Monday, July 6, 2015

Did a Sierra Madre City Hall Employee Trash Talk the Tattler Over a Couple of Brewskies @ the 4th of July Parade Beer Garden?


It seems some of the things that get posted on this site actually do get noticed by City Hall. Which is a good thing. We here at The Tattler really do enjoy being part of the conversation. As a matter of fact, we insist upon it.

However, and even though the information we supply is as completely accurate as we can possibly make it, apparently City Hall's preferred way of responding to what gets said here is to quietly, and certainly from well beyond our earshot, tell people that it is not. Without supplying any actual proof, of course. As an example, here is the more unfortunate portion of an email I received from a concerned resident:

"City management / employee stated last night in the beer garden that the Tattler's posting of city salaries and health benefits are all inflated!" 

While I am cheered that this particular city employee spent some quality time kicking it at the 4th of July Parade Beer Garden, and did seem to have had a fine time, the fact is that this person was badmouthing some of the reporting here. And in a way that can only be described as untrue.

Hopefully the taxpayers won't be charged back $3,000 for the time it took this person to consume a couple of Bud Lites, but you never know. This was a city event and we are talking about a city employee. You know what their time costs.

Anyway, I figured I should set the record straight. Here is what the City Hall employee was referring to when chatting with our willing informant at the Beer Garden. The following is taken from a late June article we posted here called "Are You Really Worth Only Half the Pay a Sierra Madre Police Officer Makes?"

Link here.



We also supplied the following rather surprising information in this same post.



The point we made is that SMPD Sergeants are making about twice the amount in total compensation that an average Sierra Madre family takes home. Something that a few in town might think is financially a bit out of whack.

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Now it must be said that the compensation numbers we've cited here are 2013 numbers, as supplied by the city to Transparent California. Link here to see these numbers on that site. They are also the most recent numbers made available by the City of Sierra Madre. As of this typing the city has yet to send anything out from 2014. Why this is nobody really knows. What we posted is currently the best information available.

However, if you don't believe either me or Transparent California, you can go to the website of California State Controller Betty T. Yee and find the exact same numbers. Once again, the most recent numbers available are from 2013.

Here are the numbers for the most highly compensated of the four SMPD Sergeants, Enrique Gonzales (link):


So there you go. Add up the $133,297 in total wages, plus the $52,058 in retirement and health care benefits, and you will arrive at the exact same total compensation figure of $185,355.00 that we posted on June 23rd. The number the City Hall employee characterized in the Beer Garden as being "all inflated."

According to the California State Controller's Office, in 2013 the Top 12 most paid Sierra Madre Police Department employees all received very handsome six figure compensation amounts. 


The combined total amount of compensation for these 12 officers comes to $1,817,882.00. According to Betty Yee, that is out of a total compensation figure coughed up by Sierra Madre taxpayers of $7,189,869.00. Or about 25% of everything this city spends on employee compensation for its entire workforce of 205 employees. 

So why do they make so much more than you do? Why is it these 12 individuals take home so huge a portion of Sierra Madre's yearly General Plan budget? Why are other departments such as the library being forced to cut head count or even shut down altogether while these guys continue to rake it in?

I don't know the answer to that. It makes absolutely no sense. Yet Councilmembers Goss and Harabedian seem willing to do whatever it takes to defend this arrangement. Including raise your utility taxes to a state leading rate of 12%.

We have one more question for you today. Who do you believe more, the State Controller of California and Transparent California, or a City Hall employee who perhaps had a wheat soda or two too many in the 4th of July Parade Beer Garden?

Please give this some thought before you answer.

sierramadretattler.com

39 comments:

  1. I think it is called boozin' for bucks.

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    1. lol at the absurdity of a city hall employee saying something is over inflated.

      like the hours the city claims it takes to plan the Mt Wilson Trail Race?

      what like 700 hours of city staff time to plan a half day event that is the same year in and year out?

      face it - we are overpaying and getting poor results - in the real world so many government employees would be fired

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    2. Its the over inflated hours claimed and the library closing that makes me nuts about analyzing the pay scales and budget. The Community Services Commission was told not to worry about the hours, because they were estimates and besides the money doesn't come out of the general fund but a "special" fund. I have yet to find that special fund on any budget accounting. Was the person that was in the beer garden an officer? If not, what that person said may be true. If you remember, Denise and Rachelle reorganized the city staff last year, and now the city hall staff have to pay more for their insurance and retirement, and rarely get overtime. In fact they are told NOT to work over. There are many city workers that live in the city and have a right to spend their own time at city events as you or I do. I saw a few of them on the 3rd and on the 4th and believe me, they were not on city time, otherwise I doubt if they would jeopardize their jobs by drinking on the job.

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  2. The Golden Dozen.

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    1. ...and their Golden Fleece.

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  3. Councilmember GeneJuly 6, 2015 at 6:57 AM

    Pay more taxes! Let's re-open the Library that closed in April, 2014 after UUT Version 2 failed! Oh the humanity!

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  4. Councilmember GeneJuly 6, 2015 at 6:58 AM

    Oops. My secret friends just informed me the Library never closed. I guess I lied.

    Boy, is my face red.

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    1. That is what happens when you don't read those imaginary emails from your nonexistent supporters.

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  5. Mr. Mod,
    I agree, those salaries are inflated. Not the numbers, they're correct.

    The salaries for the police Sgts.?

    Hell yes, they're inflated. Inflated as they make too much damned overtime!

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    1. I think all the OT is to spike their pensions.

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    2. I guess we know who has the real power in Sierra Madre.

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    3. overtime doing what?

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    4. traffic stops

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    5. I'd really like to know what changed with police compensation from the time I bought here around 2000 and now? Back then, cops here started out at $33,000 a year and rarely got much above $50,000. The numbers listed here are staggering. Basically, every employee of the PD, with the likely exception of dispatch, makes more than the family average in Sierra Madre. They'll tell you "they're serving the community". I beg to differ, it's more like serving themselves to a lavish pension and a healthy income in the meantime.

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  6. Remember when the reason for PD not living in Sierra Madre was because they didn't make enough? Now they don't live here because they can afford to live in more upscale communities.

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  7. The whole overtime thing has always been a scam. There should be zero overtime. Sierra Madre has never had some kind of riot or emergency that requires that kind of overtime. Everyone union member know how to juice their salaries. One way to that is through overtime. The problem is that they all "police" each other. There is no one who says no. Again, every union member in every city knows how to beat the system. Look the way that school superintendant Sanchez whose been in the news lately juiced is compensation. He's finally been fired and the DA is investigating. I'd like to know what every single one of them is doing to earn that overtime. Every one of them has learned to game the system and they are doing it openly and in our faces. If we are stuped enough to allow this to happen, then we deserve what we get. If we want to raise the UUT even further to pay these guys to accumulate that overtime, then we are all a bunch of idiots. Someone's head should roll over this overtime scam because it is a scam and Sierra Madre residents are getting fleeced.

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  8. Hmmm. So I need to pay the highest utility taxes in California so I can help pay for salaries that are about three times what I make. Yes, what a tragedy it would be if that all went away.

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    1. and you receive substandard services, a city that puts outside interests ahead of residents and a city manger that purposely sends out misinformation and participates in lies regarding the UUT

      yeah, I trust them and now we have Goss and Harabedian two mental lightweights playing games

      enough is enough

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  9. You should never believe anything you hear in the beer garden.

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  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  11. It' cheaper to pay over time than to hire more people.

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    1. Double BS on that. Factor in the huge ass pensions these Sgts. will be collecting in a few short years (and the cost to the city) and it'd be waaaaaaay cheaper to hire the part-time LAPD officers to handle it. No pension costs there.

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  12. I wish it were a joke about the city employee drinking in the beer garden and getting paid for it, or work hours credit - but I'm betting it's actually what happened.

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    1. The consultant told city hall that if you get people drunk first they will be more likely to want to pay more taxes.

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    2. All I can figure out about those hugely bloated hours claimed for working on city party events is a mentality of grabbing what you can whenever you can. That starts at the top.

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    3. The city is staffed with unionized out of towners enabled by city councils that don't have any spine. High taxes are the result.

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  13. 9:16 your saying PD pensions are paid on overtime pay, that is totally wrong, who approved that kind of pension? That being the case then no overtime, all over time is hired out side the city. 9:16 are you sure about that, if so it's time this council fix that. We obviously need a new city manager, especially if she is on the same pension.

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    1. I think the pension equation is based on total compensation. How it was made isn't that important.

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    2. How do you think the CalPERS pensions got so high? All sorts of games exist to spike up the final pensions. Wake up and smell the coffee.

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    3. No more whining. You folks want a stand alone police department. Fine. This is what it costs.

      Police services as practiced by SMPD are a commodity. That commodity comes at a very high price if you assume you have to buy it from SMPD. You don't have to. You can buy it from the Sheriff's department. Just like La Canada does. And you can save at least $1.1 million a year. That is 1/6 of our general fund in savings based on one staffing change.

      But then you won't have SMPD painted on the cars that drive around doing nothing all day, every day. For more than 8 hours a day given the massive amount of overtime these guys are charging us.

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    4. and we get a PD department that promotes a officer who is obviously a head case cause he freaked out and shot an unarmed man at the police station

      Detective Amos, what a crock of cow poop

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    5. I don't need a stand alone PD. LASD or another law agency taking the contract is fine with me.

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  14. There must be a fear factor involved here as no city council has ever fixed the problem. Who ever agreed to this is no friend of the people, union yes, residents no.

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    1. if we keep electing building industry lobbyists, real estate mortgage salesmen, a construction company owner, friends to realtors, a banking lending officer, utility company lawyers/pr reps and those that these same socially elite inept jack wipes,,,

      then we deserve what we get

      Goss and Harabedian where completely endorsed by the same group above so....??? what you expect?

      I wish John Buchanan would (insert expletive) off.

      I don't believe anything he has ever or will ever say

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  15. I am afraid of the police. They can lie in court and you would loose what ever the case may be.

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    1. Got a cell phone? If you interact with police, film it. Best of all, avoid them.
      Cops are like everybody else - some are good and some aren't.

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  16. Would be interesting to know the number of police, and City Hall workers, that have filed disability claims in the last 3 years - it is very common.

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  17. median household income does not equal average family income, and that income does not include non taxable benefits as do your police department figures.

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    1. You're full of crap.

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