Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Pacifica Five-O Chief Jim Tasa Retires

October 28, 2014

City of Pacifica Police Chief Jim Tasa Retires; Police Captains to Share Department Leadership through mid-2015

Pacifica, CA:   On Monday, October 27, 2014, the Pacifica City Council praised the accomplishments of Police Chief Jim Tasa in light of his retirement effective Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. Chief Tasa has served Pacifica for 32 years—the last three as Chief of Police.  During his tenure, Tasa received numerous awards and letters of commendation including Police Officer of the Year in 1992 from the San Mateo Trial Lawyers Association and the Captain’s Award for 1998 from the Police Department.

Council members highlighted Tasa’s integrity, professionalism and leadership over the course of his career.  In recent months, Tasa has lead efforts to share information with Police Chiefs across the County about mental health services available to help law enforcement respond to specific incidents. 

“Chief Tasa’s leadership in the area of increased law enforcement awareness of mental health services in San Mateo County has been outstanding,” said Mayor Mary Ann Nihart. “The fact that even at the end of his long and successful career he is still contributing in such a remarkable way is a testament to his commitment to Pacifica and to our County as a whole.  He will be missed.”

Effective October 31, 2014, Pacifica will have a new Police Chief.   In fact, in the coming months, Pacifica will see two of its own from the Police Department each try on the position. 

First up will be Captain Joe Spanheimer who will carry the mantle from Oct. 30, 2014, through Feb. 28, 2015. Following his term Captain Dan Steidle will serve in the position from March 1, 2015, through June 30, 2015.  Each is interested in the position permanently and the interim assignment gives them a chance to experience the job in a hands-on way. 

Both captains joined the City of Pacifica’s Police Department in 1993 and have risen through the ranks to Captain.  Each holds a Master’s Degree and has participated in a range of special assignments in addition to their regular duties.

Spanheimer served in the US Marine Corps as a Sergeant in an anti-terrorist unit prior to joining the Police Department.  He currently teaches at the Basic Police Academy at the College of San Mateo and serves as the Emergency Manager for the City of Pacifica.

Steidle began his law enforcement career with the City of Pinole as a Reserve Police Officer and then joined the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office as Deputy Sheriff.  During his time with Pacifica, he has been a K-9 handler, served as a traffic RADAR instructor and been a Police Explorer advisor.

Through the two captains, Chief Tasa leaves the Police Department well positioned to continue to meet the community’s needs.

“Having two qualified internal candidates for the position who are interested in taking on a higher level of responsibility for a period of time is wonderful,” said City Manager Lorie Tinfow.  “This arrangement saves the City money this fiscal year and also provides an opportunity for officers in ranks below the captains to gain greater experience in interim roles as well.  I look forward to working with both Captain Spanheimer and Captain Steidle.”

At the conclusion of the interim assignments, Tinfow will likely conduct a recruitment process open to the captains as well as candidates from other agencies.

Lorie Tinfow
City Manager
City of Pacifica
170 Santa Maria Avenue
Pacifica, CA  94044


Anonymous said...

3 years as chief? What? Is that just long enough to boost that pension over 100K/annual? Nothing against Tasa, but this is a cozy little club to be anointed into.

todd bray said...

Into the 135K plus range.

Rockaway Sue said...

probably $500K per year pension while he goes to work for the county to earn the second pension. It that why we call them "pigs"?

Anonymous said...

622 Oooh, that's mean. Tasa is not Horsely. He'll probably end up with a starting pension of $125K plus all those benies and I think the contracted COLA is 3% per year. He's certainly young enough to take another gov't job and earn another pension or increase this one. Or, you know, he could go to work for some struggling non-profit for $50K/annual counseling young offenders. Right.

Anonymous said...


Obviously you don't pay attention to your past posts.

Steve Sinai said...

I don't see any inconsistency between Todd's comment and the Riptide article.

Anonymous said...

Sinai, that's because you actually understand what he wrote.

Anonymous said...


That's cause they share the same whacky grass.

todd bray said...

Chief Jim Tasa told me his pension was going to be in the134-6K a year range, and added it was public record. He also said he could retire, then work for the county Sheriff's department as a Captain.

We talked for an hour and a half, at his request, about salaries and my request that city employees voluntarily reduce their paid 1% for every 10K earned. During our chat he acknowledged they would have to reduce their pay close to my request eventually, but he added, to reduce their pay that much in one year would be too much.

I countered that we, the public, had suffered such reductions in pay and if we were suffering that was why revenues to the General Fund were suffering and hence the pressure one them, Senior staff, department heads, fire and police to reduce their compensation rather than throw each other under the bus.

It is still my firm belief that the city's financial woes are the creation of the above mentioned city categories, and their stubborn unwillingness to compromise to save the jobs of their fellow employees.

Chief Tasa asked if I would support a new tax (that eventually became Measure V) and I truthfully said no, reasoning that I didn't want myself nor my neighbors to pay more taxes to support our city employees that made 2 to 4 times what we did so they could keep their salaries at their current levels and not take the pay cuts Chief Tasa admitted needed to happen. At that point the conversation petered out.

Pacifica does not have a revenue problem, it has a payroll problem. Oh and a bunch of stubborn employees that would rather fire each other that take a small pay cut and keep everyone employed.

Anonymous said...

Tasa joins a small, but growing group of former Pacifica city employees in the Calpers $100K Pension Club. 2012 data- pensions ranged from $102,431 to $148,774 for eight former Police or Fire and one Public Works retiree. The outlay in 2012 was $1,073,906 for nine retirees. Check the list.



Anonymous said...


He was just testing your sanity

Anonymous said...

Stop whining about what people make. Nobody's stopping you from applying for jobs that pay six figures. It's no secret what certain jobs pay so why resent what others get paid? Go get the training and experience and apply for a city job. If you don't want THAT much money, then negotiate a lower salary if it makes you feel better. How much does complaining on a blog about what others make pay?

Anonymous said...

That's the spirit 625. Milk the taxpayers right? If the poor chumps don't like it they can go get a job with the city. They're handing them out like candy you know. Meanwhile we need to increase your taxes to pay for unsustainable pensions. 20 million owed by Pacifica to Calpers and a lot more to come. Let's get Ruchames in there so we can seal our destiny in debt.

Anonymous said...

625 that concept makes no sense. We have around 20,000 working adults in Pacifica. Most of whom are making way less than $100,000. You expect them to pay these inflated wages? Yes they are inflated across the Bay Area. Are all those people supposed to get city jobs? Most people now have huge deductibles on their health insurance, no private pension or other cushy perks like uniform allowance. How is it fair that the poor of Pacifica have to pay such exorbitant salaries and bennies when there is no money to pay them?

Anonymous said...

And you have people in Pacifica who make over $500,000.

A person with pay check envy is an angry self centered person

Quit bitching get off the couch put down the bin bond.

Anonymous said...

If you think salaries and pensions need trimming, you have no business voting for O'Neill, Ruchames or Spano. O'Neill and Ruchames are endorsed and supported by the SMC Labor Council with money and a local robo-call center. Spano and Ruchames are both receiving lifetime Calpers pensions. How can they possibly be objective on city labor contracts?
Ah, you know you'll vote for one or more, so quit your bitchin' about city salaries and pensions.

Anonymous said...

1006 Welcome to America! You have an ideology problem. Just not a good capitalist!

Anonymous said...

6:25 here - no I'm not saying milk the taxpayers. That's too immature. What I AM saying is - if you think the system is broken then stop whining and DO something about it - besides complaining every time a city retiree gets paid what he CAN. If you were offered a raise, would you turn it down? If you were able to get a job with pension and benefits, would you not accept? Don't get mad at the individual - FIND A WAY to FIX the system. Gosh, maybe run for City Council or something. Otherwise, pout in private and stfu - nobody owes you a pledge of poverty.

Anonymous said...

Anon 245 some like you don't even want this discussed. Just because you don't mind don't try to shut down any talk of cutting salaries here. Regardless of what you think people have a right to discuss it. And by discussing it on a public forum council, unions and employees do take notice. It does very much affect the tone of negotiations and maybe that's why you don't like it. So why don't you please "stfu".

todd bray said...

PoliceAnon @ 6:25 PM, 4:31 AM and again at 2:45 PM is making my point for me. We have a very stubborn set of public employees that think they are owed a living regardless of what is happening in the real world. Rather than focusing on each other, their duties as public employees and servants they are out for what they can get. Like so many police forces PoliceAnon at 6:25, 4:31 and 2:45 shows that the police have figured out how to make crime pay, and pay handsomely. Well done PoliceAnon!

Anonymous said...


These employees provide a service to the residents and they get paid. Quit blaming it on them, salaries are huge for every city and every business.

City Councils past gave employees these contracts. The city employees took the contracts. You have no clue how corporate and municipal salaries work.

My office manager came to me when she was in high school and asked me I have a job for her I hired her after school doing office work. She worked on summer vacations and time off when she went to college. She earned enough money to go through college with no loans and or student debt. After college I hired her on full time $60,000 start matching funds 401 and full benefits. This year with bonuses she will make about $125,000. Why? Because my ROI Return on Investment has been huge. I am out and about she is my mini me in the office.

I employee people for a good wage and pay them bonuses and now I hired her sister. Same pay formula.

Safeway has a huge underfunded pension program and that was one of the huge reason they merged.

You come across as misinformed bitter and angry. You should have done other things to better your own life instead of just griping about everyone else. Go up to Skyline and take a class or go down to the Senior Center. Seriously, many thousands of troops are coming home from the two wars missing limbs and with severe damage and they bitch and complain less than you.

your posts just make you seem bitter and uneducated.

There is an old Italian saying, "dip your tongue in your brain before you start talking"

Anonymous said...

The problem is that the unions expect to get something in return for their valuable endorsements and hefty financial contributions to political campaigns. And they get it. And we keep voting for their shills. For all the right reasons, of course.

Anonymous said...

If Ruchames gets in you can bet he will be on the side of the unions that contributed heavily to his campaign. The problem is that they are all afraid of the unions. None would say employee pay should be cut more. Until you can ban unions from contributing to candidates you will not solve this big problem.

todd bray said...

StrangebusinessAnon @ 5:02 AM, again you are making my point for me. The people you employ in your... business generate wealth for you. They come to work and in doing so generate revenue far exceeding what you pay them. However our public employees do not generate wealth.

You almost got it right but you did manager to high light the difference between a real world employee that generates more than enough wealth to spread around and certainly support your butt. But public employees live off taxes, off other peoples money, so when they want more from us when we are earning less that is neither capitalism or fair play. It's Fuedalism.

Thanks, StrangebusinessAnon for helping clarify the difference between a real world employee and a public sector employee. Well done StrangebusinessAnon, thanks.

Anonymous said...

Todd, "Strange" just gave you a very useful point to help bolster your argument about city salaries. Bet a lot of people don't think of it that way. Not all employers are the same, nor were they meant to offer the same security or compensation. We've forgotten that in this country thanks to powerful public employee unions and the politicians that serve them at every level of gov't. They want it all. And they've got it.

Anonymous said...

140 Labor endorsed O'Neill and Ruchames this time out. Donated the call center making robo-calls for both of them, probably some money as well.

Anonymous said...

Labor Council endorsements
2014 O'Neill and Ruchames
2012 O'Neill and Nihart
2010 Leon and Arietta

None for Digre and none for Ervin or Stone.

Anonymous said...


The whole world works off other people's money. The US government has tax payers money available for the private sector to create jobs. Look what Nevada did to get the Teslsa battery plant. Taxpayers money goes to Bridge Housing to build low income housing. Government taxpayers money went to revitalize East Palo Alto.

Your wife's gig is subsidized by taxpayer money. Your social security. Your disability check.

You demonize public servants unjustly.

Pacifica fire and police are over worked and understaffed. You call them princess crews.

You trashed Tasa for making a 100k plus p pension. He worked 30 years for that. You make it sound like he stole the money.