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
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
Questions the Phrase “Dehumanizing”
8/4/15 Council meeting was another organized parade of union members and their companions programed to parrot the slogans of the unions. The firefighter’s union constant fabrication about seven years of salary and compensation cuts. Since 2009 there has not been any department cuts to the firefighters salary or special compensation (source, city records). Both these salaries and special compensations have risen every year and are at all time highs. One firefighter’s earnings, in 2014, was $285,785, more than anybody in El Segundo, even the city manager.
Also no union firefighters live in town. The union’s president lives in Manhattan Beach and their V.P. lives in San Juan Capistrano. They spoke and used words like “not being able to provide for their families”, “severely understaffed”, ”working in one of the most dangerous and hazardous city on the West Coast”. This propaganda makes us lose any admiration for this organization, But when they make accusations like ”personal threats to our families way of life” and “dehumanizing members and their families” now they have lost respect.
Explain how living in million dollar homes between Manhattan Beach and San Diego County, working in one of the safest city in Los Angeles County, making $150,000 to $285,000 a year, early 50’s retirement with six figure pensions is dehumanizing? And the fire department still bills you $1,800 just to transport you to an emergency room.
– Marc Rener
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.
The following flyer is being distributed city-wide to residents and small businesses in the City of El Segundo today, on Sunday, January 11, 2014. Look for it attached to or near your front door or the gate or fence leading to your front door. It may be in a plastic bag due to rain. If you did not receive the flyer, you can download the PDF file and view it, print and give it to others, and/or email it to others in town.
Click HERE to download or view the “Send in Water & Sewer Fee Increase Protest Ballots ASAP !” flyer PDF file.
Send in Water & Sewer Fee Increase Protest Ballots ASAP !
Every Water Customer, Property Owner, & Authorized Representative Can Vote – Failure to Vote Counts as a “Yes, RAISE OUR FEES & TAXES” Vote !
Call & Email every Person & Business You Know that Resides or Owns Property in Town and Ask Them to Vote & Inform Their Contacts
All Protest Ballots must be received by the City Clerk by Tuesday, January 20, 2015
This grass-roots flyer contains facts you need to know to Stop these Fee Hikes
- This is our Last Chance to Stop the 9 Water Fee Rate Hikes and 5 Sewer Fee Rate Hikes scheduled by the City of El Segundo for 2015-2019
- These permanent rate hikes are in addition to the annual water rate hikes automatically passed on to us from the up-stream water providers – Metropolitan Water District (MWD) and West Basin Municipal Water District (WBMWD)
- These hikes will also increase Business Water Utility Taxes
- Businesses and Landlords will pass the hikes on to customers and tenants
- It makes no sense to raise fees and taxes when we are still paying millions of dollars yearly in excess City employee compensation and pensions that have no relation to reality – only to City union campaign support for City Council candidates
- We pay Police & Firefighters $150,000 to more than $345,000 total annual compensation
- Every Water Customer, Property Owner, or Authorized Representative of either can vote the Protest Ballots
- Whether or not you’re eligible to vote, please call and email every person & business you know that resides or owns property in town and urge them to vote & notify their contacts
- Download this flyer at PublicSafetyProject.org and email or give it to your contacts
- Complete, Sign, Date, & Send In your NEW set of Protest Ballots (marked “NEW” on envelope) – one for Water and one for Sewer (OLD Protest Ballots won’t be counted)
- Both a Water Protest Ballot and a Sewer Protest Ballot for each real estate parcel should be hand-delivered or mailed to the City Clerk at City Hall, 350 Main Street
- Protest Ballots must be RECEIVED before 6:00 PM Tuesday, January 20, 2015, or else at the 7:00 PM City Council meeting that night before the public hearing is closed
- To get replacement ballots by mail, or information, contact the City Clerk ASAP at 310-524-2305 or at City Hall, 350 Main Street (southeast corner at Holly Ave.)
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. 1/8/2015 Rev. 4
The following information was not all on the flyer, but should be helpful.
We need another 1,400 completed Water Protest Ballots and 1,400 Sewer Protest Ballots delivered to the City Clerk’s office and received by Tuesday, January 20, 2015. We need everyone to do their share to help stop the water and sewer fee rate increases.
Please help by calling and emailing your friends and relatives in town. Also, please knock on the doors of everyone on your block, ask if they sent in their Water and Sewer Protest Ballots yet. If not, encourage them to request replacement Protest Ballots if needed, and to turn in their completed Protest Ballots.
If you lost or did not receive your NEW Water Fee Rate Increase Protest Ballot and NEW Sewer Fee Rate Increase Protest Ballot (both in the same envelope marked “NEW”), then you need to contact the El Segundo City Clerk’s office as soon as possible to request replacement Protest Ballots, because the City Clerk will mail you new Protest Ballots which takes time.
(The OLD Protest Ballots won’t be counted. They had an incorrect public hearing date on them.)
You may hand-deliver or mail your completed, signed, and dated protest ballots back to the City Clerk. If your mail may not arrive at City Hall by Tuesday, January 20, 2015, then please hand-deliver them. … Continue reading
Send In Fee Hike Protest Ballots ASAP!
We need every El Segundo resident, property owner, business, and water customer to act now to stop nine water fee rate hikes and five sewer fee rate hikes scheduled for 2015-2019. These hikes will also increase business water utility taxes. It makes no sense to raise fees and taxes when we are still paying millions of dollars yearly in excess City employee compensation and pensions that have no relation to reality – only to City union campaign support for City Council candidates.
Failure to send in Protest Ballots counts as “yes, raise our fees and taxes” votes. Businesses and landlords will pass the hikes on to customers and tenants.
Please complete, sign, date, and send in your new set of Protest Ballots (marked “new” on envelope) – one for Water and one for Sewer. The old ballots won’t be counted. A Water and Sewer Protest ballot for each real estate parcel should be mailed or hand-delivered to the City Clerk.
Every property owner, water customer, or authorized representative can vote the protest ballots. Whether or not you are eligible to vote, please call and email every person and business you know that resides or owns property in town and urge them to vote.
Ballots must be received before 6:00 PM Tuesday, January 20, 2015, or else at the 7:00 PM City Council meeting that night before the public hearing is closed.
For replacement ballots or information, visit or call the City Clerk immediately at 310-524-2305.
– Mike Robbins
LAX TO L.A. HARBOR
In South Bay, support Hadley against extremist Muratsuchi: Letters
POSTED: 10/28/14, 3:12 PM PDT | 0 COMMENTS
Support Hadley against extremist Muratsuchi
Please vote for David Hadley in the 66th State Assembly District. His opponent, Al Muratsuchi, voted for the extremist Democrat agenda while pretending to be a moderate. For example, Muratsuchi voted for AB 1266, which requires schools to allow K-12 students to use the bathrooms, locker rooms and showers of the sex of their choice, regardless of their biological sex.
Muratsuchi’s campaign called my father’s home, claiming he is endorsed by the Redondo Beach, Torrance and Gardena police departments. That is false. Muratsuchi is endorsed by police, fire, and other government unions, which is a conflict of interest. They endorse candidates whose votes will give them the biggest pay and pension increases, and raise our taxes to pay for it. That’s why police and firefighter total compensation is $150,000 to more than $330,000 per year.
Muratsuchi’s campaign is attacking those who believe we are taxed enough already. Please disagree by voting for David Hadley.
Marianne Fong, El Segundo
by Michael D. Robbins
Director, Public Safety Project, PublicSafetyProject.org
March 25, 2014
Below is a list of City of El Segundo, California employees who retired with California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) pensions paying them $100,000 or more per year. The highest annual pension for El Segundo is $198,272.04. El Segundo is a small City with about 5.5 square miles of land area and about 16,849 residents in 2012.
CalPERS pensions are Defined Benefit Plans that guarantee retirees their full pension payments, regardless of how much was paid into the pension fund and regardless of the performance of the pension plan’s investment portfolio, with taxpayers obligated to make up the difference. In contrast, 401(k) plans, which are common in the private sector, are Defined Contribution Plans, where the benefits paid out to retirees depends on how much was paid into the retirement plan, and on the performance of the investment funds the employees individually selected from the available choices.
The CalPERS pensions are so high because the City employee salaries are so high, especially for the firefighter and police employees, and because the City provides the employees with the maximum allowable pension formula. The annual pension income from firefighter and police CalPERS pensions is 3% of the single highest year salary for each year they worked, up to a maximum of 90%, with retirement at age 50 or 55. Upon retirement, firefighters and police live just as long as miscellaneous (non-safety) employees – about age 83 for the men and 85 for the women – and the life expectancy keeps increasing over time with medical advances.
Thus, the taxpayers end up paying for at least two fire and police departments – the ones doing the work, and the ones enjoying long lavish retirements while receiving multi-million dollar pensions.
The salary upon which CalPERS pensions are based includes all those “Special Compensation” add-ons in the union contracts, that average an additional 33% on top of base salary for El Segundo police and firefighters. “Special Compensation” is paid even for things that are already existing job requirements or are unrelated to the job, including wearing a uniform and having a driver license.
For example, fire engineers (second-level firefighters) whose job description includes driving the fire engine are paid additional “Special Compensation” under their union contract to have a driver license to drive the fire engine. All “Special Compensation” increases the salary counted towards the pension payout and the pension cost to the City’s taxpayers.
The elected City Council controls pension costs in three significant ways: (1) Amounts of employee salaries, which are increased by pay raises and “Special Compensation”; (2) Percentage of total pension contributions employees are required to pay; and (3) Pension plan options the City provides.
Firefighter and police pensions pay 3% of their single highest year salary for each year worked, up to 90%. El Segundo Mayor Bill Fisher supported firefighter and police pay raises of 11.25% to 32.3% over three years, plus additional 5% annual “Step” raises, approved 4/7/09 and 12/2/08, jacking up pension costs.
The El Segundo City Council can save more than $3.3 million yearly by requiring City employees to pay half their total pension contributions, as allowed under state law effective 1/1/13. The City now pays 71% to 94% of total pension contributions.
The City Council can save several million more yearly by eliminating automatic additional 5% annual “Step” raises, and “Special Compensation” for things that are existing job requirements or are unrelated to the job.
These savings must be negotiated with the City unions later this year, after the April 8, 2014 election. Measure A is on the ballot for that election. Measure A bundles ELEVEN TAX HIKES in one ballot measure. The Measure A tax windfall will weaken the City Council’s bargaining position and preclude these savings. … Continue reading
by Michael D. Robbins
Director, Public Safety Project, PublicSafetyProject.org
March 8, 2014
The El Segundo Herald, a small town newspaper in Southern California, misreported the City’s $6.3 million annual property tax revenue as “about $1 million”. A correction is in order. Given that gross understatement of property tax revenue, voters may vote for Measure A, a massive tax hike on the April 8, 2014 City election ballot that will cost residents and businesses an estimated $6.6 million each year in its first three years. All residents will pay the business taxes that are passed on to them as customers.
According to the March 6, 2014 Herald article, Council Holds Off on Rec and Parks Fee Decision, by Brian Simon:
“Responding to comments from former Councilmember Mike Robbins about the City’s property tax revenues being at an all-time high, Fisher responded that those dollars still only amount to two percent of the general fund, or about $1 million annually. El Segundo receives 6.2 cents on the dollar for its share of property tax revenues, compared to a County average of about 11 cents.”
That is a strange mistake, given my statements during Public Communications at the March 4, 2014 Council meeting that El Segundo property tax revenue for fiscal year 2012/13 was at a record high of $6.3 million, and that I posted an article with a bar chart showing El Segundo property tax revenue going back to fiscal year 2000/01 at PublicSafetyProject.org, in the article titled, Wrong Time to Raise Taxes and Fees in El Segundo. That article includes a table with the revenue data used to create the bar chart, and a link to the City Hall document from which the data was obtained.
Here’s that bar chart:
It’s worth noting that property values in El Segundo are probably significantly higher than most other cities in Los Angeles County, which helps compensate for the lower percentage of property taxes coming back to El Segundo compared to the average for cities in the county. The fact that property tax revenue is at a record high level shows property taxes are not the cause of Fisher’s budget deficits. Fisher gave big pay raises to City employees … Continue reading
by Michael D. Robbins
Director, Public Safety Project, PublicSafetyProject.org
March 6, 2014
The El Segundo Firefighters’ Association (the official name of the firefighters labor union) is bankrolling the “Yes on Measure A” campaign to create four new permanent Utility Users Taxes (UUTs) on residents, nearly double the four existing business UUTs, increase the hotel Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT, or “bed tax”) by 25%, and create a new 10% parking tax.
The “Yes on A for El Segundo’s Future” campaign committee filed its first campaign finance disclosure form, FPPC Form 460 (“Recipient Committee Campaign Statement”), with the El Segundo City Clerk on March 3, 2014. It reports $12,500.00 in total contributions received, including $5,500 monetary contributions and $7,000 in nonmonetary contributions. The committee reported spending $10,266.64. Those are large amounts of campaign money for small-town El Segundo with a population of only about 16,720 residents and about 10,784 registered voters. And that is just the beginning of their campaign!
The two monetary campaign contributions were a $5,000.00 contribution from the El Segundo firefighters Political Action Committee (PAC) and a $500.00 contribution from Sandra Jacobs, the current chairman of the El Segundo Chamber of Commerce, and a former El Segundo Councilmember and Mayor who ran as one of three firefighter and police union sponsored City Council candidates.
Here are the data entries from the Schedule A of the Form 460:
|DATE RECEIVED||CONTRIBUTOR||AMOUNT RECEIVED THIS PERIOD||CUMULATIVE TO DATE CALENDAR YEAR|
|02/11/2014||El Segundo Firefighters PAC (#1231824)
P.O. BOX 55
El Segundo, CA 90245
402 Hillcrest St.
El Segundo, CA 90245
Click HERE to view or download the “Yes on A” tax hikes FPPC Form 460 (536 KB PDF file).
Measure A will be decided by voters in the City of El Segundo, California on Tuesday, April 8, 2014. The El Segundo firefighter and police unions have much to gain in pay raises and increased pensions if Measure A passes. The two unions have a long history of endorsing, contributing money to, and campaigning for the City Council candidates and ballot measures that will put the most money in their paychecks and pensions, and then raise taxes and fees on residents and businesses to pay for it all.
The El Segundo firefighter and police unions have used this racket to ratchet up their total compensation to about $150,000 to more than $330,000 per individual per year.
The average 2009 firefighter annual individual total compensation was $211,000 and the maximum was $342,000 – before multiple large pay raises after 2009. The average 2009 police officer annual individual total compensation was $178,000 and the maximum was $304,000 – before multiple large pay raises after 2009. The firefighter and police managers get big pay raises when their subordinates get pay raises, to avoid “salary compaction”.
Police Chief David Cummings was given a 23% raise for his last year before retirement. As a result, he was paid a total of about $597,000 in 2009, the year he retired, in total Annual Compensation plus his CalPERS pension income while working half-time for 11 weeks as Police Chief after his retirement. His annual CalPERS pension income is now listed as $198,272.04 on the FixPensionsFirst.com web site.
The firefighter and police unions in El Segundo and other California cities have been pushing their city employers down the road towards bankruptcy. The City of Vallejo, California, is just one California city that filed for bankruptcy due to their firefighter and police unions. … Continue reading
Sporting Ammunition in a Fire is Safe for Firefighters if it is NOT Loaded in the Chamber of a Firearm
by Michael D. Robbins
Director, Public Safety Project
February 13, 2013
The video below, SAAMI – Sporting Ammunition and the Fire Fighter, “is recommended as an educational tool for fire departments.” Its length is 25:47. It “explains how firefighters face no danger from sporting ammunition in a fire when protected by standard turn-out gear.” Even hundreds or thousands of rounds of firearm ammunition cartridges stored in boxes or other containers are safe for firefighters fighting a fire. Thus, firefighters are safe fighting a fire even in a gun store or target range with lots of boxed or loose sporting ammunition present.
This result is based on extensive testing. “Nearly one million rounds of sporting ammunition were subjected to ten different tests-from open burn conditions to tightly confined burn conditions-to examine what happens to sporting ammunition exposed to severe impact and fire.” A link to an article on the subject follows the video.
“Sporting ammunition includes shot shells up to 8 gauge and handgun and rifle cartridges up to .50 caliber. This video examines sporting ammunition only. It does not address military or law enforcement ammunition, such as tear gas cartridges, tracers, or incendiary projectiles.”
“Note that ammunition loaded in the chamber of a firearm and exposed to a fire IS dangerous just as if the trigger of the firearm was pulled, and the bullet can shoot out the barrel with full velocity.”
Therefore, all firearms should always be treated as if they are loaded and should be pointed in a safe direction.
“CONCLUSION: Projectiles ignited outside a firearm have significantly lower velocities and energies than when shot from a firearm.”