Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Are You Really Worth Only Half the Pay a Sierra Madre Police Officer Makes?

Thanks taxpayers!
Your unfortunate self-esteem issues aside, here is a sort of fun fact for you. According to 2013 compensation figures posted on the Transparent California site, Sierra Madre's top paid police officers make about double what the average resident here makes. We'll get to why we think that is later on in this post. We even have a pithy quote from Mayor Capoccia to back us up.

How so? We have a lot of good friends who send information to The Tattler all the time. That includes things some might later wish they hadn't said. Where would we be without our friends?

It must also be pointed out that the sole reason why Transparent California only has 2013 figures up on their site is that City Hall has yet to cough up their 2014 numbers yet. Something that definitely does not flow with City Hall's claim that they really did want your input on taxes and salaries from the taxpayers.

The contradiction being that if the City actually wanted to hear the opinions of you the people on the topic of the budget, shouldn't they have supplied folks with the most current numbers? You'd think so, right? Perhaps this means that the city never was that interested? And instead they were merely engaging in reality creation and astroturfing?

In my near humble opinion the answer to that one is yes.

So here is the 2013 version of what some of the Sierra Madre PD are pulling down in total compensation yearly. The figure we are most concerned with is the one on the far right. That is the total yearly amount you the taxpayer is funding for these richly rewarded gentlemen.


Recently the Los Angeles Times published a feature (link) that ranked area communities by their median income. And despite what you might have heard, Sierra Madre is not anywheres near a top tier community in this regard. Rather this burgh comes in at a rather modest 51st place.


So there you go. If you multiply that $88,008.00 median income figure times two, you end up at $176,016.00. Or still less than what any Sierra Madre PD Sergeant pulled down in 2013. A pretty sobering statistic, right?

Now you might be wondering why it is that such a ridiculous disparity in income exists here in this town. And by a piece of luck we were forwarded a letter written by current Mayor John Capoccia that gives us some real insight into why this might be. We aren't going to publish the whole thing because much of it is not relevant to what is being discussed today. But here are a couple of interesting passages.


Now that is a loaded brace of paragraphs. First it reveals that Mayor Capoccia has already decided that a third utility tax measure will be going on the ballot. Which makes you wonder why the City Council is going to put everyone through the kinds of disingenuous charades we will see tonight.

Especially the one where the City Council establishes a committee of hand-selected though sincerely concerned residents to determine whether a tax hike is necessary or not. Like there is any doubt what their conclusion will be.

And it shows that Mayor Capoccia is also peddling that cooked up "astroturf" nonsense about how small groups of tax supporters showing up at places like Rob Stockley's house to advocate for utility tax increases somehow overturns the results of two official citywide elections.

But for the purposes of this post, the big line is found here:

I appreciate your suggestion to balance the budget, but it is not feasible. The majority of our personnel are represented, and even if they weren't, we still need to set compensation levels such that we can attract and retain competent employees.

And that is what the push to raise utility taxes to 12% (or more) is really all about.

"Represented" in this context means unionized. Proving that this was never about "services" or "The Library" or whatever other infant pablum is being spooned down the throats of this community's most credulous residents. It is, and always has been, about city employee union compensation.

Which is, of course, why the SMPD is making double what you, Mr. or Ms. Average Sierra Madre Wage Earner, are making these days.

So let me ask you this. Do you believe that is the way things are supposed to be? Or do you think that perhaps you've been screwed by years of dishonest and gutless City Councils that put the interests of out-of-town unionized municipal employees over yours? The person whose taxes pay all of the bills around here?

Unlike City Hall, I would actually be interested in hearing your opinion.

Rip Off

Here is what City Hall took from the Mount Wilson Trail race this year.


City Hall claimed it put in an incredible 703.25 hours on the Mt. Wilson Trail Race, and then charged back $35,921.00.

For what?

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

72 comments:

  1. The reason the SMPA opposes bringing in the Sheriffs is not because they could make more money if that happens. It is because most SMPD would not be able to meet the physical requirements to join.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I heard they have to go through mental screening, too.

      Delete
    2. What were your thoughts when you shot the formerly sleeping man in the butt?

      Delete
    3. I was relieved when the city promoted the shooter to Detective. His feelings had been hurt by all of the criticism, and the promotion helped him rebuild his self-esteem.

      Delete
    4. it's common knowledge, if a SMPD officer pulls out his or her weapon, hit the deck - no telling where the bullets may fly

      Delete
    5. you mean all I gotta do is freak out and shoot a sleeping man and I can get a employment package of $ 142 K ?

      sign me up and load up the Glock

      Delete
    6. Ok, Officer Fife.

      Delete
    7. I'm amazed that Amos was able to get the bullet out of his pocket, load his weapon and shoot a man in a matter of seconds

      Amos is the last PD officer I ever want to see in an emergency

      ever

      Delete
  2. Attend tonight's City Hall meeting. Tell the Council your opinion - don't just write it here, and then gripe tomorrow about what happens tonight. Denise and Rochelle, the two rational members of the Council need all the help they can get. Show starts at 6:30.

    ReplyDelete
  3. One good question to the Councilmembers would be: It appears the Mayor and 2 other Council members seem to be representing the City emplyee unions first, the citizens / taxpayers second. Isn't that backward?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not because those council members want to do this, it's because the residents of Sierra Madre are demanding higher taxes. Yeah, that's it.

      Delete
    2. Everybody wants more taxes. No, really!

      Delete
    3. the library will close

      no really, we've been threatening and using that card for several years but this time we mean it

      Delete
    4. "911 calls will go unanswered" - Gene Goss at the Women's Club 2014 as he described what would happen if Measure UUT failed.

      UUT failed. Guess he was wrong.

      Delete
  4. It's all about the Platinum Pensions, baby!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Where are the taxpayers Platinum Pensions?

      Delete
    2. In the pocket of Detective Amos.

      Delete
    3. Don't be too mad at Detective Amos. Sierra Madre could be the only city in America where a black officer shot an innocent white guy.

      Delete
    4. true 8:57 - and he shot the guy in the backside

      if this is the type of mental condition that gets you promoted in the SMPD, heaven help us

      Delete
    5. I never figured out how becoming aware of a person in the back of a car after it was towed could be a life threating situation for Officer Amos. He shot him thru the back windshield.

      Delete
    6. LBJ: Where did you get shot, son?

      FG: In the but-tocks.

      (Forrest Gump)

      Delete
    7. 1:17 especially when the vehicle was ckd out before towing and nobody noticed the guy in the back - I own a Murano and it's easy to see in

      Scary how a police officer freaks out - completely freaks out, pulls out his weapon and starts blasting - incompetent and unbalanced and then....gets promoted?

      Delete
  5. It's obvious the lady's know what's going on and how to make things work because that is their job in the real world. What I don't like is the 3 men acting like the lady's don't know anything and tend to take turns brow beating them down into submission of one kind or another. Give up a percentage here a little bit there, typical council moves to break them until the men get what they want. They think the city manager is so smart or what I can't tell, bottom line, we need a manager that is on the tax payers side not the union side. I'm guessing neither of those ladies will run again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh, there is definitely some misogyny going on with the three male Council members. And condescension.

      Delete
    2. Men, in the middle, women on each side.

      Delete
    3. The women are on the end because the boys can't make them sit in the other room.

      Delete
    4. The City Council dais is ISIS held territory.

      Delete
    5. The City Manager hires and fires the employees. She has to be on the Union side. She is the one negotiating with the council for the salaries. And it is true the men have boorish behavior toward the women (I think they feel threatened by them because the women are smarter than them), but IF Denise and Rachelle do vote to put a UUT on the ballot, it is because of their experience, not because they are cow-towed by the other three. Especially Denise who was the HR person managing benefits and compensation for over 7000 employees, knows how to budget and how to negotiate.

      Delete
    6. The non-union managers get a raise if the underlying union employees' wages get too close. Conflict of interest? hell yes.

      Delete
  6. It has all been a dog and pony show, For the budget, they only cut out 9,000.00 from the police department. 70,000.00 for the library. The biggest budget of all and they can only cut 9,000.00. Having looked at the budget, I feel a forensic audit should be done. How you go about that, I don't know. Why don't all these people who want taxes show up at meetings? Where have they been? If there are 2 measures on the ballot come spring, both will have to be voted down so that no tax is allowed. The city needs more money for salaries. They will need it next year and the year after. It will never end. Then we have a parcel tax. And the cost of running Sierra Madre will continue to go up. Take a look at the warrants sometime and try to figure out what they spend and how they spend it. Makes interesting reading. I do believe that Ms. Delmar has gone over to the dark side in this matter, possibly for biding time until the union contract comes up. They are negotiating, of course behind doors, with the police department, now. Wonder what will com of that. Chief Wiggins is a roll model for all policeman. As Capoccia said, we need to attract the best employees. Hog wash, Capoccia!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The people that want taxes may be only Gene Goss' imaginary friends. And they are very shy.

      Delete
    2. Looks like Mayor Capoccia is hearing the same voices.

      Delete
    3. I'll vote NO for the third time and then the 4th and 5th and 6th

      fix the real issues which are a bloated PD, an obscene pension plan and plain ole incompetence

      669 hours planning an event that is the same every year?

      just how stupid does Elaine think we are?

      I was told that the Trail Race was a fundraiser to keep the trail maintained and turns out it's not?

      no thanks

      Delete
    4. Turns out the Trail Race is a fundraiser for the Search and Rescue Team. I wonder if the Team actually needs the monies as much as the Trail Race Committee thinks it does.

      Delete
    5. So the Search & Rescue guys get whatever crumbs are left by the city? Nice.

      Delete
  7. Mayor Capoccia claims we need to "need to set compensation levels such that we can attract and retain competent employees." Really? You think other departments want our police?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right, we have such sterling employees. It's rocket science, what they do.

      Delete
    2. well Mayor that hasn't worked so far has it?

      Delete
    3. Most SMPD members have nowhere else to go. Cut their pay and they'll still be here, driving those grueling 3 square miles.

      Delete
    4. Keep their pay at the same rate. Have them contribute 100% of the employee's share of CalPERS.

      Delete
  8. Chief Whiggam needs his sidekick Lou .
    As far as the characters of Mr. Burns and his assistant Smithers they're as changeable as a pair of underwear .

    ReplyDelete
  9. Depressing. I've been one of the last defenders of Capoccia - I do think he honestly believes he is making the best choices for the city. He's not "situationally fluid" like some we've had before. However, to so baldly advocate for a third vote? I give up. It's just so illogical.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Capoccia the "WOLF"
      We need to make sure that Financial Turncoat does not run again or get re-elected. The Employees the Mayor talks about retaining are incompetent, and not worth the salary they receive. The City Manager should have been Fired the first day The "Wolf" took office, but No! The City Council continues to let Elaine wreak havoc on our Village. There is Not One person in the City Administration that worth over $100,000. per year, let alone $200,000, and definitely Not $225,000, for Elaine's incompetence and corruption. Mr. Wolf Capoccia Stop smoking crack!
      I would hire John Hutt tomorrow, than have Elaine for one more days.
      The Mayor's correspondence reflects the true Tax Lover that he is! "Wolf" Capoccia, stop the Charade. Actually if you truly care about Sierra Madre you should step down Now. Not tomorrow, Not later in the day, or sometime in the future, NOW!
      Except, now that you are a Dirt, The Dirt expect you to continue the Havoc.
      On that note, you are doing an excellent job!
      Question: How much did it cost the "Wolf" to sell his sole? & join the DIRT Investment Corporation

      Delete
  10. $35,921 for the Mt Wilson race? Up almost 400 percent in three years? The only thing I can say I can't say on the Tattler.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like theft to me. Maybe we should call the Police?

      Delete
    2. Aww, go ahead and say it 8:05

      Delete
    3. put Detective Dead Eye Amos on the case.

      puzzling how the city staff can spend 669 hours on pre-event planning when the event is the same every year

      is staff that befuddled, incompetent or just plain lying?

      can the City Manager explain this?




      Delete
    4. $ 35,921? becuase there's a revenue problem aka Council and the City wants to spend more money!!

      Delete
    5. how did the event planning hours for the Race double over last year?

      what changed with the event?

      this alone should get Elaine fired - if she is that incompetent where over 600 hours of city staff time is being billed for a minor half day event - then she's a complete idiot as a business manager

      Delete
    6. The reason the city took that $35,921 in MWTR money is because that is what there was to take. They just fudged up that hours figure to make it look legit.

      Delete
    7. I think it went into the city's donut fund.

      Delete
    8. It's been turned over to the detectives bureau...

      Delete
    9. Where it was turned into a donut and eaten.

      Delete
    10. The City Manager has a hard time explaining anything!

      Delete
    11. It is hard keeping all the tall tales straight.

      Delete
    12. The Truth would set them free.

      Delete
  11. Someone has to explain to me how volunteers are used for the race. When did city get so involved in the planning, and why? Are there entrance fees for the race? Where does that money go? Are there donatioons to the race? Where does that money go? Are there just not enough engineers to do this? Or has the city taken over to give cronies more money. I understand liability insurance. Can anyone give a figure of what that would cost if you didn't use the city? You can get rates for 2 day coverage, I'm sure. How much planning does it take for something that is done year after year? I don't get it. Can someone explain.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 8:24 - it can't be explained

      then again it's a hard hard hard race to plan

      run up Baldwin - turn right - turn left - run up Mt Wilson - reverse down

      yeah, that takes 669 hours

      I'd like to compare that to how many hours the City of Long Beach spends on the Grand Prix in planning?

      jeez

      Delete
    2. Using the Sierra Madre scale that Grand Prix spend would be around $100,000,000.

      Delete
  12. Why are the total benefit figures for all three sergeants over $50,000 each?

    ReplyDelete
  13. 8:05 AM Assume you mean foul actions not foul words. There are things you just can't say unless your ready to experience some negative reactions from the wrong people. You've seen what happens when the home town boy applies for a job he's qualified for. Who did we end up with but a person who's job was something completely different from what the residents want, and I'm saying that nicely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. instead of having a home town friend who cares about the city we get a slick slimy used car salesman

      yuck

      Delete
    2. I fear for my town. I really do.

      Delete
  14. It's all an allusion . the goal is to screw the one who feeds you!

    ReplyDelete
  15. 669 hours

    you mean it took almost 17 weeks to plan a puny little half day event?

    17 weeks?

    come on Elaine - please get your head out of your rear end and explain this, please.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I am done feeding these idiots! The gravy train is over... My friends are voting to Repeal All UUT taxes. The only ones who will do with out will be those high paid city employees! By failure of the city council members to take action, they will.all be remembered as idiots. Did you get this email Mr mayor!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes he did, I sent it! The Mayor come across as a real Ass!
      I would never have Voted for him if I would have know his real views. I was hoodwinked by a Dirt Conman!

      Delete
    2. Yes you did! We all did!
      I had hoped for more out of him.
      I must agree with you, and when I see him on the street, I can't wait to call him his new Village name, The "Wolf"

      Delete
  17. Most City workers are essentially clerks or laborers, right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Including the City Manager. An over glorified clerk that we pay $225,000. a per year!
      Make me sick!

      Delete
  18. I think our staff is grossly overpaid. But then again, the boredom of their work must be excruciating.

    ReplyDelete