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During the April 21 council meeting, Fifth District councilman Tony Young picked up where Ottilie left off. Young has been the only councilmember to say forthrightly that he needs the salary increase. In commenting on the council’s intention to reverse the increase of the week before, Young took aim at leadership. “Folks will look at this as a weak council,” said Young. “If the media becomes a little disappointed or writes a nasty article about the council, then the council and its leadership seem to acquiesce and bend that way. If the mayor decides that the increase is a bad idea and wants something that’s in his interest, then it seems that the leadership of this council will bend to that will.

“We should not be guided by what the mayor thinks is a bad idea. That’s not how we should make our decision. The perception then is that the mayor says we can’t do it, so we can’t do it. That’s absolutely contradictory to what we should be doing. We should be doing what we think is right.

“I think the [council’s reversal] is not what’s best for the city; it’s what’s best for individuals. We have people running for city attorney on this council. I won’t be any part of it, and I won’t reject the Salary Setting Commission’s recommendation today,” said Young.

“It’s pretty clear the mayor understands the concept of paying individuals well for the job that they do. If you look at the leadership in that mayor’s office right now, most of those people make much more than people here. It could be in the best interests of an incumbent mayor for our salaries to be low.”

I take a look at the Personnel Department’s employee salary list. Councilman Young seems to have a point. In the mayor’s office, the city’s chief operating officer earns $207,309. His assistant earns $152,315. Two deputy chief operating officers make $150,010. The chief financial officer, $150,010.

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Comments

realnews May 7, 2008 @ 2:52 p.m.

Practically speaking; each and every city council member knew the salary when they campaigned for the job.

Practically speaking one does not need much of a salary because the office is used as a stepping stone to a more lucrative career as a lobbyist.

Practically speaking; a high salary is never touted for public service. It is not needed to "attract good people." Do gooders have a long history of ignoring salary to do, good.

I respect Bob but he's barking up the wrong tree salary wise.

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JohnnyVegas May 7, 2008 @ 4:53 p.m.

I agree with realnews.

We should actually LOWER the salary, for two reasons;

1- They just do not deserve it based on the performance;

2- A lower salary would attract people who want to fix the Cities problems instead of lining their own pocket.

There are TONS of qaulified applicants who could do a better job than the people we have there now-and for less money.

In addition, this is the same nonsense talking points the FD and PD use, "we need to pay more to attract better people".

PD and FD jobs get 100 applicants for every job opening (same with K-6 school teachers), and out of those 100 applicants 75% could do the job competently-there is just no need to pay more for these jobs.

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Ponzi May 7, 2008 @ 5:31 p.m.

Most of these folks have at least a million in assets anyway. They are millionaires and want even more. Look at Scott Peters... he married into millions. He's like a bored husband looking for work because our city doesn't demand enough from these city council jobs and som much easier than real work like practicing law.

Before we pay them more, let's demand more results. This getting a 25% pay raise for business as usual is just plain stupid. At least overpaid CEO's get some results, these clowns haven't shown any real leadership or fixed any problems yet.

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JohnnyVegas May 7, 2008 @ 8:09 p.m.

Before we pay them more, let's demand more results. This getting a 25% pay raise for business as usual is just plain stupid.

Exactly! . . .

BTW, as to Scott Peters, I don't think Peters could litigate a real legal case of substance on his own.

He does not have the experience or brain power.

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JustWondering May 8, 2008 @ 6:21 a.m.

I thought becomnig a representative of the people was suppose to be about Public Service? Our founding fathers strongly suggested this concept and then RETURNING to "private" life as a regular citizen. I too agree with the some of the comments posted above. All of these people knew what the salary is before they took the office. But few of us knew of all the perks, some now disclosed, or other perks which are under the table. I also note if we were to consider "job performance" of serveral currrent council members, none deserve a "wage adjustment" let alone a raise. Finally, these folks have egos, most are now so grossly inflated their idea of self importances should worry all of us.

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JustWondering May 8, 2008 @ 10:53 a.m.

Municipal bankruptcy law is covered by Chapter 9 of the Federal Bankruptcy Code and related provisions. The purpose is to give municipal debtors a breathing spell through the automatic stay of creditors and to restructure municipal debt through formulation of a repayment plan. Forcing a repayment plan on nonconsenting creditors requires the City to resort to the federal power to impair contractual obligations under the Contract Clause.

Question: If forcing a longer period of repayment how does this change anything of substance? The debt must still be paid. The City has changed its retirement system so the excesses have been eliminated for new employees thus reducing future liabilities. So in the long term this will resolve itself, by attrition. A trial court has rules the city my pay its obligations too. While an appellate court may overrule the lower court on this matter, the chances of this happening seem to be non-existent.
I’m just wondering does taking the City into the Federal Bankruptcy Court mean lining the pockets of even more attorneys with taxpayer dollars?

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JohnnyVegas May 8, 2008 @ 11:25 a.m.

New employees, the FD and PD, the ones that milk the system the most and bear the most responsibility for the deficit, have not had their pensions changed. They are still on the 3%@50 scam. That is IMHO the biggest reason for the deficit.

Also, under a CHP 9 BK, the existing contracts would be wiped out, it would not be an extension of time to repay the same amount. The old contracts would be wiped clean and the City would start from scratch.

Simple solution would be to force the entire work force into social security-if it is good eough for the working poor and middle class it is good enough for the City.

This retire at age 50 nonsense has to go anyway you slice it.

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JustWondering May 8, 2008 @ 1:46 p.m.

You say they, the contracts, would be wiped out, but my interpretation is; MAY be wiped out but probably would be restructure considering the City's VERY SUBSTANTIAL assets. Isn't it the Courts responsibility to find balance and do a little arm twisting to/with all parties?

I'm not so sure your idea of social security will fly. To make it work wouldn't all agencies need to do the same. Seems to me employees would gavitate to best employment terms possible. That seems only natural to me.

What do you think is a fair age for public safety workers to retire? Before you say, consider the actual work. In other words, is it safe for both, worker and the citizens. A simple example is the military. If you enter at 18 you are eligible to retire at 38. Many don't. But I believe the military understands the actual work is a "young person's" job. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me to have 60 years olds in firefighter or police officer in front line positions. I think they'd be more of a hazard. Also, I read the arguments before... there are desk jobs they can do. But just how many desk jobs can there be BEFORE it starts impacting the performance objective of the respective agency.

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historymatters May 8, 2008 @ 3:41 p.m.

Yep, Please stop w/ the propaganda about how poor our council members are--their pensions will more than make up for any $ they feel they have been slighted.

This election is critical to winning our city back from special interests. For the 1st time in history we can see the $$. A non-profit, Center for Policy Initiatives has put in all the data under "follow the money" for public to access. We have to boot Sanders and keep Aguirre if we want ANY chance at ending this corruption. See the money for yourself.

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JohnnyVegas May 9, 2008 @ 4:59 p.m.

Fumbler-you voting for Obama 08???

If you dont you will be voting for a loser buddy!

BTW-where you been at??

Were vacationing at Chino or San Quentin the last few months????

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