Sunday, March 28, 2010

Fact Check This

At least once a week, Carl DeMaio AKA; the little rube, can be heard telling anyone that will listen, about the bloated pensions city employees are making. Each and every time the rube gives his spin on benefits, he tells those present we are retiring from the city with as much as 138% of our highest one year salary. Since I can remember, the rube has spun the numbers and reality of benefits from medical to retirement to salary of city employees. His goal is clear. If you have any doubt, follow his web site, Clean Up City Hall where he boasts of HIS initiative he is campaigning for and soliciting signature for. His goal is to outsource as many job functions as possible to eliminate as many city workers as possible.

In my last blog post, I ranted about Michael Stetz and his attack on fire fighters. The next day I received an e-mail from Keegan Kyle of the Voice of San Diego. Keegan wrote;

Steve,

I’d like to run a portion of your recent blog post through our Fact Check blog. Do you know where I can find background or city documents to prove the bolded statements below?


“There is a full time team of fire fighters (or use to be) whose full time job is to schedule fire fighter overtime to ensure EVERY fire house is adequately staffed. Much of this overtime was mandatory. The city opted to pay this over time in-lieu of hiring an additional 125+ fire fighters to ensure minimum staffing standards. This was a financial decision made by the city's management and saved the city millions of dollars over the years.”

Please do not hesitate to email or call me if you have any questions.

Keegan Kyle

My first thought was, "you're kidding me?" Then I wondered why. What would prompt the Voice of San Diego to "Fact Check" items in my blog and more importantly, what is to be gained when they do? I welcome the evaluation and vetting of information. I have nothing to fear and this evaluation can do nothing but add credibility to my rant. So I say bring it on.

I told Keegan he could verify the information by contacting the City and the Fire Department. I left it at that initially. I then decided to provide him the information I used to make the statements contained in my rant that Keegan indicated he was going to "fact check." In a report written by Lisa Celaya, a Fiscal and Policy Analyst with the office of the Indepentent Budget Analyst, dated May 19, 2008, (IBA Report # 08-51)  Lisa wrote the City saved $3 million dollars in 2006 by paying overtime in lieu of hiring additional fire fighters. The report supported continuing the practice of hiring back for overtime to fill vacant positions in fire houses over hiring additional employees.

Keegan said in a follow up e-mail,;

"Steve, Still working on the post. I’ll probably have something together on Monday. I will try to explain our analysis and our rating before we publish. Please don’t hesitate to send me any questions. -- KK

So keep an eye out for the results. I can't wait to see the spin put on this from the city's perspective. The fire department started closing stations in lieu of paying the overtime and stated the savings will amount to $11 million. Now lets see what the "Rating" is given of the information posted in my blog.

But while I have the attention of Keegan, I have a question for him. When is a "Fact Check" going to be done regarding the fabricated and exaggerated information being sold to the public by the little rube? The rube tells of employees retiring with 138% of their highest one years salary. Reality is that is impossible and not permitted by SDCERS. The maximum is 90%. A large percentage of employees do not even retire at that level. The press continues to print his bloated and false numbers and no one feels the need to call him on this. Why? When is the Voice of San Diego going to "Fact Check" the information being told to taxpayers by this elected politician?

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is amazing. Seems you have ruffled some feathers in far up places Sparky. Keep the rants coming!!!

The big question is how the Voice will rate your information. I guess we will all have to wait and see. I read the report you furnished and it's clear the information you wrote is correct according to the IBA. This is going to be fun Sparky!!!

I was hoping your post would address the ass kissing fest the chief participated in when he was interviewed by the Voice. What a joke! The guy needs to do us all a favor and quit! He won't because his ego is larger than HQ.

Keep up the great posts.

Formally Proud said...

Someone needs to 'fact check' De Maio and see what his qualifications are? Has he ever held a real job before? His made-up company needs to be investigated and 'fact checked' as well. He's going after us so, in-turn, we need to go after him...

We can't bring change without stirring it up...

Finished said...

I want to hit something after reading that load of crap from Lansdowne in the Voice of San Diego. I am so god-damn mad I can hardly contain myself right now.

I was in the desert over the weekend and getting caught up has caused my BP to hit an all time record high. Who in the hell is this a-hole concerned with other than himself? His one and only goal is to kiss the mayor's ass so he can vest his retirement. He needs to make another 3 years.

Who among you can last that long with this dictator at the helm of this sinking ship?

Abandon ship... Abandon ship... Abandon ship... swim clear...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for another great post Steve. We are lucky someone is speaking up on our behalf (you) Its certainly not our chief or mayor.

The way this city treats its city employees is a shame. I wonder what Rube and the others would do if god forbid he had to call the police or fire department? Would a young, inexperienced but "enthusastic" public service employee be good enough to save them or their family?

Something New said...

Steve McMillan (retired), New POA President?? So it be written, so it be done....

What in the world are we waiting for??? My god, we have a president now who is trying but he just doesnt have it and the worst thing about it is---WE ALL KNOW IT. A president who is retired will tell the truth to the people without reservation...

Let's get this done....

Anonymous said...

Little Rube was facted checked 3 or 4 weeks ago, and Voice gave him a "TRUE"

SparkySanDiego said...

Steve McMillan is not interested in being President of the POA... Trust me... would not be a good thing...

I must have missed the "Fact Check" of Carl. I know they have not taken on his continual comments regarding 138% being the percentage of salary city workers are taking into retirement.

It's coming up on Wednesday and no fact check from VOSD.

Fed Up said...

The only fact check I saw for Demaio was regarding how much the tax payer pays into the retirement for elected officials. There is nothing regarding the numbers McMillian gave.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Voice of San Diego changed their mind after checking the facts. Just like all the other so called news reporting agencies in San Diego they do not want the truth to be told.

Keep the truth coming Sparky.

Anonymous said...

Hey Steve... fellow officers and friends... look at this article in LAs city journal...buddy of mine from Central discovered this. It discusses the city of Vallejo (which filed for bankruptcy) and discusses ways that cities can get out of paying "lavish pension benefits to public employees." Fortunately, Vallejo has been relatively easy on its cops... but read the article... coming to a city near you! I hope this link works... http://www.city-journal.org/2010/eon0331sg.html If not type it into your query bar.

Anonymous said...

Check out the article in City Journal (out of LA). Buddy of mine from Central emailed it to me... Google "Vallejo Goes for Broke Can bankruptcy save California’s cities from staggering pension obligations?" Or try this link... http://www.city-journal.org/2010/eon0331sg.html

Anonymous said...

Check out the article in City Journal (out of LA). Buddy of mine from Central emailed it to me... Google "Vallejo Goes for Broke Can bankruptcy save California’s cities from staggering pension obligations?" Or try this link... http://www.city-journal.org/2010/eon0331sg.html

Lou Maggi said...

Hey Something New,
Instead of taking anonymous pot shots at our POA President, how about articulating your concerns in a venue where he can face his accuser and explain his decisions. I have had disagreements with some of Brian’s decisions in the past, but he has always had an open door and has been willing to explain why he made the choice he did. I don't post on blogs very often, but when you make a statement like, "WE ALL KNOW IT," I feel it necessary to respond and say you don’t speak for me. I think Brian is playing the hand he has been dealt as well as anyone could. If you have ideas on how he could do better, I’m sure he would love to hear what you have to say.

Anonymous said...

Well Sparky it looks like Voice of San Diego finally did their fact check on you and it came up as "Mostly True". Keep up the great work!!!

http://voiceofsandiego.org/fact/article_1c0e7d8e-3ea0-11df-b095-001cc4c03286.html

Just Wondering said...

Another Biased Op/Ed Piece

A previous comment pointed us toward an piece published in the City Journal at this link

The author, Steven Greenhut, is the director of the Pacific Research Institute’s Journalism Center in Sacramento and the author of Plunder!
This information is disclosed at the end of his rant. His book, "Plunder"... "How Public Employee Unions Are Raiding Treasuries, Controlling Our Lives And Bankrupting The Nation."

While the title is a terrible run-on sentence, it simply just another attack on Unions.
The disingenuous part of this newest article is portion omitted is Vellejo official have indicated they are not going after pensions.

In fact, as our own City Attorney pointed out earlier this year. He found no case, not one in the entire nation, where Federal Bankruptcy Courts have altered vested pension benefits for public servants.

While some may argue the Courts are merely protecting themselves since they are public servants too, the stronger argument is they are doing what's legally and morally right under contracts clause of the Constitution.

Nevertheless, in the current economic climate many, in positions affiliated with the power of the press. Authors like Greenhut, who profit from their books on the economic crisis are published regularly, because every crisis needs a villain. Now-a-days government workers are portrayed as villains who robbed the people's treasury. While nothing is further from the truth, you compensation, wages, benefit and your deferred benefit, i.e. your pension are under constant attack. One of the best places to read about these nationwide trends is POLICEPAY.NET

I KNOW IT said...

Lou, our POA has no power--period. If you think otherwise then you are not seeing the big picture. I understand he's a friend of yours and I applaud you at your loayalty. But, The city laughs at the POA during 'negotiations' and they will impose whatever contract they want to give the officers of this once fine department. No POA president can change that. Only an un-attached president without fear of reprisal can effectively change what the city thinks of its cops--------AND YOU KNOW THAT!

Just Wondering said...

"Substantially Equal" --- A New Attack On Your Paycheck

What does substantially equal mean in the context of pension payments? Well according to City Attorney Jan Goldsmith it means you will be contributing MUCH MORE towards your retirement to cover investment losses and changes to actuarial assumptions. If he's correct this has nothing to do with pension benefit increases granted in 1996 and 2002 which are still be litigated and is a WHOLE NEW ATTACK on your paycheck.

"Charter section 143 says the city “shall contribute annually an amount substantially equal to that required of the employees for normal retirement allowances” and “shall not be required to contribute in excess of that amount.”

According to a OP/ED piece in the SDUT, research by Goldsmith’s staff shows the original intent of this language was to ensure the city and its current employees shared equal responsibility for the actuarial soundness of the pension system. A June 16, 1954, letter from Assistant City Attorney Shelley J. Higgins written at the City Council’s request specifically defines this as meaning both parties must pay more if the performance of the “retirement trust fund” is insufficient to secure “the result contemplated by the formula of the retirement plan.”

SDCERS' outside counsel believes the City Attorney's research and analysis is flawed. But Orange County is already pursuing this "new angle" to reduce its required pension contribution, moving the cost to its employees. If they are successful you can bet the City will follow Orange County's lead right into Superior Court.

Just Wondering said...

Understanding the Law - The Funding of Retirement Health Care

The City Attorney has quietly published an Memorandum of Law on April Fools Day to the Mayor and Council regarding certain means that MAY NOT be used to fund the cost of Retiree Health Care. The city cannot us the sale of property to fund it per Charter Section 77.

Why is this important? Well, over the years promises have been made to employees regarding their health care benefits, in their post-employment or pensioned years. How the City intends to fund the cost of those legally negotiated, earned and promised benefits is now in question and under attack. It important to understand the law so when politician promise one thing, then renege later you won't fall for their false promises in the first place.

There is an exception in Section 77. However, the chances of getting two-thirds of the electorate to support it at the ballot box are about the same as you winning the "Super Lotto Grand Prize" twice in one week.

To read the memorandum yourself click this link!

Just Wondering said...
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