Tag Archives: Los Angeles Times

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

No on Measure A

Mayor Fisher and his sidekicks, David Atkinson and Marie Fellhauer, want us to believe they may voluntarily reduce our taxes in the future if we approve Measure A and give them four permanent new taxes on residents, permanently increase five existing business taxes, and create a new permanent parking tax.

How can we trust them? They back-stabbed their colleague Mayor Carl Jacobson in a coup they staged at the 5/21/13 City Council meeting. They voted to remove Jacobson from the office of Mayor in the middle of his two-year term, without any legitimate justification!

This break with tradition and decency is unprecedented since at least 1940, and probably in El Segundo history. Jacobson won re-election in 2012 with by far the most votes, despite the sleazy and dishonest campaign against him by fired city manager Doug Willmore, KCET television and the Los Angeles Times.

The Fisher Majority staged their coup so Fisher could run for re-election as Mayor rather than Council Member. This also gives Fisher more clout in negotiating new long-term City employee union contracts and raises later this year after the April election.

I urge everyone to vote “No” on the permanent Measure A Tax Hikes, and for Mike Dugan and Suzanne Fuentes. … Continue reading

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The Firing of El Segundo City Manager Doug Willmore – Part 2

By Michael D. Robbins
Former El Segundo City Councilman
Founder and Director, Public Safety Project

This is Part 2 of a 2-Part Article. The first part covered the controversy Doug Willmore created and the facts surrounding his firing. This second part covers the old 1994 legal settlement agreement to the MRC-Chevron-City of El Segundo tax dispute.

March 18, 2012

There has been much controversy surrounding the firing of El Segundo City Manager Doug Willmore at the special meeting of the El Segundo City Council on February 9, 2012. This controversy has been created by Doug Willmore himself, and by anti-business news organizations he enlisted to smear Chevron, Councilman Carl Jacobson, and the entire city of El Segundo. Carl Jacobson is the only City Council member who voted to fire Doug Willmore and who is running for reelection. Councilman Don Brann is not running for reelection, and Councilwoman Suzanne Fuentes is not up for reelection for another two years.


Regarding the MRC-Chevron-City Legal Settlement

I was on the City Council during the 1994 MRC-Chevron-El Segundo tax dispute legal settlement, and I know first-hand that the decision to approve that settlement agreement with MRC and Chevron was unanimous, legal, legitimate, and reasonable. And the decision was made in a public meeting. … Continue reading

Posted in Doug Willmore's Great Chevron Shakedown, Doug Willmore’s Great City Shakedown, El Segundo Election Coverage, El Segundo News, Firefighter and Police Union Compensation and Pensions, Firefighter Union Corruption, Government Employee Compensation and Pensions, Police Union Corruption | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Firing of El Segundo City Manager Doug Willmore – Part 2

The Firing of El Segundo City Manager Doug Willmore – Part 1

There has been much controversy surrounding the firing of El Segundo City Manager Doug Willmore at the special meeting of the El Segundo City Council on February 9, 2012. This controversy has been created by Doug Willmore himself, and by anti-business news organizations he enlisted to smear Chevron, Councilman Carl Jacobson, and the entire city of El Segundo. Carl Jacobson is the only City Council member who voted to fire Doug Willmore and who is running for reelection. Councilman Don Brann is not running for reelection, and Councilwoman Suzanne Fuentes is not up for reelection for another two years.


Candid photo of Councilman Carl Jacobson as he speaks with a constituent after the March 6, 2012 City Council meeting. Photo copyright © 2012 by Michael D. Robbins.

It is clear that Willmore is trying to get Jacobson unelected, possibly out of revenge, but more likely for financial gain at taxpayer expense. Willmore has filed a claim against the City, the legally required precursor to a lawsuit. Willmore did not turn in his signed release form agreeing not to sue the City within the time limit specified in his contract. Thus, Willmore has walked away from his six-month severance pay of more than $100,000.


Doug Willmore’s 3-page claim against the city of El Segundo, his former employer, as the precursor to a lawsuit.

After reading Willmore’s claim, and knowing much about the surrounding facts, it is clear that Willmore is trying to shakedown our city and its taxpayers for multiple millions of dollars. By pursuing frivolous litigation against the City, his past employer, in such a high-profile manner in broadcast and print news media, it appears that Willmore does not plan to get another job nor to work another day in his life. Willmore is alleging retaliatory firing and age discrimination, among other things. He is even demanding that the City pay for his psychiatric treatment, even if it is for a pre-existing condition.


A portion of page 3 of Doug Willmore’s claim form, and Doug Willmore at a City Council meeting. Graphic and photo copyright © 2012 by Michael D. Robbins.

Willmore has two allies and supporters on the City Council – Mayor Eric Busch and Mayor Pro Tem Bill Fisher. Busch’s term expires with the coming April 10 election, and he is not running for re-election. This will leave Willmore with only one ally and supporter on City Council, but he needs three to have a majority that will vote to give him a large “settlement” payout as a “gift of public funds” or “hush money”. Willmore must know plenty about Busch’s dealings with the city’s firefighter and police unions.

The safety unions gave Mayor Busch and Mayor Pro Tem Fisher thousands of dollars in campaign support, and received millions of dollars per year in excess and unsustainable compensation and pensions. Where else can someone make a thousand-to-one return on their “investment”? This might be viewed as a form of laundering of public funds into campaign money in a way that is incredibly efficient for the unions and incredibly inefficient for the taxpayers.


KCET SoCal Connected producer Karen Foshay knowingly and intentionally produced a propaganda hatchet-job show attacking Chevron (“BIG OIL”), Councilman Carl Jacobson, and the city of El Segundo (“SMALL TOWN”).

Despite all the fancy artwork and video production techniques, that does not guarantee that anything in Foshay’s KCET TV show is true. … Continue reading

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A Message From Chevron El Segundo Refinery General Manager Frank Semancik

Subject: A Message From Chevron El Segundo Refinery General Manager Frank Semancik
From: Chevron El Segundo General Manager, Frank Semancik (XXXXXXXX@chevron.com)
To:
Cc:
Bcc:
Date: Friday, March 16, 2012 9:39 PM

Dear Community Leader,

Chevron is proud of the long tradition of trust and mutual respect we have with the City of El Segundo as well as the other neighbor cities and residents in the South Bay. We strive to conduct our business with the high moral values reflected in the community and, we sincerely believe we have demonstrated that commitment consistently over the 100 years our company has operated its facility in our hometown, El Segundo.

That is why it has been so disheartening and disappointing that in recent weeks, some have chosen to use deceptive tactics focused on Chevron to try and sway a local election and pit neighbor against neighbor. “Anonymous” special interests are seeking to drag our community into a debate on issues long settled by the elected representatives of the City of El Segundo. In doing so, they have completely ignored this key fact: Chevron has publicly stated its 100% commitment to work collaboratively with the City of El Segundo to resolve issues about the City’s tax structure discussed at the Council’s December 20, 2011 meeting.

We feel it’s important to set the record straight. Here are the facts:

  • The unsubstantiated rumors and allegations concerning the utility user taxes (UUT) Chevron pays in El Segundo are false and fail to accurately reflect the public record.
  • The distorted figure alleged to depict our UUT contribution to the City of El Segundo represents only a small portion of the almost $2 million Chevron pays annually in combined UUT’s.
  • Chevron’s agreement with the City is not unique, and is in fact similar to the UUT bills companies like ours pay in other local cities, including the City of Los Angeles.
  • The UUT issue being deceptively portrayed was reviewed in an open and public process with the full understanding of the City of El Segundo’s elected officials and City legal staff.
  • Public records clearly demonstrate that the City UUT ordinance was made available for public review, certified, approved, adopted, signed and attested to during a regular and open meeting of the City Council. And most importantly, the UUT ordinance was approved by every member of the City Council.

We again commit to being open and honest in our communications and, as always, welcome your interest as our valued community partner. Thank you for allowing us to set the record straight.

Sincerely,

Frank Semancik, on behalf of the Chevron El Segundo Refinery, joined by Rod Spackman, Lily Craig, Jill Brunkhardt and Jeff Wilson Continue reading

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KCET and L.A. Times Hatchet Jobs against El Segundo, Chevron and Carl Jacobson exposed as propaganda

I have had the pleasure of serving for four years on the El Segundo City Council with Carl Jacobson, from 1992 to 1996. I have known Carl for more than 20 years. I have the deepest respect for Carl. He has always been an extremely honest, dedicated, hard-working, and productive member of the City Council, giving much of his time and his life to our community.

KCET producer Karen Fochay and L.A. Times writer Jeff Gottlieb both called to interview me because I was a City Council member at the time of the 1994 legal settlement to the tax dispute between MRC, Chevron, and the City.

I made it clear to them that the 1994 tax dispute settlement was completely legal and reasonable.

But the KCET show on Chevron, and the L.A. Times articles, completely ignored my information because it contradicted their anti-Chevron political agenda and bias. … Continue reading

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Are Chevron’s taxes too high? – Letter to the Daily Breeze by Michael D. Robbins

Are Chevron’s taxes too high?

El Segundo’s shakedown of Chevron under threat of a $10 million annual tax hike must stop, or the city will suffer long-term damage to its reputation. City Manager Doug Willmore used a deceptive, one-sided analysis for the Chevron property, rather than a cost-versus-benefits analysis. It’s dishonest to compare tax revenues generated per acre by the refinery with that of other local businesses. Unlike El Segundo, land use in other South Bay cities is mostly residential. Willmore ignored the cost to provide and maintain infrastructure and services for all the residents and businesses that would otherwise exist on the Chevron property if the refinery never existed. And he reduced Chevron’s tax revenue per acre by failing to account for the area of all the public streets, alleys, parks, and schools that would be needed.

If an accurate analysis shows Chevron’s taxes are excessive, will the City Council reduce Chevron’s taxes and apologize? … Continue reading

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El Segundo making Chevron’s taxes too high – Letter to the Beach Reporter by Michael D. Robbins

El Segundo making Chevron’s taxes too high

The city manager’s Chevron Shakedown must stop, including efforts to extort large “gifts” of money under threat of a $10 million annual tax hike. The city will suffer long-term damage to its reputation as a good city to locate a business.

Doug Willmore used false premises to construct a deceptive one-sided analysis for the Chevron property, rather than a true cost-versus-benefits analysis. It is unfair and dishonest to compare tax revenues generated per acre by the Chevron refinery with that of other local businesses. Land use in other South Bay cities is mostly residential and not three-quarters commercial/industrial as in El Segundo.

In his one-sided analysis, Willmore ignored the cost for the city to provide and maintain infrastructure and services for residents and businesses that would otherwise exist on the massive Chevron refinery property.

If the refinery never existed, that land would be mostly residential and some commercial. Tax revenues would be much less, and the city would have to provide and maintain infrastructure and services for twice as many residents at great expense that Willmore failed to include in his seriously flawed and biased analysis. … Continue reading

Posted in Beach Reporter Letters, Doug Willmore's Great Chevron Shakedown, El Segundo News, El Segundo Tax and Fee Increases, Letters to the Editor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on El Segundo making Chevron’s taxes too high – Letter to the Beach Reporter by Michael D. Robbins

Are Chevron’s Taxes Too High? – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Michael D. Robbins

The City Manager’s Chevron Shakedown must stop, including efforts to extort large “gifts” of money under threat of a $10 million annual tax hike. The City will suffer long-term damage to its reputation as a good city to locate a business.

Doug Willmore used false premises to construct a deceptive one-sided analysis for the Chevron property, rather than a true cost-versus-benefits analysis. It is unfair and dishonest to compare tax revenues generated per acre by the Chevron refinery with that of other local businesses. Land use in other South Bay cities is mostly residential and not three-quarters commercial/industrial as in El Segundo.

In his one-sided analysis, Willmore ignored the cost for the City to provide and maintain infrastructure and services for residents and businesses that would otherwise exist on the massive Chevron refinery property. … Continue reading

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U.S. Domestic Terrorism – Labor Union Bombings and Mass-Murders in the early 1900’s

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

Eighty-seven labor union bombings of non-unionized construction projects and businesses were recorded between 1906 and 1911. The Los Angeles Times and its owner and publisher, Harrison Gray Otis, were outspoken opponents of the labor movement and the closed shop. The Los Angeles Times downtown plant was bombed early in the morning of October 1, 1910, murdering 20 people. On the same day, a bomb exploded just outside a bedroom window at Otis’s home. Another bomb consisting of 15 sticks of dynamite was planted at the house of F. J. Zeehandelaar, the secretary of the Merchants and Manufacturers Association (M&M), but did not go off.

Labor union leaders denied that these bombings were union related, even while the union headquarters contained “100 pounds of dynamite, several yards of fuse and twelve clocks similar to those with which bombs are discharged.” … Continue reading

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