Tag Archives: El Segundo Herald

Inherent Conflict of Interest – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Mike Robbins

Inherent Conflict of Interest

The Police Officers’ and Firefighters’ Associations (unions) bankrolled the Measure B tax-hike campaign. FPPC campaign disclosure forms show the police and fire unions spent an overwhelming $39,247.50 in our city election ($19,033.50 police, and $20,214.00 fire) to influence voters on Measure B and the City Council race.

This is nearly four times the $10,000 they contributed to the “Yes on Measure A” campaign in 2014, for eleven tax hikes, on residents and businesses. The fire union probably spent more than $100,000 on their Measure P campaign in 2012, to outsource our local Fire Department to Los Angeles County for a reduced level of service, for their own financial benefit.

None of the firefighters and only about one-fourth of the police live in town. They campaign in our local elections to maximize their pay and pensions, and raise taxes and fees to pay for it, no matter how excessive and unsustainable.

The latest available El Segundo City Employee compensation data, for 2014, at TransparentCalifornia.com, shows the 58 sworn police employees had the following total annual pay and benefits statistics: Minimum=$139,028; Maximum=$358,536; Average=$228,240; and Median (half above and half below)=$214,867.

The 44 sworn firefighter employees had the following total annual pay and benefits statistics: Minimum=$148,235; Maximum=$375,524; Average=$247,646; and Median=$225,882. The firefighters are paid to sleep and eat, including some of those hours at the overtime rate of 150% their regular pay rate.

The union campaigns have nothing to do with safety and everything to do with union greed.

– Mike Robbins


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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 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, Police Union Corruption, Political Corruption, Politics, Tax Policy and Issues, Union Corruption | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Inherent Conflict of Interest – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Mike Robbins

Smear Campaign? – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Marianne Fong

Smear Campaign?

I would like to assure Marie Fellhauer’s campaign supporter, Jenica Brigham, that I do exist. I am not “the same person” as Mike Robbins as she claimed in her insulting 4/7/16 Herald letter. Brigham attacked me, Mike Robbins, and others with childish name-calling and other baseless personal attacks because we reminded voters of Fellhauer’s record on City Council. She used personal attacks because she could not disprove any of our facts about Fellhauer’s true record.

Brigham claimed the residents “think everything should be free.” In fact, we don’t want to be charged twice for the same things, such as $1,850+ fire department ambulance transport fees when taxes already pay for our fire department.

Brigham described herself as “a young woman”, apparently to attract young voters to vote for Fellhauer. But at age 38, she hardly qualifies as “a young woman”. By 38, you’d think she would have registered to vote. She is not even registered to vote in El Segundo, at least not as of 2014.

Another Fellhauer campaign supporter, Beth Schodorf, submitted a letter calling accurate descriptions of Fellhauer’s City Council record a “smear campaign”. Now who’s doing the smearing? Schodorf even defended Fellhauer by attacking Lou Kutil. That was a mistake. For many years Lou Kutil, an elderly resident himself, has volunteered his own time and money to drive elderly residents to their doctor appointments, wait for them, and drive them back home.

– Marianne Fong


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Posted in California, El Segundo, El Segundo Election Coverage, El Segundo Herald Letters, El Segundo News, El Segundo Tax and Fee Increases, Elections, Firefighter Union Corruption, Fraud Waste and Abuse, Letters to the Editor, Political Corruption, Politics, Tax Policy and Issues, Union Corruption | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Smear Campaign? – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Marianne Fong

Let’s Be Realistic – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Jane Waag Friedkin

Let’s Be Realistic

Incumbent City Council candidate Marie Fellhauer said she “is fighting to get our fair share of the county property tax levy.” That may sound nice as a campaign slogan, but it has little basis in reality.

She compares El Segundo and Manhattan Beach with respect to property tax revenue, but not business tax revenue. Is she willing to give up a share of El Segundo’s massive business tax revenue in exchange for a share of Manhattan Beach’s property tax revenue?

Fellhauer and Dave Atkinson voted to charge El Segundo residents and non-residents fire department ambulance transport fees of $1,850 or more per transport. They had plenty of time to rescind the fees, but did not, even though residents spoke against them at City Council meetings. Is it realistic to believe they might rescind these fees after they are re-elected for another four years?

Is it realistic to believe Fellhauer would have rejected the police and fire union endorsements had they decided to endorse her? Her allies and supporters, former Mayors Eric Busch, Bill Fisher, and Sandra Jacobs, all received police and fire union endorsements and campaign expenditures. The firefighters even delivered and installed their campaign signs.

Fellhauer claims she’s making a sacrifice by declining City Council benefits. She said others should make the same sacrifice. However, she is not making any sacrifice because she gets generous benefits through her LAPD job. City Council pays only about $10,800 per year. Hopefully, the benefits help attract more competent and honest candidates.

– Jane Waag Friedkin


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Posted in California, Economy and Economics, El Segundo, El Segundo Election Coverage, El Segundo Herald Letters, El Segundo News, El Segundo Tax and Fee Increases, Elections, Firefighter Union Corruption, Fraud Waste and Abuse, Letters to the Editor, Manhattan Beach, Police Union Corruption, Political Corruption, Politics, Tax Policy and Issues, Union Corruption | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Let’s Be Realistic – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Jane Waag Friedkin

Is Marie Fellhauer Endangering Proposition 13? – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Mike Robbins

Is Marie Fellhauer Endangering Proposition 13?

Marie Fellhauer and Dave Atkinson are campaigning as conservatives, but the facts prove otherwise. Fellhauer and Atkinson even endorsed Scott Houston for Water Board Director after he ran as a self-described Progressive (ultra-liberal) for Democratic Party County Central Committee, and after he lobbied City Council to enact Measure P (to outsource our local fire department to L.A. County) directly into law without letting us vote on it.

Marie Fellhauer, Dave Atkinson, and Bill Fisher have repeatedly blamed El Segundo’s financial problems on Proposition 13 and the lower percentage of property taxes coming back to El Segundo compared to other cities. However, El Segundo has higher property values than most California cities, which helps compensate for that. Also, roughly three-fourths of the land area in El Segundo is commercial or industrial, producing significantly more tax revenue and costing significantly less for City services than residential property.

Fellhauer claims she will get the state legislature to increase the percentage of property taxes coming back to El Segundo. However, she fails to identify which cities will volunteer to give up some of their percentage so El Segundo can have more.

Fellhauer may be playing with fire and opening up a Pandora’s Box by encouraging the state legislature to change Proposition 13. One possible outcome might be weakening or eliminating Proposition 13 altogether and going back to the days when homeowners, especially the elderly, were taxed out of their homes by greedy tax-and-spend politicians and government employee unions.

– Mike Robbins


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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, Economy and Economics, El Segundo, El Segundo Election Coverage, El Segundo Herald Letters, El Segundo News, Elections, Firefighter Union Corruption, Letters to the Editor, Measure P - Firefighters Union Initiative, Political Corruption, Politics, Tax Policy and Issues, Union Corruption | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Is Marie Fellhauer Endangering Proposition 13? – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Mike Robbins

Gouging Hotels – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Kip Haggerty

Gouging Hotels

To my dismay, I see the City Council has come back to us yet again with the immoral proposition of gouging hotel customers for the crime of not being us. The argument in favor is based on the bromide “every one else is doing it.” Anything higher than the sales tax rate is just plain wrong and I hope we have the collective wisdom to vote it down again. Instead of gouging visitors, we could always vote out the incumbents to keep any one from accumulating two terms and their associated health insurance for life benefit. This could save substantial funds for lifetime health care insurance of “retired” council members.

– Kip Haggerty


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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 Measure B TOT Tax Hike, El Segundo News, El Segundo Tax and Fee Increases, Elections, Fraud Waste and Abuse, Government Employee Compensation and Pensions, Letters to the Editor, Politics, Tax Policy and Issues | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Gouging Hotels – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Kip Haggerty

Eight Reasons to Vote Out the Incumbents – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Mike Robbins

Eight Reasons to Vote Out the Incumbents

1.) Marie Fellhauer and Dave Atkinson voted for at least twelve tax hikes.

2.) They voted to charge residents more than $1,850 for each fire department paramedic ambulance transport to the hospital, even though taxes pay for that.

3.) They voted to lease out the driving range for up to 50 years, at CenterCal’s option, without a competitive bid, for much less money than it’s worth, to build a huge TopGolf sports bar with an enlarged driving range as an accessory. The lease will take land away from the golf course, restaurant, and pro-shop; eliminate hole #1; and reduce the yardage, difficulty, and possibly safety of the golf course.

4.) They used falsified financial data to misrepresent that the golf course is losing money to justify their sweetheart deal.

5.) They voted to remove more competent and honest Carl Jacobson from the Mayor’s office and make Bill Fisher mayor, in the middle of Jacobson’s term without justification.

6.) They and two police union members ambushed then City Council candidate Mike
Dugan in 2014, rudely disrupting his Meet the Candidate night at the Moose Lodge. They kept interrupting him, made false accusations, and wouldn’t let him talk.

7.) Fellhauer tried to eliminate City Council Member (but not City Clerk and Treasurer) benefits, to discourage candidates from running against her. She gets lavish benefits from LAPD.

8.) A Fellhauer camp political operative repeatedly pressured challenger Don Brann to stop running against her for City Council.

– Mike Robbins


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Posted in California, El Segundo, El Segundo Election Coverage, El Segundo Hotel Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT), El Segundo Measure B TOT Tax Hike, El Segundo News, Measure A - 5 New Taxes and 6 Tax Inceases | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Eight Reasons to Vote Out the Incumbents – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Mike Robbins

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

Vote Out the Incumbents – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Marianne Fong

Vote Out the Incumbents

Now’s our chance to vote-out incumbents Marie Fellhauer and Dave Atkinson. Both of them, and un-elected Mayor Bill Fisher, are the Gang of Three who staged a coup and ousted Carl Jacobson from the mayor position in the middle of his term, without any legitimate reason. It was a disgraceful, unprecedented, destabilizing power-grab to make Fisher mayor to increase his re-election chances, and advance their agenda.

Fellhauer and Atkinson voted for $1,850+ paramedic ambulance hospital transport fees charged to residents and nonresidents, and many big tax and fee increases, including Measure A – eleven tax hikes in one measure, on residents and businesses.

They voted to bring in CenterCal and TopGolf, and change the golf course driving range into a giant sports bar with the driving range as a back-end, rather than keep it family- and kid-friendly.

The driving range lease requires reconfiguration of the golf course in addition to the driving range. It will take considerable land area from the existing golf course to expand the driving range, making the golf course less challenging and less safe.

Fellhauer and Atkinson voted to extend the driving range lease for up to 50 years, at CenterCal’s option, for substantially less money than was determined using Mike Dugan’s research and analysis. Most voters will be dead before the 50-year lease expires.

El Segundo voters voted-out Bill Fisher. Now it’s time to finish the clean-up job and vote-out incumbents Fellhauer and Atkinson. They don’t listen and are not fiscal conservatives.

– Marianne Fong
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Posted in California, El Segundo, El Segundo Election Coverage, El Segundo News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Vote Out the Incumbents – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Marianne Fong

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

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