Saturday, May 23, 2009

Confusion is Everywhere

Just when you think you think you know what you think they mean when they imposed their "Last, Best and Final" offer for a contract and you have made life changing decision based on what you thought you understood you find out that what you thought was not what they meant or what they said. Did you get that? I'm confused too. I was reading the SDPOA Blog this afternoon and caught a post from a member who was obviously upset about this same thing.

The post starts; "I hope I am not the only one but I find this whole issue of Retiree Medical Benefits very confusing. On one hand we are told our future medical benefits are capped at $740. Many of us have had to make life changing decisions based on this. Now we are being told the COLA alone is being frozen for two years." I pulled out the papers I received when we all met at the SDPOA to hear the news of what the mayor was going to cram down our throat. The papers I have clearly indicate the COLA for Retiree Medical was going to be frozen at $740. I believe it was stated on more than one occasion and by more than one person, this is NOT a temporary freeze, but a permanent freeze. This was re-enforced by the analysis offered by Mark Sullivan showing what the freeze to this COLA would mean to the member over years.

I re-read what Jeff Jordon posted regarding the meeting the SDPOA Board had with the City on Thursday. Jeff said the meeting; "primarily addressed our new litigation involving DROP age at 55 and the interest rate change, along with potential litigation over retiree medical if the City moves forward with the changes in their Last Best and Final Offer." Jeff went on to explain discussion regarding Retiree Medical. Jeff wrote; "They also made it very clear that it is unlikely that changes will be made to the retiree health care language already contained in their LBFO.  Per the City, they are arguing that nobody is harmed by this agreement, because they could choose to stay and that the automatic COLA on retiree health is only "suspended" for the next two years.  This suspension could be lifted and they would not be harmed if agreements are reached on this issue in the future.  It is only until the COLA is actually eliminated that they will be harmed and able to litigate per the City." I would argue the moment I did not receive a COLA for my Retiree Medical I have been harmed. I don't think I need to wait two years of harm to know I was harmed. But that's just me.

OK, so I thought I understood what the "Last, Best and Final" offer for a contract was when presented to us. I thought it was clear to everyone present; this was a permanent freeze of the amount of money ($740) the City was going to provide Retirees. It now appears this is not correct. Could it be Jeff just miss-spoke when he wrote this short synopsis of the meeting with the City? Could it be the City back-peddling in an attempt to cover its ass? Could it be they are just confused? Maybe I am confused!

The post I was first talking about goes on; "WTF!!! Why were we not informed of this language? Was this in the original impasse imposition or is this something that was just now changed? I am tired of being F(*&(&(&(K'd with! WHAT IS GOING ON?? It appears to me the wonderful city we all work for is doing their best, and doing a wonderful job of it too, to cause as much confusion, hatred, and discontent with our employment so we decide to abandon ship. Was this all just a strategy worked up by our Mayor? It would seem so. Somebody clear this up for me."

I have fielded a dozen calls about this change and honestly do not have an answer for you. I am as confused as the person who posted in the SDPOA Blog. The confusion is creating anger, frustration and more lost hope. People are angry because they do not believe they have all the information necessary to make the life changing decisions many are struggling still to make. People are frustrated because they can't seem to get straight answers to their questions. People are losing hope because the cut-off date to make their decision is fast approaching and there is no sign of honest answers.

The last line of Jeff's post may be the most telling of all. Jeff closes with the following; "People that are looking to preserve their retiree health care as it exists now, should continue to meet with their financial advisors and their families to determine what is right for them." Maybe it's not as confusing as we are making it out to be. The mayor has clearly shown his hand and is hell bent on TAKING. He is not going to give anything back to us and as the economy continues to swirl in the toilet, the sign of anything good coming of retiree medical is not good. Thanks mayor for the caring, honest, support you have shown over the years.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Opportunity Ahead

June 30, 2009, is fast approaching. With this date, comes a new chapter for the San Diego Police Department and law enforcement as a whole in San Diego. Whatever the numbers turn out to be of those who retire; you can be assured it will be painful for the Department. When any organization looses over ten percent (10%) of its most talented, dedicated and experienced members in such a short period of time, that loss is devastating. The timing of those leaving makes it difficult if not impossible to plan, prepare and train replacements to step in and continue the level of productivity of those before them. Examples abound, but take the Lieutenant and two Sergeants leaving a highly specialized investigative unit; the Sergeant and one Detective of the Cold Team; ten (10) people at every level in Communications; Traffic Division loosing supervisors, investigators and motors; ten (10) people, including a Lieutenant, Sergeant, Agent, Detective, four (4) Patrol Officers, a PSO, and the Senior Clerk, all from Northeastern Division; to highlight some of what is about to occur. This will no doubt have an impact on the ability to provide for the safety of citizens. The mayor can ply the public with his political two step of replacing experience with enthusiasm all he likes. The reality is the replacements are years away and the crisis is here today.

If you are one of those staying to continue the tradition of "America's Finest" and fulfill the oath you took when you first pinned on your badge; opportunities are in front of you for the taking. Promotions, transfers, openings in specialized assignments, and the ability to move throughout the department will present themselves in the coming weeks, months and years. You are well situated to help lead and re-build this department and improve on the great reputation earned by those retiring. The officer, detective, supervisor and manager who wish to advance or move will have opportunities never before seen. The positive influences of change can bring satisfaction and a new desire to excel.

Take advantage of this time and talk to those heading for the beach and retirement. Pick their brain and ask for advice; discuss their jobs; ask what skills or training are necessary to fill their shoes; soak up their knowledge and advice; get their contact numbers and e-mail addresses for future questions and consultation. Little things like this may mean the difference in solving a crime or finding a contact to help locate a missing child in another jurisdiction.

The attitude you take forward will determine the success you have when taking advantage of these new opportunities. Make the best of this time and try your level best to stay above the water line. The worst may still be ahead in terms of budget cuts and the ability to attract new, enthusiastic people to this profession. That in no way should dissuade you from taking a leadership role and stepping up to take on these new challenges.

Remember why we all joined this profession; focus on the fun; the excitement; the challenge; and look at the opportunities ahead. Take on new challenges and find your niche. Don't be afraid of new challenges and most of all do not be afraid to fail. If you do not make a mistake here and there, you are not taking risks and most likely are not doing your job to your fullest potential. Be professional and compassionate but above all be safe. Look at the challenges ahead as a new beginning for a proud department and make the best of it. You owe it to yourself and your brothers and sisters in blue.

To those heading off to retirement; leave with those behind the wisdom and experience you have gained through the years. Allow them to pick your brain and make yourself accessible during transition. Withholding contacts and not sharing the little nuances of the job will not get back at the mayor; it will only make it harder for your replacement to learn the job and maintain the reputation you spent years to build. We owe it to those who are picking up the torch to keep the flame lit so they can see their way during this difficult time. Leave with the dignity and professionalism you have earned; hold your head high, shoulders back and a smile on your face. You have earned that right. You have given your all and now it is time to allow those remaining to take up where you left off.

Padres win again… 7th straight…. Padres 4 Cubs 0

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Retirement Parties Abound

I will try and keep up with the many Retirement Parties in the coming weeks.

June 5, 2009, 5:00 PM

The Brick House at the Police Pistol Range

Sergeants Bill Nemec and Alan Hayward

June 10, 2009, 1100 – 1300

The SDPOA Meeting Hall

Lt. Tom Orden
Sergeant Mike Volberg
Agent Mark Annis
Detective Lee Orsino
Officers Dave Kersch, Craig Myrom, Paul Lennon and Alphonso Williams
PSO Tuan Nguyen
Sr. Clerk Pat Sexton

June 12, 2009 5:00 PM

The Brick House at the Police Pistol Range

Sergeant Andes "Andy" Rios

June 18, 2009, 5:00 PM

The Brick House at the Police Pistol Range

Detective Steve Sloan

June 19, 2009, 4:30 PM

The Brick House at the Police Pistol Range

Detective John Tefft

June 20, 2009, 3:30 PM

The SDPOA Meeting Hall

Sergeant Joe Wood

June 25, 2009, 5:30 PM

The Balboa Park Club

Chief Cheryl Meyers

July 10, 2009, 5:00 PM

The Brick House at the Police Pistol Range

Detective James McGhee

Retiree Medical Questions

I said I would address the issue of most importance to many sitting on the fence trying to decide between retiring to preserve medical benefits or staying and rolling the dice in hopes things change, before your DROP period is up. Well, I have got to tell you, I have more questions than I have answers. I spent the better part of this evening reading the brief prepared by Jeffrey Sloan, for the City. Keeping in mind the brief was answering the question posed by the City; is retiree medical a vested benefit? I have relied on another brief written by Sloan related to DROP, where he opined he believed case law indicated DROP was a vested benefit. So if I am to follow suit and rely on an attorney hired by the City to provide them a legal opinion, I do not think I can pick and choose which brief I believe or rely upon to talk about this issue.

I have had discussions with various attorneys whose practice centers around collective bargaining and employee benefits. Without exception, the reply was the same when asked if Retiree Medical is a vested benefit; "as a general rule, no." I added the fact employees hired prior to 1986 gave up; at the City's request, Social Security with the promise of 100% retiree medical. The answer shifted to what could only be described as a "wobbler." Most said there is little case law to support medical insurance as being a vested benefit, even with the knowledge of not participating in Social Security.

During discussions related to Retiree Medical, I kept coming back to a belief I had when the change was made and we opted out of Social Security; the City would pay 100% of the premium for my medical insurance when I retired. The SDCERS Retirement Handbook explains the medical insurance and what employees are entitled to receive upon retirement. The Handbook states in part; "You may participate in a City-sponsored health insurance plan, a union-sponsored plan, or any other insurance plan of your choice. The Retirement System will pay or reimburse the applicable Medicare-eligible or non-Medicare eligible retiree-only premium up to but not to exceed the cost of the retiree-only premiums for the highest cost HMO plan sponsored by the City that is made available to Health Eligible Retirees. If you chose to select a private health insurance plan, the City will reimburse the actual premium cost incurred up to the maximums stated above, provided that you meet the criteria established by the Board." There was little if any thought given to this NOT being a vested benefit as it was part and parcel to our vested Retirement Plan.

It is now apparent the City has been plotting since at least 2003, to reduce or eliminate Retiree Medical for employees. In 2005, the SDPOA attempted to enter agreement with the City to begin a "Medical Trust" for "New Hires" to provide for a means to fund Retiree Medical Insurance; knowing the changes caused by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Rule 45, would create a political issue for the City. GASB 45, requires municipalities to show on their financials, the "future" debt related to retiree medical payments. The City of San Diego is a "pay as you go" plan sponsor and has never put money aside for "future" benefit payments. The SDPOA, trying to look ahead at what could happen, began to negotiate a way to protect our members from a City who was not well known for future planning or paying its bills.

Now the discussion turned to those employees participating in DROP. The mayor makes unilateral changes to DROP and Retiree Medical. Those of us who signed up for DROP were ALL told our benefits were frozen. We each had to initial twenty-four (24) items on the election to participate in DROP and agreement to terminate employment agreement. On page one of four, the following statement appears; "The Retirement System and your employer will rely on the following facts. Each is important because it demonstrates you have carefully considered your election to participate in DROP." Then on page two of four, there is the following admonition; "I understand that if benefits are improved or otherwise changed after I enter DROP, through meet and confer or any other process, I will not be eligible for any of these benefit improvements or changes."

I'm no attorney but it appears to me, once I enter DROP, my benefits are frozen. I cannot derive any increase to my benefits, nor can I lose any; or so I thought. The Retirement System views me as a "Retired Member" and thus my benefits frozen. The City views me as a "active employee" and subject to any and all changes in contract and working conditions. The attorneys I have discussed this with, cannot answer the question; can the City change, alter, or eliminate my Retiree Medical once I enter DROP? I am not sure we are going to get a straight answer to this question until we put it before a judge. This will not be done anytime soon. So, those of us who are on the fence and cannot decide if the change made by the mayor to this promised benefit; will have to make our decisions without the help of a definitive answer.

I want to believe a judge would side with those of us who are participating in the DROP and find we entered into a contract that secured our benefits and the mayor's unilateral changes are illegal. Will this happen? Not in time to be a deciding factor in making a life changing decision, forced upon us by a system that lacks credibility. I wish there were more to provide, but I do not have any answers.

The SDPOA met today (5/21/2009) with the City and there has been no word of what occurred or what was discussed. I will not speculate and neither should you. Contact one of the Directors and see if there was movement on this issue, for the positive. If not, make your decision based on what is best for you, your family and the circumstance most likely to present itself in the future. Do not gamble with your future.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Six Days and Counting

Six days ago SDCERS told the mayor and all that would listen they would not follow the mayors lead and violate the law by implementing the changes proposed for DROP. SDCERS followed the Charter and the law when they told the mayor the changes to DROP could not be done without a vote of the membership of SDCERS. This decision was made public on Friday morning and as of Thursday morning, has anyone heard or seen the mayor? The mayor's staff appeared at the City Council meetings on Monday and Tuesday. They took a beating for failing to provide the financials for the mid-year budget changes. The mayor was noticeably absent and the Council was not pleased. Not a peep from the mayor. The questions are beginning to mount.

I spent time reading a Confidential Memorandum addressed to Mike Rivo of the San Diego City Attorney's Office from Jeffrey Sloan of the Law Firm Curiale, Dellaverson, Hirschfeld, Kraemer and Sloan. The memo was dated September 23, 2003, and was in response to questions asked by the City regarding DROP. The City asked, "If and how it may lawfully lower, or mandate SDCERS lower the 8% interest rate currently paid on DROP accounts. The City requested advice regarding four (4) groups; New Hires; Current Employees who have not yet entered DROP; Current DROP participants; and Retired who have DROPPED and are currently receiving non-lump sum distributions. In addition the memo addressed; Employees/retirees currently or at the time of their retirement represented by the SDPOA or Local 145 Fire."

The short answers provided said, "Under the current Municipal Code, discretion over the interest rate for DROP participation accounts lies with the Retirement Board. The City's influence is essentially limited to the votes of City appointed Board members. The City can re-negotiate the DROP benefits of future hires at any time; Current employees who have not yet elected to participate in the DROP probably have an interest, vested on their first day of employment, in being eligible to participate in a DROP program under the terms offered. Those terms may be modified, but only if necessary to ensure the survival of the overall system, in a manner related to the theory of the pension system and if any disadvantage created is balanced by a new contravening advantage." Plain language; DROP is a vested benefit!!!

"It is almost certain that current DROP participants have a vested interest in the current provisions related to interest rate, such that the current rules set forth in the Municipal Code provisions may only be re-negotiated on an individual basis." Plain language; the mayor cannot change the interest rate for DROP accounts nor can SDCERS chose some arbitrary manner to determine the rate.

"In the case of police and fire employees, MOU language arguable controls over Municipal Code to give such employees a vested right to receive DROP participation account interest at the same rate as that assumed for employee accounts under the City retirement plan." Plain language; The MOU for SDPOA members spells out again the manner DROP interest will be paid and cannot be changed by the mayor or SDCERS without the members approval.

Jeffrey Sloan went on to say; "It is almost certainly within the City's authority to terminate the program entirely as to new hires." He continues later, "The availability and terms of a DROP may be viewed as either a term and condition of employment or a retirement right comparable to a pension. If the DROP is a term and condition of employment, it is subject to negotiation consistent with the bargaining requirements imposed by the MMBA. However, if it is analogous to a pension benefit then it is a form of deferred compensation and a right to receive the benefit on the terms offered vests on the very first day of employment. Such rights are not subject to forfeiture." Plain language; DROP is a vested benefit and cannot be taken away from current employees.

"City Charter Section 143.1 putatively allows changes to the vested defined rights of retirees if approved by a majority of such retirees." Sloan went on to say, "We would note that vested rights are personal in nature and we do not believe they may be waived by majority vote." Plain language; ANY changes to the vested benefits must be approved by the person who holds the benefit.

"Lastly, current and retired members of the bargaining units represented by the SDPOA and Local 145 Fire have language in their MOU'S that probably limits the Board's (SDCERS Board) discretion. Those MOU'S have consistently stated since July 1, 1998, that interest will be credited to the members DROP account in the same manner and at the same rate as that interest is credited to employee CERS accounts." Plain language; PD and Fire employees will be paid interest on their DROP accounts based on the accrued rate set by the actuary; currently 7.75%. The City is on the hook for anything less than this.

So what does all of this mean? The SDPOA is headed to court to litigate these issues. (I will talk about Retiree Medical tomorrow night) The basic premis is DROP is a vested benefit. What I find appalling is the mayor had this information and chose to ignore it. There is more information on these issues from other legal experts the mayor was provided and was well aware of the law when he took this city's employees down this path with the latest imposed contracts and illegal changes to DROP. The actions of the mayor in light of the information starting to surface; when he knew it; and what he knew, if true, is criminal. The absolute destruction of America's Finest Police Department in a span of months; entirely created, orchestrated and directed by the mayor who knew what he was doing was contrary to the law, is unconscionable. How he can look in the mirror is beyond me. How he shows his face in public; with sworn police officers doing their jobs by his side; all the while knowing what he did was contrary to ALL legal advice is beyond description or explanation.

The taxpayer needs to know the mayor is taking on fights his legal experts opine he has little if any chance of winning. They need to know he is not being honest with them about the benefits of City Employees. They need to know his actions are politically motivated and not in the best interest of the taxpayer. The facts need to be shown in open light for all to see. The imposed contracts, forced upon members of the San Diego Police Department and Local 127, are in jeopardy of being ruled null and void because of the mayor's deceit and flaunting of the law. The money the mayor was demanding from employees to close the budget deficit is in danger of not being provided by the employee if these imposed contracts are undone. Then what? The State propositions were soundly defeated and the Governor will no doubt be raiding what money the City does have. The $60 million dollar deficit will no doubt grow to over $100 million. I shudder at the thought of what the mayor will do next.

The mayor will punish City Employees even more; layoffs; explaining it is the only way. He will blame unions and employees for his failures and further turn the unknowing public against us. The house of cards the mayor has been building is now beginning to cave in. There is little chance the mayor is going to prevail when the SDPOA gets these issues before a judge. In the interim, employees will make life changing decisions necessitated by uncertainty created by the illegal changes forced upon City Employees. A once proud police department is being decimated by the exodus of over 150 senior, experienced officers and over 50 experienced, senior, civilian support personnel, all leaving to preserve retiree medical insurance and maintain the 7.75% interest to their DROP accounts.

When the mayor surfaces, the spin will no doubt be working overtime to "explain" why SDCERS is wrong. When this occurs, will anyone point to the legal opinions he has been given by several legal experts to the contrary? Will the mayor be taken to task for his ethical lapses? Will anyone put the facts together and figure out the mayor is taking this city for a ride? Who will be the first fatality when officers are unable to respond in a timely manner to an emergency; where the caller first had to wait for communications to answer the call for help; then dispatch has to wait for officers to clear so they could respond; and the citizen has to wait while the officers responded from the other end of the division do to a lack of staffing in all areas of the department? Will it be your son, daughter, mother, father, brother, sister???

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Breaking the Cycle of Abuse

Six years of counseling is generally what it takes to break the cycle of abuse (violence) in Domestic Violence situations. As a City employee, can you kind of relate to the cycle? Why is it we seem to mimic the abused victim of a psychological tormentor; physical abuser? Why do we leave and then return; knowing we are in store for more abuse at the hands of the abuser? Why do we make excuses for the abuser and downplay the pain and suffering? How do we continue to go through our day as if all is well? Do our children suffer too; seeing and hearing the strife and struggle to maintain normalcy?

The mayor has been abusing this city's employees for several years now, with no remorse or shame. His actions toward employees have created more human pain, both psychological and physical than the most violent of abusers. The stone faced, double speak; do as I say not as I do; you will give back; I am taking; I am responsible to the taxpayer, not employee; we are replacing experience with enthusiasm; we struggle with thoughts of leaving and giving up or in to the abuse. Then the stealing of promised benefits; moving the date one could retire; capping or removing retiree medical at the end of a career; forcing employees into furlough and cutting pay; eliminating possibilities for promotion and advancement; all at the hands of our tormentor, abuser; mayor.

Why do we stay? Why do we accept the abuse? Some would say because we know nothing different. Some would say there is no way out; we have bills, kids, too much invested to leave; no-where to go; fear of starting over; not wanting to feel as though we failed; or is it because we just don't know any better? In some way do you feel responsible for HIS actions; did you make him do it; did you cause the reactions and the pain?

What do we tell our victims when we sit and listen to them recount years of abuse? What do we do when we see the fear and pain in the children's faces while mom wipes tears from her eyes and snot from her nose? Do we help them take the leap and promise a better life if they would only take charge of their life and stop allowing the abuser to abuse? Do we tell them it will never get better; once the abuser has struck out in anger there is nothing to prevent it from happening again; the violence and abuse will only escalate and get worse?

How about we city employees call the YWCA and see if they can intervene and prevent the abuse and offer a helping hand? Maybe a trip to Becky's house in hopes of finding solitude and peace of mind as we city employees get our feet under us again so we can make a better life for us and our children? Can we call Focus and seek advice and reassurance we are doing what is right, when we finally decide we have had enough and make the decision to leave? We have to do something; we can no longer afford to go along to get along. We must confront our mayor and tell him we will no longer take his abuse; psychological or physical. Our children are suffering and we must BREAK THE CYCLE OF ABUSE!!!

The light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off due to budget constraints.

Elaine Ambrose

Monday, May 18, 2009

Let’s NOT forget our Civilian Support

I have been ranting away and so focused on the loss of sworn officers, I have neglected to address the astonishing losses we are facing in our civilian support personnel. Over 30 of our most dedicated, hard working, experienced and talented people in Communications, Human Resources, Crime Analysis, Fiscal Management, Lab, Records, Northeastern Division and Investigations will soon be departing.

Over 800 years experience will leave service before June 30, 2009, because of changes the mayor has forced on employees nearing retirement. The men and women who work tirelessly behind the scenes (some side by side with officers) to provide world class public safety to the citizens of San Diego are being forced to leave to preserve retirement benefits changed by the mayor during the last round of collective bargaining. Many, who like their sworn counter parts, are neither ready nor wanting to retire.

The combined loss of support personnel cannot be replaced over night. The selection and hiring of talented, qualified replacements will take months and in some cases a year or more. Human Resources is losing their top person; Communications already below staffing struggles everyday to fill positions to answer calls for help from the public is losing ten highly experienced personnel; Crime Analysis also below staffing has a back log of requests for assistance from Investigators seeking help in solving crimes from Car Prowls to Murders; Fiscal Management is trying to keep the books balanced and ensure we have the money, equipment and other resources necessary to get the job done will now have to make do with three less, senior, experienced analysts; The Lab faces a one year backlog of fingerprint analysis, the inability to process DNA requests, and will now have to make do with three less senior, experienced Criminalists'; Records Division like the others, is already understaffed and struggling to meet the needs of officers, detectives and the public will lose five (5) of our most experienced specialists'.

The public needs to be made aware of the additional loss to public safety that will result on June 30th because of this loss. Yes, police officers in uniform will continue to respond to the public's calls for service. The wait for callers seeking help will stretch from 3 minutes to 5 or more; the delay will result in more calls to 911, which will soon over load the system resulting in emergency calls being placed in the queue and made to hold; Investigators will wait months and in some cases longer to have evidence processed and analyzed; crimes will lag in file drawers waiting for the answers to the questions posed from the evidence; crime will increase and the ability to solve these crimes will dwindle.

The loss is not just blue. The loss is more than color. The loss is more than sworn. The loss is so deep and wide the effects will be felt for years into the future. Yes, we will continue and we will do our level best to provide the best possible customer service possible. But I say to you mayor; working as hard as we can for as long as we can will not fill the holes left by those you forced to leave before their time. The public will pay in more ways than can be described in these pages. When they (The Public) are affected maybe then they will see what you have done and hold you accountable for your actions.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Strike three you’re out mayor!!!

Spent a wonderful afternoon at Petco Park with my wife watching the Padres. Jake Peavey pitched a complete game victory over the Cincinnati Reds. The weather was perfect San Diego; sunny, 71 degrees, light breeze. You could not ask for a better Sunday afternoon in San Diego. I ran into several retired and active members of the department as I headed to my seat. Thank you all for the kind words and encouragement.

I was doing some reading when I got home and came across a piece by Ken Singleton. Singleton wrote about the right balance of leadership and management. Singleton said, "Leadership is about doing the right thing and management is about doing things right. Success is about achieving the right balance of both." This passage jumped off the page as I thought of the actions of the mayor and what he has accomplished in the time he has held office.

"Leadership is about doing the right thing." Strike one mayor. Somebody help me out here. I have been racking my brain to give him a ball, but no such luck. Doing the right thing would require the mayor to care about people and before doing anything, consider the impact on people, before taking any action. That is clearly not something the mayor has done since elected.

"Management is about doing things right." Strike two mayor. Violating the City Charter and other Laws, is not doing things right. Doing things because they are politically expedient can not be considered doing things right.

"Success is about achieving the right balance of both." Strike three mayor. When you only care about yourself and how you are perceived, it is next to impossible to care about others. When you don't care about the people, it is easy to break the law and violate the rights of others and not do things right. You cannot balance something you have not done in the first place. Caring more for one, over the other, is even worse. Which of your daughters do you care for more mayor? We know you care more for taxpayers than you do City Employees (Regardless of what you may say; your actions speak louder than your words).

Have a seat on the bench mayor. Allow someone to come into the game who understands the Right Balance of being a leader and managing the huge problems facing the City of San Diego. You have struck out in your attempts at balancing the leader, manager thing and people are leaving the park.

Today's police officers are opting for employers who care about them professionally and personally. You have shown you clearly do not care about police officers; professionally or personally. Strike three mayor; you are out. You failed.