Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Vote for Donald Trump because the future of the Supreme Court and our Constitution are at extreme risk if Hillary Clinton wins.
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Vote YES on the measure to speed up the Death Penalty for Terrorists and other Mass-Murderers.
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August 2018 M T W T F S S « Aug 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
- Alert for the Tuesday, November 8, 2016 General Election
- The Devil Made Us Equal by Mike Robbins
- 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
- 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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Tag Archives: city council
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
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
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
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
by Michael D. Robbins
Director, Public Safety Project, PublicSafetyProject.org
March 31, 2014
Measure A is at least eleven permanent tax hikes in a single ballot measure – four on residents and seven on businesses.
Four City employee unions have donated $17,500 to the “Yes on Measure A” campaign to raise our taxes and their pay and pensions:
- The El Segundo Firefighters PAC donated $5,000.00 on 02/11/2014;
- The El Segundo Police Officers’ Association PAC donated $5,000.00 on 02/24/2014;
- The El Segundo City Employees Association PAC donated $5,000.00 on 02/28/2014; and
- California Teamsters Public Affairs Council in Sacramento donated $2,500.00 on 02/28/2014, presumably for the El Segundo Supervisory and Professional Employees’ Bargaining Unit, Teamsters Local 911.
Public Records Act Request Response Documents: 2/27/2014 FPPC Form 460 filed with the El Segundo City Clerk by the “Yes on A” campaign. (532 KB PDF file),
3/27/2014 FPPC Form 460 filed with the El Segundo City Clerk by the “Yes on A” campaign (799 KB PDF file),
3/27/2014 FPPC Form 497 filed with the El Segundo City Clerk by the “Yes on A” campaign (393 KB PDF file), and
3/31/2014 FPPC Form 460 filed with the El Segundo City Clerk by the El Segundo Police Officers Association PAC (372 KB PDF file). );
These four City employee union gave a total of $17,500 to the “Yes on Measure A” campaign to get $6.6 million per year in return for past and future union pay raises and resulting pension increases.
There is an inherent and unavoidable conflict of interest when government employee unions contribute money and provide other forms of campaign support for candidates and ballot measures that will increase their pay and pensions, and then raise taxes on residents and businesses to pay for it.
The “Yes on Measure A” campaign claims 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.
Looking down their list of supporters, we find:
- Four were city council candidates sponsored by the fire and police unions, who get huge pay raises in return for their campaign support – Bill Fisher, Sandra Jacobs (one of the two “Yes on Measure A” campaign co-chairs), Cindy Mortesen, and Janice Cruikshank;
- One tried to steer a city contract to a friend for $120,000 when the more qualified bid was $65,000 for the same job;
- One was AGAINST the tax hikes when he was a Hacienda Hotel employee, but now, as an ex-employee, he is FOR the tax hikes that will harm his former employer and the entire hotel industry – Joe Harding (one of the two “Yes on Measure A” campaign co-chairs), spoke out strongly against smaller Utility Users Tax (UUT) and Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) hikes at the 8/3/10 El Segundo City Council meeting, saying, “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.”;
- One had to resign his elected office due to his long-time persistent affair with a school board member also on the list, which he admitted to in writing, after her husband contacted the City Council regarding the persistent affair with his wife – former City Treasurer Christopher Powell and current School Board Member Laura Gabel
Public Records Act Request Response Documents: 11/24/2012 email from Laura Gable’s Husband, Greg Gable to the El Segundo City Council and City Clerk (140 KB PDF file),
11/26/2012 Letter of Resignation from El Segundo City Treasurer Christopher Powell (27.5 KB PDF file), and
11/27/2012 email from resigned City Treasurer Christopher Powell via City Clerk Tracy Weaver admitting to his extra-marital affair (30.2 KB PDF file). );
- One is a former elected official who allegedly had an affair with his campaign manager, which allegedly broke up her marriage.
- One was a no-show city clerk who worked full-time for another city but collected two government paychecks – Cindy Mortesen;
- One is a school teacher union member who misused School District public facilities, public resources, and students to campaign for a City Council candidate – Ray Gen;
- 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 – Police Captain Robert (Bob) Turnbull;
- Three crashed and disrupted the meet-and-greet of City Council candidate Mike Dugan, and heckled and interrupted him, causing some of the voters to leave early – City Council Member David Atkinson, City Council Member (and Los Angeles police officer and union member) Marie Fellhauer, and police captain and union member Robert (Bob) Turnbull;
- One is the election official who runs the entire election and counts all the ballots, and should not endorse candidates or ballot measures in elections she conducts – Tracy Weaver;
- And missing are the four City employee unions who contributed $17,500 to the Yes on Measure A campaign to raise our taxes and their pay.
I could go on, but you get the picture. Please vote NO on Measure A.
by Michael D. Robbins
Director, Public Safety Project, PublicSafetyProject.org
March 14, 2014
El Segundo Mayor Bill Fisher, and City Council Members David Atkinson and Marie Felhauer who give Fisher his Council majority, claim the City Council no control over City employee pension costs. They claim that is all determined by California state law. This is not true. They make this claim to deceive El Segundo voters into approving the massive Measure A tax increases on residents and businesses on the April 8, 2014 city election ballot.
This article explains how the City Council has significant control over employee pension costs, how the City Council increased employee pension costs, and how the City Council can save $3.3 million per year in employee pension costs.
The City Council controls employee pension costs in three significant ways:
- The amounts of employee salaries, which are increased by pay raises and “special compensation” add-ons;
- The percentage of the total CalPERS pension contributions employees are required to pay; and
- Which pension formula and other pension options are provided to City employees.
Every pay raise increased the City’s CalPERS pension costs.
City employee annual pension income is a fixed percentage of their single highest year salary, including all those redundant and non-job-related “Special Compensation” union contract add-ons, for every year they worked. Firefighters and police get annual pension income of 3% of their single highest year salary for each year they worked, up to a maximum of 90%, with full retirement after 30 years at age 50 or 55. This corresponds to pension benefit formulas of 3% @ 50 and 3% @ 55, respectively.
Mayor Fisher supported wildly excessive and unsustainable pay raises for the already over-compensated firefighter and police unions that helped launch his political career with lots of campaign support, and for their managers to prevent “salary compaction”. Fisher supported pay raises ranging from 11.25% to 23% for the firefighter and police unions, in three or four installments over three years, and single pay raises ranging from 14.9% to 32.3% for their managers, during the first three years of the Great Recession. All of the raises were approved well after the Great Recession started, and many included retroactive pay raises effective up to 6 and 9 months before the union contracts were approved. The firefighter and police union contracts included additional 5% annual “step raises”, and additional periodic “longevity raises”. … Continue reading
EL SEGUNDO CITY ELECTION:
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Vote “NO” on Measure A Tax Hikes.
All El Segundo residents should visit the Election Information index page regularly, preferably daily, until the April 8, 2014 El Segundo city election.
The following letter to the editor was submitted to the El Segundo Herald newspaper on Thursday, July 12, 2012 well before their 12:00 noon Thursday deadline, and it meets their 250-word limit including the title.
However, El Segundo Herald CEO and President Heidi Maerker arbitrarily rejected this letter without explanation. Maerker has arbitrarily rejected other letters without explanation since the April 10, 2012 city election, including letters that had nothing to do with the election.
There are a number of very interesting possible explanations for this strange behavior, which will be discussed in a future post.
Visit the Public Safety Project web site frequently for important information updates you will not get from the El Segundo Herald or other news sources.
Scott Houston’s letter (7/5/12, “Foxes Guarding Henhouse?”) was full of falsehoods, just like his city council campaign.
Houston wrote, “Since when is the Mayor executing agreements on behalf of our City? I thought that was the job of the City Manager.” As a two-time city council candidate (and loser), Houston should know the city council votes to approve ordinances, resolutions, contracts, and agreements, and the mayor signs them.
Houston wrote, “Where is the outrage that was expressed when our previous City Manager was acting as chief negotiator with the employee labor groups last year? … no one paying attention to what’s going on at City Hall. I guess the foxes are guarding the henhouse.”
Had Houston been paying attention, he would know Mike Robbins submitted a written Public Communication for the 5/1/12 council meeting citing SIX reasons why the city manager should not be negotiating city employee union contracts. It has been posted on the city web site (elsegundo.org) since 4/30/12, under agendas. … Continue reading