Tag Archives: election

Vote AGAINST Scott Houston – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Mike Robbins

Vote AGAINST Scott Houston

Vote AGAINST Scott Houston for West Basin Municipal Water District Board of Directors if you don’t want additional unnecessary water rate increases. Two-time City Council loser Houston is the absolute worst of three “progressive” (ultra-liberal/leftist) Democrats running. Vote FOR Stephen Murray instead.

Houston supported Measure P, the firefighter union’s initiative (4/10/12 ballot), which was defeated by 90% of El Segundo voters. It would have disbanded our local Fire Department and transferred our fire and paramedic services, and firefighters, to Los Angeles County for inferior services. It would have eliminated 31% of our on-duty firefighters, two paramedic squads, and all three paramedic transport ambulances, doubling hospital transport times.

Houston lobbied the City Council (2/15/11 meeting video) to enact Measure P directly into law without allowing the voters to vote on it!

Houston supported THIRTEEN TAX HIKES, including ELEVEN TAX HIKES in Measure A (4/8/14 ballot; 3/13/14 Herald letter).

Houston took endorsements and huge campaign contributions from the police officers’ “association” (union). Police, firefighter, and other government unions support candidates and ballot measures that will give them the biggest pay and pension increases, and raise our taxes to pay for it. That’s why our police and firefighters are paid $150,000 to $330,000 each in total annual compensation.

Houston campaigns claiming qualifications and positions he does not possess. He wants to use WBMWD as a stepping stone to higher office to promote Big Government tax-and-spend “progressive” politics.

Houston is a government union puppet, not a representative of the people.

– Mike Robbins


NOTE BY MICHAEL D. ROBBINS:

This letter was submitted with an error that is corrected above. “Metropolitan” was corrected to “Municipal”. I was researching both the West Basin Municipal Water District (WBMWD) and its up-stream water provider Metropolitan Water District (MWD) just before I wrote this letter, hence the mistake.


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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 Vote AGAINST Scott Houston – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Mike Robbins

Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA) honors former El Segundo City Councilman Mike Robbins as a “Hometown Hero”

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.



Scan of top half of front page of Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA) newsletter (Vol. 40, Issue 3, Fall 2014).

Scan of top half of front page of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA) newsletter (Vol. 40, Issue 3, Fall 2014).


Scan image of the article in the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA) newsletter (Vol. 40, Issue 3, Fall 2014), honoring Mike Robbins as a "Hometown Hero".

Scan image of the article in the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA) newsletter (Vol. 40, Issue 3, Fall 2014), honoring Mike Robbins as a “Hometown Hero”.


NOTE FROM MICHAEL D. ROBBINS:

I am pleased to be recognized and honored by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA), in its statewide newsletter, as a “Hometown Hero” for my leadership role in defeating ballot Measure A in the El Segundo, California General Municipal Election on April 8, 2014. Measure A was ELEVEN TAX HIKES IN ONE MEASURE, taxing RESIDENTS and BUSINESSES to pay for wildly excessive compensation and pensions for city employees. … Continue reading

Posted in California, El Segundo, 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, 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 Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA) honors former El Segundo City Councilman Mike Robbins as a “Hometown Hero”

April 15 Council Meeting – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Mike Robbins

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


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Posted in California, El Segundo, El Segundo Election Coverage, El Segundo Herald Letters, 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, Police Union Corruption, Political Corruption, Politics, Union Corruption | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on April 15 Council Meeting – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Mike Robbins

El Segundo Flyer #3 – Vote “NO” on Measure A, and Against BILL FISHER!

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.
“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 an apartment building on the far east end of Mariposa Ave.
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 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.
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.
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.
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
Support
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).


Front side of the slate campaign slate mailer sent by the El Segundo firefighters and police unions for Sandra Jacobs, Bill Fisher, and Eric Busch in the 2004 El Segundo City Council Election. The firefighter and police unions spend thousands of campaign dollars each election cycle to get millions of extra tax dollars in their paychecks and pensions each year.


Back side of the slate campaign slate mailer sent by the El Segundo firefighters and police unions for Sandra Jacobs, Bill Fisher, and Eric Busch in the 2004 El Segundo City Council Election. The firefighter and police unions spend thousands of campaign dollars each election cycle to get millions of extra tax dollars in their paychecks and pensions each year.

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 to see a larger image of the El Segundo firefighters union campaign letter threatening senior citizen voters, then click the BACK button in your browser to return to this web page.


Letter that the El Segundo firefighters union used to send their campaign letter threatening senior citizen voters.

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.


View or download a PDF file containing the FPPC Form 460 filed by the “Committee To Continue The Progress Of El Segundo”. (6.71 MB PDF file)


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:

http://www.fixpensionsfirst.com/calpers-database/?first_name=&last_name=&employer=EL+SEGUNDO


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


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Posted in California, El Segundo, El Segundo Election Coverage, 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, Measure A - 5 New Taxes and 6 Tax Inceases, Police Union Corruption, Political Corruption, Politics, Union Corruption, Videos | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on El Segundo Flyer #3 – Vote “NO” on Measure A, and Against BILL FISHER!

Have the Measure A Supporters Earned Our Trust?

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.

( PROOF:
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.
“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
    ( PROOF:
    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.


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Posted in California, El Segundo, El Segundo Election Coverage, 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, Measure A - 5 New Taxes and 6 Tax Inceases, News, Police Union Corruption, Political Corruption, Politics, School Teachers Union Corruption, Tax Policy and Issues, Union Corruption | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Have the Measure A Supporters Earned Our Trust?

El Segundo City Employee Unions Contributed $17,500 to Measure A to Raise Our Taxes and Their Pay

by Michael D. Robbins
Director, Public Safety Project, PublicSafetyProject.org

March 31, 2014

The El Segundo City employee unions contributed $17,500 to the Measure A Tax Hike campaign, thus far, with more than a week left to make additional contributions, according to the second set of campaign finance disclosure statements for the April 8, 2014 El Segundo General Municipal Election. Clearly, the City Employee unions are trying to buy the city election to raise taxes on residents and businesses so they can get big pay raises and pension increases.

Public record city employee compensation data show that the city employee unions get millions of extra tax dollars per year by spending thousands of dollars on city elections every two years. Firefighters and police are paid about $160,000 to more than $360,000 per year in total compensation. All but one or a few firefighters DO NOT live in El Segundo. Most police officers and other City employees DO NOT live in the city.

The campaign finance disclosure statements were due by close of business on Thursday, March 27, but were not made available by the City Clerk’s office until close of business on Monday, March 31. City Hall is closed on Fridays. There is a week left before the election for the City unions to contribute even more money to raise our taxes. The final financial disclosures would normally be due on Friday, April 4. However, since City Hall is closed on Fridays, they will be due by noon on Monday, April 7 – the day before the election. This allows the unions to give more large campaign contributions without enough time for the voters to learn about them.

Wealthy real estate developers and investors who depend on City Council approval for their projects donated thousands of additional campaign dollars to raise our taxes.

Here are the major contributions:

MAJOR DONOR ID # DATE AMOUNT
El Segundo Firefighters PAC 1231824 02/11/2014 $5,000.00
El Segundo Police Officers’ Association PAC 960463 02/24/2014 $5,000.00
El Segundo City Employees Association PAC 1363708 02/28/2014 $5,000.00
California Teamsters Public Affairs Council (for El Segundo Supervisory and Professional Employees’ Bargaining Unit, Teamsters Local 911) 1363708 02/28/2014 $2,500.00
TOTAL CITY UNIONS $17,500.00
Continental Development Corp. NONE 02/07/2014 $5,000.00
Mar Ventures, Inc. NONE 03/6/2014 $2,000.00
TOTAL WEALTHY DEVELOPERS $7,000.00
S&S Hardware Co., Inc. NONE 02/07/2014 $2,000.00
S&S Hardware Co., Inc. NONE 02/28/2014 $660.00
TOTAL MAJOR DONATIONS $27,160.00

Continental Development Corp. is owned by a billionaire (or at least a multiple hundred-millionaire) who lives in this $11.1 million 7 bedroom, 12 bathroom 15,242 square foot mansion in Palos Verdes Estates. The $6.6 million per year in new taxes on residents and businesses, and the $150,000 to more than $380,000 the City pays individual firefighters and police in total annual compensation, may seem smaller to him than to the average El Segundo resident and small business owner taxpayer.

Continental Development Corp. is owned by a billionaire (or at least a multiple hundred-millionaire) who lives in this $11.1 million 7 bedroom, 12 bathroom 15,242 square foot mansion in Palos Verdes Estates. The $6.6 million per year in new taxes on residents and businesses, and the $150,000 to more than $380,000 the City pays individual firefighters and police in total annual compensation, may seem smaller to him than to the average El Segundo resident and small business owner taxpayer.


PROOF:

Click HERE to download the 2/27/2014 Yes on Measure A Tax Hikes FPPC Form 460 (532 KB PDF file).

Click HERE to download the 3/27/2014 Yes on Measure A Tax Hikes FPPC Form 460 (799 KB PDF file).

Click HERE to download the 3/27/2014 Yes on Measure A Tax Hikes FPPC Form 497 (393 KB PDF file).

Click HERE to download the 3/31/2014 El Segundo Police Officers’ Association PAC FPPC Form 460 (372 KB PDF file).


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Posted in California, El Segundo, El Segundo Election Coverage, El Segundo News, El Segundo Tax and Fee Increases, Elections, Firefighter and Police Union Compensation and Pensions, Firefighter Union Corruption, Fraud Waste and Abuse, 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 El Segundo City Employee Unions Contributed $17,500 to Measure A to Raise Our Taxes and Their Pay

Frustration – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Richard J. Switz

Frustration

Make no mistake; my ideology is conservative, and I experience frustration daily about runaway spending at the national level. However, this situation needn’t necessarily apply to residents having a 90245 zip code. Currently there is a lot of community unhappiness about the cost of doing business in El Segundo…else, why is Measure ‘A’ on the ballot? Our elected officials must be held responsible, since only they have authority to tax and spend in our town.

Candidates Fuentes and Dugan are both skilled practitioners of modern management and leadership principles used by local major corporations. Such skills are sorely needed to help right the ship, since we are clearly on an unsustainable fiscal path using current practices. Efficient management and leadership provide the key to improvement, combined with a lot of tough love to effect the changes.

Drastic improvements won’t happen overnight. After all, we have experienced nearly two decades of government wherein our representatives seem more concerned about pleasing outside interests and providing employee perks rather than serving the needs and wishes of our voters. Otherwise, how does one explain granting $150K salaries for mid-level managers and shuttering City Hall every Friday … Continue reading

Posted in California, Economy and Economics, El Segundo, El Segundo Election Coverage, El Segundo Herald Letters, El Segundo Tax and Fee Increases, Elections, Firefighter and Police Union Compensation and Pensions, Government Employee Compensation and Pensions, Letters to the Editor, Politics, Tax Policy and Issues | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Frustration – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Richard J. Switz

Ballot Argument and Rebuttal Against El Segundo Measure A Tax Hikes

by Michael D. Robbins
Director, Public Safety Project, PublicSafetyProject.org

March 14, 2014

The Measure A tax hikes will appear on the ballot for the April 8, 2014 El Segundo General Municipal Election.

Measure A creates four new taxes on residents, nearly doubles five existing business taxes, and creates a new parking tax. Measure A will cost residents and businesses an estimated $6.6 million each year in the first three years. However, all residents will pay the business tax increases that are passed on to them as customers in addition to the four new taxes imposed on residents.

The Measure Tax hikes are permanent. There is no sunset clause (expiration date). It has become clear that most or all of the Measure A tax hikes will go to pay for excessive and unsustainable past and future City employee pay raises and benefits and pension increases – especially for the firefighter and police unions and their managers. Measure A is not intended to help the City engage in responsible spending during a temporary economic downturn. Recessions are temporary, but apparently, wildly excessive and unsustainable City employee union and manager pay raises are permanent.

Measure A was put on the ballot by a vote of the El Segundo City Council. Council Members Suzanne Fuentes and Carl Jacobson requested a sunset clause so the taxes would expire after a few years and the Council would have to come back to the voters for further tax hikes, but they were denied that request by Mayor Bill Fisher and his Council majority including David Atkinson and Marie Fellhauer.


Here are the official Argument Against Measure A and Rebuttal to Argument in Favor of Measure A that appeared in the Sample Ballot and Voter Information Pamphlet mailed out by the El Segundo City Clerk’s office. … Continue reading

Posted in California, Economy and Economics, El Segundo, El Segundo Election Coverage, 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, Police Union Corruption, Political Corruption, Politics, Tax Policy and Issues, Union Corruption | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Ballot Argument and Rebuttal Against El Segundo Measure A Tax Hikes

April 8, 2014 El Segundo General Municipal Election News and Information

Last updated: Friday, May 9, 2014 at 01:45 AM PT.

This page will be updated regularly with links to informative articles about the upcoming April 8, 2014 El Segundo General Municipal Election.

Bookmark this page and review it often for breaking news and information.

(Posts are in priority order, not chronological order; newer posts appear in bold text.)


April 8, 2014 El Segundo General Municipal Election

Ballot Argument and Rebuttal Against El Segundo Measure A Tax Hikes

City of El Segundo 2014 Measure A Tax Hikes – City Attorney’s Impartial Analysis


Recapping the Election – Letter to The Beach Reporter by Michael Robbins

El Segundo Flyer #1: Vote “NO” on Measure A – Eleven Tax Hikes in One Measure!

El Segundo Flyer #3 – Vote “NO” on Measure A, and Against BILL FISHER!

Backup Documents, Photos, and Information for Statements in Recent Flyers Distributed on April 5, 2014

El Segundo City Employee Unions Contributed $17,500 to Measure A Tax Hikes Thus Far

Have the Measure A Supporters Earned Our Trust?

City of El Segundo Can Save $3.3 Million Per Year in Employee Pension Costs

Welcome to the City of El Segundo $100K+ CalPERS Pension Club!

El Segundo Herald Misreports City’s $6.3 Million Property Tax Revenue as $1 Million

El Segundo Firefighters’ Union is Bankrolling the Measure A Campaign to Hike Taxes

El Segundo Measure A Co-Chair Joe Harding was Against the Tax Hikes Before He was For Them

Wrong Time to Raise Taxes and Fees in El Segundo

Which El Segundo City Employee was Paid Nearly $600,000 in His Last Year?

2009-2010 City of El Segundo Separations due to Budgetary Reasons Mostly Early Retirements

Eleven El Segundo Police Department Positions “Eliminated” were Actually 911 Dispatchers Transferred to the South Bay Regional Public Communications (SBRPC) Authority


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

April 15 Council Meeting – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Mike Robbins

Post-election Council meeting – Letter to The Beach Reporter by Michael Robbins

Council pay procedures – Letter to The Beach Reporter by Marianne Fong

Fellhauer is a Union Puppet – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Marianne Fong

Can We Save Mayberry? – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Marc Rener

Recapping the Election – Letter to The Beach Reporter by Michael Robbins

Fire Union Bankrolling “Yes on A” Campaign – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Marianne Fong

No on Measure A – Letter to The Beach Reporter by Michael Robbins

Not happy with Measure A – Letter to The Beach Reporter by Marianne Fong

No on Measure A – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Mike Robbins

Something Fishy About Measure A – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Marianne Fong

NO ON “A” – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Art Lavalle

A Correction is In Order – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Mike Robbins

No on Measure A – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Helen Armstrong

Frustration – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Richard J. Switz

Measure ‘A’ – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Richard J. Switz


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Posted in Beach Reporter Letters, 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, Police Union Corruption, Political Corruption, Politics, Public Records, Public Records Act, Tax Policy and Issues, Union Corruption | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on April 8, 2014 El Segundo General Municipal Election News and Information

State Ballot Measures – Letter to The Beach Reporter by Michael D. Robbins

Please vote “yes” on Propositions 32 and 35, and “no” on all others, including all tax measures, all L.A. County measures (except B?) and El Camino Measure E. Taxes are unreasonably high. We’re forced to pay for massive welfare fraud (at least 25 percent, billions of dollars per year statewide) and K-12 education costs for illegal alien children who are not supposed to be in California (about 40 percent, $20 billion per year). … Continue reading

Posted in California, Elections, Politics, Tax Policy and Issues | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on State Ballot Measures – Letter to The Beach Reporter by Michael D. Robbins