Tuesday, November 8, 2016
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- 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: firefighters union corruption
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
The Notorious Measure B
By now the USPS has brought us all a slick, full-color mailing which tells us to vote approval for the notorious Measure B. What a surprise: it is paid for by the cops’ and firemen’s PAC’s. Once again I urge my fellow residents to vote “No” and reject the 50% increase in the obnoxious TOT. We don’t need more taxes, we need fiscal responsibility. See you at the polls.
– Edward Ryan Continue reading
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:
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:
April 15 Council Meeting
The Council meeting after the election should have been a straightforward ceremonial passing of power from the old to the new Council. However, defeated Mayor Bill Fisher made the meeting all about himself, and then his ally, Marie Fellhauer, made it all about attacking newly elected Council Members Suzanne Fuentes and Mike Dugan.
Fisher used his bully pulpit for the last time. He gave a long-winded speech repeating his campaign material, taking credit for the work and accomplishments of others including Carl Jacobson and even myself. As usual, he stated numerous falsehoods, and without any proof or evidence, accused others of lying even though they backed up their statements with evidence.
Police Union member Marie Fellhauer put an item on the agenda designed to achieve a political end. It read, “Consideration and possible action to discuss the salary and benefits that the City Council members receive and whether such should be reduced or eliminated either voluntarily or through formal action.”
Eliminating Council pay and benefits will make it difficult to attract honest, competent, independent candidates. This will help the Police and Fire Unions elect their own candidates and pack the Council with Union Puppets. It will also help Fellhauer and Atkinson run for re-election with minimal or no competition.
The election might be canceled due to lack of candidates, as in 2006, when Fisher was appointed after potential candidates were intimidated by the unprecedented 2004 campaign spending. It would’ve happened this time, if not for Dugan.
– Mike Robbins
Post-election Council meeting
The El Segundo Council meeting after the election should have been a straightforward ceremonial passing of power from the old to the new Council. However, defeated Mayor Bill Fisher made the meeting all about himself, and then his ally, Marie Fellhauer, made it all about attacking newly elected Council members, Suzanne Fuentes and Mike Dugan.
Fisher used his bully pulpit for the last time. He gave a long-winded speech repeating his campaign material, taking credit for the work and accomplishments of others including Carl Jacobson and even myself. As usual, he stated numerous falsehoods and, without any proof, accused others of lying even though they backed up their statements with evidence.
Police union member Marie Fellhauer put an item on the agenda designed to achieve a political end. It read, “Consideration and possible action to discuss the salary and benefits that the City Council members receive and whether such should be reduced or eliminated either voluntarily or through formal action.”
Eliminating Council pay and benefits will make it difficult to attract honest, competent, independent candidates. This will help the police and fire unions elect their own candidates and pack the Council with union puppets. It will also help Fellhauer and Atkinson run for re-election with minimal or no competition.
The election might be canceled due to a lack of candidates, as in 2006, when Fisher was appointed after potential candidates were intimidated by the unprecedented 2004 union and special interest campaign spending. It would have happened this time, if not for Dugan.
El Segundo Continue reading
Something Fishy About Measure A
Mayor Fisher is threatening to contract out our fire services to County if we don’t approve his Measure A tax hikes. These are empty threats. There’s no advantage in outsourcing. It would reduce services – not save money. 90% of voters rejected Measure P to outsource fire services. Clearly, we can do a referendum against an ordinance to outsource services.
Last year City Council raised Chevron’s taxes by more than $8.5 million average per year for 15 years. And the Council can save many millions of dollars per year by getting the employee compensation and pension cost increases under control.
All residents will pay much more of the $6.6 million annual Measure A taxes than the “Yes on A” campaign mailer claims. We will pay the new business taxes that are passed on to us as customers, in addition to the new taxes on our electricity, water, gas, landline and cellular telephone, cable TV, satellite, and Internet bills.
The money won’t go for schools or infrastructure. The City Attorney said the resolution on how to spend the money is not binding, and only language in the ballot measure can be binding. Fisher chose the non-binding route – he refused to put language in the ballot measure for money to schools and infrastructure!
The money will go for huge past and future fire and police union pay raises and resulting pension cost increases. That’s why the fire union donated $5,000 to the “Yes on A” campaign!
– Marianne Fong Continue reading
Hermosa Beach need not and should not contract with L.A. County for fire and police services. Ninety percent of El Segundo voters rejected Measure P, the fire union initiative to force El Segundo to contract with L.A. County for fire/paramedic services.
The real problem is wildly excessive and unsustainable firefighter and police total compensation (salaries, benefits, and pensions). That is the greatest cause of the city’s financial problems. … Continue reading
Thank You to the 90 Percent of Voters who Voted Against El Segundo Measure P, the Firefighter Union’s Initiative
by Michael D. Robbins Director, Public Safety Project May 18, 2012 Thank you to the 90 percent of El Segundo voters who voted against Measure P, the firefighter union’s initiative, and to those who campaigned against it. I campaigned against … Continue reading
I am delighted that Carl Jacobson has been reelected to serve our community and has been selected by four of our five city council members to be our mayor. Only Marie Fellhauer voted “No.”
Carl has selflessly served our community with integrity and distinction for many years, giving much time out of his life for altruistic reasons. He has the experience and motivation, and now enough support on the council with Suzanne Fuentes and David Atkinson, to help get our city back on the right track.
I am also delighted that ninety percent of the voters rejected Measure P, and instead voted to keep our local fire department and paramedic ambulances.
Mike Robbins led an informative and persistent campaign against Measure P since mid-2010. It took much of his time and effort to educate and motivate our community on this important issue, and our city’s future will be better as a result of his efforts.
I am grateful that our community has good citizens who give so much of themselves and expect so little in return. I am also grateful for those in our community who cared and supported them and their efforts. … Continue reading
by Michael D. Robbins
Director, Public Safety Project, PublicSafetyProject.org
Below is the content from the front side of an information flyer distributed to residents city-wide in El Segundo, California, on April 8, 2014, the Sunday before the April 10, 2012 General Municipal Election. However, the actual flyer was titled: Vote “NO” on Measure P, and Against SCOTT HOUSTON !
The back side of the flyer provided information on Scott Houston’s true ideology, politics, and track record.
A list of information sources for this flyer and a summary of the election results and lack of union electoral success follow the flyer content below.
Vote “NO” on Measure P, the Fire Union’s Initiative
- Measure P is the Fire Union’s Initiative – They put it on the ballot to maximize their salaries and job security at our expense in lives and money
- Disbands our Local City Fire Department for at least ten years under state law
- Forces our City to contract with L.A. County for significantly reduced fire & paramedic services in a One-Sided Contract that gives L.A. County ALL of the Bargaining Power
- L.A. County will Unilaterally set the Contract Price, Terms, and Service Level
- Cuts number of on-duty Firefighters by 31%, from 16 to 11 – a staffing level even Fire Union President Christopher Thomason admitted was unsafe (on 1/18/11)
- Eliminates TWO of our THREE Paramedic Rescue Squads
- Permanently eliminates ALL three of our City-operated Paramedic Ambulances – The L.A. County Fire Dept. DOES NOT operate Paramedic Ambulances
- Forces residents to use Out-of-Town Private Ambulance Companies – with Significantly Increased Hospital Transport Times and Patient Fees
- We Need Our Paramedic Ambulances Most – Each year there are 0 or 1 major structure fires, but an average of 758 Paramedic Ambulance Hospital Transports
- Delays Emergency Response – Routes 911 calls through TWO Dispatch Centers
- Firefighters serving El Segundo will routinely be sent Out of Town to other L.A. County cities, far more often than out-of-town firefighters will come to El Segundo
- We already have 70 plus Firefighters Available under Existing Mutual Aid Agreements with L.A. County and South Bay cities
- 70 Firefighters Responded to the 3/13/11 helicopter crash at Raytheon Bldg. E1
- No Accountability – Insulates Firefighters and Paramedics from Accountability to any City Official – they will Report to a Remote L.A. County Fire Chief in Gardena
- Lose Ability to Control Costs – Prevents reduction of Fire Union Excessive and Unsustainable Salaries and Benefits costing $150,000 to $335,000 per employee
- All El Segundo Fire Dept. Vehicles and Equipment become L.A. County Property
- Any Cost Savings from Measure P will be Temporary, will result from Drastic Emergency Service Cuts, and will go to Pay for More Big Police Union Pay Raises
This flyer is a response to late campaign mailers and late campaign contribution reports.
Check the PublicSafetyProject.org web site for documentation & 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. 4/6/2012 Rev. 4
Information sources for this flyer include:
- Results from Public Records Act requests by Michael D. Robbins;
- Text of the Measure P voter initiative petition circulated by the El Segundo Firefighters’ Association (union) members;
- City Attorney’s Impartial Analysis of Measure P written for the Sample Ballot/Voter Information Guide;
- The Feasibility Study for the Provision of Fire Protection, Paramedic and Incidental Services for the City of El Segundo by the Consolidated Fire Protection District of Los Angeles County, approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors 8-17-2010;
- A press conference held by El Segundo Fire Chief Kevin Smith on March 13, 2011, across the street from the helicopter crash site at Raytheon Company (legacy Hughes Aircraft Company) Building E1 on El Segundo Blvd., attended by Michael D. Robbins;
- Answers to questions asked by Michael D. Robbins of El Segundo City officials including City Council Members Carl Jacobson and Suzanne Fuentes;
- Direct observation and photographic and video documentation of Los Angeles County paramedic service operations by Michael D. Robbins; and
- Analysis by Michael D. Robbins and David Burns.
Measure P, the Fire Union’s Initiative, was defeated with 90.1% voting “NO”. Also, the two City Council candidates endorsed and funded by the El Segundo Police Officers’ Association (the police union) – Scott Houston and former City Clerk Cindy Mortesen – were defeated.
The El Segundo Fire Union probably spent more than $100,000 on their Measure P campaign. The union membership voted on December 6, 2011 to provide their professional campaign consultant Frank Caterinicchio with a $75,000 campaign budget. The union hired an attorney to draft the Measure P initiative and petition, and to file a lawsuit against the City and appear in court in an attempt to change wording in the City Attorney’s Impartial Analysis. The union spent money sending out Measure P campaign mailers. And the union hired a professional polling company to do an initial telephone push-poll and two tracking push-polls of El Segundo voters, with numerous questions related to Measure P and public perception of the fire union and the various City Council candidates. The cost of polling increases as the number and complexity of the poll questions increase.
The union even offered to pay for the cost of an early Special Election within a few months in May or June of 2011, that would have given the union a significant unfair electoral advantage, but after much public pressure was applied, the City Council voted 3-2 to put Measure P on the ballot for the regularly scheduled April 10, 2012 General Municipal Election, allowing sufficient time to run an effective low-cost grassroots campaign against Measure P. The cost of the grassroots campaign against Measure P was insignificant. Continue reading