There is a caveat that needs to be explained. "Looney Gazing" is hardly a dependable system. What you are reading there could be something cooked up by the paper's oftentimes creative publisher, designed merely to leave the impression that she has privileged insider knowledge on some big secret or other. There is always that possibility. And a lot of dotty old dears, along with Gene Goss, still seem to believe everything they read in that paper. So there is always the "reality creation" angle to consider as well.
The article we're rummaging through today appears in the Looney's most recent edition. Entitled "Police Officer Association (sic) Claim Reopens Contracting Debate," it delves into certain issues that we here at The Tattler have been discussing over the past couple of weeks. In particular the influence the SMPOA's recently filed Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) "Complaint" dealing with a vacation pay issue may be having on the ongoing contract (MOU) negotiations with the City of Sierra Madre. The impression many have being that the SMPOA is filing legal complaints against the City while at the same time asking for more money and benefits.
One of the things a "Police Officer Association" always depends upon when negotiating for more dough from a city is the support of the people in town. We have all been raised to believe that the Police are a force for good, and as good people ourselves, also our friends. The result being that some folks are horrified by the notion that there might be misguided individuals out there who would even consider replacing the local Police Department with another law enforcement agency. No matter what the ramifications to their taxes, or the City's finances, might be.
That approach did work in 2008 when the taxpayers voted to increase their Utility User Tax (UUT) rates to the highest in the state. All so the SMPD could have a raise. But is this necessarily the case now? Judging by the 60% vote against extending that very same UUT rate increase last April, it would appear that the public's attitude on this matter may have changed. Couple that with the fact that 2 out of the 3 SMPOA endorsed City Council candidates went down to defeat in that same election and you could build a pretty good argument that love is no longer part of the affair.
Anyway, here are the two passages of interest from Henderson's "Police Officer Association" article that piqued our interest this morning. The first cite is the lead paragraph.
Sierra Madre residents who support the outsourcing of public safety services may look at the recent claim filed by the SM Police Officers Association (POA) for new ammunition.
The "may look" observation is a bit obtuse since this has been a burning issue for weeks in this town. With the only news source not discussing it until now being Susan's paper.
A very vocal group of Sierra Madre residents may see this latest claim as another reason to contract out public safety services as the cost of defending such actions is an additional strain on the city's budget.
Now who, I ask you, is Susan referring to here? That "very vocal group" meme has been used by her before, usually to describe any persons taking the side of an issue that Susan doesn't agree with. With the only "very vocal group" in town these days that I know about being the one that congregates here.
Which, if that truly is the case, leaves me feeling cheap and used.
Whatever the reasons, it would appear that somebody has been sent a message. The threat being held over their heads? Apparently us.
The Tattler gets a lot of traffic
July is the sixth month in row that this blog has attracted over 50,000 hits. In the grand scheme of things those certainly aren't Google or iTunes numbers, but for our little town of less than 11,000 souls it is a significant amount. Add in the 56,000 or so we'll end this month with and we're talking around 330,000 hits in half a year. The new readers we saw going into April's election have decided to stick around, and for that we are very grateful.