Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Vote for Donald Trump because the future of the Supreme Court and our Constitution are at extreme risk if Hillary Clinton wins.
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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
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Tag Archives: government employee unions
Here is where to find out what El Segundo pays its City employee union members and managers. Make sure to see the explanatory information below to understand what the data represents. By far, the police and firefighter employees have the … Continue reading
Doesn’t Agree With Officers’ Statements
As a resident of this community for many years, I am having a difficult time understanding the statements emanating from the ES Police Officers, or the wife of one of the officers, regarding contract negotiations. She accused the Council of being focused on “money, money, money” and suggested the group is “hell bent on bringing down the police department.” However, neither she nor any of the officers have mentioned the unfunded pension liability of $106 million owed to PERS, and that to eliminate it would cost each household in the City of El Segundo $44,000 dollars. Or that the officers last contract required them to pay 3% of the pension costs, that other officers previously to her husbands hiring had paid in 9%.
Other cities are experiencing the same problem with unfunded pension liability, (example Torrance owes $300 million), and five cities within the state have declared bankruptcy, because they were unable to make any pension payments to PERS, and this affects everyone within the retirement system.
No one speaks about the healthcare benefits, which the city pays from the time of his hire, until the day he leaves this world. It is not known if these funds are also unfunded.
The City Council is not trying to destroy the police department or put the public safety at risk, and I feel that such statements are inflammatory, and the attack on Council member Fellhauer or any other is uncalled for.
– Loretta Frye
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.
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.
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
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.
by Michael D. Robbins
Director, Public Safety Project, PublicSafetyProject.org
March 3, 2014
Firefighter and Police Unions are Breaking the City’s Budget
Generally, El Segundo sworn firefighters and police officers are by far the highest paid City employees. Their “associations” (unions) endorse, contribute money to, and campaign for the City Council candidates who will give them the biggest pay raises and increases in benefits and pensions, and then raise taxes and fees on residents and businesses to pay for it all. Their total compensation, including salary, benefits, and pension contributions paid by the City’s taxpayers, has been about $150,000 to more than $330,000 per individual per year.
The managers’ salaries, benefits, and pensions are increased along with those of their subordinates, to prevent “salary compaction”, and to maintain a minimum 5% higher level of compensation than their subordinates.
Existing sworn police and firefighter employees, including managers, can retire as early as age 50 (police) or 55 (firefighters) with a guaranteed annual pension income of up to 90% of their single highest year salary, including all the “Special Compensation” add-ons in their union contracts for things that are already a requirement of the job or are unrelated to the job.
Thus, Mayor Bill Fisher increased the employee pension income and the pension cost to the taxpayers for the police and firefighter employees (and for all City employees) every year of the Great Recession, because he gave them all excessive and unsustainable raises every one of those years!
City of El Segundo $100K Pension Club
Here is a list of retired El Segundo City employees in the “$100K Pension Club”, i.e., with CalPERS pensions paying them in excess of $100,000 per year guaranteed by the taxpayers regardless of pension fund investment performance:
Highest Paid El Segundo City Employee in Calendar Year 2009
Former El Segundo Police Chief David Cummings was the highest paid City employee in calendar year 2009. He retired in 2009 with about eleven weeks left in the year, and had total 2009 compensation of about $596,657. This included his City contract income and his CalPERS pension income while he continued working as the El Segundo Police Chief after his retirement. Cummings’ post-retirement City employment contract acknowledged that he would be receiving his $210,000 per year CalPERS pension income while he continued working as the City’s police chief after his retirement. …
Please vote “yes” on Proposition 32 and “no” on all tax and bond measures, including 30 ($6 billion/year income and sales tax hike), 38 ($10 billion/year income tax hike), 39 ($1 billion/year tax hike); L.A. County Measure J (another 30 year sales tax hike), and El Camino Community College District Measure E ($350 million in new bond debt, probably costing about $700 million with interest).
Taxes are too high, and we also pay business taxes which are passed on to us as consumers. Bond measures create additional debt and require taxes to pay principle and interest. Bonds often cost double the amount borrowed with interest. … Continue reading
South Bay and other California cities are at much greater risk of bankruptcy than residents are being told. Unrealistic optimistic revenue projections by city finance directors have not come to fruition, just as I warned would happen in El Segundo. City revenues actually declined.
Voters can and must help protect against city bankruptcies by voting “YES” on Proposition 32. It puts voters first by cutting the money tie between politicians and special interests and ensuring every individual contribution is made voluntarily.
Special interests have already contributed $43 million to defeat Proposition 32 with totally deceptive campaign ads. The same government employee unions that have been driving cities and school districts toward bankruptcy with astronomical and unsustainable salaries, benefits and pensions have contributed 98 percent of that campaign money ($42 million).
Proposition 32 will break the stranglehold government employee unions have on Sacramento and local government — that has blocked real and meaningful compensation and pension reform, and Senate Bill 1530, which would have made it easier to dismiss teachers who sexually abuse their students. … Continue reading
Vents about Public Employee Unions
I would like to congratulate the citizens of El Segundo on their stinging electoral rebuke to the public employee unions. To vote Carl Jacobson back in with the most votes after the vicious attack perpetrated upon him and then for the Council to elect him mayor speaks volumes. The shellacking that Measure P took is indicative of the mood that many shared, that the lies the Fire Department pollsters told in their early push poll were irrelevant, only local control mattered.
I saw Marie Fellhauer’s first act was supporting Bill Fisher for Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem. This reminded me of Don Brann’s support for Eric Busch because it was “his turn” to be Mayor. She’ll be a one termer too. While I appreciate that Marie and Don have given up their time to serve, the mindset a public employee brings to the Council is inconsistent with fiscal responsibility and their natural tendency is to represent public employee unions instead of the citizens.
I hope that the public employee unions have learned their lesson. You can’t shake down your neighbors for excessive pay and benefits in a down economy. The money simply isn’t there. I also hope they will listen to Dave Atkinson on pension reform ideas because the same sad fate may befall them as many private sector union members. When their companies went bankrupt, they got only a fraction of their pension … Continue reading
Lack of visibility and public input during city employee union contract negotiations
Schools but not cities
Question: Are Manhattan Beach residents afforded public hearings on city employee labor negotiations such as those provided between the Manhattan Beach School District and its teachers?
Answer: Absolutely not! The Educational Employment Relations Act requires hearings by school districts to “enable the public to become informed” and provide the public “the opportunity to express itself” and to “know the positions of their elected representatives” before negotiations.
The Meyers-Milias Brown Act covering local government labor relations requires no such public hearing, but neither is there a prohibition. The Manhattan Beach City Council, true to its historic repressive policy of not informing the public and respecting our intelligence, prohibits such efforts.
Question: Has the Manhattan Beach City Council (MBCC) barricade produced fiscal responsibility?
Answer: Absolutely not! Present contracts are replete with fiscally irresponsible provisions including diminished management authority; requiring salary increases but prohibiting decreases; allowing “stealth bonuses” for “extra duties” without required qualifications; and deficient disciplinary procedures including employees receiving pay while being investigated for misconduct with no provisions for deducting income earned from outside employment while on administrative leave.
Because elected officials and managers receive pay and benefits equal to or more than employees, they too benefit from these deficiencies including personnel policies resulting in inadequate measures of managerial performance and “investment vehicles” resulting in accrued vacation and sick leave paid out at current salary rather than when accrued. … Continue reading
Last week’s letter from Neil Snow demonstrates how much government union members and their political supporters are out of touch with the real world where the rest of us work, produce things and pay taxes.
Snow presented ludicrous objections to, and gross misrepresentations of, Michael Robbins’ well-reasoned recommendations to reform El Segundo’s city employee union contracts to keep the city from having a financial catastrophe.
He objected to Mr. Robbins’ recommendation that city employees pay all of their pension “employee contribution,” and at least half the total contribution, which is common in private industry, instead of the city paying the entire “employee contribution” and “employer contribution.” Snow misrepresented that recommendation, claiming that Mr. Robbins wanted to make “employees pay their entire pension.”
Snow is out of touch to expect taxpayers to continue paying all of the government union members’ pension contributions, and to expect that union members should never have to contribute a single dollar into their own pensions. … Continue reading
Public Employee Unions and Corruption
The laws that allow public employees to form unions and engage in collective bargaining have created an inherent and unavoidable conflict of interest, and massive political corruption that is driving cities, counties, and states towards bankruptcy. Public employee labor unions, especially firefighters, police, school teachers, and nurses, provide campaign support to help elect the politicians who will be their bosses and determine the terms of their labor contracts, including salaries, benefits, and pensions, and/or determine the laws that govern their labor contracts. … Continue reading