Tuesday, November 8, 2016
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- Alert for the Tuesday, November 8, 2016 General Election
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- 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
- Inherent Conflict of Interest – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Mike Robbins
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Tag Archives: April 8 2014 El Segundo General Municipal Election
April 15 Council Meeting
The Council meeting after the election should have been a straightforward ceremonial passing of power from the old to the new Council. However, defeated Mayor Bill Fisher made the meeting all about himself, and then his ally, Marie Fellhauer, made it all about attacking newly elected Council Members Suzanne Fuentes and Mike Dugan.
Fisher used his bully pulpit for the last time. He gave a long-winded speech repeating his campaign material, taking credit for the work and accomplishments of others including Carl Jacobson and even myself. As usual, he stated numerous falsehoods, and without any proof or evidence, accused others of lying even though they backed up their statements with evidence.
Police Union member Marie Fellhauer put an item on the agenda designed to achieve a political end. It read, “Consideration and possible action to discuss the salary and benefits that the City Council members receive and whether such should be reduced or eliminated either voluntarily or through formal action.”
Eliminating Council pay and benefits will make it difficult to attract honest, competent, independent candidates. This will help the Police and Fire Unions elect their own candidates and pack the Council with Union Puppets. It will also help Fellhauer and Atkinson run for re-election with minimal or no competition.
The election might be canceled due to lack of candidates, as in 2006, when Fisher was appointed after potential candidates were intimidated by the unprecedented 2004 campaign spending. It would’ve happened this time, if not for Dugan.
– Mike Robbins
Post-election Council meeting
The El Segundo Council meeting after the election should have been a straightforward ceremonial passing of power from the old to the new Council. However, defeated Mayor Bill Fisher made the meeting all about himself, and then his ally, Marie Fellhauer, made it all about attacking newly elected Council members, Suzanne Fuentes and Mike Dugan.
Fisher used his bully pulpit for the last time. He gave a long-winded speech repeating his campaign material, taking credit for the work and accomplishments of others including Carl Jacobson and even myself. As usual, he stated numerous falsehoods and, without any proof, accused others of lying even though they backed up their statements with evidence.
Police union member Marie Fellhauer put an item on the agenda designed to achieve a political end. It read, “Consideration and possible action to discuss the salary and benefits that the City Council members receive and whether such should be reduced or eliminated either voluntarily or through formal action.”
Eliminating Council pay and benefits will make it difficult to attract honest, competent, independent candidates. This will help the police and fire unions elect their own candidates and pack the Council with union puppets. It will also help Fellhauer and Atkinson run for re-election with minimal or no competition.
The election might be canceled due to a lack of candidates, as in 2006, when Fisher was appointed after potential candidates were intimidated by the unprecedented 2004 union and special interest campaign spending. It would have happened this time, if not for Dugan.
El Segundo Continue reading
Council pay procedures
Marie Fellhauer ruined the April 15 El Segundo City Council meeting, which was supposed to be a peaceful transition for the newly elected Council. She put an item on the agenda to eliminate pay and benefits for elected Council members, but interestingly, not for the elected city clerk and treasurer who are paid significantly more.
Fellhauer falsely claimed the Council cannot cut union salaries and compensation and, therefore, Council member pay and benefits should be eliminated. Obviously, her real agenda is to punish newly elected Council members who support union compensation and pension reforms necessary to keep our city solvent and viable. Fellhauer is angry and vindictive because she lost her Council majority when Fisher lost the election.
Fellhauer demanded Suzanne Fuentes and Mike Dugan give up their $900 per month City Council pay and benefits if she gives up hers. She neglected to mention she is a highly paid police union member in Los Angeles with a lavish pension and benefits, and a cushy desk job, all at taxpayer expense.
El Segundo City Council pay is low. We are fortunate to have Suzanne Fuentes and Mike Dugan on Council. Both are experienced managers from major corporations. It is the overpaid police and fire unions that are causing serious financial problems, not City Council pay.
Fellhauer wants to punish honest, independent, more qualified Council members. Clearly, the police and fire union members who don’t even live in town have a representative in Marie Fellhauer, but the residents and taxpayers do not.
El Segundo Continue reading
Fellhauer is a Union Puppet
Marie Fellhauer ruined the April 15 City Council meeting, which was supposed to be a peaceful transition for the newly elected Council. She put an item on the agenda to eliminate pay and benefits for elected Council Members, but interestingly, not for the elected City Clerk and Treasurer who are paid significantly more.
Fellhauer falsely claimed the Council cannot cut union salaries and compensation, and therefore Council Member pay and benefits should be eliminated. Obviously, her real agenda is to punish the newly elected Council Members who support union compensation and pension reforms necessary to keep our city solvent and viable. Fellhauer is angry and vindictive because she lost her Council majority when Fisher lost the election.
Fellhauer demanded Suzanne Fuentes and Mike Dugan give up their $900 per month City Council pay and benefits if she gives up hers. She neglected to mention she is a highly paid Police Union member in Los Angeles with lavish pension and benefits, and a cushy desk job, all at taxpayer expense.
El Segundo City Council pay is low. We are fortunate to have Suzanne Fuentes and Mike Dugan on Council. Both are experienced managers from major corporations. It is Police and Fire Unions being overpaid that are causing serious financial problems.
Fellhauer wants to punish honest, independent, more qualified Council Members. Clearly, the Police and Fire Union members have a representative in Marie Fellhauer, but the residents and taxpayers do not.
– Marianne Fong Continue reading
Can We Save Mayberry?
First council meeting after an election “traditionally” has consisted of well wishes and thanking the people for their vote, turned into 30 minutes of half-truths, lies, condescending remarks and placing blame on others that did not vote their way. We have lost our “Mayberry” traditions by self-serving politicians who prefer a “Santa Monica” version of El Segundo.
Ex-mayor Fisher “claims” he had to “jump in” before “the economic time frame door closed”. No time for “traditional” change of Council leadership. It’s my opinion, in 2012, when Mayor Busch decided not to run, Bill Fisher assumed he was the “heir” to the Mayoral throne. But he wasn’t elected Mayor or re-elected Mayor Pro-tem. He became just an ordinary councilman. Thus started the “plot” to obtain his desired title, which he executed 5/21/13.
As for his frequent misstatement of facts, let’s just take Fisher’s repeated claim that the firefighters union took a 9% cut in salary and a 17.5% cut in compensation in 2010. He repeated this claim in council meetings on 3/4/14, 3/18/14, 4/1/14 and 4/15/14. Fisher has never shown any documentation to verify these claims. He’s just talk.
For years Fisher has refused to examine my documents to disprove me. On 4/15/14 during Public Communications, I again produced these documents. Neither Fisher nor his loyal supporters Fellhauer and Atkinson asked to see these documents during or after any of these meetings. Apparently they think repeating falsehoods often makes them true.
– Marc Rener Continue reading
by Michael D. Robbins
Director, Public Safety Project, PublicSafetyProject.org
April 7, 2014
Three flyers containing verifiable factual information about Measure A were distributed to residents and small businesses on the weekend of April 5, 2014.
Click on each of the links below to view, download, and print them. Please share them with your friends and neighbors in case they did not get all of them.
Flyer #1: Vote “NO” on Measure A – Eleven Tax Hikes in One Measure! – Distributed on Saturday, April 5, 2014. (119 KB PDF file)
Flyer #2: 36 MORE REASONS TO VOTE NO ON MEASURE A – Distributed on Saturday, April 5, 2014. (206 KB PDF file)
Flyer #3: Vote “NO” on Measure A, and Against BILL FISHER! – Distributed on Sunday, April 6, 2014. (168 KB PDF file)
Below is the content of Flyer #3, with added photos, links, and information documenting the facts contained in the flyer.
Vote “NO” on Measure A, and
Against BILL FISHER!
Measure A is ELEVEN Permanent Tax Hikes in a Single Ballot Measure
Have the Measure A Supporters Earned Our Trust?
The “Yes on A” campaign has lost the debate. Their arguments have been refuted, and many have been shown to be outright deceptive and dishonest. So they switched to using the campaign slogan, Measure A is “supported by people you know and trust”. But if you really knew most of them, you probably would not trust them.
“Measure A – Supported by People You Know and Trust” slogan on a “Yes on Measure A” campaign mailer delivered on 3/29/2014.
See PublicSafetyProject.org for more information, details, and proof.
Sandra Jacobs, one of two “Yes on A” campaign co-chairs, was one of a slate of three Fire and Police Union sponsored City Council candidates.
See the details on the below, including the $46,204 in campaign money.
Joe Harding, one of two “Yes on A” campaign co-chairs, was AGAINST the tax hikes when he was a Hacienda Hotel employee. NOW, this ex-employee is FOR the tax hikes that will be devastating to his former employer.
Harding spoke out strongly against smaller Utility Users Tax (UUT) and Hotel Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) hikes at the 8/3/10 City Council meeting. Anyone can verify this by watching the City Council meeting video at PublicSafetyProject.org or ElSegundo.org. Here are his quotes from that meeting:
“Joe Harding, representing the Hacienda Hotel and also a resident of El Segundo.” “Most of you have seen first-hand what our industry has endured over the past 27 years.” “Our industry just can’t handle any increase.” “You must say ‘No’ to the hotel killer tax!” “A TOT and a UUT would hit us twice. That’d be like kicking us when we’re down, and then running us over for good measure.” “The City must make unpopular and difficult adjustments to their payroll and expenses.” “Leave the TOT where it is.”
Click HERE to see the video of Joe Harding making this speech at the 8/3/10 El Segundo City Council meeting, and to read a transcript of his speech.
Looking down the “Yes on A” campaign’s list of supporters (“People You Know and Trust”), we find:
(Click HERE for more details and documentation on these “People You Know and Trust”.)
- Four were City Council candidates sponsored by the Fire and Police Unions, who get huge pay raises and pension increases in return for their campaign support
- One tried to steer a City contract to a friend for nearly twice the price – for $120,000 when the more qualified bid was $65,000 for the same job
- One was a no-show El Segundo City Clerk who worked full-time for another city, but collected TWO government paychecks
- One is an ESUSD school teacher union member who misused school district facilities, public resources, and students to campaign for a City Council candidate
- One resigned his elected City Treasurer office due to his extra-marital affair with a current school board member who is also on the list
- One is a police captain who made the news for bullying and harassing a city resident at his workplace for posting the public record Police and Fire Union salaries on his website
- And missing from the list are the following employee union Measure A supporters who donated a total of $17,500 to the “Yes on A” campaign as of 3/23/14 (from FPPC filings):
- El Segundo Firefighters PAC donated $5,000 on 2/11/14
- El Segundo Police Officers Association PAC donated $5,000 on 2/25/14
- El Segundo City Employees Association donated $5,000 on 2/28/14
- California Teamsters Public Affairs Council donated $2,500 on 3/11/14
- Do you trust all the City employee union members who donated $17,500 (thus far) through their unions – to get a whopping $6.6 Million per year in return to pay for their past and future excessive pay raises and resulting pension increases?
Bill Fisher’s Forgotten History
Let’s go down the memory hole and recover Bill Fisher’s forgotten history. Fisher’s political career was launched by the Fire and Police Unions when they ran a three-candidate slate including Fisher and Sandra Jacobs (“Yes on A” campaign co-chair).
Fisher claims he knew nothing about the union support. However, Fire Union president Kevin Rehm’s cell phone number was on the campaign signs for each of the slate candidates as the contact number for campaign sign management.
Firefighters union president Kevin A. Rehm managed the delivery, installation, and maintenance of the campaign yard signs for all three candidates – Sandra Jacobs, Bill Fisher, and Eric Busch. A sticker appeared on every sign with his cellular phone number. It read:
“This sign has been placed with the permission of the owner. If you have any problems with this sign please call: (310) 422-9411 We will fix the problem ASAP. Thank you!”
I called that number during the election campaign and Kevin Rehm answered. I spoke with him and asked him questions about the firefighter union’s candidate endorsements. You can do an Internet search for the following keywords to see that this is Kevin Rehm’s phone number: (310) 422-9411 Kevin Rehm.
See the photos of the three candidate’s campaign signs with firefighters union president Kevin Rehm’s cellular phone number on them below. The first two photos show the entire signs at a distance to make it clear the close-up photos of the sticker on the corner each sign are of the same campaign signs.
The El Segundo firefighters union installed triple the campaign signs for City Council candidates Sandra Jacobs, Bill Fisher, and Eric Busch at a house on the east side of town.
The El Segundo firefighters union installed double the campaign yard signs for City Council candidates Sandra Jacobs, Bill Fisher, and Eric Busch at a house on the east side of town.
See the photos below of the campaign signs with firefighter union president Kevin Rehm’s cellular phone number (310-422-9411) on them as the sign placement and maintenance coordinator. His phone number sticker was on all the campaign signs for Bill Fisher, Sandra Jacobs (one of the two Measure A co-chairs), and Eric Busch.
Bill Fisher’s City Council campaign sign with El Segundo firefighter union president Kevin Rehm’s cellular phone number on it.
Sandra Jacobs’ City Council campaign sign with El Segundo firefighter union president Kevin Rehm’s cellular phone number on it.
Eric Busch’s City Council campaign sign with El Segundo firefighter union president Kevin Rehm’s cellular phone number on it.
The unions sent out slate campaign mailers featuring studio portrait photos of all three candidates, with color-coordinated backgrounds.
See the scanned images below of the campaign slate mailer postcard sent to El Segundo voters by the two unions.
The front side of the campaign mailer shows photos of a firefighter standing next to a fire engine and a police officer standing next to a police car. It reads:
“What do El Segundo Firefighters and Police Officers Have in Common?”
The back side has the photos and names of El Segundo City Council candidates Eric Busch, Sandra Jacobs, and Bill Fisher. It reads:
“Firefighters – Police Officers – Paramedics
BUSH – JACOBS – FISHER
The Best Choice For Public Safety
On April 13th Support
Eric BUSCH – Sandra JACOBS – Bill FISHER
Paid For By The El Segundo Firefighters Association – PO Box 55 El Segundo, CA ID #1231824″
The firefighters and police unions claimed that they endorsed “The Best Choice For Public Safety”. That was a lie. They endorsed the candidates who would give them the biggest pay raises and pension increases, and then raise taxes and fees on the residents and businesses to pay for it all.
Click on each picture for a larger view (will open in a new browser window or tab).
When then Councilman Bill Fisher was confronted at a City Council meeting about the conflict of interest created from his firefighter and police union campaign support, given that he votes on their pay raises and benefits increases, he claimed he did not know the unions were supporting his campaign!
Notice how the firefighter and police union campaign slate mailer has professional studio photos with color-coordinated matching backgrounds of Bill Fisher and the other two union-endorsed candidates. Clearly, Fisher posed for his professional photo and a copy of it was sent to the unions for use in their campaign mailer. Also, Fisher wants us to believe he did not know who was distributing, installing, and maintaining his campaign signs around the city throughout the his campaign.
Rehm sent a deceitful campaign mailer on official Fire Union letterhead, threatening seniors with “the possibility of our paramedics not being available when you need them” if the three union-approved candidates were not elected!
The El Segundo firefighters union even sent out a campaign letter on their official union letterhead, signed by union President Kevin Rehm, 1st Vice President Breck Slover, and 2nd Vice President John Bilbee, threatening senior citizen voters with “the possibility of our paramedics not being available when you need them” if the three candidates approved by the union were not elected!
See the scanned image of this letter and the envelope it was sent in below.
Click on the letter below to see a larger image of it (will open in a new browser window or tab).
Click HERE for an analysis and the text of the Senior Scare Letter on our old web site. Then click the BACK button in your browser to return to this web page.
The mysterious “Committee To Continue The Progress Of El Segundo” spent $46,204 including union and out-of-town donations campaigning for the slate. Fisher narrowly lost that election, but was APPOINTED to the Council two years later. That election was CANCELLED due to lack of candidates. The unprecedented campaign spending intimidated potential challengers.
Fisher rewarded the unions well with 11.25% to 23% in pay raises during the Great Recession, including retroactive pay raises effective nine months before the date of approval, plus additional 5% annual “step-raises”, jacking up compensation and pensions. Fisher also supported single pay raises of 14.9% to 32.3% for the non-union managers (Deputy Fire Chief, Fire Battalion Chiefs, Police Chief, and the Fire Chief) to avoid “salary compaction”.
The pay raises were approved in secret in one or more closed session City Council meetings, and were made public and given a public vote of approval as a mere formality in the April 7, 2009 and December 2, 2008 open session City Council meetings, after they were already a done deal.
These pay raises included the following:
|JOB CLASSIFICATION||PAY RAISE||DATE APPROVED||CONSENT AGENDA ITEM|
|Firefighters||11.25%||April 7, 2009||E11|
|Fire Engineers||11.25%||April 7, 2009||E11|
|Fire Captains||11.25%||April 7, 2009||E11|
|Police Officers||15.0%||April 7, 2009||E12|
|Police Sergeants||15.0%||April 7, 2009||E12|
|Police Lieutenants||18.0%||April 7, 2009||E8|
|Police Captains||23.0%||April 7, 2009||E8|
|Fire Battalion Chiefs||16.9%||December 2, 2008||E8|
|Deputy Fire Chief||14.9%||December 2, 2008||E8|
|Police Chief||23%||December 2, 2008||E8|
|Fire Chief||32.3%||December 2, 2008||E8|
In addition to the above pay raises, the firefighter and police employees were (and still are) given 5% annual “step raises” in each of the first four or five years after the year they are promoted or assigned to a new position.
In addition to the above pay raises, the firefighter and police employees were (and still are) given periodic “longevity” raises every so many years.
Rehm’s pension pays him $172,516 per year. Measure A will only pay for more union rewards!
Kevin Rehm’s annual CalPERS pension from working as an El Segundo firefighter is $172,516.08 per year according to the CalPERS Database on the FixPensionsFirst.com website at:
Fisher hoped to get appointed to City Council again without an election, but a third candidate emerged the last day of the filing period. Please Vote NO on Measure A and AGAINST Bill Fisher on April 8th. For voting information, see ElSegundo.org or contact the City Clerk.
This flyer is a response to late campaign mailers and late campaign contribution reports.
Check the PublicSafetyProject.org web site for documentation, proof, and responses to any last-minute hit pieces.
Authored by Michael D. Robbins. Not authorized or endorsed by any candidate or committee.
Paid for by Michael D. Robbins, P.O. Box 2193, El Segundo, CA 90245. 4/4/2014 Rev. 1
I urge residents to read Measure A in its entirety. You will find there is not a sunset clause on the tax increase, but simply reduces the 2.5% to 2% in 2017, creating a “forever” tax.
I firmly believe, based on current and past irresponsible deficit spending by our city council, and the persistent mentality of all elected officials, is to raise taxes every time they overspend.
Raising taxes discourages new businesses from coming to El Segundo. Don’t’ believe the threats made by the “Vote Yes on A”. They do not have residents best interests in mind. They only say what they want you to believe. Let these “well to do Yes on A” contributors write a check to the city in any amount they want and as often as the want. They can write off whatever they give on their federal tax.
Another important point to consider – it now takes only 50% of voters to pass the tax increase, not the 2/3 as in the past. Please get out and vote No on Measure A.
The City Attorney said, “The resolution on how to spend the money is non-binding.” This Council chose the non-binding route.
Please vote and vote No on Measure A.
– Jane Waag Friedkin, Former Councilwoman Continue reading
by Michael D. Robbins
Director, Public Safety Project, PublicSafetyProject.org
March 25, 2014
Below is a list of City of El Segundo, California employees who retired with California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) pensions paying them $100,000 or more per year. The highest annual pension for El Segundo is $198,272.04. El Segundo is a small City with about 5.5 square miles of land area and about 16,849 residents in 2012.
CalPERS pensions are Defined Benefit Plans that guarantee retirees their full pension payments, regardless of how much was paid into the pension fund and regardless of the performance of the pension plan’s investment portfolio, with taxpayers obligated to make up the difference. In contrast, 401(k) plans, which are common in the private sector, are Defined Contribution Plans, where the benefits paid out to retirees depends on how much was paid into the retirement plan, and on the performance of the investment funds the employees individually selected from the available choices.
The CalPERS pensions are so high because the City employee salaries are so high, especially for the firefighter and police employees, and because the City provides the employees with the maximum allowable pension formula. The annual pension income from firefighter and police CalPERS pensions is 3% of the single highest year salary for each year they worked, up to a maximum of 90%, with retirement at age 50 or 55. Upon retirement, firefighters and police live just as long as miscellaneous (non-safety) employees – about age 83 for the men and 85 for the women – and the life expectancy keeps increasing over time with medical advances.
Thus, the taxpayers end up paying for at least two fire and police departments – the ones doing the work, and the ones enjoying long lavish retirements while receiving multi-million dollar pensions.
The salary upon which CalPERS pensions are based includes all those “Special Compensation” add-ons in the union contracts, that average an additional 33% on top of base salary for El Segundo police and firefighters. “Special Compensation” is paid even for things that are already existing job requirements or are unrelated to the job, including wearing a uniform and having a driver license.
For example, fire engineers (second-level firefighters) whose job description includes driving the fire engine are paid additional “Special Compensation” under their union contract to have a driver license to drive the fire engine. All “Special Compensation” increases the salary counted towards the pension payout and the pension cost to the City’s taxpayers.
The elected City Council controls pension costs in three significant 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%. El Segundo Mayor Bill 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 El Segundo City 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 City 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 8, 2014 election. Measure A is on the ballot for that election. Measure A bundles ELEVEN TAX HIKES in one ballot measure. The Measure A tax windfall will weaken the City Council’s bargaining position and preclude these savings. … Continue reading
No on Measure A
Mayor Fisher and his sidekicks, David Atkinson and Marie Fellhauer, want us to believe they may voluntarily reduce our taxes in the future if we approve Measure A and give them four permanent new taxes on residents, permanently increase five existing business taxes, and create a new permanent parking tax.
How can we trust them? They back-stabbed their colleague Mayor Carl Jacobson in a coup they staged at the 5/21/13 City Council meeting. They voted to remove Jacobson from the office of Mayor in the middle of his two-year term, without any legitimate justification!
This break with tradition and decency is unprecedented since at least 1940, and probably in El Segundo history. Jacobson won re-election in 2012 with by far the most votes, despite the sleazy and dishonest campaign against him by fired city manager Doug Willmore, KCET television and the Los Angeles Times.
The Fisher Majority staged their coup so Fisher could run for re-election as Mayor rather than Council Member. This also gives Fisher more clout in negotiating new long-term City employee union contracts and raises later this year after the April election.
I urge everyone to vote “No” on the permanent Measure A Tax Hikes, and for Mike Dugan and Suzanne Fuentes. … Continue reading