Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Priorities out of line

I am continually amazed by politicians and pundits who espouse to know what their constituents need, want and are willing to pay for. How do any of these people know what I need or want? How do they know what I am willing to or not willing to pay for the services I want? What makes these rubes think I want more volunteers in law enforcement and not real police officers to handle the crime in my community? In Carl DeMaio's aka "Little Rube's" latest self aggrandizing video message on SDNN (at 3:20 on the video) he pontificates about nothing when asked about his statements regarding the San Diego Police Department becoming a "World Class Police Organization" and reaching this goal under the current budget situation and the departments recruitment problems. That is unless you want him to tell you what it takes to become a "World Class Police Organization."

Talk about a carpet bagging, flim-flam man who sells snake oil. People believe this little rube is the answer. I can only say if he is the answer; the right questions are not being asked. The rube starts off talking about the city trying to "transition" to a new retirement system, salary and benefits package for city workers that is "sustainable." I am going to get a lil nitpicking here but has this clown lost his script? His own company and the propaganda it has distributed, makes clear what is necessary to hire and retain competent police officers. Top of the list is competitive salary and benefits and a retirement plan comparative to competing agencies in the region. "Transitioning" to a retirement system that is laughed at by intelligent candidates and a salary and benefits package ranking dead last in the region we are competing in, is NOT; let me repeat this for the little rube; IT IS NOT MOVING THE SAN DIEGO POLICE DEPARTMENT TOWARD A WORLD CLASS POLICE ORGANIZATION.

This rube said the best way to recruit and retain quality police officers is for these recruits to know when they are given a package, the city can afford it. Anyone want to take a stab at what this rube is saying here? He goes on to re-state, candidates will hire on and stay knowing the packages provided can be sustained. What a novel idea Carl; agreeing to and honoring a contract and promise of benefits to its employees. Where has he been all these years? He is a god send. We would not be in this situation if Carl had been at the helm in years past. Just ask him!!!

The little rube said the city needs to regain its financial stability so the city can honor its new agreements to police officers when they join the police department. Hey Carl, what about those of us who have been here all these years, working our asses off and making concessions and taking cuts to help the City only to be made the scapegoats for an incompetent city council and mayor? Think maybe spending one billion dollars on a new city hall can wait until that "financial stability" is on firm footing? Maybe the convention center is big enough and that 750 million dollars the mayor is hoping to spend can go toward fixing the retiree medical issues and the retirement UAAL? Maybe the little rube and San Diego's joke of a mayor should pool their money and have someone poll citizens as how to spend the 1.75 billion dollars they are looking to spend. Maybe they should include questions about public safety and the citizen's desire for a volunteer group of retired citizens providing public safety services or increased fees going toward salary, benefits and retirement for police officers.

"Private – Public Partnerships" enters the conversation as the rube talks about pioneering the RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program) but the rube prefers to call it them the "Reserve Senior Volunteer Patrol." The rube wants these volunteers to get certified through an academy to do a myriad of functions; neighborhood watch, fingerprint investigations, even going out and checking on your home when you are on vacation. Then he puts the knife in as deep as he can drive it and twists; "These sorts of programs allow us to stretch the dollar and do more with less and put our officers in front line positions." "Do more with less." How many times have we heard this? If I had a nickel for every simpleton who uttered this idiocy I could have retired when I turned 50 and saved the enamel on my teeth from having to continue to work for 5 more years to pay for my daughters 4 years at Cornell and my son's next 3 years of law school.

It is this type of thought process that is leading the San Diego Police Department into the abyss of incompetence. Every day puts us further behind when qualified candidates chose other agencies over San Diego because of the poor retirement benefit, non-existent retiree medical, bottom of the rung salary and pathetic benefits. The politicians can give all the lip service they like to saving the taxpayers money and watching out for them. The reality is politicians are placing every citizen who lives, works and visits San Diego in danger by their lack of forward thinking and unwillingness to address to root issue of funding and priorities.

The priorities of the politicians in San Diego are out of line with the wishes and desires of the taxpayer. It is our responsibility to educate the every-day citizen to the dangers facing their communities. The smoke and mirrors manipulation of crime data giving the appearance of a secure and safe community has got to be addressed and brought into the light of day. As with any statistic; garbage in and garbage out. When there are insufficient officers to take reports; citizens having grown so complacent they have stopped reporting crimes; officers "washing" reports to keep themselves available when staffing is at the levels we have all become accustomed to; crime statistics are not worth the paper they are printed on. Ask anyone in any community if they feel as safe today as they did 5 years ago and you will hear a resounding "HELL NO."

The priorities will only change when we demand them to change. The politicians will not change until we make them change. This requires us to get involved and make our voice heard. Attend community meetings where elected officials are scheduled to attend. Read the calendar of city council members and show up at their meetings and events. In a professional and articulate manner correct their numbers, lies and political speak. Enough is enough. It is your priorities that matter.

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