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.
Vote "NO" on ALL Tax Measures. All taxes combined are much too high, and customers pay the business taxes that are passed on to us as a cost of doing business. The liberal tax-and-spend politicians must learn to live within our means.
Vote NO on the measure to ban the Death Penalty for Terrorists and other Mass-Murderers.
Vote YES on the measure to speed up the Death Penalty for Terrorists and other Mass-Murderers.
Click HERE to see the Clinton Cash documentary movie over the Internet for FREE.
Click HERE to find a theater showing the Hillary's America documentary movie by Dinesh D'Souza.
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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
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- Are Chevron’s Taxes Too High? on
- Eye-Popping El Segundo 2009 Firefighter Compensation Data on
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Tag Archives: mayor
Not happy with 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. Ninety percent 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 on 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 nonbinding route – he refused to put language in the ballot measure for money to schools and infrastructure.
The new taxes will go for huge past and future fire and police union pay raises and resulting pension cost increases, as in the past. That’s why the fire union donated $5,000 to the “Yes on A” campaign.
El Segundo Continue reading
No on Measure A
Mayor Fisher claims the “business community” supports Measure A, and the City Council has no control over employee pension costs. Not true!
Most El Segundo businesses oppose Measure A. 90% are NOT Chamber members, and the Chamber board did not allow its general membership to vote before supporting the tax hikes.
City Council controls pension costs in three 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%. 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 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 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 election. The Measure A tax windfall will weaken the City Council’s bargaining position and preclude these savings.
Vote “No” on Measure A.
– Mike Robbins Continue reading
Thoughts on TopGolf
I’m glad that Bill Fisher has decided to make his support of TopGolf a major campaign issue. Golfers are opposed because the model prices the average golfer out of the market, $30-40 per large bucket at normal, peak practice times. Fisher minimizes the opposition, calls them misinformed and disregards the fact that over 1400 people signed a petition urging the council to keep the Lakes the same, over 300 of which were El Segundo residents.
The deal – a twenty year lease, with six 5 year options, at $425,000 a year , increasing only 10% every five years. There is no sharing in revenues, Wooddale, Ill negotiated a sharing of revenues including alcohol sales, why not here? The lease calls for the facility to be built like that in Austin.
Staff came up with a positive TopGolf economic effect of $332,000 (currently estimated at $ 200-300,000) – repeated by Mr. Fisher as a reason why he voted for it. The truth, TopGolf is a negative for the City-the driving range is highly profitable, $550,000 and rising per year. The city gets to their “positive” number by relying on “assumed” savings of $253,000 and by mistreating overhead allocations, charging the range income but not TopGolf income.
TopGolf is not the answer!
– Tom Courtney
Note by Michael D. Robbins:
I championed construction of The Lakes at El Segundo city golf course and driving range when I campaigned for City Council, and after I was elected to the El Segundo City Council. I followed through diligently to help get it built as had long been promised to the community before I ran for City Council.
El Segundo Mayor Bill Fisher and Councilmembers David Atkinson and Marie Fellhauer, who usually vote in lock-step with Fisher, voted to give TopGolf what is effectively a 50-year lease of the City-owned Golf Course driving range, in the form of a 20-year lease with six 5-year options for TopGolf to unilaterally extend the lease. Most El Segundo voters will be dead before the City can regain control over its golf course property.
A 50-year lease of the City of El Segundo’s golf course driving range property is totally irresponsible and unjustifiable, whether or not TopGolf will to an adequate job providing golf services on that City-owned property.
Mayor Pro Tem Carl Jacobson and Councilmember Suzanne Fuentes voted against the 50-year lease. Continue reading
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
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
by Michael D. Robbins
Director, Public Safety Project, PublicSafetyProject.org
March 20, 2014
Mayor Bill Fisher Continues his Campaign of Deception as He Runs for Re-Election
El Segundo Mayor Bill Fisher wants voters to believe he reduced the City’s wildly excessive and unsustainable employee compensation costs by reducing City employee salaries by significant amounts. He also wants us to believe there were substantial numbers of City employee layoffs. These are not true.
Fisher supported wildly excessive pay raises of 11.25% to 32.3% over three years for the already overpaid firefighter and police unions and their managers. These raises were approved by the City Council on April 7, 2009 and December 2, 2008, long after the Great Recession began, and include retroactive raises effective 6 and 9 months before they were approved on April 7, 2009. These raises were in addition to the automatic 5% “Step” raises firefighters and police are given each year for the four or five years after they year they are assigned to a new job position.
See City of El Segundo Can Save $3.3 Million Per Year in Employee Pension Costs for more details and documentation on those raises.
City employees received huge permanent pay raises, but most of their “concessions” were temporary, with the net result being increased employee compensation and increased pension costs to the City. Concessions included things like temporary one-time “unpaid” furlough days, which are like unpaid vacation days, and temporary suspension of cash-outs of accumulated unused vacation and sick leave hours. The firefighters and police were paid “Special Compensation” for those “unpaid” furlough days, which averages 33.5% of their regular earnings.
The alleged “reductions in salary” were achieved by temporary unpaid furlough days, temporary suspension of cash-out of accumulated unused vacation and sick leave hours, temporary reduction in overtime hours in 2010, and early retirements – many of them with lucrative and expensive incentives. No employees had their hourly pay rates reduced.
There were 26 City employee separations in 2009 and 2010 for budgetary reasons, and only 5 of those were layoffs. The rest were early retirements.
The employee separation data is shown in the following table … Continue reading
A Correction is In Order
The 3/6/14 Herald article, “Council Holds Off on Rec and Parks Fee Decision”, contained misinformation. City property tax revenue is more than $6 million – not about $1 million as the author misinterpreted from Mayor Fisher’s obfuscation.
The property tax revenue numbers I cited at the 3/4/14 Council meeting are from official City of El Segundo public record documents and are presumably correct. Based on those documents, I stated during the meeting that El Segundo property tax revenue for fiscal year 2012/13 was more than $6.3 million, is at a record high for at least since FY 2000/01, is 46% and about $2 million higher than FY 2000/01, has had an average annual increase of 3.6% and more than $166,000 per year, and has increased in 9 of the last 13 fiscal years.
See the article, “Wrong Time to Raise Taxes and Fees in El Segundo”, at PublicSafetyProject.org. In includes a bar chart showing property tax revenue from FY 2000/01 through 2012/13, the data for that chart, and a link to the City public record document that is the source of that data.
Fisher wants voters to believe property tax revenue is to blame, not big pay raises. … Continue reading
Fire Union Bankrolling “Yes on A” Campaign
Be sure to read the entire Measure A arguments and rebuttals in the Sample Ballot. Mayor Fisher put Measure A on the April ballot – BEFORE the City Council will negotiate new long-term union contracts later this year. Measure A weakens the Council’s bargaining position, and Fisher wants us to vote before we know the size of pay raises he will put into those contracts. That is bad timing!
The fire union PAC gave $5,000 to the “Yes on Measure A” campaign – just for starters. The fire and police unions spend lots of money in City elections to put a thousand times more in their paychecks and pensions. They ratchet up their pay and pensions – and our taxes and fees!
In 2009, average firefighter annual individual total compensation was $211,000. The highest was $342,000. The average for police officers was $178,000 and the highest was $304,000. Fisher supported big pay raises every year since then. … Continue reading
by Michael D. Robbins
Director, Public Safety Project, PublicSafetyProject.org
March 14, 2014
El Segundo Mayor Bill Fisher, and City Council Members David Atkinson and Marie Felhauer who give Fisher his Council majority, claim the City Council no control over City employee pension costs. They claim that is all determined by California state law. This is not true. They make this claim to deceive El Segundo voters into approving the massive Measure A tax increases on residents and businesses on the April 8, 2014 city election ballot.
This article explains how the City Council has significant control over employee pension costs, how the City Council increased employee pension costs, and how the City Council can save $3.3 million per year in employee pension costs.
The City Council controls employee pension costs in three significant ways:
- The amounts of employee salaries, which are increased by pay raises and “special compensation” add-ons;
- The percentage of the total CalPERS pension contributions employees are required to pay; and
- Which pension formula and other pension options are provided to City employees.
Every pay raise increased the City’s CalPERS pension costs.
City employee annual pension income is a fixed percentage of their single highest year salary, including all those redundant and non-job-related “Special Compensation” union contract add-ons, for every year they worked. Firefighters and police get annual pension income of 3% of their single highest year salary for each year they worked, up to a maximum of 90%, with full retirement after 30 years at age 50 or 55. This corresponds to pension benefit formulas of 3% @ 50 and 3% @ 55, respectively.
Mayor Fisher supported wildly excessive and unsustainable pay raises for the already over-compensated firefighter and police unions that helped launch his political career with lots of campaign support, and for their managers to prevent “salary compaction”. Fisher supported pay raises ranging from 11.25% to 23% for the firefighter and police unions, in three or four installments over three years, and single pay raises ranging from 14.9% to 32.3% for their managers, during the first three years of the Great Recession. All of the raises were approved well after the Great Recession started, and many included retroactive pay raises effective up to 6 and 9 months before the union contracts were approved. The firefighter and police union contracts included additional 5% annual “step raises”, and additional periodic “longevity raises”. … Continue reading