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: Economy and Economics
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
Likes Small Town Feel?
I read with some interest the city council discussions in the March 3 issue of El Segundo Herald regarding mansionization and perhaps amending the City’s single family residence code. I confess I am not familiar with the details of the code but support the intent of the code.
Many of the reported comments seem to be from individuals with some financial interest in loosening of the restrictions. Alex Abad seems to feel we are falling behind Manhattan Beach in building “spec homes”. Alex, do we really want El Segundo to look like Manhattan Beach’s tree section with wall-to-wall homes?
Mr Rafiee reportedly said “it’s not about building big homes but useable ones”. However if it has to be big to be useable then it’s o.k.?
Mr. Glynn seems to feel that restricting mansionization would “hamper sensible design plans (can’t a smaller home be designed well?).
As to “damaging property values” how would restricting oversize homes
diminish the value of current homes?
Lastly, Councilwoman Fellhauer, while “government’s job isn’t to tell people what their homes should look like”, it should be o.k. to tell them what it should not look like. One of the many benefits of El Segundo is the “small town feel”. I feel that restricting property line to property line homes contributes to that atmosphere. I hope there will be more voices to support this opinion.
– Charles Fisher
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
Feels Neither is Right
A “fee” over $1,800 to any El Segundo resident, for the transportation and mileage only, to the nearest emergency room, by city paid (taxpayers) paramedics in a city paid (taxpayers) vehicle. Why? the city wants to “recover” back some of the 14 million dollars it pays to the fire department for doing their job. Please note, at 3 a.m. paramedics would still be paid the same whether they responded to a 911 call or were left sleeping.
June 2014, Thursday morning at 7:30 A.M. a special council meeting, agenda page 4, to charge an “additional fee” (unknown to most citizens) for the transportation by El Segundo paramedics. They claimed a “recovery” of $180,000 to the city. I have invoices from Wittman, who’s doing the “recovery” collection, and what was paid to the City from June 2014 to July 2015. $180,000? try over $800,000.
The 9/15/15 council agenda about the budget, on page C-2, states “collecting for fire inspection fees and for non-resident paramedic transportation”. So is the budget fee statement incorrect or the city wrongfully charging its citizens? Either way taxpayers already paying for their city paramedic service should not be charged an “additional fee” if they use that service. What would happen if the people of El Segundo hired someone to “recover” the money for the days, months and years for fire services that they didn’t call for?
Neither is right, yet the city is doing it. Again why?
– Marc Rener Continue reading
No on Measure A
Mayor Fisher claims the “business community” supports Measure A, and the City Council has no control over employee pension costs. Not true.
Most El Segundo businesses oppose Measure A. Ninety percent are not Chamber members, and the Chamber board did not allow its general membership to vote before supporting the tax hikes.
City Council controls pension costs in three ways: (1) Amounts of employee salaries, which are increased by pay raises and “special compensation”; (2) Percentage of total pension contributions employees are required to pay; and (3) Pension plan options the city provides.
Firefighter and police pensions pay 3 percent of their single highest year salary for each year worked, up to 90 percent. Fisher supported firefighter and police pay raises of 11.25 percent to 32.3 percent over three years, plus additional 5 percent annual “step” raises, approved 4/7/09 and 12/2/08, jacking up pension costs.
The council can save more than $3.3 million yearly by requiring city employees to pay half their total pension contributions, as allowed under state law effective 1/1/13. The city now pays 71 percent to 94 percent of total pension contributions.
The council can save several million more yearly by eliminating automatic additional 5 percent annual “step” raises, and “special compensation” for things that are existing job requirements or unrelated to the job.
These savings must be negotiated with the city unions later this year, after the April election. The Measure A tax windfall will weaken the City Council’s bargaining position and preclude these savings.
See PublicSafetyProject.org for more information. Vote “no” on Measure A.
El Segundo Continue reading
No on Measure A
Mayor Fisher claims the “business community” supports Measure A, and the City Council has no control over employee pension costs. Not true!
Most El Segundo businesses oppose Measure A. 90% are NOT Chamber members, and the Chamber board did not allow its general membership to vote before supporting the tax hikes.
City Council controls pension costs in three ways: (1) Amounts of employee salaries, which are increased by pay raises and “Special Compensation”; (2) Percentage of total pension contributions employees are required to pay; and (3) Pension plan options the City provides.
Firefighter and police pensions pay 3% of their single highest year salary for each year worked, up to 90%. Fisher supported firefighter and police pay raises of 11.25% to 32.3% over three years, plus additional 5% annual “Step” raises, approved 4/7/09 and 12/2/08, jacking up pension costs.
The Council can save more than $3.3 million yearly by requiring City employees to pay half their total pension contributions, as allowed under state law effective 1/1/13. The City now pays 71% to 94% of total pension contributions.
The Council can save several million more yearly by eliminating automatic additional 5% annual “Step” raises, and “Special Compensation” for things that are existing job requirements or are unrelated to the job.
These savings must be negotiated with the City unions later this year, after the April election. The Measure A tax windfall will weaken the City Council’s bargaining position and preclude these savings.
Vote “No” on Measure A.
– Mike Robbins Continue reading
NO ON “A”
You already live in one of the most heavily taxed states in the country. Why would you want to add to your family’s burden? City operating costs have not gone down as claimed. They will not, until we have a council that is willing to confront the unions and demand realistic pay and retirement contracts for city employees. Look at all the new construction in town in the last few years on top of the Chevron settlement. Each provided large amounts of additional revenue to the city. Yet, the increased inflow will never be enough to pay for the city employee’s union contracts that your council has approved. Do not give the council more money to waste. Look at the candidates that receive backing from these unions. The cities unions are backing candidates that will give them more of your tax dollars.
– Art Lavalle Continue reading