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On Friday, city council agreed to put a sales tax increase in front of the voters if several modest financial reforms are effectuated first. Mayor Jerry Sanders went along. It was big news: after all, Sanders had opposed tax increases throughout his incumbency. San Diegans and their media seem to have forgotten that the City admitted six years ago that even much stronger medicine than is now being proposed would be needed. It had warned, almost sotto voce, that revenue (tax) increases, pension benefit slashes and reductions of services would likely be coming.

In 2004, reformer Diann Shipione challenged information that the City had put in a bond prospectus. After some foot-shuffling, the City had to admit that it had been lying. So on January 27, 2004, the City filed a document with the obscure Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, a quasi-governmental agency. The document confessed that the City could not continue making the pension payments it was scheduled to make.The key line: "The magnitude of the annual pension plan payments to be made by the City may be increasing in the near future and, WITHOUT NEW REVENUES or A REDUCTION IN THE PENSION BENEFITS PAYABLE BY THE CITY or other actions to enhance the funding ratio...these payments may become difficult for the City to fund WITHOUT REDUCTIONS IN OTHER SERVICES. (Emphases mine.) Services have already been slashed. There has been extremely modest progress in reducing potential future pension payments. The mayor and other politicians have demagogued the revenue and pension reduction issues. Now, after six years, the 2004 confession is being heeded, but only in a milquetoast way. Wasn't 2004 the time to act decisively?

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Comments

Visduh July 31, 2010 @ 4:05 p.m.

In 2004 the pain level was high, but not high enough to get action. Is it high enough now? Who knows. But as SurfPup will tell us, this sales tax boost should not be going to fund overgenerous pensions. He'll say (and say and say) that the pension liability needs to be cut now. Any boost should go to restoring services cut and to neglected infrastructure, not into pensions at all. (He's so right.)

Hey, SurfPup, you can take the day off, I just posted your response, masquerading as my own.

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SurfPuppy619 July 31, 2010 @ 4:16 p.m.

Hey, SurfPup, you can take the day off, I just posted your response, masquerading as my own.

LOL^^^^^.........the sales tax is DOA.

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Visduh July 31, 2010 @ 4:37 p.m.

I knew you were going to say that. But I'm not so sure. Glad you are certain that it cannot pass.

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Founder July 31, 2010 @ 4:54 p.m.

From: http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/20...

"We can stop this by supporting the Grantville Action Group’s legal challenge of the Grantville Settlement Agreement, which will send over $31 million of the Grantville tax increment to downtown to subsidize more construction there. If we can block the City’s and the County’s agreement, we can stop the redevelopment. We will be in court on Oct. 29. If you would like to help, go to www.GrantvilleActionGroup.com.">

+

How about suggesting this money saving action instead of raising our taxes 1/2 % ...

Suggestion: Contact the IBA at sdiba@sandiego.gov and Councilmember Demario at carldemaio@sandiego.gov

and give them the "good" Fiscal (Policy) News! + I'll try to be there too; now if we could get at least 75 other folks to join US...

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Don Bauder July 31, 2010 @ 11:14 p.m.

Response to post #1: You have SurfPup pegged very well. I think most do. But we'd still like to hear from him. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 31, 2010 @ 11:16 p.m.

Response to post #2: Glory be. I know what both LOL and DOA mean. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 31, 2010 @ 11:17 p.m.

Response to post #3: It looks DOA now, but November is a long way away. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 31, 2010 @ 11:19 p.m.

Response to post #4: You should be able to muster that number. Best, Don Bauder

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paul Aug. 1, 2010 @ 12:13 a.m.

SurfPup said: "the sales tax is DOA."

======================================

You also said "Nope, no sales tax on ballot.", so pardon me if I don't take that to the bank.

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paul Aug. 1, 2010 @ 12:19 a.m.

The latest SD City Beat has an article on this that says: http://www.sdcitybeat.com/sandiego/article-7966-the-unlikely-hero.html

"Won't it be hilarious if Donna Frye saves the day?"

...

"Wouldn’t it be poetic if she—after years of being shunned by those in power and dodging constant insults from a San Diego Union-Tribune editorial board that until recently refused to see Frye as the true taxpayer advocate that she is—were the one to slay the snarling beast?"

They also spoke of Sanders: "Sadly, our leader won’t go out on a limb unless it’s only six inches off the ground. Pathetic."

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Don Bauder Aug. 1, 2010 @ 8:45 a.m.

Response to post #9: We all make predictions that go awry. SP is no exception. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 1, 2010 @ 8:50 a.m.

Response to post #10: Both Sanders and his handmaiden, the Union-Tribune, knowingly lied about Frye by claiming that a tax increase was the linchpin of her campaign. She had said no such thing and both Sanders and the U-T knew it. Someone should do a Master's thesis or PhD dissertation about U-T smears that were consciously and deliberately based on lies, and seemed to sway the citizenry in directions that were deleterious to the City's long term interest. Best, Don Bauder

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Founder Aug. 1, 2010 @ 10:03 a.m.

It was interesting to me how the Council keeping mentioning how the City Attorney would draft the ballot issue to make it "acceptable"; to which, he kept saying what the ballot contained would be only what they directed him to say AND that this Council could not "shift" or make any decision for a future Council (except make the Debt larger for them to deal with)...

It would have been very interesting to hear what the City Attorney's had to say after that meeting... They have some very creative writing ahead of them, and I bet they are working on it as we blog...

-- City Fat Frye -- posted 10-07-27

Regarding Donna's very sudden change of heart, when it comes to the budget, she's throwing a dart...

Maybe this is her way, of getting a real BIG say.

The Mayor, Big Ben and all of the rest, will finally have to give voters their Best!

Despite what the two Big Unions can say, here is a deadline that won't go away.

Either which way it goes, we'll find out, what she knows,

Some may just yell, while others think this Budget is real funny but voters are finally getting some real work, for our money!

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Burwell Aug. 1, 2010 @ 10:39 a.m.

Any sales tax increase will only drive down the city's sales tax revenue, not increase it. City residents will make their purchases outside the city in order to avoid the sales tax increase. I know I will. Commuters will buy gas in other cities to avoid the tax increase. Many will also increase their internet purchases which will further erode city sales tax revenue. If the sales tax increase goes through, we should expect that taxable sales at Costco locations within the city will decline while sales at locations outside the city will increase.

I believe the city should tax apartment and commercial property owners based on the number of parking spaces located on their properties. The city could raise $200 million a year through a parking space tax with no problem.

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Ponzi Aug. 1, 2010 @ 11:26 a.m.

I hope the outcome of this vote is “NO.” But after the “strong mayor” was passed, I’m not so sure.

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JustWondering Aug. 1, 2010 @ 11:54 a.m.

Hmmmm I don't know... with the proper motivation, the taxpayers may pass it and wouldn't that just chap Johnny's rear end, LOL.

And for sake of discussion lets just say it becomes one of the motivating factors behind more reforms... Donna's measure gets the credit for turning the city around just in time for 2012 campaign season.

I could see a grassroots effort for Frye for Mayor testing the waters.

She certainly couldn't be or do any worse the last six years of Jerry Sanders.

If she were successful, she might even draft Don Bauder out of his blissful retirement for Press Secretary, part time of course.

But if you chose not the leave the good life in the mountains of Colorado, at least you'd get access to the Mayor's office again.

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SurfPuppy619 Aug. 1, 2010 @ 12:22 p.m.

Any sales tax increase will only drive down the city's sales tax revenue, not increase it. City residents will make their purchases outside the city in order to avoid the sales tax increase. ... Many will also increase their internet purchases which will further erode city sales tax revenue

With the sales tax basically at close to 10%, or above, in most CA. jurisidctions today (65% increase over just 20 years ago) I make almost ALL of my purchases online.

I buy out of state, pay no sales tax and usually receive a better price AFTER the shipping costs are added in.

I am not going to pay a 10% sales tax. Anywhere.

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SurfPuppy619 Aug. 1, 2010 @ 12:25 p.m.

I wont even allow Subway Sandwiches to heat up my bread anymore because any food heated gets taxed, so a $5 Sub grows to $5.50 if you get the bread toasted.

That is how silly and out of control the sales tax is today.

Cannot even have your bread toasted without getting hit with a 10% sales tax hit.

10% is a big chunk of tax.

Pathetic.

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SurfPuppy619 Aug. 1, 2010 @ 12:26 p.m.

I don't know... with the proper motivation, the taxpayers may pass it

By JustWondering

When pigs fly.

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Founder Aug. 1, 2010 @ 12:42 p.m.

A $ales Tax Increase... will mark the end of our "Old" middle Class in SD!

The message is clear for all that are not wealthy: Move away and sell your house to someone new so that they will pay much higher Property taxes...!

Then, the State, the County and the City will win and we'll be history, so who cares...

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SurfPuppy619 Aug. 1, 2010 @ 1:02 p.m.

Im giving 2-1 odds the sales tax does not pass.

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Don Bauder Aug. 1, 2010 @ 1:32 p.m.

Response to post #13: Historically in San Diego, elections go to those with the money. Now, the Lincoln Club, which launders Republican money, is in the "no" camp, so "no" would have to be the favorite. However, deals are being made right now behind closed doors. The money could move a different way quickly as a result of some promises. Besides, a sales tax is a regressive tax. It doesn't nick the rich as much as the middle class and poor. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 1, 2010 @ 1:34 p.m.

Response to post #14: Certainly, a sales tax increase will diminish retail sales to a certain extent -- how much is the question. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 1, 2010 @ 1:35 p.m.

Response to post #15: Again, it all depends on where the money goes. Best, Don Bauder

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Visduh Aug. 1, 2010 @ 7:38 p.m.

As I read Post #14, I thought I was reading my own comment, and had forgotten that I'd made it. Then at the bottom I saw "Burwell", what a jolt. A serious group of commentators (humbly speaking) all seem to agree that sales tax boosts are going to reduce, rather than enhance, the city's take from such taxes.

Unlike Surfpup, I cannot claim to make my buys on the 'net and avoid sales taxes. And I probably never will. But I see the effect of high CA taxes. On a recent vacation trip, we met a couple who had made their money in the Bay area, and who had "fallen in love" with Reno/Sparks after retiring. Now they reside there--out of state for those who miss the point--yet come to California for their amusements. When I said that he was a tax refugee out of CA, he didn't disagree with me at all. This sort of thing is repeated thousands of times, and is one reason why the sky-high CA personal income tax just isn't bringing in the revenue it once did. Raise the rates and the number of folks who flee rather than pay just increases. Also remember that they don't come back, even if the rates are cut.

The City of San Diego is at a tipping point. If it really wants to prosper, it needs to quickly realize that it is on a drunken binge that must end. Asking its residents to pony up ever-higher taxes is not the answer. Nice as it is, San Diego is not Heaven, nor will it ever be. Keep driving the producers out of the city/county/state, and you end up poor, very poor. If I may paraphrase, "ask yourself if you are better off than you were four years ago" and then vote accordingly.

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Don Bauder Aug. 1, 2010 @ 7:59 p.m.

Response to post #25: There has been analytical work done on an increase in various kinds of taxes, including sales taxes. There is no question that a boost in sales taxes will lead some people to do their shopping online or somewhere with lower sales taxes. However, I am not ready to assume that this loss of sales will completely offset the revenue from the increase. One who will say it will is supply sider Art Laffer, formerly of San Diego, now of Tennessee. But I think supply siders tend to exaggerate the effect of taxes. There should be data on a sales tax boost. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 Aug. 1, 2010 @ 8:42 p.m.

Don, even AB Laffer would agree that there needs to be a minimum tax base to do the work of gov, there is no question about that. But what we have today is a gov employee class that is being comed up to 20 times more than the private sector.

When you have a sales tax that is 10% something is gonna give. We simply cannot comp gov employees the way we are today. We are broke-out of cash-busted.

I read an article a few days ago that totaled up the costs to fund K-12 education in CA, adding in all costs including real property and improvements-it was $30K/year per student. It costs $47K/year to house a prisoner here. Why?? Because our employee costs are astronomically high. We simply cannpt afford to comp those kinds of #'s and stay solvent.

Something is wrong here..........

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JustWondering Aug. 1, 2010 @ 9:31 p.m.

Lets see when I started driving gas was $0.37 a gallon now it $3.25. My first NEW car in 79 cost me $6500 a new one today will cost me $30,000 but the one I'd really want would be $65K. My first home in the mid 80's cost me $125K, today they say that house is valued at about $875K. When I was in school k-12 it was "free" my kids tuition began at preK @5500 and HS was $14K a year.

My point everything gone up and out of sight over the last 35 years but my earning as a percentage to expenses basis really haven't changed much.

While I made my way up the food chain, we're just middle class folks. Putting 50, 60, 75K into the context of 2010 really isn't wealth. Especially when I think back at my Dad's earning 50K a year in 1962 running his own business.

Our family can afford ½ cent increase in taxes tied to reforms suggested. I think most San Diegans, 50% +1 will agree in November too.

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Burwell Aug. 1, 2010 @ 11:24 p.m.

My point everything gone up and out of sight over the last 35 years but my earning as a percentage to expenses basis really haven't changed much.

=============

This is the point everyone is trying to make. During this same time period the middle class was wiped out. You and other government workers have been able to maintain your financial position during a time period when everyone else was going down the tubes financially. You expect to be paid well enough to afford private schooling for your children, a luxury almost no one in San Diego can afford. You also believe that a government worker should be able to buy an $875K house. Your expectations are totally out of whack with reality. The taxpayers are not going to approve the tax increase you need to save your pension. The politicians are going to slash your pay and pension and use the money to build a football stadium.

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a2zresource Aug. 1, 2010 @ 11:25 p.m.

I think we need to all step back and see that the 1/2 cent sales tax increase is not the only "tax" that this City Council is subjecting us to.

As long as the City Council refuses to look at the 1970 electricity franchise agreement with SDG&E and raising the 3% annual franchise fee to pay for vital public safety services, we will be "taxed without representation" if the Wildfire Expense Balancing Account (WEBA) and PeakShift at Work/PeakShift at Home (PSW/PSH) rate hikes are allowed by CPUC, including a $118 million charge to all SDG&E consumers for a five-year television ad campaign to convince us that paying more for daytime electricity usage is good for our checking accounts.

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David Dodd Aug. 2, 2010 @ 12:34 a.m.

I'm not sure whether or not the tax will pass (I have been quite surprised in the past when more citizens have voted to feed the dragon than have opposed it, it happens sometimes), but the thing to watch from here until November is exactly how much money is spent in such a campaign. The dirty, filthy political machine will spend your money in order to get you to vote in favor of them spending more of it. This, my friends, is practically worse than the tax itself. They aren't just slapping you in the face, they're having you slap yourself in the face.

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Don Bauder Aug. 2, 2010 @ 6:55 a.m.

Response to post #27: I agree that government employees enjoy excessive pay and wildly excessive retirement benefits. But the society still has to get over a big hurdle: too many in the legal establishment (heavily concentrated in government) believe that those promises cannot be broken -- are cemented into the law. That can't be eliminated overnight. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 2, 2010 @ 6:59 a.m.

Response to post #28: Again, it depends where the money goes. If the big money backs the tax increase, it could certainly win. And you just don't know what promises are being made to the nabobs right now behind closed doors. Remember: the sales tax is regressive. It won't skin the overlords as much as the bottom 60%. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 2, 2010 @ 7:02 a.m.

Response to post #29: I wonder if the overlords will find a way to keep that Chargers stadium off the ballot. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 2, 2010 @ 7:04 a.m.

Response to post #30: Good points. San Diegans are hit with council-determined expenses that might as well be a tax. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 2, 2010 @ 7:07 a.m.

Response to post #31: It should become fairly clear early in the campaign which side is spending the money. The government reports on campaign spending deliberately come in too late. Best, Don Bauder

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paul Aug. 2, 2010 @ 9:47 a.m.

SurfPup said: "If it even were to get on the ballot it would NEVER, EVER, EVEN IN A MILLION YEARS, EVER pass."

Surfpup followed up by saying: "Im giving 2-1 odds the sales tax does not pass."

=================================================================

You are exactly clear on how Vegas sets betting odds, are you?

;)

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paul Aug. 2, 2010 @ 9:48 a.m.

Oops, there was supposed to be a "not" before exactly!

(SDReader, please allow us to edit posts just like virtually every other forum in existence!)

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SurfPuppy619 Aug. 2, 2010 @ 11:18 a.m.

You are exactly clear on how Vegas sets betting odds, are you?

I have no idea how the sports betting line works, I was being sarcastic..............betting is illegal in CA., you want don't want JustClueless to put me in the Big House do you@!!

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SurfPuppy619 Aug. 2, 2010 @ 11:20 a.m.

Oops, there was supposed to be a "not" before exactly!

Yes, I figured as much...there is an "edit" tab at the bottom of the posts, as long as you use it within a few hours of the post, then it disappears...........

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SurfPuppy619 Aug. 2, 2010 @ 11:21 a.m.

. They aren't just slapping you in the face, they're having you slap yourself in the face.

By refriedgringo

LOL, we are slapping ourself!!!!! Now that was funny!!!!!

Reminds me of Jim Carrey in the movie "Liar Liar" when he beats himself up in the mens room!

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paul Aug. 2, 2010 @ 11:52 a.m.

SurfPup said: "betting is illegal in CA."

Someone better tell that to Del Mar so they can shut down their para-mutual betting, the various indian tribes so they can close down the casinos, the California lottery, all the card clubs, the church bingo nights and all the raffles held by just about every organization imaginable.

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paul Aug. 2, 2010 @ 11:55 a.m.

Surfpup said: "there is an "edit" tab at the bottom of the posts"

Thanks.

I asked the administrator for that feature a long time ago, but I never noticed that they had added it. I wonder how long it has been there (probably a long time)?

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SurfPuppy619 Aug. 2, 2010 @ 12:51 p.m.

Someone better tell that to Del Mar so they can shut down their para-mutual betting, the various indian tribes so ...

Indian tribes are not part of CA., they are their own Sovereign nation.

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Founder Aug. 2, 2010 @ 2:18 p.m.

Reply I think they spell it: $overeign

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paul Aug. 2, 2010 @ 2:48 p.m.

SP said: "Indian tribes are not part of CA., they are their own Sovereign nation."

=============================================================

Not exactly sovereign in any real sense of the word.

California reservation indians are residents of California and can vote in state elections. The federal government has authority over reservations and requires them to enter into a gaming compact with the state.

Edited to add: In addition, California is a Public Law 280 state, which means some criminal legal authority on a reservation is transferred from the federal government to California.

Useless trivia of the day:

Twelve indian reservations are larger than Rhode Island and nine are larger than Delaware (and yet we are stuck with Biden).

The Navajo Nation is larger than 10 states, larger than West Virginia but slightly smaller than South Carolina.

===========================================================

End of diversion and back to the matter at hand: Aguirre came out and said he would aggressively campaign against the ballot prop as passed by the city council.

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Visduh Aug. 2, 2010 @ 3:17 p.m.

When it comes to laying odds on the results of an election that will decide if the SD sales tax goes up another 1/2%, pundits need to look around the county at the results of such elections before. At the present time, unless I'm mistaken, "Nasty" City, El Cajon, La Mesa, and Vista have sales tax overrides on top of the 1/2% TransNet override. That one, approaching expiration after twenty years was approved again, only for forty years this time. (I think I've missed a few of these special taxes.) Moreover, in the late 80's there was a countywide Prop B that passed by a simple majority vote--in direct violation of Jarvis-Gann, Prop 13 of 1978--for a 1/2% criminal justice and law enforcement override. Almost immediately a local judge struck it down, yet stayed his own ruling pending appeal, and it was collected for something like three to five years. At long last the state supreme court decided that, indeed, such a tax was illegal. The funds had been pouring into a gigantic escrow account, and finally a scheme to refund the taxes was developed. On major purchases, if the taxpayer still had the paperwork, a claim could be filed to retrieve the improper tax. I did that for two cars and for a couple major home items, such as appliances. The rest of the money was refunded by a CUT in the tax rate for enough time to exhaust the balance of the account.

I recount all this, not to prove how much trivial junk I retain, but to point out that many if not most of these tax boosts have passed, not failed. I was blown away when Vista pulled it off.

I'd have to estimate that there is a better than even chance that this SD proposal will pass. I hope that I'm wrong abut its chances. So, Surfpup, SD residents could soon be paying a sales tax override to fund pensions. Gag me!

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Don Bauder Aug. 2, 2010 @ 3:23 p.m.

Response to post #37: I am hearing today (this is not official) that the taxpayers association is wavering and may favor the measure. The association does NOT represent general taxpayers; it only represents the rich ones, particularly those who donate to the association. And the sales tax is a regressive tax, not biting the overlords unless they own a consumer business. Again, it all depends on what promises are being made behind closed doors these days. If the big money backs it in a fancy ad campaign, I think it could probably win. Best, Don Bauder

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SanDiegoParrothead Aug. 2, 2010 @ 3:24 p.m.

The people of San Diego are too dumb!

This issue will be spun, and the dumb people will vote for a tax increase, guaranteed.

Mark my words ....

I can always hope that I'm wrong

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Don Bauder Aug. 2, 2010 @ 3:28 p.m.

Response to post #38: We can edit parts of the web but, apparently, not the comments. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 2, 2010 @ 3:32 p.m.

Response to post #39: You don't know the betting line in Vegas? Wasn't your handle once JohnnyVegas? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 2, 2010 @ 3:35 p.m.

Response to post #40: But can you change the comments? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 2, 2010 @ 3:37 p.m.

Response to post #41: Thank goodness I see few movies each year. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 2, 2010 @ 3:40 p.m.

Response to post #41: The Indian casino exist in sovereign countries. However, California has some power over them. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 2, 2010 @ 3:42 p.m.

Response to post #43: When you find out, please tell me. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 2, 2010 @ 3:45 p.m.

Response to post #44: Yes, they are sovereign, but as I said, California can set some parameters for their activity. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 2, 2010 @ 3:47 p.m.

Response to post $45: But the Indian casinos have been hurting in the downturn. Best Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 2, 2010 @ 3:50 p.m.

Response to post #46: I talked to Aguirre earlier this morning and he didn't mention that. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 2, 2010 @ 3:56 p.m.

Response to post #47: Yes, the Vista vote was a surprise. Did the big boys toss a lot of money into advertising? Best, Don Bauder

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paul Aug. 2, 2010 @ 4:06 p.m.

Response to #58: "Response to post #46: I talked to Aguirre earlier this morning and he didn't mention that. Best, Don Bauder"

============================================================= Don, it was in a comment to an article at the Voice of SD. It was attributed to Michael Aguirre and sounded like it was from him, and the Voice is pretty good about not allowing anonymous handles to comment. Maybe you can verify whether the post is authentic.

http://www.voiceofsandiego.org/government/article_d1e1e93a-9c55-11df-b21b-001cc4c002e0.html?mode=comments

"The Council-Mayor tax increase will be vigorously debated. The proposal will not help solve our financial problem because it does not address the growth of pension benefits to $7.2 billion, or the loss of pension assets in bad investments, $956 million last year. The proposal passed by the Council will make matters worse because it gives the appearance of reform but not the reality. The union leaders told the council today they had given as much as they intend to give and now its time for more for their union members.

San Diego needs leadership that will honestly tell the voters the dimension of the pension problem and who offer proposals that are big enough to solve the problem.

Remember ever person involved in the vote today has a big stake in the pension benefits. I for one intend to vigorously campaign for a NO vote. Mike Aguirre"

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SurfPuppy619 Aug. 2, 2010 @ 4:26 p.m.

I don't know if the sales tax issue is a go for the November election. I just received this from Carl DeMaio;

It's Baaaack! Help us kill the Sales tax increase once and for all!

The San Diego City Council will be meeting this coming Wednesday morning in another attempt to push through a sales tax hike.

This time the City Council attached empty reforms with no teeth to the tax hike to use as window dressing in an attempt to fool the public.

We need you now more than ever to voice your opposition to a sales tax increase that will hurt San Diego working families and small businesses.

We need you to demand REFORM before REVENUE.

The Meeting will take place at City Hall, 202 C. St. 92101 at 8:30AM this Wednesday August 4th.

So, who will attend with me? I might show up for this one.

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JustWondering Aug. 2, 2010 @ 4:34 p.m.

If the pup goes then I gotta go too. It's all about balance. Otherwise the planet, like the puppy's "tales", may spin wildly out-of- control. I'd even spring for beers at DT johnny browns, we could have a summit like that guy at 1600 Pennsylvania.

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paul Aug. 2, 2010 @ 5:15 p.m.

Response to #61: "We need you to demand REFORM before REVENUE."

That is exactly what they are calling the current measure, to co-opt that phrase from Demaio. Now when DeMaio issues a statement like that, he could just as well be SUPPORTING the ballot prop!

Its nice how politicians never play games with semantics to fleece the public.

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Burwell Aug. 2, 2010 @ 7:37 p.m.

Response to post #38: We can edit parts of the web but, apparently, not the comments. Best, Don Bauder

==============

You can edit your comments on the Reader website until such time as someone reads your comment. After your comment has been read it can no longer be edited.

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Don Bauder Aug. 2, 2010 @ 8:32 p.m.

Response to post #60: That definitely sounds like Mike. I did talk with him later today but didn't have time to ask him about that post. It sounds authentic. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 2, 2010 @ 8:34 p.m.

Response to poste #61: "Reform Before Revenue" sounds like a fetching catchline. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering Aug. 2, 2010 @ 8:43 p.m.

Well it's only taken several years, but an impartial analysis of the pension issue was just posted over on the VoSD... http://www.voiceofsandiego.org/peoplespost/vkogan/article_03b773ba-9dca-11df-90fd-0016353c402a.html

A very interesting read.

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paul Aug. 2, 2010 @ 10:16 p.m.

JW,

Vlad's conclusion is interesting, but only half correct. He says that:

"Public employees are not responsible for this new fiscal reality. Elected city officials and their constituents cheered on the pension system's foray into the stock market, and during the good years, diverted the system's "surplus earnings" to pay for popular city initiatives, such as the ballpark, the convention center expansion, and for the cost of hosting the 1996 Republican national convention. Now, at a time of "surplus declines," the city is on the hook to make up for the losses. <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

The problem is that, in violation of their fiduciary duty, the employee union leadership was in collusion with the city and followed this risky path in return for sweetened pension benefits. Public employees, as represented by their union leaders, were in fact partially responsible.

I fully understand that (whether SP gets it or not) current employees are getting squeezed. That doesn't change the fact that some of the deals need to be undone and/or rolled back (at least going forward).

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SurfPuppy619 Aug. 2, 2010 @ 11:09 p.m.

You can edit your comments on the Reader website until such time as someone reads your comment. After your comment has been read it can no longer be edited.

By Burwell

Makes no sense, should be able to edit whenever you want to....

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Burwell Aug. 2, 2010 @ 11:15 p.m.

It would mess the blog up if a poster could edit his comment after another poster had read it and commented on it.

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David Dodd Aug. 3, 2010 @ 12:59 a.m.

It would mess the blog up if a poster could edit his comment after another poster had read it and commented on it.


Yep, I agree, it would lead to a lot of nonsense with some people.

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Don Bauder Aug. 3, 2010 @ 6:22 a.m.

Response to post #67: Vlad Kogan is a very good researcher. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 3, 2010 @ 6:24 a.m.

Response to post #68: I really can't comment because I haven't read Vlad's piece yet. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 3, 2010 @ 6:27 a.m.

Response to posts #s69-71: I haven't checked into this subject. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering Aug. 3, 2010 @ 7:04 a.m.

Paul,

That's nonsense. You've swallowed the media hype.

Unions do not have fiduciary duties unless you mean a service, such as health benefits, to their members if money is held in trust.

Unions are advocates. Sometimes zealous advocates. They represent the interest of their members. Labor unions are "a group of workers who have banded together to achieve common goals in the key areas of wages, hours, and working conditions" (Boone and Kurtz, 1999, Contemporary Business. Fort Worth, TX: Dryden Press p. 414).

When you put City of San Diego wages and benefits into context and examine the historical record. You'll find there was a concerted effort by City Management, from the Pete Wilson era forward, to keep base wages lower. While San Diego worked on keeping a lower base wage, competing agencies were raising wages to lure workers. Hindsight reveals San Diego financial problems were, most likely, beginning then but no one recognized it.

Example, San Diego exited the Social Security/Medicare Systems to avoid paying the 7.65% employer match. In doing so, City leaders, Wilson and Blair, promised lifetime health care for retirees.

Another example in the context 80's and early 90's. To keep "base" wages low, but raise the take home pay in order to recruit and retain experience employee, the City offered to "pick up" part of the required retirement contribution in lieu of wage increases. This happened over multiple labor contracts.

Now the bills are due, millions saved from not paying Social Security Medicare matching dollars have disappeared. Hundreds of millions not paid into SDCERS, a direct result of the City's MP1 and MP2 proposals. Not to mention the City pickups unpaid, the redirection of "excess earning" which should have remained at SDCERS but were taken by the City to pay for retiree health care(rulled illegal by the IRS).

All actions by city leaders, political and allegedly professional, are the reasons we are ALL in the same boat today. Mr. Kogan's analysis is right on the mark, it's fair, balanced and credible.

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JustWondering Aug. 3, 2010 @ 7:39 a.m.

Oh and by the way... for some city employees on a going forward basis, the so called "deals" have been undone.

For example, for new employees since July 2005 there are NO retiree medical benefits.

New employees cannot access the DROP program even though the City has yet to publish the report on cost neutrality. A report which was required by Ordinance in 1999 but specifically ignored by City leaders then all the way up until today.

New Police Officers cannot access the so-called 3@50 retirement system. They've been returned to the 1995 levels of 3%@55. Well not exactly the 1995 levels. You see in 1995 the rate was up to 2.99%@55 BUT with no cap. In other words, if you chose to work longer, past 55 you could earn more than 100% of your salary. New employees today are capped at 90% with no access to DROP.

New Police Officers earn six percent less in wages, PLUS all retirement pickups have been eliminated. Some officers pay as much as 13% of their salary into the retirement system. Our former City Attorney advocates the return of, or rollback to, the 1995 benefits level. But has he mentioned the fact that under the 1995 rules more than 100% could be earned?

And the latest, as of July 10, 2010, safety employees, the ones who risks their lives on a daily basis, now pay a substantially equal portion of the cost of disability retirements. This means up to an additional two percent reduction in pay for some. This saves the city taxpayers millions. Or does it? In making this change, San Diego, is the ONLY city in California, if not the nation to make its safety employees pay for their disability injuries.

All, if I may add, while your disability insurance is still part of the social security withholding that hasn't changed in decades.

So please don't tell me that city employees haven't done anything, because they have and continue to do so.

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SurfPuppy619 Aug. 3, 2010 @ 8:25 a.m.

New Police Officers cannot access the so-called 3@50 retirement system. They've been returned to the 1995 levels of 3%@55. Well not exactly the 1995 levels. You see in 1995 the rate was up to 2.99%@55 BUT with no cap. In other words, if you chose to work longer, past 55 you could earn more than 100% of your salary.

Which is still LESS than they would "earn" if they were in the 3%@50 scam, b/c 3%@50 has annual COLA's.

After 3% of annual bumps on 3%@50 they would be at 105% at age 55, while doing absolutely nothing those 5 years except leech taxpayer cash.

At least we have them "earning" (your words not mine) their illegally gifted retroactive pensions up until the age of 55, which is still 12 years earlier then Social Security. Not to mention they will have to actually contribute SOMETHING during those five (5) years.

As for DROP, it was, is now, and always will be a scam to double dip under the pretext of "keeping" senior employees-when all they have to do to "keep" senior employees is raise the retirement age from the artificially ridiculously low age of 50 to age 62 or more. Of course then the DROP scam would not work.

JustClueless with more public employee spin from the peanut gallery, trying to paint the picture of how hard it is for our poor abused, gov employees.

Hold on a second while I toss my cookies.

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SurfPuppy619 Aug. 3, 2010 @ 8:28 a.m.

New Police Officers earn six percent less in wages, PLUS all retirement pickups have been eliminated.

Oh MY!!!!

GED educated cops getting comped $150K-$200K per year are going to actually have to CONTRIBUTE some of their OWN money to their OWN retirement.

I pray and hope the world does not end with this grave miscarriage of justice :)

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SurfPuppy619 Aug. 3, 2010 @ 8:34 a.m.

That's nonsense. You've swallowed the media hype.

Unions do not have fiduciary duties unless you mean a service, such as health benefits, to their members if money is held in trust.

JustClueless, the board of directors of the retirement fund, not the unions per se, but their reps, do have a fiduciary duty to their members to make sure the fund is run in a responsible manner-that would include NOT allowing the muni to UNDERFUND the pension fund in exchange for better benefits when that under funding puts the solvency of the fund in jeopardy. By placing the fund in jeopardy the directors violated their fiduciary duty, the highest duty allowed owed law.

Do you seriously think the pension fund would be upside down today if the pension directors refused to play ball with McGrory and Golding on the under funding of it in exchange for bumps in pensions????? No, the fund would be fine if the directors did their fiduciary duty to do what is best for the fund-the members would not have the increased illegal retroactive raises they enjoyed (but didn’t pay for), but the fund would be solvent.

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Visduh Aug. 3, 2010 @ 9:40 a.m.

In response to Don's question in No.59, I don't remember a great deal of advertising done to pass the Vista override. There were campaign signs posted to be sure along with the mail pieces, but I think the campaign was more of a word-of-mouth effort spearheaded by service groups, the chamber of commerce, and the ever-potent public employee unions. They also chose a primary election with its predictably low turnout as the time to place the measure on the ballot. As I've said previously, there was a goody in the mix for each of a number of pressure groups. Out of it we "got" a huge new "palacio municipal", i.e. city hall, that is far larger than anything needed now or within the foreseeable future, and two new fire stations, along with a new stagehouse at the Moonlight Ampitheater. Years before, neighboring San Marcos managed to have better park facilities, a fancy oversize city hall, and adequate fire protection without extra tax. Howcum? Dunno.

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JustWondering Aug. 3, 2010 @ 10:24 a.m.

No Johnny wrong again...

In '95 the multiplier was 2.5% at 50 and escalated to 2.99 at 55 with no cap. Why do you purposely chose to write inaccurate statements?

COLAs or cost of living allowances have been in place since 1971 according to the 2009/10 SD County Grand Jury Report, pg. 10... As pointed out by the Grand Jury Report it's tied to the CPI. In 2009 SDCERS did not pay the COLA. In July 2010 the did pay 2% COLA. Read the memorandum on the CERS site, everyone does not earn the same COLA. So that's another falsehood.

Regarding Fiduciary duty; In context of my response #75 to Paul about Mr. Kogan's analysis.

Paul believes unions have a fiduciary duty to SDCERS. I pointed out..."Labor unions are "a group of workers who have banded together to achieve common goals in the key areas of wages, hours, and working conditions."

Read Mr. Kogan's analysis. It carefully looks at a number of factors which contributed to the City's financial condition.

You asked the question, "Do you seriously think the pension fund would be upside down today if the pension directors refused to play ball with McGrory and Golding on the under funding of it in exchange for bumps in pensions?"

Exactly the point. If the City Management, had not tampered with or used undue influence and pressured, we would not be in the mess we're in today.

If City leaders in 1982 had not pulled out of Social Security and Medicare in 1982, promising Health Care Benefits for retiree as replacement we wouldn't have that debt.

If City leaders had taken those monies they were no longer paying to the feds for its matching 7.65% over the past 28 years and put it into a Retiree Health Care we'd have it funded.

If City leaders did not STEAL SDCERS Investment gains, euphemistically called the "Waterfall" to pay the bill for retiree health care, SDCERS' funding ratio would be substantially higher.

If Mayor Murphy and City Manager Uberraga followed the guidelines on MP1 and not allowed SDCERS' funding ratio to breech the floor of 82.5% we would not be suffering the ill effects. Heck the 2002 MP2 plan even called for a 5 year catch up plan but they ignored it too.

If the City leaders in all the wisdom, had negotiated base pay increases, rather than retirement pick-ups, in violation of the Charter, then further underfunded by not paying the pick-up or wage offsets, we would not be in the mess we find today.

Those are the facts. City leader, both political and managerial lied. Repeatedly lied to its citizens about the City's financial health. Employees were in the dark, just like the citizens, but they're made the scapegoats of gross incompetence.

As I said before, Mr. Kogan's analysis is fair, balanced and credible.

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Don Bauder Aug. 3, 2010 @ 10:38 a.m.

Response to post #75: Suppose everything you say is true. You still haven't addressed the core of the problem: San Diego cannot afford the salaries and pension benefits it has promised to employees. The City is slashing infrastructure maintenance, various services to keep paying these unaffordable commitments. So what does San Diego do? Any ideas? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 3, 2010 @ 10:41 a.m.

Response to post #76: Yes, new employees don't get the bloated benefits. But that does not constitute sufficient savings to rescue an insolvent city. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 3, 2010 @ 10:43 a.m.

Response to post #77: Maybe the retirement age should be raised from 50 to 65, while the U.S. generally goes from 62/65 to 70. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 3, 2010 @ 10:45 a.m.

Response to post #78: If your identity is unmasked, you are going to get a lot of speeding and parking tickets. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 3, 2010 @ 10:48 a.m.

Response to post #79: I think you are correct in putting some of the blame on the directors. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 3, 2010 @ 10:50 a.m.

Response to post #80: When the Chamber of Commerce and unions get in the same bed -- look out. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 3, 2010 @ 10:53 a.m.

Response to post #81: There is no question: there is plenty of blame to go around. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering Aug. 3, 2010 @ 11:08 a.m.

Every legitimate analysis shows San Diego leaders have chosen not tap into, greatly ignored, or under utilized revenue streams. San Diego ranks at or near the bottom when comparing it to other cities, both larger and smaller for not only sources of revenue, but also the amount collected. The new sales tax proposal, tied to more reforms is a start.

As we've discussed here ad infinitum San Diego and San Diegans are tax and fee adverse but demand services.

Obviously trash collection is one large $34 million dollar example. Out T.O.T., mainly paid by visitors, loses out on millions, but when tourist business interests wanted their own special assessment district the Council granted it. There are many more fees.

Another example, rental cars, they use our roads but contribute little if anything towards their maintenance. Here too the tax would be paid mainly by visitors. What about fees to park? Why does it cost money to park downtown on a public street, but not a penny to park in public lot at the beach? Doesn't the city spend money maintaining parking lots there too?

If the city just used the average fee and tax structure of other cities in California another giant step would be taken to solving its structural deficit.

Then as you know there are developer subsidies. CCDC owes the City hundreds of millions. But no one wants to collect? Why? Downtown is WAY overbuilt.

And as proposed managed competition. Why is the city STILL in the business of collecting trash? While there may be law regarding disposal sites, private companies can and do collect trash.

I outlined other going forward changes in employee contributions to this problem in previous posts. In my opinion it took the city years of lying to the public, lying to its auditors and lying to itself to get into the mess. It will, in all likelihood, take the next 20 years to work our way out.

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JustWondering Aug. 3, 2010 @ 11:18 a.m.

Don you really want 60 year safety employees?

I'm trying to imagine a 60 year old lifeguard on the beach?

What about 58 year old cop? I know people say 50 is old 30 or something like that, but how did you feel at age 60? I'm sure you were ready chase down 18 year old gang bangers, or carry 100 lbs fire hoses up a few flights of stairs on your back. Or heaven forbid, carry an unconscious 165lbs man out of a burning building.

What about working from 10 at night to 6 in the morning. I can tell you it wears on you.

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paul Aug. 3, 2010 @ 11:58 a.m.

JW said: "Paul believes unions have a fiduciary duty to SDCERS."

If you want to split hairs to avoid the real issue, fine.

The SDCERS board members who were representing the unions on that board, had a fiduciary duty to make sure this scenario didn't play out. The unions negotiated the deals with the city. The unions worked to convince employees to vote for the deals (my spouse questioned the union rep prior to one of the votes, asking why they would put the pension at risk. The answer was it was a good deal for the union and there was no risk to the pension. Oops). The unions then, through their seats on the SDCERS board, helped work the deals through SDCERS.

Are you contending that there is a separation between the union reps jobs as union reps and their job sitting on the SDCERS board? Do you also have a bridge you want to sell me?

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paul Aug. 3, 2010 @ 12:25 p.m.

JW said: "Don you really want 60 year safety employees? .... "

First, there are plenty of things that an experienced 58 year old officer or firefighter should be able to do other than chase gang-bangers or haul 100 pound hoses into burning buildings. There are any number of city jobs that they could do, both within and without the police and fire departments.

Second, it is not a question of whether you can still do the job, it is a question of why you feel entitled to a full pension at such a young age? If you don't want another job with the city, then you have to go do something else for 10 to 15 years until your pension kicks in. Please explain to me why that is not fair.

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Founder Aug. 3, 2010 @ 12:51 p.m.

92

I agree, it's more than fair!

I bet for every job opening the City posted their would be an average of 100 folks PRAYING to get selected!

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SanDiegoParrothead Aug. 3, 2010 @ 1:08 p.m.

Hey JW: You're clueless on how it is here in the real world. Let's do some comparisons ...

My backgrd: BS degree in Engr. Make barely north of 6 figures. Work for a commercial company. I'm 47 and been working nearly 25 years now.


JW says: For example, for new employees since July 2005 there are NO retiree medical benefits.

Me: Me either. Never had the chance, never will.


JW says: New employees cannot access the DROP program even though the City has yet ....

Me: Me either. Never had the chance, never will.


JW says: New Police Officers cannot access the so-called 3@50 retirement system. They've been returned to the 1995 levels of 3%@55. Well not exactly the 1995 levels. You see in 1995 the rate was up to 2.99%@55 BUT with no cap. In other words, if you chose to work longer, past 55 you could earn more than 100% of your salary. New employees today are capped at 90% with no access to DROP.

Me: I hope to retire at 55 also. However, I will NOT be receiving 90000 per year.


JW says: New Police Officers earn six percent less in wages, PLUS all retirement pickups have been eliminated.

Me: six percent less wages than who?? I suppose if Iworked for QCOM, I too could make 6% more.


JW says: Some officers pay as much as 13% of their salary into the retirement system.

Me: Hmmn. I put the max allowed into my 401k (~17% of my salary). However, i WONT have the luxury of a pension.


JW says: And the latest, as of July 10, 2010, safety employees, the ones who risks their lives on a daily basis, now pay a substantially equal portion of the cost of disability retirements. This means up to an additional two percent reduction in pay for some.

ME: I too pay extra so I can have a better disability package than what the state provides.


JW says: Don you really want 60 year safety employees?

Me: Yes. Put them to work as supervisors; washing the fire trucks; manning drunk driving checkpoints, etc.


JW says: What about working from 10 at night to 6 in the morning. I can tell you it wears on you.

Me: So does 50-60 hour work weeks; every week; the typical life for a start up company


THis doesn't even touch on the fact that I was 23 when I started working and contributing to my 401k. You got a 5 year jump on me by going right to the academy.

So, I'll say it again, You don't know how good you have it.

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SanDiegoParrothead Aug. 3, 2010 @ 1:10 p.m.

JW:

Forgot one other thing:

I pay roughly $250 per month for medical and dental insurance, and still have to pay a 500 deductible and then most major procedures are only covered at 80%.

What's your medical/dental like?

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nan shartel Aug. 3, 2010 @ 1:12 p.m.

as an older ...er..um..woman i find myself agreeing with the hose pulling around and chasing scenarios by JustWondering

but Paul's many things a 58 year old can still contribute before retirement is true 2

and Founder...hope u get the job homey!!!

and many do quit at a stated retirement age to do another job for 15 years and collect another pension...it's called "double dipping"

my HB is a "triple dipper"

20 years at one job

15 years at a completely different kind of job

and 30 years in the Army...mostly due to his National Guard statis

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JustWondering Aug. 3, 2010 @ 2:03 p.m.

Every job has its good points and bad points. You seem to be complaining about your poor career planing choices.

But lets see, how many time while you were engineering in your air conditioned office did you:

fight with drunks

have people with who knows what ailments spit on you or try to harm you

work all night long then go and spend the 8 more hours being examined by an attorney who only job it is to make you out as the bad guy

did I mention fight with drunks some of which are much bigger than you

hold a child who was bleeding to death at the scene of an accident while waiting for aid

collect evidence covered in filth

Collect human beings covered in filth and transport them to county mental health and then have them rejected.

attempt console a rape victim who was just brutalized by another man

go to funerals because one of your co workers, one you worked with daily, was shot to death by a person under the influence of narcotics

handle a suicide where an elderly man used a shot gun on himself because he couldn't take care of his elderly wife. Then try to explain to his widow what just happened.

Explain to a parent their child is dead, because he wanted to play in a nearby canyon

did I mention fight with drunks who then puke on you.

or investigate an incident where the neglect of innocent children is SO bad it takes every fiber of your being to make sure you don't do something unprofessional.

I can go on.

Please don't drink Johnny's cool aid about wages it's not even close to what he's been saying for years. Especially in San Diego when you're talking about real livable take home dollars.

Regarding medical insurance, in our cafeteria style benefits, the City allocates about $3900 annually. My basic HMO costs me about $5500. So it costs me about $150 month. Dental, a very basic plan DHMO is another $600 a year or about $50 a month.

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JustWondering Aug. 3, 2010 @ 2:05 p.m.

By the way the average entry age is about 23 and actually getting older because more, with college degrees are applying. In California sworn personnel must be 21 not 18 as you imply.

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SanDiegoParrothead Aug. 3, 2010 @ 2:33 p.m.

JW says: You seem to be complaining about your poor career planing choices.


JW - To each, his own. Whereas I have not had to put up with drunks and death, I do put up with radiation, microwaves, electric shock, extreme temps, heights, dirt, etc., even other engineers (you'd know only if you worked with them).

In your response, YOU seem to be complaining about YOUR career choice.

I was complaining about YOUR compensation - and area that you (for the most part) failed to address in your response to me. I see you stayed away from any response about pension or retirement.

Do you really believe because of the scenarios you describe, you should get to retire earlier, at 90% of your working pay?

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SurfPuppy619 Aug. 3, 2010 @ 3:35 p.m.

Don you really want 60 year safety employees?

I'm trying to imagine a 60 year old lifeguard on the beach?

What about 58 year old cop?

By JustWondering

Hey Just "Mr. I'm Too Old To Work Like The Rest Of America" Clueless, if YOU are to old to work a beat then I will find you a job at the local K-6 school as a crossing guard-can your weak butt handle that????

Lamest excuse I have ever heard-yet these clowns trot it out there like it is legit every chance they can. And I LOVE all the NEW taxes you want to impose on the working class poor who are better educated but only making 1/3 the comp you clowns are at the SO and FD.

Plenty of work in this City you can do besides work a beat.

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JustWondering Aug. 3, 2010 @ 3:48 p.m.

Yes, but it doesn't matter what I think. The voters, by majority will decide how or where we go.

If as you say, then dramatic service cuts in all area of city will occur. The mayor through his COO has opined 21 fire stations closed. 700 police officers let go.

But the city will build a $185 million dollar library, most likely fund a $300 million dollar City Hall. And support the construction of a half billion dollar or more stadium for a billionaire owner.

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SurfPuppy619 Aug. 3, 2010 @ 3:55 p.m.

In California sworn personnel must be 21 not 18 as you imply.

By JustWondering

Wrong again amigo. Another whopper.

You ony have to be 21 to be sworn in- you can (and many of the connected few are) be hired at age 20.5 and attend academy training, which can last up to 6 months depending on the agency and their training, and receive FULL comp during the training.

So if you're a 20.5 year old living in Richmond, CA and get hired at that age you will be earning more comp than a general practioner doctor who as one of the best and brightest students has 11 years of college under their belt at a cost of $300K-$500K. In what fantasy world does this happen besides CA???.

Stop the whoppers and stop the drama about how you get in fights every night with MMA superstars, or save kids in your arms or have someone with AIDS spit on you, or get hauled into a deposition.

Although there is NO doubt SOME of these things happen to most cops at some point in their career, it is not common. I have a good friend who works at Chino State Prison, has for years, and I asked how often a guard gets "gassed" (an inmates urine and feces mixed together and then tossed in the guards face), and he told me straight up almost never-once or twice in a CAREER. So do some of these things happen, certainly, but it is not as often as drama queens like you claim. I would bet that less than 5% of a departments sworn personnel have ever had to sit through a deposition (which you get paid for I might add), much less actually been named in a lawsuit.

You need to take those whoopers to an SEIU beach party where the rose colored glasses they hand out might make them seem more believable.

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SurfPuppy619 Aug. 3, 2010 @ 3:58 p.m.

Do you really believe because of the scenarios you describe, you should get to retire earlier, at 90% of your working pay?

By SanDiegoParrothead

Yes

By JustWondering

Oh brother .......you can't make this stuff up.....(SurfPuppy619 slams head into wall 1,000 times to stop the pain and suffering)

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Don Bauder Aug. 3, 2010 @ 3:59 p.m.

Response to post #89: With its finances in tatters, can San Diego make it another 20 years as it tries to reverse -- supposedly -- its long-standing poor management? I doubt it. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering Aug. 3, 2010 @ 4:03 p.m.

Down boy...I did say sworn. Puppy have you had your rabies vaccination? What does Richmond have to do with anything we're blogging about?

By the way, the kid, a 10 year old, died in my arms, with a severely severed carotid artery it just too long to get to the hospital.

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Don Bauder Aug. 3, 2010 @ 4:03 p.m.

Response to post #90: I have a couple of responses to this question, which I expected: 1. Those in rough physical labor in the private sector often work into their 70s; 2. A large percentage of police jobs are desk jobs; 3. When a firefighter gets too old to do his or her job, there can be a transfer to a desk job somewhere in government. That way, there won't have to be a new hire. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 3, 2010 @ 4:06 p.m.

Response to post #91: The City unions must take part of the blame. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 3, 2010 @ 4:08 p.m.

Response to post #92: I agree. Retirement at 50 has to go. A fire chief recently retired at 50. Does a chief have to lug heavy hoses around all day? No. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 3, 2010 @ 4:16 p.m.

Response to post #93: You make excellent points. You earn a bit above six figures. Many in very important occupations do not make that much -- teachers, journalists, etc. And they don't have job security, either. Look at the mayhem at the Union-Tribune, which is now hiring people for less than $40,000. The City employees have no idea how good they have it compared with those in the private sector. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering Aug. 3, 2010 @ 4:17 p.m.

Full duty status means you can be called into the field at any time and you must have all the necessary equipment etc etc.

Investigation are consider preferred assignments and now require a test and interview as promotional assignment.

Would you care to cite an example of rough physical labor being done by someone in their 70's. I'm not sure what you mean?

Transfers between departments, lets say Police and waste water for example, have completely different skill sets. It's akin to moving you from business journalism to, working a drill platform in the Gulf for BP. Would you even know where to start?

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Don Bauder Aug. 3, 2010 @ 4:18 p.m.

Response to post #95: Another good point. My response above was to 94, not 93. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering Aug. 3, 2010 @ 4:20 p.m.

Johnny....let's include the whole sentence to keep it in context.

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Don Bauder Aug. 3, 2010 @ 4:21 p.m.

Response to post #96: One of the classic double dippers is Mayor Sanders. Retired from the police department with a fat pension. Will get another when he leaves the mayoralty. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering Aug. 3, 2010 @ 4:24 p.m.

Hey Parrothead what, in your mind is fair wage, not benefits, just the annual wage for cops in San Diego?

Same question to you Don.

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Don Bauder Aug. 3, 2010 @ 4:24 p.m.

Response to posts #97 and 98: Yes, you may feel you have it rough. But look at the enlisted personnel fighting in the front lines in the military. And look how much they make, compared to you. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering Aug. 3, 2010 @ 4:28 p.m.

I don't think that's correct. I don't believe he'll get a second one, but they will recalculate the pension he earned adding the additional years of service. His salary as mayor is substantially lower than his salary has Chief. So it will be interesting. It will also be a public record so you can check now and after he leaves office.

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Don Bauder Aug. 3, 2010 @ 4:28 p.m.

Response to posts 99-101: We keep discussing whether JW deserves his pay and pension but we are not emphasizing the most important matter: the City can't afford to pay them. Period. The other points are irrelevant. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 3, 2010 @ 4:31 p.m.

Response to post #102: You won't get any argument here that those projects are insane with the City insolvent. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 3, 2010 @ 4:36 p.m.

Response to post #103: A doctor in a emergency ward faces the same kinds of traumas and heart-rending experiences as a cop -- but every day. And the doc requires years and years of training. And might not be paid as much as you think. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 3, 2010 @ 4:38 p.m.

Response to post #104: It is disconcerting, isn't it? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 3, 2010 @ 4:41 p.m.

Response to post #106: Again, I go back to the military analogy. The trauma on the front lines tops what you go through. And these folks aren't paid well, although they do get an early retirement. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering Aug. 3, 2010 @ 4:49 p.m.

My neighbor, an Internist at a Scripps Hospital earns $350K a year.

The young men and women who serve our nation are grossly under compensated and have been that way since the revolutionary war.

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JustWondering Aug. 3, 2010 @ 4:51 p.m.

Response to #121...see how Johnny plays, just like a lawyer. Oops I forgot he's is one.

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nan shartel Aug. 3, 2010 @ 5:35 p.m.

HEY!!!

let's break for a beer!!!

justwondering did u catch that "I'M MAD AS HELL AND WON'T TAKE IT ANYMORE" from me???

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SurfPuppy619 Aug. 3, 2010 @ 5:36 p.m.

Hey Parrothead what, in your mind is fair wage, not benefits, just the annual wage for cops in San Diego?

Well JustClueeless, for you it would be minimum wage.

Sworn LE made up to, but not more than, other semi skilled jobs until the last 15-20 years. LE is similar to all trades, and that is what they should be paid. The job is LESS dangerous, requires LESS training going in (ZERO) and requires less education than most trades.

The ONLY thing that should require a premium in LE are the graveyard shifts and holiday shifts-everything else is no different than regular work (such as swing shifts and weekend work).

Like I said, your whoppers probably go over good at cop conventions, but they won't cut it with the public anymore.

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nan shartel Aug. 3, 2010 @ 5:38 p.m.

and Don...u didn't sew Eeyore's tail on right

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nan shartel Aug. 3, 2010 @ 5:41 p.m.

ooooooooooooo puppy u is so brave and strong...~~lick~~

i gotta start waiting 'til later to serve the beer

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paul Aug. 3, 2010 @ 6:23 p.m.

Don said: "One of the classic double dippers is Mayor Sanders."

I believe Sanders also retired before 50 with a full chiefs pension, and if I remember correctly he then was pulling down $200K per year on top of his pension for his "charitable" work for the United Way and then the Red Cross.

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Founder Aug. 3, 2010 @ 7:08 p.m.

Question: How do we get protected from "over paid" City employees that have used the System to jack their pay into the $TRATOSPHERE?

Answer: The fastest way is for the City to declare BK ASAP, then renegotiate a fair deal that includes fairness for employees and citizens!

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paul Aug. 3, 2010 @ 11:33 p.m.

Response to #98: JW said: "But lets see, how many time while you were engineering in your air conditioned office did you ..."

JW, while you are patting yourself on the back and justifying why you deserve your pay and bennies, consider the following list (along with ages) and note who is NOT on it. List is from the BLS for 2005: According to BLS data, the following jobs had some of the highest fatality rates for 2005:

Fishers and related fishing workers Fatality rate (per 100,000 workers): 118.4 Average salary: $29,000 per year

Logging workers Fatality rate (per 100,000 workers): 92.9 Average salary: $31,290 per year

Aircraft pilots and flight engineers Fatality rate (per 100,000 workers): 66.9 Average salary: $135,040

Structural iron and steel workers Fatality rate (per 100,000 workers): 55.6 Average salary: $43,540

Refuse and recyclable material collectors Fatality rate (per 100,000 workers): 43.8 Average salary: $30,160

Farmers and ranchers Fatality rate (per 100,000 workers): 41.1 Average salary: $39,720

Electrical power-line installers and repairers Fatality rate (per 100,000 workers): 32.7 Average salary: $49,200

Truck drivers Fatality rate (per 100,000 workers): 29.1 Average salary: $35,460 (for heavy or tractor-trailer drivers)

Miscellaneous agricultural workers Fatality rate (per 100,000 workers): 23.2 Average salary: $24,140

Construction laborers Fatality rate (per 100,000 workers): 22.7 Average salary: $29,050

Police was shortly after construction workers at roughly 21. The majority of police deaths were traffic accidents from being on the road a lot (like a taxi driver or a truck driver), not from chasing gang-bangers.

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paul Aug. 3, 2010 @ 11:50 p.m.

To add: I was a little generous above. Police fatalities are actually closer to 14 per 100,000 (not 21), roughly 3 times the national average. Of those, roughly half are traffic accident related.

From 1992 through 2006, police were pretty steady at the number 14 most dangerous profession, trailing taxi drivers and construction laborers.

Also please note that the police fatality risk is well below that of refuse workers.

Annual fatality rates for fire fighters between 2001 and 2006 were even lower than police. Various fire agencies ran from 5.0 to 14.1 deaths per 100,000.

It looks like instead of privatizing the Miramar landfill and charging for trash pickup to pay for police and fire pay and bennies, we should be cutting police and fire pay to bump up the compensation for our city employees with the highest risk jobs, our refuse workers.

JW, don't get me wrong, I have great respect and appreciation for what our police and firefighters do, but you need a little perspective on exactly what the job is worth.

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Don Bauder Aug. 4, 2010 @ 6:23 a.m.

Response to post #123: Agreed. Certainly, those who fight in the front lines are grossly underpaid. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 4, 2010 @ 6:26 a.m.

Response to posts #124-128: This war is heating up. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 4, 2010 @ 6:27 a.m.

Response to post #129: I don't remember the figures. As I recall, they were repugnant. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 4, 2010 @ 6:29 a.m.

Response to post #130: I have advocated bankruptcy for six years. There is still a legal question on whether a BK judge could toss out the excessive benefits. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 4, 2010 @ 6:32 a.m.

Response to post #131: Good information. I believe it has shown up on this blog before -- actually, several years ago. But it's good to keep in mind. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 4, 2010 @ 6:37 a.m.

Response to post #132: Very good point. Those of us who believe the police and firefighters enjoy excessive pay and pensions are not opposed to the services they provide. We are opposed to the salaries, fringes, and pensions that a broke city has committed itself to paying -- and doesn't have the political will or temerity to do anything about it. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 Aug. 4, 2010 @ 7:27 a.m.

I'm off to the 8:30 AM Clowncil meeting on the "Pension Tax".....errrrr... I mean "sales tax"..... proposal:)

I hope they allow public comments, the SurfPup has a lot to get off his chest.........will report back this afternoon........

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JustWondering Aug. 4, 2010 @ 8:09 a.m.

Pupster and Paul

Study: US police fatalities increase 43 percent Friday, July 23, 2010 By Nafeesa Syeed Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A nonprofit group in Washington says the number of police officers who have died in the line of duty is up 43 percent so far this year.

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund released preliminary data Wednesday. It shows that 88 officers died in the line of duty between Jan. 1 and June 30. That's compared with 61 officers during the first six months of last year.

The deaths were spread across 36 states and Puerto Rico — with California, Texas and Florida showing the most fatalities. Other states included Virginia and Maryland, where a state trooper was fatally shot June 11.

Among the causes of death were traffic accidents and shootings. If the trend continues, 2010 could become one of the deadliest years for U.S. police agencies in two decades.

I believe this information is more accurate than the other posted.

Paul I'll ask you the same question that Don and Surfpuppy ignored. What do you believe is fair salary, not benefits, for a journeyman police officer?

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paul Aug. 4, 2010 @ 10:55 a.m.

Jw quoted: "It shows that 88 officers died in the line of duty between Jan. 1 and June 30. That's compared with 61 officers during the first six months of last year." ... I believe this information is more accurate than the other posted. ============================================== Gee, I wonder why, JW. Maybe because of this?

"The number of law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty in 2009 was the lowest in 50 years"

http://govpro.com/public_safety/law/police-deaths-low-20100112/

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is being just a tad disingenuous, eh?

law enforcement deaths (traffic accidents) 2009 120 2008 145 (73) 2007 169 (84) 2006 131 (68) 2005 143 (60) 2004 136 (74) 2003 153 (83)

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paul Aug. 4, 2010 @ 11:07 a.m.

JW said: "Paul I'll ask you the same question that Don and Surfpuppy ignored. What do you believe is fair salary, not benefits, for a journeyman police officer?"

I'll answer as I have before. I care much less how much officers are paid as I do what percentage of the budget is spent on safety personnel and that the total cost of the compensation (salary, benefits and pension obligations) are paid out of the current budget on a yearly basis. If you want higher pay then you can do one of two things: Reduce the number of officers or increase revenue. What has pissed everybody off is that you didn't do either, and now you want revenues raised in the future to pay for the past. That should never be acceptable.

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David Dodd Aug. 4, 2010 @ 11:30 a.m.

By the way, interrupting salary/pension thing for a moment, Carl DeMaio just offered this up on twitter:

"More watering down of the DASH for CASH Sales Tax Hike -- key provisions rec'd by city attorney gutted from final text."

In case Don or really anyone wishes to follow up on it.

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MURPHYJUNK Aug. 4, 2010 @ 11:54 a.m.

the voters will actually get to vote on something that "counts"?

or does the big shots have some other devious plan in mind

either way, get ready for a deluge of snow job ads.

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Don Bauder Aug. 4, 2010 @ 12:25 p.m.

Response to post #139: Maybe if you get ejected, we will finally learn your name. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 4, 2010 @ 12:32 p.m.

Response to posts #140 and 141: You see what you can do with statistics? In the stock market, increasingly, the TV media don't bother to report how this year's earnings compared with last year's. They focus on how the numbers compare with analyst estimates. Therefore, companies try to talk analyst expecations down, so their stock can get a nice kick when announcing that they beat expectations, even though they may be down 90% from last year. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 4, 2010 @ 12:35 p.m.

Response to post #142: Police and firefighters should be paid what the City can afford to pay -- short run and long run, under the best and worst scenarios. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 4, 2010 @ 12:40 p.m.

Response to post #143: Interesting. "Dash for Cash" is not a good catch phrase. Someone has suggested: "Billion Dollar Chargers Stadium Subsidy Tax Increase." Or "Billion for Spanos Family Tax Increase." Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 4, 2010 @ 12:42 p.m.

Response to post #144: Yes, the local media will make money off this one. Best, Don Bauder

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David Dodd Aug. 4, 2010 @ 12:49 p.m.

@ #143: Apparently, there is a lot of fighting going on in twitter between the Mayor's Office, some of the Council Members, SD CityBeat, and VoSD. Attempting to discuss salient points about a tax increase in less than 140 characters is a bit like trying to hard boil an egg without using water.

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SanDiegoParrothead Aug. 4, 2010 @ 3:26 p.m.

Hey JW:

Sorry, got busy with other things ....

As for your salary:

Starting salary 33,000 - pretty good for a 21 year old. 3 % increases every year. So a 10 yr veteran, at 30 years old, makes roughly 43000 So a 20 yr veteran, at 40 years old, makes nearly 58000 So a 30 yr veteran, at 50 years old, makes nearly 78000 So a 40 yr veteran, at 60 years old, makes about 104500 So a 45 yr veteran, at 65 years old, makes over 121000

I'd prefer for you to have NO pensions and have to contribute to a 401k and Social Security. But since you (didn't) ask, I believe pensions should be capped at 40%.

Therefore, a 20 yr veteran gets over 23100 per year a 30 yr veteran gets over 31100 per year a 40 yr veteran gets over 41800 per year a 45 yr veteran gets over 48400 per year

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Don Bauder Aug. 4, 2010 @ 3:35 p.m.

Response to post #150: Especially for somebody paid by the word. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 4, 2010 @ 3:38 p.m.

Response to post #151: A 20 year veteran is doing very well indeed. Best, Don Bauder

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Russ Lewis Aug. 4, 2010 @ 4:06 p.m.

Response to post #145: Be listening for the phrase "GED-educated cop."

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paul Aug. 4, 2010 @ 4:43 p.m.

This is one of the items on that ballot prop that has to be met for the tax to kick in:

"8. Establish a pension plan with reduced benefits for new firefighters."

Can JW (or anybody else) please explain why this is only for new employees?

This subject drives me batty.

Why in the world would you create a two-tiered system? Simply decrease the benefits uniformly for ALL firefighters going forward. This should be trivial to do, but they don't seem capable of doing it.

I understand perfectly that you cannot roll back benefits that have been granted, so that if you have worked the last 15 years with a pension multiplier of 3%, then you are entitled to that 45% pension, whether I like it or not. Why can't you now change the multiplier to 2.5% going forward? Nothing has changed regarding the pension for existing or past employees. All that has changed is future pension contributions, and if you don't like them, then you can quit with exactly what you have currently accrued.

Likewise the retirement age should be raised. You would be able to draw your currently accrued pension at your currently specified retirement age, but anything you accrue from this point forward wouldn't kick until you reached the new retirement age.

That should be applied to all safety and non-safety city workers, and the pension problem becomes manageable.

JW, please explain why this is not completely equitable.

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SurfPuppy619 Aug. 4, 2010 @ 6:03 p.m.

Starting salary 33,000 - pretty good for a 21 year old. 3 % increases every year.

By SanDiegoParrothead

That is just the cash salary- if you add in the true employment/costs-employee/comp that number doubles.

Pensions that pay 90% of highest years salary after just 30 years, especially with bumps of 3% per year-add at least 60% or more of the salary onto the comp.

I don't know what rate the city system uses (8%??), but Calpers and many others are using a 7.75% dicounted rate, and that is pure pie in the sky baloney (to go along with their bogus claims that 3%@50 would not cost anything extra!!!).

The true return will be in the 5% range, and for every 1% point drop in return you need to increase the contribution by 25%, so a 3% drop from 8% down to 5% would make the pension contribution rate exceed the actual cash salary. Crazy.

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Don Bauder Aug. 4, 2010 @ 9:33 p.m.

Response to post #154: I missed the show, so didn't get to hear those words. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 4, 2010 @ 9:35 p.m.

Response to post #155: As stated earlier, your solution is equitable. The question is whether it is politically doable. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 4, 2010 @ 9:36 p.m.

Response to post #156: Crazily remunerative. Best, Don Bauder

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SanDiegoParrothead Aug. 6, 2010 @ 8:41 a.m.

JW: Come on, I answered your question, what are your thoughts on the salary structure???

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Don Bauder Aug. 6, 2010 @ 9:19 a.m.

Response to post #160: It's up to him to make the post, but he clearly believes his current pay and benefits are set in stone. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering Aug. 6, 2010 @ 1:31 p.m.

Don that's not true...and as actions by the City Council and others have shown us, pay rates change.

The council imposed a contract in 2009 that lead the a decrease in pay. SDCERS just imposed new contribution rates in July that reduce an employees net and lowers the amount the city must contribute.

My argument is and has been, this applies on a going forward basis.

Imagine if the UT said, oh by the way Bauder, we paid you to much for the last 5, 10, or 20 years. So we're going to take it back now.

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Don Bauder Aug. 7, 2010 @ 3:03 p.m.

Response to post #162: City employees have enjoyed excessive salaries and pensions for decades. The City is now in crisis. It cannot meet the commitments that were previously made by deluded (or crooked) councilmembers. As to your U-T analogy, the company DID take back salaries paid earlier. It did it through massive firings. Best, Don Bauder

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a2zresource Aug. 7, 2010 @ 4:04 p.m.

RE "I think we need to all step back and see that the 1/2 cent sales tax increase is not the only "tax" that this City Council is subjecting us to.

"As long as the City Council refuses to look at the 1970 electricity franchise agreement with SDG&E and raising the 3% annual franchise fee to pay for vital public safety services, we will be "taxed without representation" if the Wildfire Expense Balancing Account (WEBA) and PeakShift at Work/PeakShift at Home (PSW/PSH) rate hikes are allowed by CPUC, including a $118 million charge to all SDG&E consumers for a five-year television ad campaign to convince us that paying more for daytime electricity usage is good for our checking accounts."


Just got word this morning that SDG&E is seeking a 7% hike in its general rate case as a hedge that WEBA or its related Z-Factor application may go down in flames. Of course, City Council members will probably remain silent as to the "tax increase effect" of those SDG&E-proposed rate hikes on both small business and residential consumers.

I'm still waiting for the SDG&E GRC to show up at the CPUC website, so that I can look at the alleged 25,000 pages of it myself.

Come to think about it, I've still been waiting days to get an email back on my inquiries RE that tax increase effect from one local chamber of commerce that tried blogging at the Reader...

Oh, the sound of silence.

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Founder Aug. 7, 2010 @ 6:03 p.m.

Reply to 164, Just Say No and slam the door!

From yet another one of your excellent Blogs, that's relevant http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs... :

-- Rate Rape --

Hey a2z The Man, You be!

I just set in awe reading what I saw,

I, myself have done the online form, but consider myself, not the norm!

Here is a suggestion for you that is really easy to do

Post a form letter for folks to copy and fill out that will make all SDG&E shareholders pout

I'd send mine in ASAP and others would to, you will see

then the CPUC will see the light and tell SDG&E not to fight

You will lead all of US to victory which is better than writing a story

If you can help US keep the rates way down none of the taxpayers will ever frown

So please give it some thought if you will and help US all avoid a big bill

If you need some help just give me a yelp!

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JustWondering Aug. 7, 2010 @ 9:28 p.m.

Response to post #162: City employees have enjoyed excessive salaries and pensions for decades. The City is now in crisis. It cannot meet the commitments that were previously made by deluded (or crooked) councilmembers. As to your U-T analogy, the company DID take back salaries paid earlier. It did it through massive firings. Best, Don Bauder

Who are you to decide what is excessive? What qualifies do you posses to make such a arbitrary judgement? Decades...Really? Where were you back in the late 70's and 80's when this all fraud with with city started? Where were the columns back then? What..... did you bosses stop you from writing the truth?

While the city may indeed be in crisis, today, as you describe, it was the city leaders, AND the tacit media, including the UT's financial columnist who, at best ignored it, or at worst, condoned it by remaining silent.

As to my analogy... San Diego, compared to with cities of same size and population staffs 50% of the fire protection and the one third of the police, while the number of citizen served by these employees grows every year.

The SDUT may have fired or laid off staff, it did so in response to an ever growing decrease in the number of daily readers and paid subscribers. It's those subscribers and those who paid for advertising who recognized the professional quality this news gathering organization had reached par with the National Enquirer and other publications found at your supermarket checkout stand.

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Don Bauder Aug. 8, 2010 @ 9:45 p.m.

Response to post #164: SDGE says it is changing its modus operandi. It looks like it will be for the worse. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 8, 2010 @ 9:47 p.m.

Response to post #165: Don't count on the Public Utilities Commission seeing the light. The utilities have it in their pockets. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 8, 2010 @ 9:53 p.m.

Response to post #166: I didn't cover the problems of the City of San Diego in the 1970s and 1980s because it was not my beat. I exclusively covered private sector companies, macroeconomics, the local economy, local scams, etc. In the mid-1990s, I began covering the sports stadium scams, and took a lot of heat for it, believe me. Maybe I didn't do everything right, but what other local journalist did more? Best, Don Bauder

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Burwell Aug. 8, 2010 @ 11:02 p.m.

Maybe I didn't do everything right, but what other local journalist did more? Best, Don Bauder

Perhaps Herb Lockwood did more. You labored in Herb Lockwood's shadow and settled for the crumbs off his table.

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Don Bauder Aug. 9, 2010 @ 11:21 a.m.

Response to post #170: You know, I don't think I read Lockwood's columns more than a couple of times, although I knew Lockwood casually. Maybe I missed something. Harold Keen was probably San Diego's greatest, but we overlapped for only a few years. He died in 1981, only eight years after I arrived. Best, Don Bauder

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