Thursday, March 3, 2016

Saving Arcadia's Bulldozer Bob Flyer, Plus the City of Sierra Madre's Deceptive Claims on Law Enforcement

Tattler Rule #1: It is always about money.
Mod: We'll start with Arcadia since it is a continuation of yesterday's conversation, then get into yet another fine mess Sierra Madre finds itself in. First this from Saving Arcadia:

David Arvizu, President of Saving Arcadia takes exception to the statement by Sgt. Flores of the Arcadia P.D. of how slanderous Saving Arcadia is and how he is so above our negative campaigning.

To begin with, "slander" refers to the spoken word, not anything that is written, that would be "libel".  In order for us to libel someone, we would have to write something that wasn't true.

Our flyer contained only the facts of Bob Harbicht's voting record and reiterated what Bob has said in the past.  The TRUTH is not libel.  It is disappointing that a member of the police department would make such a statement without first checking the facts.

Here is a copy of the flyer, if Bob Harbicht contends that there is a lie, let him say so.

Sincerely,

David Arvizu

President, Saving Arcadia 


Barry Gold speaks out on a deceptive City of Sierra Madre mailer

Mod: Here is what one commenter said here yesterday about the City of Sierra Madre's mailer: "
All you need to know about the honesty of the city mailer is this: to mask the fact that the sheriff's proposal on its face saves $800k a year, the city adds artificial costs to it. For example, it assumes that the city must continue to employ the chief of police at a cost of $255k a year. Ask yourself this: who is the chief going to supervise? This tactic was predicted months ago." Last night write-in City Council candidate Barry Gold sent out his take on this latest mess. 

THE POLICE OR THE SHERIFF
The city's 4-page UUT brochure will be in your mail box by tomorrow, I got mine today. On the front page is misleading, or more accurately, missing information that would allow you to better decide what the real savings are if we contract with the sheriff.  Here is what they did not put in this brochure.

1. The city says we have 3 units patrolling 24/7. That may be what is on paper but I have not seen 3 units patrolling at all times, especially at night. We do not have enough officers to put 3 units on the streets 24/7.

2. The city says the sheriff's Proposal A will save us $200,000 a year and Proposal B will cost $400,000 more a year.  They are only giving us the information for the first year.  They are not telling us that as each year goes it gets better and better for us. The attached city spreadsheet from October 5, 2015 shows how we do better with the sheriff each year.  The spreadsheet numbers are different from the city UUT brochure. I assume this is because they have revised figures that we have not seen yet. Still giving us only the first year's costs in the fancy 4-page brochure is misleading.  Look at the fifth or seventh year's savings.  It does just keep getting better.

3. Plan A and Plan B are not the only choices we have. First of all the third sheriff option does not use our police station which I would not chose, but why didn't the city ask for a plan that is somewhere in between A and B. For example Plan A has 3 civilian staffers and Plan B has 8 civilian staffers.  Why can't we have 4 or 5 staffers?

4. The city built into the sheriff's costs is a new city position. A $150,000 a year Public Safety Director.  If we really need this position can't we find a qualified person to be the Director of this small Town's Public Safety Department for half that amount? Do we even need this position?  $150,000 every year is a lot of money.

These facts are in the city's Updated 10/05/15 v2 spreadsheet which is attached (See below).

My point is that what we are being told in the 4-page brochure is true, we just aren’t being told the whole story.

This has happened before. The city tells us part of the story so we think we need to support their recommendations.

I am sorry for being so wordy but this is something that really upsets me. I want each of you to know that if I am elected to the city council you will always get the whole story so you can make an informed decision on the matters that concern you.

Please tell all your friends and neighbors to write-in BARRY GOLD on the ballot April 12.

The absentee ballots will be mailed March 14. So those of you who vote by absentee Ballot please let your friends know about me before they vote and mail in the ballot.

Barry Gold

Your write-in candidate


sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

82 comments:

  1. This doesn't look pretty. With these figures and the cost savings argument 5 to 7 years out its hard to argue for the city's position. Please don't kill the messenger but this looks grave.

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    1. It saves $3.5 million over the term stated, even with bogus assumptions which I will address later.

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    2. Shouldn't this be reported to the California FPPC?

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    3. To verify this John Crawford, I wrote that it is hard to argue against the city's position. This is grave for the No on UUT crowd. You can spin this however you want, but it seems even Barry Gold admits the cost savings will only hit after year 5. If I am not mistaken I posted that it is hard to argue against the city's position.

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    4. The $3.15 million in savings over the term of the contract doesn't impress you? You need to reread things and see if you can't up your understanding a little. Even if Measure UUT passes the savings hiring the Sheriffs will bring is going to be essential.

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    5. Moderator, You are wrong! The actual savings according to the city is a WHOPPING $3,597,000. now let's talk about the assumptions.

      1. In an affront to the taxpayers and common sense, the city believes we need to hire a $150k public safety officer to report to the city manager about what the sheriff and fire chief are up to. if we have them direct report - which they should - this number goes to $0 and saves the city $1,200,000 over the term. This increases the savings under the sheriff's proposal to a WHOPPING $4,797,000.

      2. The city presumes a year one "contingency" cost for the sheriff of $100k. The city fails to consider the 100k per month "reality" cost of keeping SMPD associated with retaining the sheriff to pick up the night shifts for the next 4 - 12 months. to be sporting let's discount this to $60k a month to account for reduced salaries owed to the awol SMPD officers. This $60k a month "reality" cost increases the savings under the sheriff's proposal to a WHOPPING $5,037,000 - $5,517,000.

      3. The City applies variant increase factors to the sheriff and SMPD proposals. Please note that as little as 1% difference increases the cost of either proposal of approx. $40k annually. No justification whatsoever for these different factors is given. But bear in mind, SMPD's union counsel is not stoopid. when it sees that $1 million uut windfall it will come knocking on the door asking for a pay increase. How do you think John and John will respond to that?

      4. The $394k accrued figure slathered on to the sheriff's year one proposal is a liability that the city will have to pay even if SMPD is retained. why? because all people eventually stop working and get their accrued time off. The only difference is timing.

      5. the city will achieve reduced liability insurance costs associated with having the sheriff take over patrolling. that's because the sheriff and its insurer, not the city, will be primarily liable the next time some poor soul gets blasted while sleeping in his truck. these are no reflected.

      I could go on, but you get the point. the savings - even with all of the city's assumptions, are YUGE - at least $3,597,000 - and will go a long way to putting the city on sound financial footing in the long term.

      we should take those savings and develop a plan to apply them to infrastructure, parks, and the library.

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    6. So, if we get rid of the station and reduce hours, we will still need to come up with a million dollars this year to cover the cost, and make cuts of half a million in future years.

      Where is the 800k a year in savings?

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    7. Read the effin paperwork ya moron.

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  2. The city appears to be campaigning for Measure UUT. I guess they don't think state laws on such things matter.

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  3. Had the pleasure to meet two of the Sheriff officers on patrol yesterday. Walking in the Downtown area, at 7:15. Could not have been more impressed with their professional attitude and way they carried themselves. Not to mention can not remember the last time I saw a SMPD member walking on the Blvd after dark without a car a doughnut throw away.

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    1. I've lived here 60 years and never seen a police officer walking the Blvd with the exception of the July4 parade.

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    2. I guess we'll have to get used to real law enforcement for a while.

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    3. This is lovely to hear. For years I've wondered why SMPD officers don't embrace community policing in our small city. Kudos to the Sheriff's for getting out and getting to know us.

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    4. Probably why the cop union opposed hiring the Sheriffs and wanted us to go with Arcadia. They knew the comparison would not be a good one.

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    5. I also saw two cops.
      It's ELECTION UUT time.
      Just a dog and pony show.

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    6. 2 cops. Isn't that about 20% of the Sierra Madre police department?

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    7. SM will get the best deps from Temple Station, and I'll bet they're glad to be doing Community policing in Mayberry versus chasing hood=rats with guns in South El Monte.

      And if there is a hot call in town like a burglary in progress,, the East Pasadena.(Rosemead Bl/Foothill Bl) and/or Monrovia county two-man cars will also respond,,as is the customary level of response anywhere.

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  4. According to Transparent California the City of Arcadia pays Sgt. Stan Flores $242,000 in total compensation yearly. Or nearly $1 million dollars every 4 years. So not only is Sgt. Flores not a truthful man, he is also helping to drive Arcadia into insolvency.
    http://transparentcalifornia.com/salaries/arcadia/

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  5. why do police cost so much? I am in the wrong line of business.....

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  6. The city of Sierra Madre's city hall is a criminal organization. Not unlike our State government, our national government and our two major political parties. They are all after as much of our tax money as they can possibly shake us down for. Is it to improve our infrastructure or our safety? No it is to keep themselves in power.

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  7. the public safety officer will be needing an assistant too!

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    1. and both will soon be driving red Mercedes convertibles?

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    2. They are all the rage downtown these days.

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  8. 5:53, does your job require you to carry a gun to protect yourself and others, that may be why?

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    1. Sorry, that is not worth a quarter of a million dollars a year.

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    2. $242,000 in total compensation is simply too much. That's why Officers like Flores have become so politicized. I don't know how old he is but don't forget, depending on when he started, he could retire at 50 with about 90% of his salary for the rest of his life with cost of living increases and full medical benefits. But don't forget, they never "retire" because even they realize 50 is too young. So they take another job that supplements their annual pension. Its a racket and we are paying for it. We are having to work harder and retire at 65 if at all, to pay these extravagant wages. There are many solutions although the best one is to prevent the public employees from unionizing which is the way it used to be until the early 1970's. One thing that will help is raising the retirement age. Let them do something, anything, for their 6 figure annual income. It doesn't have to be pointing a gun at people. Let them patrol the schools or do a desk job and retire at 65 like the rest of us.

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    3. City employee unions favor development because they understand that their inflated salaries and benefits are dependent on things like development impact fees and increased property taxes. This is corruption, of course. Enabled by the spineless elected officials that fear them.

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    4. Lots of cops will tell you the reason they carry a gun is to protect themselves. That's why a lot of officers support the right for honest law-abiding citizens to carry.

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    5. A lot of them also oppose it. Turn in your gun campaigns are quite popular in law enforcement circles.

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    6. http://www.policemag.com/blog/gangs/story/2013/12/the-fallacy-of-gun-buyback-programs.aspx

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    7. 8:18 - what about the "law abiding" crazies?

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    8. Sorry, 5:53, a gun isn't for protection- it's for offense. A bullet-proof vest is for protection. How many times in the 100+ year history of this town has a cop been shot at by a civilian?

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    9. None. But there is the time a SM cop shot a civilian. They made the shooter a detective.

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    10. So let me see if I understand this. You want police protectionn but you don't want to pay the people who do the job? You want a 65 year old police officer on the payroll but you want them at a desk? You want them to work for 30 years and not have a retirement package they can live on. Put that on a job flyer and see how many people you get to risk their lives for you.

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    11. Yes, you don't understand this. All the things you say are required to keep a PD working are available in Sierra Madre, yet half of them left anyway. The solution is to hire the Los Angeles Sheriffs Dept. Solves the problem.

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    12. SheriffS get paid too, they also receive a retirement. They can also retire before they are 65. So are people going after the LA Sheriff's department next? Half of Sierra Madre PD left because the reduction of the city's UUT made it clear that they were not financially secure in their jobs. I would have left too.

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    13. Another positive effect of voting no on the UUT. I hope the door didn't hit them in the backside on the way out. The difference with the Sheriff is the entire County of Los Angeles pays for their retirement. 10 million people. With the SMPD that burden is carried by 11,000 people. Do you understand the difference?

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    14. I wonder if you understand the difference. No disrespect to the men and women of the LASD but you will not get the same service from them because they have to cover the entire County of Los Angeles...as you say 10 million people. Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.

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    15. The Sheriffs Department has adequate personnel to cover the entire County of 10 million people. The SMPD doesn't have the staffing to even cover a small town of 11,000 people.

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    16. Enjoy your dream, embrace the poor decisions people are making in Sierra Madre and stand by for the changes in you public safety services. When you're wondering what happened to that quaint town you once knew, remember, self destruction is what happened.

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    17. Bit of a sourpuss, that one.

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    18. There seems to be a common misconception that police officers are at higher risk of losing their lives in the line of duty than anybody else. National statistics show that police officers have very safe jobs, even managers are more likely to die of an occupational injury than police officers. Pilots, construction workers, for instance, are also more likely to die at work. I have never heard any of those professionals argue with the fact that they are risking their lives. Everyone does.
      http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cfoi.t03.htm

      That being said, it seems that the average salary of a police officer in LA is roughly 53,000 USD. In 2014, for instance, Arcadia police had an average total compensation of 153,000 USD, almost three times as much, partly because of inflated bonuses that are not typical for public employees. When one takes the part time personnel and technicians out of the calculation, the average is even higher.

      This is all disclosed here for everyone to check for themselves:
      http://transparentcalifornia.com/salaries/arcadia/

      The bonuses are, among other things, paid by the UUT. As far as I know it is not disclosed what these bonuses are for. And the connection how bonuses are tied to UUT is also not clear to every resident.

      For comparison: Governor Brown's salary is limited to 165,000 USD.

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    19. 35 police officers have been killed in the line of duty since Januay 1, 2016. You need to check your facts 11:26. That doesn't sound like a safe job to me.

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    20. The correct number is 17 line if duty deaths. Still sounds dangerous, it's only March!

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    21. 10:48 It doesnt matter if LASD has obligations elsewhere or not.

      If the city buys X amount of patrol coverage, that level of coverage will be on the streets, guaranteed 24/7.

      OT for vacations, court, etc.. is already factored into the contract. The city can buy whatever level of coverage is desired, so if there isn't a level of deployment that is satisfactory blame on City Hall not LASD priorities.

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    22. What you are experiencing right now is the "honeymoon phase" with LASD. A year from now, you'll have one car driving through the city every three hours or so. Car crash and no one hurt, not coming. Break in at the house, "We'll mail you a form."
      Hahahah, good times!

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    23. OSHA reports 381 fatalities for construction workers from January 1st to February 29th.

      https://www.osha.gov/dep/fatcat/dep_fatcat.html

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    24. In 2015 police fatally shoot nearly 1000.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/investigative/2015/12/26/a-year-of-reckoning-police-fatally-shoot-nearly-1000/

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  9. If you look at the upper right hand corner of this blog page you can see a picture of both Sho Tay and Leona Helmsley in the "Tattler Top 10." Don't they look like they were separated at birth?

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  10. Saving Arcadia is the last best hope over there. If they fail, forget about it. Arcadia is gone. The good folks who want to maintain their city and preserve their history need to do what Barry Gold did and move from Arcadia to Sierra Madre where we have strict rules in place to prevent developers from screwing over the existing neighbors.

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  11. David Arvizu epitomizes the proverbial David fighting against Goliath. I really have to admire someone who fights for what he believes in. There are some powerful forces arrayed against him yet he perseveres. I hope he and his group are successful. As each domino falls, where to we go. Its sad when people who lived in California all their life have to contemplate leaving their birthplace because people are moving here and tearing everything down. So far money has trumped everything else which is why we have allowed them to do this to our neighborhoods.

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    1. Is this the same David Arvizu that spoke in front on Arcadia City Council last summer and warned them that John Wuo was up to no good (Gemcoins) and that they should do something about it? Maybe this time they should listen to him.

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  12. Different topic - is anybody else seeing a real change in their neighborhoods? Our established street is now home to rentals, vacant rat-holes, Airbnb, investment property, flips and 2nd homes that have become dumpyards. Homes that were once single-family now have multiple families bursting out of every available bedroom. Is this happening elsewhere around town?

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    1. call the City Manager to report Airbnb, it is not legal anywhere in the city...

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    2. @7:40 R u talking about Laurel between Canon and Mountain trail?

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  13. What area (describe generally) are you talking about? Sierra Madre?

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  14. You mean to say Arcadia an Sierra Madre have been invaded by ruthless savages bent on destroying what they find and to make this cities their own like in the old country?

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    1. Oh dear, the village idiot is back.

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    2. Here is a specific example - a marginaly legal Care Home opened up on N.Mountain Trail. Owned by an out-of-towner,staffed by non residents, overfilled with people who never lived in Sierra madre and have no family nor any connection to us.Just a cheap place to dump them until they die. Our Paramedics/Fire/Police are frequently there. All this in a hideously overdeveloped street where most of the original bungalows have been destroyed or converted.
      Why is it tolerated ?

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    3. There's another iffy care home on Grove and Carter.....

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    4. God's waiting room.

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  15. What is Airbnb?

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    1. http://lmgtfy.com/?q=what+is+airbnb%3F

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  16. SM city council signed us up for CalPERS long ago. They had to realize that we would not be able to break the contract without paying millions of dollars. We owe 9,000,000 to them now. An increase in UUT will not fix that. Even if the city goes bankrupt we will still have to pay for it. Seems to me the problems started with the horrible CC and the city manager. People need to realize that the idea of a Mayberry PD are going fast. We can't afford them or much else at this point. Why does the city never talk about the monies owed to bonds-that doesn't get paid down and is interest only? I figure it's about 18 million owed. Yet the city is campaigning hard to pass the UUT which will help very little. Taxpayer dollars spent on the brochures and the mailings. Taxpayer dollars spent for their meeting to hand out more propaganda. I thought that kind of stuff was illegal.

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    1. in the real world what went on would get a person fired with cause

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    2. Easy fix - BK

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  17. As Barry Gold suggests, I'm going to print today's Tattler and distribute to folks I know don't read it on line. Mr. Gold tells it like it is, and it's not pretty!

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  18. Politicians always cry Slander! Libel! Liar! when reminded of their past votes and decisions. But Arvizu's points are factual. For politicians like Harbicht, and John Wuo before him, the truth hurts, like Holy Water applied to a demon. Arcadia will need an exorcism if Harbicht is elected.

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    1. There is also hysteria. Sounds like the old boys are in a panic.

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    2. There's more (less) to Harbicht than this ... publicly calling Special Olympians "retards", the supporters of Measure A "asinine", and on and on. Harbicht has more in common with Donald Trump than he will admit, so look at his record instead.

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    3. I think the poor old dude is starting to lose his marbles.

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  19. Interesting to see Harbicht voted for the gross mansionization of the old Anokia property - the architect for that blight was Adele Chang. The same one CETT hired to design some of the Carter Mansions.

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  20. What's it going to be? More TAXATION or cut the fat? I believe we need to start by retiring the SMPD and sub contracting out the library. Both the SMPD and library are a cancerous environment. We must cut the spending habits of city hall...

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    1. I like the Library. It is a very good place.

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    2. Pretty rediculous how Bulldozer's minions will stoop to any level to get his yard signs plastered all over the city. Noticed 4 of them yesterday within city parkway setback on First Ave at the Crystal Ct mansionville, today they are gone, it's so obvious they weren't placed by the two homeowners because they're all in near same position. Bob needs to just fade into history and let others take over.

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    3. Bulldozer's supporters are known as Bulldoozies.

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  21. You learn to ignore the crack-pots who in the end were just a diversionary screen to drag another red-herring across public opinion polls. Don't worry all that was predicted is coming true - see yeah at the pool booths.

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    1. I am all in favor of pool booths, but not until the weather gets a little warmer.

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  22. seriously, the city made up a new position of Public Safety Director at $ 150K per year and no job description, duties etc - what's he gonna be doing 40 hours a week?

    sounds like a payoff because it makes no sense to pay $ 150K when that job is worth maybe $ 75k max and it still sounds like a fake job

    someone should nix the fake job or pay it as its worth - the ex-Chief is taking care of himself at our expense

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  23. Prop 13, a state law negatively affects municipalities so why can't a city assess a form of tax to make up at least a portion of the difference if not all of it when compared to new home sales and tax base?

    I don't benefit from Prop 13 and when the Yes UUT crowd is lead by a Prop 13 recipient who wants everyone to pay higher utility taxes yet he doesn't contribute equally with property taxes, that's hypocritical and typical of what's been the most vocal in SM.

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    1. Fiscal bloat should raise the ire of everyone, regardless of Prop 13, home ownership or any other factors. It is salaries and pension obligations that are gobbling up the city's budget. Having lived in the city for 30+ yrs I've paid a lot of taxes, property, sales, income, business. When I sell my house, the next owner will pay much more. the only sustainable answer is for the city to reduce it's expenses, not ask for more.

      Like Warren Buffet said "the only PROVEN way to acquire wealth is to live beneath your means". Who can argue with the oracle of Omaha?

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