Squid Fry for Nov 24, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
LIGHT ON LOVE… Thomas Kinkade once asked one of Squid’s colleagues, “Can 20 million fans be wrong?” At the time, Kinkade was comparing himself to Elvis Presley, which sounded a little extreme, but still, he had a point. Now, Squid’s thinking the more relevant question is: Can Kinkade be wrong? The answer, according to courts of law and balance sheets, isn’t nearly as rosy as the Painter of Light’s landscapes. For years the longtime Santa Cruz Mountains resident has made his second home in Carmel, where he founded his first signature gallery. Over time several more galleries descended on Carmel and Cannery Row, and his National Archive occupied a Victorian on Lighthouse Avenue in Monterey.
Only now – while Kinkade continues dodging allegations that he defrauded franchisees, some resulting in successful lawsuits – every single one of those local venues have gone poof. And suddenly Squid is getting e-mails from a collector who says she lent the archives art and can get no definitive word on the location of her $5,300 painting from an array of slippery Kinkade proxies. Kinkade likes to say that with his works, he saw more than a painting – “warmth and hope for the future.” Squid sees something else altogether.
PENNIES FROM HEAVEN… Monterey County spent three years and about $20 million implementing its new payroll system, part of the much larger Enterprise Resource Planning (or ERP) program it uses to manage itself and plan for the future. And they implemented the payroll system without going through a competitive bidding process – which is unfortunate, because it appears the county’s new toy can’t do simple math. Some employees are still reporting that since the payroll system went live in September, their checks are showing up with “rounding errors,” and remain off by a couple of cents per pay period.
Ed Munoz, who managed the ERP until his retirement just before the payroll system launched, reportedly told employees that rounding errors of up to 10 cents would be tolerated. While it’s great the county may have come up with a new way to increase revenue, Squid thinks they would be better off putting those pennies where they belong – back with the folks who earned them. Or maybe the county could put all the loose change together and buy an accurate system?
Meanwhile, members of the SEIU Local 521 agreed not to sue the county following a debacle in September in which some union workers were more seriously shortchanged. (One employee received a paycheck for a whopping total of $25.) The county issued an apology on Nov. 9, and both parties have agreed to kiss and make up. ERP indeed.