Funny how things work in the world of government. Just as 2014 is about to give up the ghost, the salary and benefits information from 2013 becomes available. Speedy isn't quite the middle name of government. Or if it is they really should give it up because there are others who are far more deserving of that moniker.
As you might recall, the last time Robert Fellner and our friends at Transparent California revealed this kind of information, and for every possible form of government agency in California (think of the sheer immensity of such a project!), the big news that shook our small but lively corner of the creation was that Sierra Madre in 2012 had been handing out perhaps the largest health care benefit packages of any city in the entire state. In certain cases we're talking as high as $37,000 an employee per year.
What someone would actually get for that kind of money still baffles me. I'm assuming Medevac service would have to be standard.
The timing of these Sierra Madre revelations couldn't have been better as far as our elections last April were concerned. After having spent the previous few years listening to the city claim that every excess and unnecessary expense had been (to use their term) "cut to the bone," Transparent California supplied us with proof of City Hall budgetary excesses so outrageous that it turned the politics of this town on its head.
The defeat of this city's UUT tax increase ballot initiative last April (by the very slimmest of margins) would never have happened had Transparent California not uncovered proof that City Hall's claims of stringent financial frugality just were not credible.
The good news is that in 2013 the City of Sierra Madre cut the costs of those extremely expensive health care packages a bit, and when we eventually see the 2014 numbers a year from now they will be even lower still. That is when the effects of the reforms put in place by Denise Delmar and Rachelle Arizmendi start to kick in.
More proof that true transparency has become the taxpayer's best friend in Sierra Madre. You can access Sierra Madre's 2013 numbers by clicking here.
This year's big revelations have to do with the City of Los Angeles. As you will see when you read the following announcement of their release of the 2013 salary and benefits data on the Transparent California website, L.A. is making millionaires out of a lot of its city employees.
To link to the Transparent California site please click here. To link to the California Policy Center website click here.
We'll be digging out a few more Sierra Madre revelations after we've had a little more time to go through the numbers a little bit.
Let me know what you find.