Friday, July 11, 2014

The Tattler Helps Rescue Sierra Madre: How Our Now 6% UUT City Can Save a Cool $322,649 a Year!

The Tattler: Helping rescue Sierra Madre!
As you may recall, during the run-up to last April's voter verdict on Measure UUT, City Hall was claiming that it would lose about half a million big ones for every 2% the UUT went down. So in 2015 at 8% they'd be down $500,000, and in 2016 at 6% they'd lose a cool $1,000,000 over what they'd been receiving.

Which is why the utility tax slap happy defenders of Measure UUT kept saying it would cost the City of Sierra Madre's local government agency a million big ones a year should the voters turn it down. Or, to put it on the Josh Moran scale, the approximate cost of 250,000 refreshing grande' cups of Starbucks latte,' with that always essential extra shot added. Only the most callow of coffee parvenus would ever drink their latte' any other way. I'm sorry, but that is just how I feel.

The threat heard loud and often from certain concerned persons is that this loss of revenue would lead to such dire consequences as the closing of the Library, outsourcing the Sierra Madre Police Department, and the end to our sweet little arrangement with the Paramedics. Defibrillators and all. In other words, just general chaos, mayhem and some of the milder forms of rioting in the street. With decorum, of course. Please remember where you are.

We here at The Tattler would hate to see any of that happen. We were also tickled pink to see Measure UUT go down in flames. Something that may cause some of those among us to sense a contradiction. But we're not like that. Well, not often.

So we put a pencil to paper and I believe we have come up with a way to have our cake and allow the City to eat some, too. And you know how they love themselves some yummy cake.

You may recall that on Monday we ran the above chart, which was created for us by our friends at TransparentCalifornia.com. Note that the cost of those very generous health, dental and vision care plans we give to our city's Top 10 most benefit enriched employees average a ridiculously high $29,601 a year. Also note that the cost of such a health benefits to the average American citizen is right around $7,000. In our view this is quite a discrepancy.

We also made this following observation:

It is important to note that there would be a potential savings of $226,000 a year if these top 10 city government employees simply received an average costing health plan. That is a lot of money. And in a city where we have been forced to accept two water rate hikes in 5 years, nearly 100% in combined increases, it is an unconscionable amount.

$226,000 a year is a lot of dough in anybody's estimation. Even City Hall would be impressed by such a figure. But then last night it occurred to me, what if all of those health, dental and vision plans offered by we the people to our city's somewhat overcompensated employees were brought down to that national average of $7,000 per year? How much money could we save then?

Below is a chart which details the compensation received by our full-time City of Sierra Madre employees. The cost of their health, dental and vision plans are broken out on the right. Those figures are all over the map, as you can clearly see. Whatever you do, don't blame me. I'm just the messenger.

:~ click to enlarge ~:
So what we have done here is add up the costs of all of those yearly platinum health care plan costs detailed in the column titled "Health, Dental and Vision." That number comes out to $560,649. Or way more than half of what the City of Sierra Madre will lose every year when our UUT here goes down to 6% in 2016.

There are 34 health, vision and dental plans listed here that are above the national average of $7,000. 34 times $7,000 comes to $238,000 per year. Subtract that from our yearly nut of $560,649 and we the taxpaying people of Sierra Madre could save $322,649 every year! Or approximately a third of that yearly $1,000,000 lost due to the sunsetting of the UUT.

We're well on our way to fiscal bliss. As I always like to say, we're here to help.

And more than glad to do it.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

56 comments:

  1. Can we see a video of "a day in the work life of Bruce Innman" so we ca see what he actually does for over $91,000 in regular annual pay, and $26,000 in benefits?

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    1. plus the public donation to his pension plan

      when he's retired in a couple years we'll still be paying him $ 90 grand a year



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  2. Why the difference in amounts from one employee to another? What does Ms. Aguilar get that the average employee does not? Does the employee pay any part of their fee? Are families covered? Do taxpayers pay 100 per cent of these fees? I must live in the Dark Ages. Wherever I've worked, all employees got the same coverage and we paid to have our families included.

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    1. man, am I an idiot for passing up on a public job way back when - wow, completely whacked out compensation

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  3. What does Danny do? seem like a lot of pay to over develop our town

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    1. ? we're paying Danny almost $ 160,000 a year to devote his time to developers?

      that position is a complete waste of time, he should be servicing residents, not developers

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  4. I am certain that if you were to tell some insurance companies that you had around a quarter of a million dollars to buy health insurance for 34 employees you would have plenty of perfectly adequate offers. Obviously City Hall has gone completely insane. A Water Superintendent gets a $37,800 health insurance policy? What in God's sweet name to you get for that? And this is what Elaine Aguilar calls "cut to the bone?" Are they running a madhouse down there?

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  5. Why is there so much overtime pay for the Police officers?

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    1. alot of skate boarders are out at 3 am

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    2. who actually police's the police payroll?

      and there are several officers with zero overtime and several with alot of overtime

      seriously, we'd be better off with the Sheriff's Dept and a small community police force.

      that's alot of payroll for traffic enforcement

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  6. Ok Mod. so couple your savings on the health care with the huge influx of property tax from the sale of homes and there will be more than enough money for the city to spend even if the UUT goes to zero.

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    1. how do we find out what we are paying in pensions for current employees and what we are paying out for former employees?

      the public pension plan is a massive ponzi scheme at taxpayer expense and needs to be recalibrated like the rest of us have to deal with in the real world

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  7. Captain Kirk (from Sierra Madre City Hall?)
    "Beam me up, Scotty. There's no intelligent life here."

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    1. Until Crawford started this blog not many people knew what was going on, now we do, and it's time to stop this madness.

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    2. come on now 10:12, Susan Henderson was doing a great job keeping us informed wasn't she?

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    3. Susan is very particular about the stories she covers in the Looney Views News. And space can be limited. Let me ask you this. If you had to choose between a poodle clipping service and runaway city health plan costs, which would you pick? Fortunately for us Susan knows that poodles are where the interests of the dotty old dears that still read her paper lie.

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  8. The city needs to be a little more careful about things like veracity. Saying you've "cut expenses to the bone" while giving out $30K platinum health insurance policies is called lying where I come from. According to today's Star News it will take only 100 signatures to get a complete repeal of the UUT on the ballot. I do not support that myself. At least I do not now. But if much more of this kind of thing surfaces I will rethink my position on that.

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    1. What's to rethink...!

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    2. it's like someone saying they can't afford to eat while stocking the pantry with vodka

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    3. Or PowerBall tickets.

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  9. There are going to be some health care benefit reforms on the horizon. Just wait.
    Employees will not be thrilled.

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    Replies
    1. An explanation of how this could happen would be nice. Followed by very heartfelt and sincere apologies from all involved. Offers to resign would be a nice bonus.

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    2. How would that get past Union Boys Harabedian and Goss, 8:06?

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    3. Easy. Can you say "Obamacare"?

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  10. I will sign that petition to place this matter on the ballot. The people should have an opportunity to say "yes" or "no" to the amount of the UUT tax. They were not asked when the original 6% was instituted; they should have their say now. Remember, "consent of the governed" and all that.

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    1. I agree. Look at what these SOBs do with our money.

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    2. The City claims they can't "make do" without the UUT. In that case, let's put it on the ballot. If it's truly as dire as situation as the city says, they should win, no problem, right?

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    3. I agree. It is our utility tax money. Let's see them make a case for their continuing to receive it.

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  11. what is "lump sum pay" and "other" pay?

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    Replies
    1. It's what you and I as taxpayers never get on our checks.

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  12. wow, Officer Amos shoots an unarmed man in the back and he makes over $ 80,000 as a reward?

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    Replies
    1. Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
      ~ Albert Einstein

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  13. how do we have a larger than average per capita police force and then pay overtime?

    I remember when the police force was half this size and we were just fine.

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  14. maybe someone can answer this

    when the city billed the Mt Wilson Trail Race for over 200 staff hours for pre event planning (plus the event day staffing)

    where did that $ go? it was about $ 18,000

    does it go to the employee or into the city budget? and which employees? how was it itemzied?

    not to mention that is undermines anything the city claims about financial straits cause if it can bill a nonprofit event for apparently bogus work hours claimed, isn't that fraud?


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  15. wait, with my 401K I'm paying my own $ out of my own pay into the plan

    does this chart report that we (taxpayers) are paying on top of salary (bonus) into their pension plans?

    for example, does the Police Chief make $ 99 K plus a taxpayer provided pension donation of $ 35K?

    no wonder the public sector is so screwed up and we are falling for it

    at some point, the pension plan has to be gutted and fixed and for those already retired and taking an almost full salary as a pension and still of employable age, well sorry but welcome to the real world

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    1. Yes. All pension values are EMPLOYER-PAID only.

      Any amount of money the employee pays towards their pension is NOT reported.

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    2. you mean taxpayer paid?

      wow, imagine if across America taxpayers stood up and said enough is enough and bring the public sector back into reality

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    3. Where are the taxpayers' Platinum CalPERS pension checks?

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    4. There are none. When taxpayers get old and lose their jobs they clean the homes of the new economic elite, 50 year old retired government workers. Just be sure to refer to your employer as "sir." Or "ma'am."

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  16. The big question that everyone is asking this morning is where does Allen Graves stand on all of this?

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    Replies
    1. WWBD?

      What Would Bart (Doyle) Do?

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    2. Blame it on MaryAnn.

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  17. I'd love to ask, too. But I don't know who he is.

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  18. This data is two years old, and one highlighted has not worked for the City for over a year. Her position was downgraded when she left. Don't know how much the new person in that position is making. That being said, you will notice that all of those with a super premium health care package are not getting overtime. Since Elaine has said that the health package is to compensate for this, perhaps the city should give them a smaller package and let them charge overtime. I doubt that would make any savings, but it would be an interesting experiment.

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    1. The 2012 figures posted today are the most recent given out by the City of Sierra Madre. By state law the 2013 numbers don't have to be shared with the taxpayers until October of 2014. Those numbers have been requested, and the city has yet to give them up. Which I suspect you know. All that said, how is it you can believe that the excesses of 2012, clearly exposed in the snapshot above, are justified? $30,000 plus health care plans? Really? You think that is OK? Done while the city was asking for water rate and utility tax hikes? Just because the numbers are from 2012? If that is your defense, then it is an incredibly weak one. Go get us some 2013 numbers and prove us wrong. Show us the city cut health care benefits down to a sane level in 2013. You and I both know that they didn't.

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  19. Blame it on Dr. Mosquito and her ex councilmen hubby.

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  20. Why do you need over time when city hall is closed every other friday!

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    Replies
    1. Don't stand behind city hall at 5:30. You'll get crushed in the stampede.

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  21. I've seen Bruce drive by my house (in his city furnished car), on his way home earlier than 5:30

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  22. Even more cost savings... Did not see Danny Castro's numbers

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  23. Give a lot, get a little.

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  24. You townies are not looking at the compensation chart very carefully, there are two Aguilars on the list; one making $141,500 per year in salary (our beloved City Manager) and another down the list making $50,000 per year as an "Administrative Assistant!!!!!" to the City Manager!!.....what's a little bit of nepotism among friends?

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    1. Know your facts before you go bllah blah. The two Aguilars are not related. This issue has been put to rest many times in the past and ignorant people continue to harp. There are so many issue that are worthy of criticism, try one of those and not the non-issues.

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  25. John we the people of Sierra Madre deserve the credit, having a guy that writes a fake blog if anything hurt our cause. If you truly care you will stay outta the fight. The city assumes if you write about it that means it is probably (bleep).

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    1. Then don't read it, you silly ass. Go read Susan's paper. There you'll be able to get a different opinion on the same topic every week.

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