They have a website, of course. You can link to it by clicking here. When you get there you will notice that I have sent you to a page called "Recently Negotiated MOUs." MOU stands for "Memorandum Of Understanding," which is what passes for a labor contract in government circles around these parts. The SMPOA is currently in negotiations with the City of Sierra Madre for a new MOU, the previous one having lapsed in June. The sense I have is that things aren't going so well. New fiscal realities have made easy taxpayer funded payoffs such as the one that occurred in 2007 unlikely. Especially with the voters having (thankfully) deep-sixed the UUT extension last April.
As you can see by the cities listed on the link I provided, these "Former Cops Defending Current Ones" have used their tough bare knuckle tactics (in the legal sense, I don't think that they actually beat City Councilmen up physically) to some great effect. It is an impressive list of victories for the individual city POAs that they represent.
I thought I would pull one of these accounts out of that word stack and discuss it a little. Because there is something quite surprising there, and it could be of some significance to Sierra Madre over the next year or two.
Maywood POA: 1 Year Extension - 15% to 22%
In Maywood, the City finally brought in some high caliber leadership that recognized that if you want to truly have a high quality police department you have to pay for it. Unfortunately for Maywood, they were not lying when they said they could not afford it. Many POA's would give up at this point, but Maywood POA, led by its President, Emil Florez, saw an opportunity and seized it. The police officers were due a long awaited raise of 4% in the second to last year of their contract. The City was asking the POA to give up that raise (they too read the League of Cities playbook) given the "economic times."
City management was convinced that if it was going to make Maywood PD a high caliber agency it had to significantly increase compensation as it was one of the lowest paid in the area. It simply was not in a financial position to do it this year. A deal was hashed out whereby the POA did give up the 4% raise for this year, agreeing that would get a previously agreed raise of 5% next year and added to the contract that in July 2011, Maywood officers' pay would be brought to the average of the surrounding cities. This is expected to be between a 15% and 23% increase in July of 2011. The City saw the economy coming back and was open to giving the officers fair compensation when it could afford it in exchange for the POA helping out the City now. They should add this to the League of (California -Ed.) Cities playbook as it may help out those cities that are truly hurting for funds right now. Maywood POA turned a bad situation into a golden opportunity.
An interesting case indeed. And certainly you can sense the pride the POA's leadership has taken here in this accomplishment. The only problem being that, to use the quaint term my kids and their friends are using a lot these days, Lackie, Dammeier and McGill were completely depantsed by Maywood's elected leadership. This from the Jan 22, 2010 edition of the Los Angeles Times (click here):
Maywood to lay off all city employees, dismantle Police department: The City of Maywood will lay off all city employees and begin contracting police services with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department effective July 1, officials said.
In addition to contracting with the Sheriff's Department, the Maywood City Council voted unanimously Monday night to lay off an estimated 100 employees and contract with neighboring Bell, which will handle other city services such as finance, records management, parks and recreation, street maintenance and others. Maywood will be billed about $50,833 monthly, which officials said will save $164,375 annually.
"We will become 100% a contracted city," said Angela Spaccia, Maywood interim city manager.
At a council meeting Monday night, city leaders said they were forced to dismantle the Police Department and lay off city workers because they lost insurance coverage as a result of excessive police claims filed against the department. (Mod: highlight mine)
I get the feeling the Lackster et al do not update their website very often. Hopefully our post today will encourage them to tidy things up a little bit. Otherwise they could come off looking like perfect asses.
Is Friends For Fullerton's Future the Best Blog Ever Or What?
There is one blog on this planet that still brings out the fan in me, and that is FFFF. It's focus, wit and unbridled contempt for the corrupt officials of their city is as pure and as righteous as a true pilgrim's love for his Redeemer. I can think of no other way to describe it except in the religious sense. Excuse me while I dab the moisture from my eyes.
As a Tattler reader you are likely aware that the Friends blog led the successful campaign to recall three awful City Councilmembers there. An incredible achievement, and proof that it is possible for a small group of inspired private citizens to wrench control of their government away from the bums and give it back to the people.
And what are the consequences of their good works? Check this article out:
Council Pulls Plug On Crappy Subsidized Project: Last night our new council majority voted to end a monstrously dense "affordable" housing project on Commonwealth Avenue.
I put the word affordable in quotation marks because these 100% subsidized projects somehow end up costing two or three times the amount to build the regular kind of multi-family housing that is built without government subsidy.
This project, targeted for the 300 block of East Commonwealth, was planned for about 361 stories and was approved on the nod by the old recalled council - Bankhead, Jones, McPension plus, of course, Sharon Quirk.
But the times they are a-changing. New councilmen Kiger and Sebourn, along with Bruce Whitaker, said no to a continuance, and then, despite the attempts of Doug Chaffee and Sharon Quirk to keep the monster alive, killed it outright.
And to this I say God bless! No more nonsense from cretins like Dr. Dick and his coterie of self-interested hacks about how we are "mandated" to litter our city with this crap.
I'm telling you, these guys write pure poetry.
http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com --- photo credit Terry Miller. Who btw said very nice things about this blog in the latest edition of the Sierra Madre Weekly. Pick up your copy at their many conveniently located downtown newsstands. Oh, and I hope they don't get boycotted again!