Tag Archives: El Segundo Herald

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

EDD and Me – by Heidi Maerker, CEO of Herald Publications

EDD and Me

Dear Readers,

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

Posted in California, El Segundo, El Segundo News, Fraud Waste and Abuse, Tax Policy and Issues | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on EDD and Me – by Heidi Maerker, CEO of Herald Publications

Feels Neither is Right – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Marc Rener

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

Posted in California, Economy and Economics, El Segundo, 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, News, Police Union Corruption, Political Corruption, Politics, Union Corruption | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Feels Neither is Right – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Marc Rener

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:

http://TransparentCalifornia.com/pensions/search/?q=David+K+Sharp&a=&y=&s=

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:

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Posted in California, Crimes, 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, Firefighters Commiting Crimes, Fraud Waste and Abuse, Government Employee Compensation and Pensions, Letters to the Editor, News, Police Union Corruption, Political Corruption, Politics, Tax Policy and Issues, Union Corruption | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Overpriced and Imperfect – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Mike Robbins – With proof and background information

Cut the Raises – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Mike Robbins

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


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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 and Police Union Compensation and Pensions, Firefighter Union Corruption, Fraud Waste and Abuse, Government Employee Compensation and Pensions, Letters to the Editor, Measure P - Firefighters Union Initiative, Police Union Corruption, Political Corruption, Politics, Union Corruption | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Cut the Raises – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Mike Robbins

Union Claims Don’t Add Up – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Mike Robbins

Union Claims Don’t Add Up

The firefighter and police “associations” (unions) sent a campaign mailer to all city residents. One side contained propaganda urging attendance at the 7/7/15 City Council meeting, and the other side was a “Stop The Cuts” sign to display during the meeting.

The mailer claimed “millions of dollars in contract concessions over the past seven years”. The unions actually received millions of dollars in excessive and unsustainable pay raises during this period.

The already overpaid firefighter and police unions received the following pay raises during the Great Recession, in three-year contracts approved by City Council on 4/7/09 in Consent Agenda items E11, E12, and E8:

El Segundo Firefighters’ Association (ESFA) received 11.25% in raises for firefighters, paramedics, fire engineers, and fire captains.

El Segundo Police Officers’ Association (ESPOA) received 15% in raises for officers and sergeants.

El Segundo Police Managers’ Association (ESPMA) received 18% in raises for lieutenants and 23% for captains.

The following three year contracts gave all city union members pay raises every year.

All of the above raises were in addition to automatic annual 5% “Step” raises, periodic “Longevity” raises, and many types of “Special Compensation” raises hidden in their union contracts for all six years.

Firefighter and police managers received the following pay raises during the Great Recession, to avoid “salary compaction”, approved by City Council on 12/2/08 in Consent Agenda item E8: Fire Battalion Chiefs, 16.9%; Deputy Fire Chief, 14.9%; Fire Chief, 32.3%; and Police Chief, 23%.

Facts are stubborn things.

– Mike Robbins


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Posted in California, 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, News, Police Union Corruption, Political Corruption, Politics, Tax Policy and Issues, Union Corruption | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Union Claims Don’t Add Up – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Mike Robbins

Not Once, But Twice – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by George Hoopes

Not Once, But Twice

Marc Rener’s letter to the Editor on July 16 is 100% correct! “Something has to change now.”

As property owners and taxpayers we should not be billed twice for the same service. And to charge $1,853.75 to transport a person 5.3 miles is nothing short of filthy Al Capone gangsterism! It seems to me the El Segundo Fire Department has a vulture mentality – they lay around like buzzards, until someone needs help, then take advantage of the situation and pounce on the poor victim’s bank account like a deranged vulture and then claim “that’s our policy.”

Just who invented that policy? Who is responsible for that policy that whack El Segundo taxpayers in the wallet not once, but twice for the same thing?

– George Hoopes


NOTE: This letter is in response to the July 16, 2015 letter to the El Segundo Herald titled “Feels Bill is Excessive and Unnecessary” by Marc Rener about El Segundo, California paramedic transport bills sent to residents who call 911 and are taken to the hospital, although city taxes already pay for the fire department.

Feels Bill is Excessive and Unnecessary – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Marc Rener


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Posted in California, El Segundo, El Segundo Herald Letters, El Segundo News, El Segundo Tax and Fee Increases, Firefighter Union Corruption, Fraud Waste and Abuse, Letters to the Editor, Political Corruption, Politics, Tax Policy and Issues, Union Corruption | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Not Once, But Twice – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by George Hoopes

Call a Taxi? – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Lillian Wendel

Call a Taxi?

I just saw the letter about the outrageous ambulance bill. I had the same thing happen to my daughter. Not only was the dollar amount outrageous, but how much of the bill is going to the firm contracted to collect the payment? This city should be ashamed. Next time folks, call a taxi.

– Lillian Wendel


NOTE: This letter is in response to the July 16, 2015 letter to the El Segundo Herald titled “Feels Bill is Excessive and Unnecessary” by Marc Rener about El Segundo, California paramedic transport bills sent to residents who call 911 and are taken to the hospital, although city taxes already pay for the fire department.

Feels Bill is Excessive and Unnecessary – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Marc Rener


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Posted in California, 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, Political Corruption, Politics, Tax Policy and Issues, Union Corruption | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Call a Taxi? – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Lillian Wendel

Feels Bill is Excessive and Unnecessary – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Marc Rener

Feels Bill is Excessive and Unnecessary

June 6, I made an emergency 911 call, for my mother. The paramedics arrived, then paramedics transported her to the emergency room at Marina Del Rey , 5.3 miles away. She was treated and is now doing fine, until July 3. She received a bill from the City of El Segundo, with a Sacramento address, demanding $1,853.75 “for services”.

It turns out this is an agency hired by El Segundo to collect money for services for transporting her, an El Segundo resident, in an El Segundo city vehicle, by El Segundo City paramedics and that she is responsible for that bill in full.

I brought this up at the 7/7/2015 council meeting. After a discussion with the Fire Chief, he stated this is now the policy in El Segundo, to bill the residences/taxpayers of El Segundo for services by El Segundo paramedics, using El Segundo City equipment, even though the taxpayers of this city continually pay for both.

There are seniors here, on a fixed income, who don’t even make half of $1,853.75 in a month. This collection is not only excessive, but unnecessary.

I find it offensive that our residence/taxpayers who paid, in 2014, firefighter salaries who make between $100,000 to $285,000, that are supplied with multimillion dollar vehicles and the best equipment, that now these same taxpayers will have to pay extra for a service by city employees to do the job they were hired for in the first place.

Something has to change now.

– Marc Rener


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Posted in California, El Segundo, El Segundo Herald Letters, El Segundo News, Firefighter Union Corruption, Fraud Waste and Abuse, Letters to the Editor, Political Corruption, Politics, Tax Policy and Issues, Union Corruption | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Feels Bill is Excessive and Unnecessary – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Marc Rener

Union Activism – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Mike Robbins

Union Activism

The firefighter and police officer “associations” are labor unions. They spent thousands of dollars campaigning for a month, with deceptive campaign ads and mailers, to keep millions of dollars per year in excess compensation they receive as rewards for their support for past City Council candidates.

None of the firefighters and only one fourth of the police live in town. They want to control and run our city for their own financial benefit.

Their unions exist to continuously increase their compensation, no matter how excessive and unsustainable, at our expense in money and safety. They support candidates and ballot measures that will maximize their pay, and raise our taxes and fees to pay for it.

For example, the firefighters put Measure P on the 4/10/2012 ballot to maximize their compensation, but reduce our safety. It would have forced El Segundo to contract with the L.A. County Fire Department for an inferior level of service. We would have lost our three paramedic transport ambulances, and been forced to use out-of-town ambulance companies, doubling hospital transport times. The firefighters hired a campaign consultant, election lawyers, and professional pollsters. They probably spent over $100,000. I led the grassroots campaign against Measure P. Thankfully, 90% of voters voted “No”.

The city unions contributed $17,500 to the Measure A campaign (4/8/2014). Measure A was eleven tax hikes in one measure, on residents and businesses. I led the campaign against Measure A. We won again. The union activism shows Council is doing its job.

– Mike Robbins


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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 and Police Union Compensation and Pensions, Firefighter Union Corruption, 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 Union Activism – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Mike Robbins