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: 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
Police Union Fundraiser Mailer
The police officers’ “association” (union) sent out their annual union fundraiser mailer, exploiting murders of police officers elsewhere to solicit money from residents and businesses. Giving them money is absurd for many reasons. If you already gave them money, try to get it back.
First, the non-deductible contributions go to their union. The police and fire unions spent more than $10,000 in their labor contract campaign for 11 half-page newspaper ads, two city-wide mailers, and mobile billboards driven around town with falsehoods attacking our city council for doing their job to protect our city from bankruptcy.
Second, the police and fire unions contributed $10,000 to Measure A in 2014. Measure A was eleven tax hikes in one measure, on residents and businesses, to pay for big past and future police and fire compensation and pension increases.
Third, the unions don’t need our donations. Police and firefighters are paid far more than nearly all El Segundo residents. Their total compensation has been about $150,000 to $385,000 each per year, with three to six million dollar pensions, due to union campaigning to elect city councilmembers who give the biggest pay and pension increases – and raise our taxes and fees to pay for it.
And fourth, the union solicitation is corrupt. It uses realistic-looking fake ESPD police badges, and many residents believe they will get faster and better service or avoid a ticket if they pay off the union and put the union’s police badge decal on their window.
– Mike Robbins Continue reading
The firefighter and police officer “associations” are labor unions. They spent thousands of dollars campaigning for a month, with deceptive campaign ads and mailers, to keep millions of dollars per year in excess compensation they receive as rewards for their support for past City Council candidates.
None of the firefighters and only one fourth of the police live in town. They want to control and run our city for their own financial benefit.
Their unions exist to continuously increase their compensation, no matter how excessive and unsustainable, at our expense in money and safety. They support candidates and ballot measures that will maximize their pay, and raise our taxes and fees to pay for it.
For example, the firefighters put Measure P on the 4/10/2012 ballot to maximize their compensation, but reduce our safety. It would have forced El Segundo to contract with the L.A. County Fire Department for an inferior level of service. We would have lost our three paramedic transport ambulances, and been forced to use out-of-town ambulance companies, doubling hospital transport times. The firefighters hired a campaign consultant, election lawyers, and professional pollsters. They probably spent over $100,000. I led the grassroots campaign against Measure P. Thankfully, 90% of voters voted “No”.
The city unions contributed $17,500 to the Measure A campaign (4/8/2014). Measure A was eleven tax hikes in one measure, on residents and businesses. I led the campaign against Measure A. We won again. The union activism shows Council is doing its job.
– Mike Robbins
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
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
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. …
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
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
While we prefer to negotiate directly with the employee associations, rather than using the media as a forum for bargaining — a position we have consistently taken — we have a responsibility to address some disturbing misinformation that is being perpetuated by the associations’ public relations campaign.
For starters, let’s be clear on one overriding point: Public safety is, and will continue to be, the No. 1 priority for the city council. The city council is committed to continuing to have local police and fire departments. The agreement it reaches with its associations will ensure the future of local police and fire services. It is regrettable that the associations’ leaders are resorting to scare tactics and attempting to politicize the negotiations with untruthful claims that the city’s bargaining position is seeking to dismantle the police and fire departments.
Collective bargaining is challenging in the economic climate in which all cities are operating, … Continue reading