Tuesday, November 6, 2016
California: Vote YES on Propositions 5, 6, and 11, and NO on all other propositions. Prop. 6 REPEALS the gasoline and car tax hikes recently enacted by the state legislature, and requires voter approval for future increases.
Los Angeles County: Vote NO on Ballot Measure W. It is ANOTHER property tax hike, paid by homeowners and by renters in their rent.
City of El Segundo: Vote NO on ESUSD Bond Measure ES. It is a scam that will cost El Segundo homeowners, renters, and taxpayers west of PCH (Sepulveda) up to $368 Million.
Vote "NO" on ALL Tax Measures. All taxes combined are much too high, and customers pay the business taxes that are passed on to us as a cost of doing business. The liberal tax-and-spend politicians must learn to live within our means.
Vote NO on the measure to ban the Death Penalty for Terrorists and other Mass-Murderers.
December 2018 M T W T F S S « Nov 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
- Former El Segundo City Councilman Mike Robbins Exposed Evidence of an El Segundo Unified School District Pay-For-Play Scam Involving Bond Measure ES
- Flyer Distributed throughout El Segundo exposing evidence of El Segundo Unified School District Pay-For-Play to Fund School Bond Ballot Measure ES Campaign
- Alert for the Tuesday, November 8, 2016 General Election
- Mike Robbins’ Public Communications at the May 3, 2016 El Segundo City Council Meeting
- New El Segundo City Council Members Sworn In, Council Voted for Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem
- Hate Crime Law Supporters Weakened Our Criminal Justice System and Self-Defense Rights, by Michael D. Robbins on
- Could Firefighter’s Arrest be the Result of a Culture of Entitlement? on
- Are Chevron’s Taxes Too High? on
- Are Chevron’s Taxes Too High? on
- Eye-Popping El Segundo 2009 Firefighter Compensation Data on
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Category Archives: El Segundo Tax and Fee Increases
Let’s Be Realistic
Incumbent City Council candidate Marie Fellhauer said she “is fighting to get our fair share of the county property tax levy.” That may sound nice as a campaign slogan, but it has little basis in reality.
She compares El Segundo and Manhattan Beach with respect to property tax revenue, but not business tax revenue. Is she willing to give up a share of El Segundo’s massive business tax revenue in exchange for a share of Manhattan Beach’s property tax revenue?
Fellhauer and Dave Atkinson voted to charge El Segundo residents and non-residents fire department ambulance transport fees of $1,850 or more per transport. They had plenty of time to rescind the fees, but did not, even though residents spoke against them at City Council meetings. Is it realistic to believe they might rescind these fees after they are re-elected for another four years?
Is it realistic to believe Fellhauer would have rejected the police and fire union endorsements had they decided to endorse her? Her allies and supporters, former Mayors Eric Busch, Bill Fisher, and Sandra Jacobs, all received police and fire union endorsements and campaign expenditures. The firefighters even delivered and installed their campaign signs.
Fellhauer claims she’s making a sacrifice by declining City Council benefits. She said others should make the same sacrifice. However, she is not making any sacrifice because she gets generous benefits through her LAPD job. City Council pays only about $10,800 per year. Hopefully, the benefits help attract more competent and honest candidates.
– Jane Waag Friedkin
It’s interesting to read Marie Fellhauer’s election materials that arrive every few days. She takes credit for “successfully negotiating a tax resolution with the refinery” and “successfully negotiated agreement with Wiseburn School District…for the world-class pool facility” except she wasn’t a negotiator on either.
Oh, and she’s “fighting to get our fair share of the property tax levy”. Exactly who is she fighting? Is she winning or losing? Why haven’t we heard anything about this for the last four years?
Speaking of the last four years, all of a sudden, she’s the senior citizens’ best friend…my friend who lives at Park Vista says in four years Marie has never attended any events at Park Vista until the very last board meeting before the election. She brought her baby and husband. Coincidence? My friend said to tell her the residents may be senior but they’re not stupid.
Also, why are her big donations coming from out of town businesses and people? Shouldn’t the ‘Local Girl’ get local donations?
– Carol James
To my dismay, I see the City Council has come back to us yet again with the immoral proposition of gouging hotel customers for the crime of not being us. The argument in favor is based on the bromide “every one else is doing it.” Anything higher than the sales tax rate is just plain wrong and I hope we have the collective wisdom to vote it down again. Instead of gouging visitors, we could always vote out the incumbents to keep any one from accumulating two terms and their associated health insurance for life benefit. This could save substantial funds for lifetime health care insurance of “retired” council members.
– Kip Haggerty
Entitlement Versus Affordability
There’s been frequent talk about what El Segundo residents “deserve” when it comes to funding public safety services. The discussion should really be about what we can afford. Residents got what they deserved in past budgets that funded public safety services from 2000 through 2009. Police and Fire enjoyed annual pay raises in the range of 5% to 9+% annually from 2000 through 2009. They received a public benefit of enhanced pensions that saw city costs rise by ten’s of millions of dollars over a decade. By getting what our past City Council’s felt our public safety officials were entitled to or “deserved” nearly bankrupted our city. City Hall’s past culture of entitlement nearly cost us our independent fire department and paramedic ambulance services. El Segundo had a platinum spending culture, unfortunately, our budget couldn’t sustain such entitlements or costs.
That’s the hard lesson residents and elected officials must remember. The City Council has taken a lot of hits for maintaining fiscal responsibility and balanced budget accountability, resulting in a barrage of disrespect from the public safety unions displaying unprofessionalism by name calling and disrespecting city leadership. This must end.
The new City Council must remember the lessons of the past. If Measure B passes, we must look to the future of what El Segundo can afford. What El Segundo deserves is quality public safety services, living within our means, maintaining services that are affordable, and ensuring that public safety is provided with quality equipment, resources, and training.
– David Burns
The police and fire unions are endorsing and campaigning for the three challenger candidates because they want incumbents Marie Fellhauer and Dave Atkinson off the City Council. This makes for a strange election, because Fellhauer and Atkinson should be off the City Council, and challengers Carol Pirsztuk and Don Brann should be elected. The unions usually endorse the worst tax-and-spend candidates.
We must judge the incumbent City Council candidates by their voting record, especially when they had a majority with Bill Fisher and ran amok, not by their campaign rhetoric, false accomplishments, and campaign promises.
Fellhauer and Atkinson have been tax-and-spend politicians. They voted for at least a dozen tax hikes, on residents and businesses, and fee increases, to pay for excessive police and fire union raises handed out by their allies Eric Busch and Bill Fisher.
They played a financial shell game to claim they balanced the City budget. They spent down the City’s Reserve Account, and borrowed large sums from the Equipment Replacement Fund, which is used to save up money over the years to pay for everything from new computers to new police cars and fire engines.
Fellhauer and Atkinson continued the Chevron Shakedown started by Busch and Fisher, and effectively extorted an additional $8.5 million average per year for 15 years from Chevron, without justification.
They are talking like conservatives, and padding their campaign literature, taking credit for accomplishments of the current fiscally conservative majority. Fellhauer is even quoting Ronald Reagan in this masquerade.
– Marianne Fong
No on Measure B
Read the Argument Against Measure B and Rebuttal to the Argument in Favor of Measure B in the Sample Ballot. You can view or download it at the City website, ElSegundo.org.
Vote “No” on Measure B, the Bait-and-Switch tax hike. The City lured hotels here with a Business Attraction Program and lower hotel Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT). Now after the hotels are built, the City is trying to raise their TOT tax by 50%, from 8% to 12%. This tax, paid by customers, will increase room prices and reduce sales. The TOT is only 10% in adjacent Manhattan Beach.
Measure B will destroy El Segundo’s longestablished reputation as a fair and stable business-friendly city. We may ultimately lose more tax revenue than we will gain, by discouraging businesses from coming and expanding here.
The hotel operators, Councilman Mike Dugan, and former Council Members Mike Robbins, Jane Friedkin and Dick Switz all oppose Measure B.
Government must learn to live within its means. This cycle of handing out big pay raises to the safety unions and management, and raising taxes to pay for it, has increased both the funded and unfunded CalPERS pension liabilities. It has got to stop. Each pay raise increases the pension liabilities. El Segundo’s unfunded CalPERS pension liability – about $106,500,000 – must be paid over many years, as employees retire, over their remaining lifetime, which will average about 25 to 35 years per retiree.
Vote “No” on Measure B to stop this vicious cycle.
– Jerry Wellfonder
The Notorious Measure B
By now the USPS has brought us all a slick, full-color mailing which tells us to vote approval for the notorious Measure B. What a surprise: it is paid for by the cops’ and firemen’s PAC’s. Once again I urge my fellow residents to vote “No” and reject the 50% increase in the obnoxious TOT. We don’t need more taxes, we need fiscal responsibility. See you at the polls.
– Edward Ryan Continue reading
Elect Brann and Pirsztuk
I led the successful grassroots campaign against Measure P, the firefighters’ union initiative to hijack our fire department and contract with Los Angeles County for a significantly reduced level of service, all to lock-in and protect their excessive and unsustainable total annual compensation of $150,000 to more than $350,000 per year. I also led the successful grassroots campaign against the residential trash collection fees, because taxes already pay for that, and against Measure A, eleven tax hikes in one ballot measure, on residents and businesses.
City Council candidates Marie Fellhauer, Dave Atkinson, and Drew Boyles all publicly endorsed Measure A and were featured in campaign mailers supporting it. Candidates Don Brann and Carol Pirsztuk are fiscal conservatives who did not endorse or support Measure A.
I support Don Bran for City Council because he is intelligent and fiscally conservative, has no hidden agenda, he listens, and if he makes a mistake, he learns and corrects it. Likewise, I support Carol Pirsztuk.
Brann voted, together with Fellhauer’s allies and supporters Eric Busch and Bill Fisher, to hire the disastrous City Manager Doug Willmore. Willmore cost our city millions of dollars. He wanted to effectively mortgage City Hall for 10.3 million dollars to pay for the 11.25% to 32.3% in raises Busch and Fisher gave to the already overpaid firefighters and police during the Great Recession. Brann realized his mistake and corrected it before leaving City Council, by voting with Carl Jacobson and Suzanne Fuentes to fire Willmore.
– Mike Robbins
October 1, 2014
The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA), founded by California Proposition 13 sponsor Howard Jarvis, has honored former El Segundo City Councilman Mike Robbins as a “Hometown Hero” for leading the successful campaign to defeat Measure A in the April 8, 2014 El Segundo General Municipal Election. Measure A had ELEVEN tax hikes in one ballot measure!
Here is the article in their official statewide newsletter, Taxing Times, Vol. 40, Issue 3 for Fall 2014:
HJTA was very pleased to receive the following update from former El Segundo councilman Mike Robbins after local Election Day, April 8. Here are excerpts:
We had a great victory in El Segundo last night! The citizens and taxpayers won, and the city-employee unions with lots of campaign money and a significant conflict of interest lost – AGAIN!
Thank you to everyone who helped.
El Segundo Measure A, ELEVEN TAX HIKES IN ONE MEASURE, taxing RESIDENTS and BUSINESSES, lost by 57% NO to 43% YES, despite the “Yes on A” campaign spending a whopping $33,129.87 in small-town El Segundo, including $17,500 from four city-employee unions – $5,000 from the fire union, $5,000 from the police union, $5,000 from the city employees’ union, and $2,500 from the California Teamsters Public Affairs Council in Sacramento (supervisory and professional employees’ union) at a cost of $25.74 per vote.
Measure A would have created new taxes on residents for electricity, water, gas, and all forms of “communications services,” including landline telephones, cell phones, Internet, cable TV, and satellite, to pay for excessive compensation and pensions for city employees. Firefighters and police are paid $150,000 to more than $380,000 each in total compensation per year.
I, together with two other former El Segundo City Council members, and two other long-term city residents, co-authored and submitted an argument against Measure A and a rebuttal to the argument for Measure A, and I authored and distributed two one-page double-sided campaign flyers on Saturday, April 5, and a third on Sunday, April 6.
The HJTA hat is off to Mike and other active El Segundo taxpayers who made this victory possible.
Doesn’t Agree With Officers’ Statements
As a resident of this community for many years, I am having a difficult time understanding the statements emanating from the ES Police Officers, or the wife of one of the officers, regarding contract negotiations. She accused the Council of being focused on “money, money, money” and suggested the group is “hell bent on bringing down the police department.” However, neither she nor any of the officers have mentioned the unfunded pension liability of $106 million owed to PERS, and that to eliminate it would cost each household in the City of El Segundo $44,000 dollars. Or that the officers last contract required them to pay 3% of the pension costs, that other officers previously to her husbands hiring had paid in 9%.
Other cities are experiencing the same problem with unfunded pension liability, (example Torrance owes $300 million), and five cities within the state have declared bankruptcy, because they were unable to make any pension payments to PERS, and this affects everyone within the retirement system.
No one speaks about the healthcare benefits, which the city pays from the time of his hire, until the day he leaves this world. It is not known if these funds are also unfunded.
The City Council is not trying to destroy the police department or put the public safety at risk, and I feel that such statements are inflammatory, and the attack on Council member Fellhauer or any other is uncalled for.
– Loretta Frye
Police Union Fundraiser Mailer
The police officers’ “association” (union) sent out their annual union fundraiser mailer, exploiting murders of police officers elsewhere to solicit money from residents and businesses. Giving them money is absurd for many reasons. If you already gave them money, try to get it back.
First, the non-deductible contributions go to their union. The police and fire unions spent more than $10,000 in their labor contract campaign for 11 half-page newspaper ads, two city-wide mailers, and mobile billboards driven around town with falsehoods attacking our city council for doing their job to protect our city from bankruptcy.
Second, the police and fire unions contributed $10,000 to Measure A in 2014. Measure A was eleven tax hikes in one measure, on residents and businesses, to pay for big past and future police and fire compensation and pension increases.
Third, the unions don’t need our donations. Police and firefighters are paid far more than nearly all El Segundo residents. Their total compensation has been about $150,000 to $385,000 each per year, with three to six million dollar pensions, due to union campaigning to elect city councilmembers who give the biggest pay and pension increases – and raise our taxes and fees to pay for it.
And fourth, the union solicitation is corrupt. It uses realistic-looking fake ESPD police badges, and many residents believe they will get faster and better service or avoid a ticket if they pay off the union and put the union’s police badge decal on their window.
– Mike Robbins Continue reading