- They will say we have to pay the Oil Company; that bill doesn't come due for several years as it must await the outcome of the city-wide vote to approve oil drilling. We could also enter into a payment plan. What they don't say, is the million dollar a year payments to the attorney representing the City can now be saved to make the payment to the oil company (if necessary).
- They will say the retirement system is costing too much; costs of retirement for existing employees are rising, yet this is like a mortgage payment, we can't pay the whole amount, but the City can afford the payments. It is a tough concept for those on council who don't have a mortgage to understand this. They moved here for the sole purpose of becoming a politician in a small town with hopes it will lead to another political opportunity. These are the very same council members who want to tear down this once well run City. They also won't tell you that a few years before the recession the retirement system was "super-funded" and the City was not required to make payments. Did they run out and give employees raises? Nope, they spent the money on other things. Now that the payments are due, they want the employees to pay.
- They will say the cost of employee benefits are skyrocketing; True for some, but not for new employees because the tiered system. What they want to do is chase away (by threatening huge pay cuts, some as high as 30 percent) good long-standing, solid employees who are dedicated to providing service to the City. This will become a transitional City, where some will come for the experience and then move on to greener pastures when they discover how other Cities are working to support their employees, not cut them off at the knees. What they won't tell you is the employees of this City have not sought raises in five years in in an effort to help the City to balance the budget, oh and by the way, the City has had a balanced budget every year and revenues never went below the level in 2008. Money is tight, but there is no fiscal crisis, however, there is a crisis of leadership on the council.
- They will say there is too much "unfunded liability" due to employee pensions, medical benefits; They won't tell you that these costs were agreed upon by this City Council and previous Councils who negotiated in good faith when deciding how the benefits should be paid. They won't tell you the employee share, currently being paid by the City, was in lieu of raises to the employees and was a financial advantage to the City to pay the employee share, and still is. Oh and again they won't tell you that each of the employee union agreed during the negotiations process to the 'tiering' of the benefits, again in an effort to help the City. Now they want to take it away from the existing.
- Your Police Department was recently awarded accreditation from a national organization that audit and reviews the work done. This was because of the leadership of Chief Savelli, yet it was the officers and other employees of the department that made it happen. To thank them for becoming a leader in law enforcement, they want the employees to suffer more cuts. They won't tell you that because of the professionalism of its members, the City is saving thousands upon thousands dollars on lawsuits and attorney's fees. They also won't tell you they are spending your money on a high-priced labor lawyer to negotiate against their own employees. They love giving money to attorneys, perhaps they want to be attorneys some day.
- Hermosa Beach Fire has specially trained men to provide out-of-hospital care in medical emergencies. There are many different types of emergency medical responders, each with different levels of training, ranging from first aid and basic life support to advanced life support. Paramedics provide advanced levels of care for medical emergencies and trauma. ALL of our Hermosa Beach Fire personnel are trained fire fighters and paramedics. This is quite comforting when you find yourself in a position that you need to call 911 for help. In my humble opinion, knowing that individuals are on their way that can provide advance care is reason enough to fight for this service to stay in Hermosa Beach.
- The City has cut several positions, including two police officers and 20 percent (one assistant Fire Chief and three firefighter/paramedic positions) of the Fire Department. HB Fire is the busiest department for 'Call of Service' per firefighter/paramedic in the Los Angeles County. Compton Fire is number 2.
- The City also has "tiered" the retirement system for future employees and encouraged experienced employees and leaders to leave by offering a "golden handshake" and have not given employees raises over the past five years.
Please let them hear your voice, stop the dismantling of the City by this City Council. Tell them to support the City and the services provided by the employees. Remember, this is a great City with low crime and we want to keep it that way! Your Police and Fire Departments are never more than a mile away when you call, and their response time and service levels are unmatched.
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