Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Informative Infographic On L.A. County Pay Disparities

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I received the following from Robert Fellner at Transparent California.com yesterday. He puts these infographics together and sends them out to the world so people can get a real close look at just how badly out of whack government employee compensation has gotten in certain rather poorly managed cities.

You may recall some of the similar charts he created for Sierra Madre last spring when the latest round of utility tax increases was on the ballot. It is a pretty good service for those who work in the private sector, folks that are often not receiving quite as much in salary and benefits as those supposedly working for them.

I've used the word "supposedly" because in many ways the servants have now become the masters, and you could be working to pay their way for the rest of your life.


You may also recall that one of the arguments put forward by the City Manager of Sierra Madre favoring employee raises is that what we are paying here is not in line with what other jurisdictions are paying for similar work. And that unless we raised taxes in order to pay our employees more, they might leave.

Which begs this question: How much more than what the average Sierra Madrean makes should we be giving to City Hall employees? You know, like it is done in Los Angeles, El Segundo and other area cities? Is that how good city government is maintained these days? By economically privileging employees above and beyond what the average taxpayer makes?

In 2014 some relatively senior city employees here did actually walk. Former Mayor Nancy Walsh brought this up during her most recent talk to the City Council, and seemed quite irate about it. So now that a month or two has gone by, is it possible to gauge just how much the city has suffered because of this?

I personally have not noticed much of a change. Have you?

Someone who did not have much fun visiting Sierra Madre

Mod: I don't know if you spend much time on Yelp!, but it can be amusing in an odd sort of way. This is a site where the man in the street gets to review whatever his heart desires. Businesses, cities, and anything else. It is all up for grabs, and some of these reviews can be unintentionally hilarious. Here is how a "Yelper" named "Paul R," from Mountain Home, Idaho, reviewed his visit to Sierra Madre.

So I decided to have a nice day off adventure taking the advice of LA Magazine and ride my bike to Sierra Madre with the help of the Gold Line

After riding up the hill from the station to the town proper I was greeted by a woman with a stroller and baby who I think was texting the cops as I was sitting in the city park.  Apparently I was subject to suspicion for being shady. Not dressed like a hobo I decided there was nothing to worry about and went about my business.

I have been all over the world and have never had a reaction so swift to my just being there. I was leaving the park as a police vehicle pulled up. Luckily I was taking a picture of the town cannon as it drove by me on its way to save the woman from something.  

Had a lovely time at Lucky Baldwins with a great group of musicians who I assume play weekly for fun and nothing else. Went to Buccanneer to close out the nite round 7; my old band had played there years before and I wanted to revisit.  

Leaving the bar in good spirits I headed home around 8 on my bicycle, which was really the reason I came; to get some exercise and not drive drunk. About a block away from the Old Town I was stopped by a policeman for not having a headlight on my bike. Ok, my bad, I forgot to put it on in my haste to make the ride home.   

Basically I was shook down and the guy took my new eighth of grass which I did not have my paperwork for to make it legal and gave me a ticket. Both he and his partner were looking for other reasons to cite me, but as I was still somewhat of sound mind and speech they could do nothing else. 

Afterwards, shaken, without the calming effects of my medicine and the many beers at Lucky Baldwin's. I did an almighty faceplant between the town and the station and came up broken and bloody with a nice flap where my chin used to be.  

My advice ... don't go to Sierra Madre expecting to have any sort of fun. They have outlawed it and the pod people are coming for you. It is no coincidence that Invasion of the Body Snatchers was filmed there, the brainless and boring are alive and well in Sierra Madre.  

See you in court where I will get the ticket dismissed but probably not my grass. 20 miles away from LA there is a town stuck in the 1950s, and I won't be going back. Those times were quaint then but ridiculous now. Stay free if you can.

Mod: You can't please everyone. Merry Christmas!

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

26 comments:

  1. Next time, Sierra Madre visitor, bring your medicinal marijuana card.

    And, if you don't want to fall off your bike, don't drink and ride.

    Dumb ass.

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    Replies
    1. Maybe he should get a motorcycle.

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    2. So his idea of Sierra Madre is Lucky Baldwins and the Buc.

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    3. At least he didn't waste any time.

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  2. Does the Roundabout still go to Sierra Madre Villa? If the city is looking to improve ridership, maybe they should offer bar pick up.

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    Replies
    1. No more Round About to the Goldline. It was rarely used by the residents. That money is now used to repair roads.

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    2. Darn. Its true calling was missed.

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  3. Public employee salaries have gotten out of hand. One of their common tactics is to point to another city and how much money they are paying their employees. All it takes is for one city to play fast and loose with the taxpayers money and then all the other public employee unions point to that city as the new "going rate" for salaries. That's one of the reasons their salaries, pensions and benefits keep leapfrogging ahead. The other reason is that that the public employee unions help to get candidates elected to political office - the very same candidates who will be making the decision on public employee compensation. Those candidates, once elected to office, will then pay back the public employee unions who contributed to their campaigns by essentially giving the unions taxpayer money in return in the form of higher salaires, benefits and pensions. That's the game. One of the ways you stop it at least on the future pension side of things is shifting from a defined benefit pension which rears its ugly head when the employee retires and the politicians who made the pensions so generous are long out of office to a defined contribution pension that has to be budgeted for each year.

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  4. How many public employees do you know who have "retired" and you think to yourself that they seem a little young to be retired? Alot of these folks are able to retire at 55 or even 50 with full pensions, cost of living increases and full medical benefits for the rest of their lives - something unheard of in the private sector. We are getting to the point where we are paying so much to people who are "retired", that we have very little left to pay the people to do the work at hand. That's why whenever you have an opening for a job in the public sector, there is a line around the block. The gravy train is just too good to pass up. Don't blame the public employees and their unions for seeking ever greater compensation, blame the dupes who allow it to happen. If we all are willing to work longer and retire at 65 or 70 and pay ever increasing taxes so that the public employees can retire at 50 and travel around the world, that's our choice.

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    Replies
    1. It's how politicians buy municipal employee union support. California has the worst government money can buy. And yes, it is happening here.

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    2. Next time Elaine talks about employees leaving, call the Roundabout.

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  5. If your in your car or walking down the street don't you have to give permission to have your car searched or frisk your person? I don't know the law so if someone knows please tell. Doesn't sound like that bike rider was all that smart. Riding a bike intoxicated with no lights is not smart and for sure having pot on you without your prescription isn't either. Think of how awful an experience for the family it would be to hit someone on a bike. Just because he was a drunk and on pot you would not know that and the family will only know that mom hit a man on his bike, that would really ruin any holiday for everyone.

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  6. great thoughts... I copied the facts and would like to re post for those who have not read!

    FACT:
    1) The city residents are proving 110+/- weekly pay checks to city employees.
    2) There is No monies left over to perform infrastructure improvements!
    3) Therefor the city residents can either:
    a) reduce city employees & cut spending
    OR
    b) Tax All residents to create more available cash to the city employees
    OR
    c) Go into more Long Term Debt by evidence of borrowing $10 Million dollars which the resident's will pay for
    OR
    d) file BK
    OR
    e) terminate present management and hire More Capable Management

    f) THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS BORROWED 77 / 1 against our US DOLLARS and can not pay it back!

    Lets deal with the problem now and not latter!

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  7. Merry Christmas, CAPS GUY! Or is that MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

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    Replies
    1. what's worse - reading all caps or having to endure the caps police always whining at someone using caps...

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    2. Having filled the role of "Caps Police" on more than one occasion, I'd encourage everyone to discipline themselves and express their point of view with proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Poor attributes in this realm only further the concept of Sierra Madre being filled with an unsophisticated, "back woods" crowd.

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    3. Unsophisticated? Compared to whom? Those prats in Pasadena?

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  8. Santa Tracker!
    https://santatracker.google.com/#tracker

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  9. Did you know that our paramedics are paid minimum wage, and that had to be raised because the State said so? Did you know that now the city employees are paying a greater share for their health insurance? Did you know that Denise Delmar and Rachelle are continually working to even out the wages vs benefits and there should be some changes in the next year? All of you who criticize our local government need to take a deep breath and see what happens when the UUT sunsets to 8:%. I think it won't be as dire as Elaine is telling us, and we'll do just fine. ---- without closing our library. lol

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    Replies
    1. I agree, though I think the UUT sunsets down to 6%.

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    2. With regard to our paramedic situation, aren't they part of the "volunteer" fire department?

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    3. For the moment.

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  10. Merry Christmas, Mod, and all Sierra Madreans, including the pink or brown cow!

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  11. 8:04,,,,, Shame on you, you really don't understand the people here in town. We have a lot of seniors in Sierra Madre and I would guess a lot of them don't have computers and so we loose their input, a real loss. I would guess and hope some of those seniors go to council meetings and voice their concerns. I'm sure some residents may have older computers that don't have spell checkers. Talking about how it bugs you when some one writes in all caps is your problem I would guess because it doesn't bother me. Makes me feel concern for that person because they may have poor eyesight and can't really see what they are typing when not in caps. wAre is THAT LUVE IN youR harte for those leSS FOrtunate thaN YOU , THOse who can't be perfecT in their spelling and SIGHT,

    Lets be more caring and understanding of others and look at what they are trying to say not belittle them into never contributing any thing, or is that anything?

    MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ONE AND ALL

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