The Ventura Regional Sanitation District boosted its public relations budget last week by one third, bringing the total budget to about $160,000.
Sanitation district officials say the money is necessary to improve the district's image and to keep other agencies, municipalities and the public informed of their work. The district also has an employee who functions both as personnel and public information officer.
Ventura County Supervisor John Flynn and other county officials criticized the increase, labeling it a waste of money.
The increase comes just months after the sanitation district almost doubled fees at its landfills, claiming that it needed the additional revenues to operate the landfills in accordance with state and local environmental regulations.