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.
March 2019 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: Fraud Waste and Abuse
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
Union Offers and Counter-Offers
The police and firefighter “associations” (unions) spent more than $10,000 in their dishonest labor contract campaign since 5/28/15, including 11 half-page newspaper ads, two city-wide mailers, and mobile billboards driven around town, attacking Mayor Suzanne Fuentes
and our City Council for doing their job to protect our city from bankruptcy.
The unions claimed (7/30/15 ad) “We don’t want raises. We just want to stop the cuts.” False. The Police Union Contract Offers and Counter- Offers finally posted on the City website shows they want 9% in general pay raises (3% per year for 3 years), including retroactive raises, in addition to automatic 5% annual step raises, periodic longevity raises, and various special compensation raises hidden in their union contract. They want the City to pay most of the CalPERS Pension Employee Contribution, in addition to the full Employer Contribution. They want taxpayers to fund nearly all of their three to six million-dollar pensions and their healthcare. And they want to work only three days per week.
There’s no budget surplus as the unions claimed. The City must replenish the Reserve Fund, repay money borrowed from the Equipment Replacement Fund, and fund the backlog of tens of millions of dollars in deferred infrastructure maintenance.
Police and firefighter total compensation has been about $150,000 to $385,000 each per year, due to union campaigning to elect City Councilmembers. The unions are not being mistreated. It is they who are mistreating us with their Culture of Entitlement, Ingratitude, and Corruption.
– Mike Robbins
The police and fire union labor contract negotiation offers and counter-offers, released by the City of El Segundo after reluctant and delayed permission of the unions, will be provided here as soon as time permits.
EDD and Me
I usually don’t share my opinion in Herald Publications newspapers, but I think this is important, especially to other small business owners.
A few months ago, I received a letter notifying me that Employment Development Department (EDD) wanted to conduct an audit. EDD is part of the Labor and Workforce Development Agency and handles the audit and collection of payroll taxes and maintains employment records for California workers.
I had just been audited by State Fund and wasn’t too concerned. Turns out it wasn’t a routine audit. EDD was on a mission to reclassify my independent contractors as employees, which they did. I went from having five part-time employees to over 25 employees and I was fined $13,000. EDD did not discuss their findings with me or ask me any questions related to my Independent Contractors. They reclassified everyone I issued a 1099 in the past three years, regardless of the circumstances. I was stunned and didn’t know where to turn.
I had to hire attorneys to represent me and I reached out to anyone I could think of to help. I contacted my newspaper association California Newspaper Publishers Association (CNPA), Congresswoman Maxine Waters office, Senator Ben Allen’s office, Assembly Member Autumn Burke’s office, Supervisor Don Knabe’s office and El Segundo Mayor Suzanne Fuentes. Only Mayor Fuentes took action.
Mayor Fuentes reached out and connected me to Assembly Member David Hadley’s office. These two elected officials stepped up and actively helped me. Sarah Wilfong, of Assembly Member Hadley’s office, regularly reached out to me and monitored what was happening, contacted EDD on my behalf and I felt supported 100%.
EDD had made factual and procedural errors … 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
Overpriced and Imperfect – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Mike Robbins – With proof and background information
The following letter to the editor was published in the El Segundo Herald newspaper (HeraldPublications.com) on Thursday, August 27, 2015 in the Letters section on page 3. The El Segundo Herald has a strict 250-word limit, including the title.
Overpriced and Imperfect
The El Segundo police and fire unions have retired fire department employees extolling their perfection to defend huge pay raises. They’re overpriced, and usually do a good job, but not always. Here are some examples.
One police officer took an unauthorized and unreported hour break reading a newspaper in a patrol car at the beach during patrol duty. Another left a patrol car unattended with the engine running and windows down, in front of City Hall on Holly Ave., across from Stuft Pizza where kids hang out. That attractive nuisance could have cost lives and millions of tax dollars had a kid taken it for a joyride and crashed.
El Segundo police sergeant Rex Fowler caused an accident that killed Hawthorne police motorcycle officer Andrew Garton, during escort duty in Torrance for a royal funeral procession for Manhattan Beach police officer Mark Vazquez, who died of cancer. Garton’s widow sued El Segundo for $25 million for wrongful death, and Hawthorne filed a $718,655 claim for damages against El Segundo.
Firefighter Michael Archambault was arrested, convicted, and sentenced for shoplifting five products totaling $354.95 from Costco. He was allowed to retire early with a $110,251/ year pension.
An El Segundo resident, a firefighter for another agency, suffered permanent disability because, he said, the paramedics claimed he was okay and refused to transport him to the hospital while he was having a stroke, allowing them to get back to the fire station to watch a big sports game on TV.
– Mike Robbins
Here is proof and background information for the statements and examples in this letter.
This information was updated on April 21, 2015 to add the annual CalPERS pension income for retired El Segundo Fire Battalion Chief David K. Sharp for 2014 – a whopping $177,841.56 – not even counting benefits!
This information was also was updated to add the annual CalPERS pension income for retired El Segundo Fire Engineer (and firefighter union member) Michael J. Archambault for 2014 – a huge $111,937.56 – not even counting benefits!
The El Segundo police and fire unions have retired fire department employees extolling their perfection to defend huge pay raises.
David K. Sharp submitted an “op-ed” column which which was published on page 3 of the June 11, 2015 edition of the El Segundo Herald. It was basically an advertisement defending the excessive and unsustainable salaries and pensions of the El Segundo Firefighters’ Association (union) and their managers. He is a retired El Segundo firefighter who was a fire union member for most of his career, until he achieved his final rank of Fire Battalion Chief. He retired in 2007, and received $171,335.76 in 2012 and $174,770.76 in 2013 from his taxpayer-funded CalPERS pension after working for only 31.76 years.
Here is proof for David K. Sharp’s California Public Employee Retirement System (CalPERS) pension. It is provided by the TransparentCalifornia.com website. They obtained it from Public Records Act requests made to CalPERS.
Here is my summary and formatting of Sharp’s CalPERS pension information in the TransparentCalifornia.com database (I added his last position):
City Employee: David K Sharp Agency: City of El Segundo, California Last Position: Fire Battalion Chief Retired in: 2007 Years of service: 31.76 Pension: CalPERS 2014 Total* $177,841.56 2013 Total* $174,770.76 2012 Total* $171,335.76 * Excluding benefits.
Note that public employee retirees in CalPERS get automatic pension Cost Of Living Adjustment (COLA) raises each year. Also, CalPERS pensions are a defined benefit pension plan and not a defined contribution plan like a 401(k), so CalPERS payments are guaranteed by the taxpayers regardless of investment portfolio performance and any risky investment portfolio mismanagement.
See David K. Sharp’s CalPERS pension information in the TransparentCalifornia.com database here:
Rosemarie Radomsky, who submitted the “Who You Gonna Call?” letter to the editor of the El Segundo Herald, published on page 3 of the August 20, 2015 edition, is a retired City of El Segundo employee who worked as an administrative analyst in the fire department, according to a former El Segundo fire department employee. She is listed in the CalPERS pension database at TransparentCalifornia.com as a retired City of El Segundo employee with 10.85 years of service with the city. She retired in 2001.
See Rosemarie Radomsky’s CalPERS pension information here:
Cut the Raises
The El Segundo Total Compensation Survey on the City website shows the police and firefighters are substantially over-compensated when compared to ten other South Bay and nearby survey cities.
The police and firefighter unions changed their campaign slogan to “We don’t want raises. We just want to stop the cuts.” But they already got their raises – many huge raises during the Great Recession – that are budget-busters. And they are talking about only one out of many annual and periodic raises hidden in their union contracts, including raises on top of raises.
There are no new police or firefighter staffing cuts as they want us to believe. The City Council is funding three additional police positions. And if the firefighters got their way, we would have fewer firefighters per shift. They put Measure P on the 4/10/2012 ballot to maximize their compensation, but reduce staffing to only 12 firefighters and no paramedic transport ambulances per shift.
The firefighters lied to the voters, saying that signing their initiative petition would preserve our local fire department, when it would have disbanded it, forced El Segundo to contract with Los Angeles County for an inferior level of service, and transferred the firefighters to the County. The fire union lobbied the City Council (2/15/11 meeting) to enact Measure P directly into law without letting us vote on it. When we finally got to vote, 90.1% voted “No”, even though the firefighters probably spent over $100,000 on their campaign.
We cannot trust them.
– Mike Robbins
Questions the Phrase “Dehumanizing”
8/4/15 Council meeting was another organized parade of union members and their companions programed to parrot the slogans of the unions. The firefighter’s union constant fabrication about seven years of salary and compensation cuts. Since 2009 there has not been any department cuts to the firefighters salary or special compensation (source, city records). Both these salaries and special compensations have risen every year and are at all time highs. One firefighter’s earnings, in 2014, was $285,785, more than anybody in El Segundo, even the city manager.
Also no union firefighters live in town. The union’s president lives in Manhattan Beach and their V.P. lives in San Juan Capistrano. They spoke and used words like “not being able to provide for their families”, “severely understaffed”, ”working in one of the most dangerous and hazardous city on the West Coast”. This propaganda makes us lose any admiration for this organization, But when they make accusations like ”personal threats to our families way of life” and “dehumanizing members and their families” now they have lost respect.
Explain how living in million dollar homes between Manhattan Beach and San Diego County, working in one of the safest city in Los Angeles County, making $150,000 to $285,000 a year, early 50’s retirement with six figure pensions is dehumanizing? And the fire department still bills you $1,800 just to transport you to an emergency room.
– Marc Rener