Category Archives: Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor of local El Segundo and South Bay California newspapers. Letters on fiscal responsibility, government spending, taxes, and government employee unions are of special interest here, although other subjects also appear here.

Strange Election – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Marianne Fong

Strange Election

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


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Posted in California, Doug Willmore's Great Chevron Shakedown, Economy and Economics, El Segundo, El Segundo Election Coverage, El Segundo Herald Letters, El Segundo News, El Segundo Tax and Fee Increases, Elections, Firefighter and Police Union Compensation and Pensions, Firefighter Union Corruption, Fraud Waste and Abuse, Government Employee Compensation and Pensions, Letters to the Editor, Police Union Corruption, Political Corruption, Politics, Tax Policy and Issues, Union Corruption | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Strange Election – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Marianne Fong

No more Tantrums and Disrespect – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Sue Capo

No more Tantrums and Disrespect

Voters, now is our chance to remove the two rude, mean-spirited Council members and get five professionals to represent us.

Imagine council meetings where Dave Atkinson doesn’t storm off the dais using curse words when he doesn’t get his way. Or a meeting where Marie Fellhauer and Dave don’t roll their eyes and tell speakers they are wrong, or liars, during public comments. Seriously, would you let your kids behave that way?

Let’s not forget the time Dave and Marie ambushed Mike Dugan during his campaign event at the Moose Lodge two years ago. This behavior wouldn’t be accepted at El Segundo Middle School.

Time to be an example and tell our children why candidates’ character counts.

I know who I won’t be voting for.

– Sue Capo


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Posted in California, El Segundo, El Segundo Election Coverage, El Segundo Herald Letters, El Segundo News, Elections, Letters to the Editor, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on No more Tantrums and Disrespect – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Sue Capo

No on Measure B – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Jerry Wellfonder

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
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Posted in California, Economy and Economics, El Segundo, El Segundo Election Coverage, El Segundo Herald Letters, El Segundo Hotel Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT), El Segundo News, El Segundo Tax and Fee Increases, Elections, Firefighter and Police Union Compensation and Pensions, Firefighter Union Corruption, Fraud Waste and Abuse, Government Employee Compensation and Pensions, Letters to the Editor, Police Union Corruption, Political Corruption, Politics, Union Corruption | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on No on Measure B – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Jerry Wellfonder

The Notorious Measure B – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Edward Ryan

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

Posted in California, El Segundo, El Segundo Election Coverage, El Segundo Herald Letters, El Segundo Hotel Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT), El Segundo News, El Segundo Tax and Fee Increases, Elections, Firefighter and Police Union Compensation and Pensions, Firefighter Union Corruption, Fraud Waste and Abuse, Government Employee Compensation and Pensions, Letters to the Editor, Police Union Corruption, Political Corruption, Politics, Tax Policy and Issues, Union Corruption | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Notorious Measure B – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Edward Ryan

Too Big and Seriously Ugly – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Marlene Henneberg

Too Big and Seriously Ugly

How pleased I was to read Mr. Fisher’s letter to your editor! I have been wondering for years, if there were any rules at all, in this city, regarding the appearance of these humongous houses going up. Not only are they way too big for their lots, but many are seriously ugly. They stick out like sore thumbs in this city.

To claim we need more spec houses is outrageous. That we should not have any control over the appearance of a new house being built leaves me nearly speechless. Councilwoman Fellhauer certainly just lost my vote. Please read Drew Boyles’ statement, which promises to protect El Segundo’s small town charm. Now that is something a 50 year resident can get behind.

– Marlene Henneberg


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Posted in California, El Segundo, El Segundo Election Coverage, El Segundo Herald Letters, El Segundo News, Elections, Letters to the Editor, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Too Big and Seriously Ugly – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Marlene Henneberg

Knows Who She’s Not Voting For Council – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Donna Hooper

Knows Who She’s Not Voting For Council

A little less than three years ago, Spring 2013, Marie Fellhauer and Dave Atkinson joined with Bill Fisher in the sleaziest operation I have seen in the 48 years I’ve lived in El Segundo. They pushed Carl Jacobson out of his position as mayor in the middle of his term and replaced him with Bill Fisher. This is not the way decent people act and therefore I will not vote for either Marie Fellhauer or Dave Atkinson to continue on the El Segundo City Council.

– Donna Hooper Continue reading

Posted in California, El Segundo, El Segundo Election Coverage, El Segundo Herald Letters, El Segundo News, Elections, Letters to the Editor, Political Corruption, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Knows Who She’s Not Voting For Council – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Donna Hooper

Elect Brann and Pirsztuk – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Mike Robbins

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


Related Article:

Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA) honors former El Segundo City Councilman 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:


HOMETOWN HEROES

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.

( Continue reading … )


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Posted in California, El Segundo, El Segundo Election Coverage, El Segundo Herald Letters, El Segundo Hotel Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT), El Segundo Measure B TOT Tax Hike, El Segundo News, El Segundo Tax and Fee Increases, Elections, Firefighter and Police Union Compensation and Pensions, Firefighter Union Corruption, Fraud Waste and Abuse, Government Employee Compensation and Pensions, Letters to the Editor, Measure A - 5 New Taxes and 6 Tax Inceases, Measure P - Firefighters Union Initiative, Political Corruption, Politics, Tax Policy and Issues, Union Corruption | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Elect Brann and Pirsztuk – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Mike Robbins

Likes Small Town Feel? – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Charles Fisher

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


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Posted in California, Economy and Economics, El Segundo, El Segundo Election Coverage, El Segundo Herald Letters, El Segundo News, Elections, Letters to the Editor, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Likes Small Town Feel? – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Charles Fisher

Doesn’t Agree With Officers’ Statements – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Loretta Frye

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


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Posted in California, Economy and Economics, El Segundo, El Segundo Herald Letters, El Segundo News, El Segundo Tax and Fee Increases, Firefighter and Police Union Compensation and Pensions, Firefighter Union Corruption, Fraud Waste and Abuse, Government Employee Compensation and Pensions, Letters to the Editor, Police Union Corruption, Political Corruption, Politics, Tax Policy and Issues, Union Corruption | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Doesn’t Agree With Officers’ Statements – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Loretta Frye

Police Union Fundraiser Mailer – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Mike Robbins

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

Posted in Economy and Economics, El Segundo, El Segundo Election Coverage, El Segundo Herald Letters, El Segundo News, El Segundo Tax and Fee Increases, Elections, Firefighter and Police Union Compensation and Pensions, Firefighter Union Corruption, Fraud Waste and Abuse, Government Employee Compensation and Pensions, Letters to the Editor, Measure A - 5 New Taxes and 6 Tax Inceases, Police Union Corruption, Political Corruption, Politics, Tax Policy and Issues, Union Corruption | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Police Union Fundraiser Mailer – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Mike Robbins