Wake up – Letter to The Beach Reporter by Donald Sellek

The following letter to the editor was published in The Beach Reporter newspaper (TBRnews.com) on Thursday, August 16, 2012 in the Letters section. The Beach Reporter has a strict 250-word limit.

This letter was submitted in response to The Beach Reporter’s question of the week.

Question of the Week

Hermosa Beach’s police and fire union leaders publicly stated that they’re upset with the city’s proposals after their latest labor negotiations. The union presidents claim they’re facing a 27-percent cut in compensation, which would jeopardize the stability of their already short-staffed departments. They fear additional cuts could pave the way for the county to take over the police and fire departments.

Do you think the police and fire departments can withstand any more cuts?

What are your thoughts about the union leaders going public with their frustrations regarding private contract negotiations?

Should residents be concerned about the county taking over the city’s police and fire departments?

(Editor’s note: Last week’s question asked readers what they thought of the contract negotiations between Hermosa Beach’s police and fire unions and the Hermosa Beach City Council).

Wake up

The local papers for years have been full of public sector mandates, ultimatums, teacher, police, firefighter and meter maid demands for unsustainable salaries, retirement perks, benefits, and legacy costs that are driving cities across America into bankruptcy. Last night, Hermosa Beach was front and center on Fox News nationally for the unsustainable costs of “meter maids,” while unmentioned was the ongoing teachers’ demands in the same “me,” “I” and “mine” cauldron of selfishness.

Remember San Bernardino, just yesterday? As Hermosa Beach goes, so goes the South Bay. The problems are similar, unions perks, entitlements and legacy costs are unsustainable. Meter maids in Hermosa Beach make $93K a year? Judge Napolitano is opining that Hermosa will be bankrupt within a few years if they do not wake up.

“When contemplating the many cities in California venturing closer to bankruptcy, look no further than the lofty pension benefits attached to the high paying Hermosa Beach, where the two (meter maids) are estimated at $93,000, according to city documents provided by Patrick “Kit” Bobko, a Councilmember.”

That “can” we have been kicking down the road — unsustainable fiscal matters ignored, unions who will not negotiate “reality” — folks, this is not the future, it is tomorrow. It is Manhattan Beach. It is Hermosa Beach. And so there you have it, folks, self-destruct or self-determination.

This has now reached the “national” consciousness. Is it time to disconnect the “snooze” button and wake up? The solution is Ayn Rand self-interest and self-determination.

Donald Sellek
Manhattan Beach

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