departments, and recommends costly audits for those VFDs. Having agreed to taxing ourselves to provide fire and first-response assistance in our rural areas, we want those funds used for their intended purpose, and not hijacked by the county. I say NO to Paz-Dominguez. Sad, because she had my vote prior to that.

    • I’m looking into this and hope to have an article on it soon. I have learned so far that the audits are a state mandate.

      • volunteer firefighter

        It is true that the audits of local fire districts are state mandated.
        I believe the way (some of) the fire districts bills are paid is as follows (if somebody knows this to be wrong, please correct me):
        The taxes and fees property owners pay in many of the districts for fire protection are collected by the county, held by the county, and disbursed by the county. When a fire district wants to pay a bill, they send a warrant to the A-C’s office, along with the original bill, and the county pays it out of the fire district’s escrow account.
        I think an audit should be fairly simple, since the county should have all the records and bills; nonetheless, it will probably cost each fire district precious funds that could be spent on actual fire protection.

        I am more concerned by what ‘Onlooker” said, about the county withholding or hijacking fire district funds.
        How is this possible?

        I have not yet decided who I am voting for in this race. I am a supporter of unions and public employees, but I am also a firefighter. I will only support and vote for candidates who actively support the volunteer fire departments.
        I need to know that whoever is elected will make things easier, not harder, for the volunteer boards and members of the rural fire districts.

      • First responder

        It’s common knowledge in her office that Paz Dominguez does not meet the qualifications for the job; She has not even taken or passed the exams yet that would make her qualified.
        Please ask her about this Kym.
        Also Paz Dominguez is on record at the Board of Supervisors that she WILL withhold rural fire departments money. THAT is punitive and people should Not vote for her.

        • Respectfully, How is it possible that she is even on the ballot if she is not qualified/certified ?

          • Soon-to-be Former County Supervisor Ryan Dumberg

            He’s lying. Lorig is getting desperate and dirty. Lorig needs to retire AGAIN. The only reason Lorig is running is so that he can collect multiple government checks at the same time. 💵. Lorig is a joke. A bad, very corrupt joke!

    • Have you perhaps not considered that possibly the VFD needs to have their finances looked over. Perhaps with an audit, that might not actually be that costly, there could be recommendations for improvements on how the money the VFD receives could be spent and allocated.

  • Well, well… the inbred crew slopping away at the public trough thinks she’s good? The well-taken care of employees who are guaranteed paychecks and medical and retirement pensions from the funds that have been extorted from the struggling workingman-who gets little to none of that security- want to suggest another of their friends? No.

    • And you would rather have the BOS have their lackey? Nobody wins in Humboldt County politics. Just the top of the food chain

    • You sound jealous. The benefits you decry that those workers have are the ones that unions have fought for, for most workers. …..Would be nice if we all could work and earn such security!

  • HumCo is already on the hook for $300 million in CalPERS debt for these entitled government employees and we should listen to them?

    • On the hook? Did you pay into a state system?

      • Every 4/15th. That unfortunately is the nature of public employment. People scrape off their anger on every one they can find- get over it. If it’s too much to bear, quit.

        • The OP said Humboldt is on the hook but it’s a state retirement program to my understanding. Funny thing about tax dollars going to public employees is that they too pay those taxes.

          • The State and County pay contributions for their own employee groups that are more than the employee pays. And any shortage (which is chronic) is made up by employers.

            • Sounds like the price of doing business to me. people complaining that their taxes are funding public employe retirement should stop nit picking. Every dollar I spend on food, gas, mortgage etc… pays for someone’s retirement package. It’s life man, get one.

              • PERS retirement was among the top two most generous public employee retirement systems in the nation, better than the Federal government by quite a bit, even the less generous ones, with a much higher return, earlier eligibility and benefits with little employee contributions. At least Brown upped the contributions but the employing entities still have short funded their share while continuing to up benefits.

                Truth is that if the legislature did it’s job, good public employees could be had with a much less generous retirement package. There is the cost of doing business then there’s not being responsible for the costs.

  • The inside word is there are hidden funds off the official books of the County.

  • There is obviously something ugly going on but will we find out what it is before the election. Some specifics are definitely needed, not just anti government opinions. It bothers me that what should be a totally non controversial job should be surrounded by such rumors.

  • Well if that’s not the first reason why I would not support someone I don’t know what is considering the realities of our time lol ….

  • Ok. Having spent time reading up on what was available, Paz Dominguez has made a very serious mistake. She took her complaints about staffing public in the public comment section of a Supervisor’s meeting. Taking such a step, for which she actually could have been fired, is only a conscionable in desperate cases where it is the only way to expose fraud or criminality. Not over staffing funding for Pete’s sake. Not over a difference of opinion. No wonder her bosses, the Board of Supervisor’s endorsed her opponent.

    That reeks of personal picque about not getting her own way. Of feeling slighted. Of overweighting her own importance. Whether her opinion was right or not, she has now queered her relationship with the Board and will find herself isolated and ineffective. And they could have fired her for that as almost every employee code of conduct covers this sort of public comment. If she is elected, there’s likely to be one public spat after another over minutiae to the total detriment of her department. And that she does not regret doing this means she has not understood the consequences. Also evidence of impaired understanding that will continue to handicap even if she has great ideas otherwise.

    • Maybe she tried the traditional route and got denied by the good old boy network. Maybe she felt no other recourse and felt that something criminal WAS occurring. After all the board was at one time trying to absorb the duties of that office. I personally believe that dissonance between the board and the auditor’s office benefits everyone working for their paycheck in this county.

  • Why would the AFSCME endorse a candidate that its members don’t support? Seems odd to me.

    • The AFSCME endorsed Paz Dominguez because she was the only candidate at the January meeting.

      • I would hope they had more cause than that! I also hope that going against the BOS doesnt effect current contract negotiations between the two.

        • To say that was the only reason is demeaning. I assume they chose her due to her views on labor and worker rights as they are a labor union focused on worker rights.

          Also if you think you have to vote for a candidate because your union endorsed said candidate you have a problem. Everyone has a choice. AFSCME is simply stating that she is most onboard with their views and they support her.

  • State audits are a scam. Witness the Covelo community services district which annually files THREE separate audits for State bandits for the same purpose. Just another scam for anti-work bureaucrats.

  • All I need to know is that the current board of supervisors supports her opponent. Anybody but the incumbents, please.

    • Soon-to-be Former County Supervisor Ryan Dumberg

      Well said. Throw the bums out! (They are to blame after all.) Time for change.

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