The following letter to the editor was published in the El Segundo Herald newspaper (HeraldPublications.com) on Thursday, July 16, 2015 in the Letters section on page 13. The El Segundo Herald has a strict 250-word limit, including the title.
Worried About Repercussions
The ES Public Safety Unions compensation contracts are being discussed by the City Council. I’m not here to argue for or against what the Unions are asking for, but most Public Safety union members pay and benefits seem fairly generous.
Recently, I discovered many ES residents will not express their point of view about Public Safety employee’s compensation in public if they are not in support of raises.
Why? Many are concerned about possible repercussions. I understand those concerns.
Several years ago I spoke at a City Council meeting. I assumed the council was the right place to ask for some added enforcement for traffic safety. I was wrong.
Several days later, I received a call from an ESPD officer I knew on a personal level. I was told that I had embarrassed the department, and warned to look out for tickets for offences I don’t recall doing! Like parking near a fire hydrant or in a handicap spot – tickets that cost many $100’s of dollars in fines! I was shocked… and intimidated.
I never received a surprise ticket, but it changed me. What was communicated to me was clearly illegal. But it works. If someone speaks publically against Public Safety Union contracts or matters, will they get a parking or speeding ticket for something they did not do? It’s intimidating to know the union members have that power.
We live in a very small town, and there are many citizens of El Segundo who feel this way – Intimidated.
– Robert Clark