Thursday, February 21, 2013

City council is responsive

But who has city council been listening too?  The budget problems are structural.  The easy answer is more taxes and fees again, and the economic development solutions are always just 5 years away. 

Pacifica Tribune Letters to the Editor, 2/19/13.  "Budget problems" by Gayle Fried 

10 year city deterioration solution
"Editor:  Due to the reports of Pacifica's budget problems, I called four members of our city council. Three returned my calls, one did not. When I asked their priorities, the answer was the Resource Center first. Why public safety, i.e. police, fire and roads for them to travel on, wasn't even mentioned amazes and upsets me.

The replies told me these folks are equating public safety with community television (accessible only if you have cable, yet all of us pay for it) and the visitor center etc.

To me, public safety is the No. 1 priority. After that money, plus funds for a reasonable reserve are allocated, the council should articulate priorities for the taxes left. In the Feb. 13 Tribune, one council person stated, "that the $108,792 funding for six months of library hours, community television and the Resource Center are not going to put us on the brink of bankruptcy." How about $217,584 for a year? What are the council's priorities?  

The message is that only budget items that cost more need to be considered for cuts. I truly cannot understand equating the visitor center, community television, etc. with public safety.  Is this the budgeting process of our city's elected officials?" 

Posted by Kathy Meeh


Anonymous said...

we already spend most of our budget on public safety. We will not pay more taxes so we can have 10 police captains. Really how many Police Captains making $150,000 plus does sleepy little Pacifica need?

We just won 90th place in the US for safest towns. Probably because our cops don't bust major drug rings. I and most people I know have had a drug house operating for years in their neighborhoods. All my neighbors have called multiple times. You can see the cars pull up, they run in and leave within 5 minutes.

Pacifica PD doesn't have the resources to do an undercover investigation. I say let the sheriff have at it. They have the power to take down these ongoing meth, oxy, coke, pot dealers that our PD doesn't.

Anonymous said...

145anon We don't have 10 police captains. That's a ridiculous thing to say. I think you're right about the meaningless report showing how safe Pacifica is. That thing is a tool from the real estate industry. Meant to sell homes not balance our budget. Pure public relations but with our luck, Council will make it the cornerstone of their decision not to outsource. Just kidding. Maybe.

The problem is that Public Safety wages and benefits have become so huge a part of our budget we can no longer treat them as off limits when it's time to cut and reorganize. The unions and city gov't are much too chummy. Feeding at the same trough. We need to get the best deal we can whether it's the sheriff's dept or the local PD. This council would rather have dog and pony shows than get the best deal because that would require they make tough, politically unpopular decisions. Pretty soon these cowards and fools won't have a choice. Maybe that's their goal?

Anonymous said...

Sorry you're right, we don't have 10 police captains.
We have 8 Police Sergeants all making over $175,000 with benefits and 3 Police Captains making almost $200,000 each.

You're right about Unions and city council being much too chummy.

Anonymous said...

Public Safety has to be first priority otherwise no one will want to move here. Second should be roads and public works, infrastructure. Otherwise no one would want to improve and/or invest in their properties. The rest comes after. In the end maybe there won't be such a big need for a Resource Center.

Anonymous said...

"...maybe there won't be such a big need for a Resource Center."

538, think so huh? Whereas you may be dreaming. For an "average city", we need all these services and more.

Anonymous said...

The Resource Center does good work. There's no question about that. But it really is a middleman between our residents and social services provided by the county and others. Lots of cities get along without a resource center. Our issues and concerns are probably no different than theirs. It's just another of those "we know better" Pacifica things. And maybe we do this time. Still, there is redundancy and duplication of services, and that would seem to say "non-essential".
Sacrilege, I know.

Anonymous said...

@511 Toot Toot, Pacifica Gravy Train out of control! That's about $2,400,000 for 11 city employees. $2 million four hundred thousand dollars for 11 cops. And council is waaaay too chummy with the unions. We are so screwed.

Anonymous said...

You ever read some of these contracts?

They get Martin Luther King Day, Lincoln's B Day, Presidents Day, Columbus Day and Veterans Day.

They get 5% more for speaking a second language, 2% for this 3% for that.

No wonder we're broke.

Anonymous said...

what? you don't get those holidays at the t-bell? an outrage!

Anonymous said...

I have worked highly skilled union jobs for 20+ years and never gotten any of those holidays. Nor did we get pay, healthcare and pension anything near this level.

The cozy relationship between the city and the workers is too close to effectively negotiate on behalf of the citizens. There should be separate negotiation boards made up of tough business people who know how to get results.

Anonymous said...

Ritzma's pay is tied to the 3 highest paid employees.

They get a raise she gets a raise.

See how that works.

Anonymous said...

Put the chamber on it! They'll straighten it out.

Anonymous said...

remember the hippies keep saying it is a salary problem, not a revenue problem.