Thursday, August 27, 2009

Idiocy in Public Office Abounds

Have you had a chance to catch a glimpse of the "Task Force Final Report"
from the mayor's citizen task force on the convention center project? A quick scan of the report highlights what is wrong with San Diego. To think 17 intelligent people would conclude the expenditure of 750 million dollars on the expansion of the San Diego Convention Center is the right thing to do in today's economy and the state of financial instability in the City of San Diego is pure lunacy. The head idiot, who from the beginning, has gone on record as being the "Champion" of the convention center expansion, is the mayor. In usual form, he commissioned a "Task Force" stacked with his political allies and chums to provide a "recommendation" from which he can tout as he puts the city further in debt.

The idiocy of those in public office who would for one millisecond think it is a wise use of public funds to expand a convention center when there are so many real issues facing this city is appalling. With a straight face, this joke of a mayor stands in public and blames unions and police officers for the state of the city's finances because the city provided us benefits he now believes are illegal or excessive or no longer affordable or too political for his liking to be honest about. The mayor reduces police officer benefits, cuts wages, eliminates retirement medical for new hires, raises the age of retirement to 55 for new hires, increases the cost of medical insurance and forces over 150 senior, experienced officers to leave and now he is moving to spend 750 million dollars that he does not have. On what planet is this acceptable? San Diego?

If people sit back and allow this to occur my faith in the political system and the taxpayer will be forever damaged beyond repair. To think the public would allow the mayor to get away with this sham and hide behind this joke of a task force of cronies and political supporters is pathetic. It is criminal to think the elected members of the city council would consider this for even a second. Labor and taxpayers need to unite and stop the idiocy occupying the political offices in this city. Taking on more debt of the magnitude this ill-conceived project will require is complete and total idiocy.

Projections are being made today that indicate a 100 million dollar deficit for next year. This will no doubt translate to additional cuts to wages and benefits as well as reductions to the work force. Let us not forget the firefighters; City Attorney's and MEA, all have two year deals that protect them. That leaves the SDPOA and Local 127 hanging in the wind when the mayor moves to eviscerate us further to balance yet another budget on our backs. Does anyone think hiring and retention is a problem today? Just wait for next year when wages are cut again, medical insurance premiums increase, flexible benefit moneys are reduced and young officers flee to other agencies offering more money, better benefits and more security. With the idiocy taking place in San Diego and city hall; San Diego is headed for ruin and soon to be a haven for crime and homeless.

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.