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;


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?