Mashburn Wants No Benefits

Today’s letter to the editor from Candidate Keith Mashburn:

In light of the situation in the city of Bell, the Acorn recently identified the salary of our council members at about $14,000 annually. As it turns out, this is not the total compensation the taxpayers provide to our council members.

In addition to the salary, a council member receives an additional $400 per month car allowance. What most people are not aware of is that council members also receive medical benefits as well as retirement benefits and other forms of benefits.

For them to be compensated with benefits from a part-time public service position that are normally reserved for full-time employment is excessive. A council member’s total compensation reaches about $53,000 per year.

I currently pay $1,400 per month for my medical insurance. I am not running for City Council so the taxpayer can pay my medical insurance and provide me a second retirement for part-time work.

If elected, I will not accept these benefits and will move for their elimination. And under all circumstances, whenever the question is asked about pay, the total compensation package will be reported.

I am running for council because I want to give back, not receive. Every citizen should rest in the fact that they get quality representation for the lowest cost possible; unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be happening on any level of government today.

The taxpayers of Simi Valley deserve to know exactly how much they are paying their elected officials. After all, they are paying the bills.
Keith Mashburn
Simi Valley

Council Member Glen Becerra indicated in our live discussion on Tuesday night that he didn’t join the City Council for the pay. I believe him. I don’t think any of the candidates I’ve spoken to have ever led me to believe that. Benefits or total compensation aside, I don’t believe the pay can be a motivator. The hours, commitment, exposure to public scrutiny, etc., cannot be easier to swallow by taking home $14K a year, even if the benefits that come with it are juicy. You either have a passion for the community, or you don’t. No one is doing it for the pay.

Regarding transparency of figures, I don’t believe these numbers were as transparent as we’re supposed to believe. It’s on the website now, but it wasn’t before the Bell scandal. Transparent now, yes! Transparent last year, no way. The information was available to anyone who asked, but to the casual website browser, you weren’t going to find the details. If you wanted it, you could get it, but it was not a “transparency of government” situation in the true sense of the phrase.

Regarding the total compensation figure of approximately $53K annually, I’ve argued whether or not the figure is fair. I think the figure is a fair representation of the work we expect from a City Council Member of a city like Simi Valley. Note: I have to claim ignorance regarding the technique of deferring health benefits to later in life — I do not know if that’s a practice that any Council Members engage in. To me, it comes off like a way to cheat the system, but perhaps I need to be better educated on the topic.

Council Members have been criticized for not knowing the $53K figure. There’s a total bottom-line cost for every employee of every company or organization. In most cases, the employee doesn’t have a break down of those figures. Over 10 years ago, I worked for a website development company as a programmer. I was paid $73K per year. I received benefits, a 401K, paid time off, and participated in a stock purchase program. About a year after leaving that company, my former boss shared with me that my actual cost was about $97K annually, including not only my gross pay, but the additional costs for my benefits and 401K matching. I was shocked. I always considered myself someone who made $73K on paper, but took home barely 60% of that. The $97K figure never factored into my thoughts. When I ask others what they think they cost their employer, most people simply rattle off their gross pay like I did.

I bring this up to demonstrate just how complicated it is for me to wrap my head around this topic to determine what’s right or wrong. I applaud Keith Mashburn for considering the taxpayers. But I’ve said it before, I wouldn’t object if he changed his mind on this position. If the obligations and commitment to being a City Council member are what I’ve been led to believe, as a taxpayer it would not bother me knowing they were compensated beyond their $14K salary.

39 thoughts on “Mashburn Wants No Benefits

  1. Mashburn’s thoughts are quite Utopian, but pose drawbacks. It could deter a large portion of the population from ever considering running for City Council. Not everyone is blessed to have the firefighter retirement benefits he enjoys. Like it or not, many people would not run for just $14K a year. The City could lose some potentially talented candidates down the road.

    Is that what we want, more deterrents from people running for City Council? It’s neat that he would do it for $14K a year, but he has that firefighter pension to pay the bills. How many others can do that? Sure limits how many people can afford to run for Council.

    Another issue is every Council member should be offered by this City life insurance, or some sort of insurance. Whenever they are out in public on City business they are in danger. We all saw the Council meeting last Monday. There are many crazies out there. At any moment any of them could be threatened by who knows who. Why should a private citizen have to shoulder the personal financial responsibility if they are harmed while carrying out their civic responsibility? I think at the very least taxpayers can insure them in case they get hurt while on duty for the City.

    There is more to this picture than meets the eye.

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  2. Man I just spit my coffee all over the computer screen I have not laughed so hard.

    Paul now that was entertainment 🙂

    I think the city should buy me life insurance cause I know I have received more threats than any of the council members. 😉

    I think what you are missing is many of us who are critical of the compensation are asking for the information and it is being withheld. The information they are posting is nebulous. There is no transparency, Mr. Sojka was not correct making that assertion on Monday evening.

    When Dr. Keith Richman died this year, as I recall, all our public officials in this area spoke very highly of Dr. Richman.

    Dr. Richman was a founder of The California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility

    The California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility is a new 501(c)(4) organization committed to educating the public and key decision makers about California public employee retirement benefit issues and developing fiscally responsible solutions that are fair to employees, employers and taxpayers. CFFR believes managing the pension and retiree health care obligations promised to public employees is the most critical public finance issue of this decade.

    He came to our Rotary Club and spoke on this topic. The same club that Councilwoman Foster and Mayor Miller are part of.

    This is the issue Paul. The Voters realize that the guaranteed benefits (the gravy train) is unsustainable. You are missing the whole point on the compensation and all it looks like now, is the Council is hiding and avoiding the issue.

    If Mashburn doesn’t want the benefits and will work for only the base, then let him do what he wants. It’s less money out of pocket for the tax payers in Simi Valley.

    The guaranteed retirement and the deferred medical is not right to burden our city budget with and it has to change. No one is arguing that the council should be treated like peasants. We have an issue with future benefit which you either don’t understand, choose to ignore or think is okay to burden the taxpayers with.

    This is an issue that Dr. Richman fought for till he died this year. We need to reconsider these out of control future benefits all across the state.

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  3. I agree with Paul about the pension. Mr. Mashburn is enjoying the benefits of years of service as a firefighter. It is easy for him to waive the benefits.

    Mr. Chandler, you should ask Mashburn what he receives in pension pay on a monthly basis. You will quickly understand why his decision to waive city benefits is an easy one.

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  4. SteveW: I’m almost certain that Keith Mashburn’s monthly income is none of my business, at least not until he gets elected!

    Ted: It’s the deferred medical and the pension that strikes the nerve. Can you explain how to calculate the city’s pension burden for a council member? The retirement pension is based on the base salary, correct?

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  5. Mike,

    Well just in deferred future medical without adding increases for cost of living the City is going to be on the hook for over 1.1 million dollars in tax payer money to pay for the council’s medical benefits after they are out of office.

    For argument’s sake take Councilman Sojka for example. As I understand, if Councilman Sojka at sometime runs for County Supervisor and wins, then all he has to do is stay in office for one year as a County Supervisor and then the taxpayers of Simi Valley are responsible for a portion of that “spike in pension benefits based off the new salary paid to the county Supervisor. We already have this problem with Randy Adams and the Bell Scandal.

    Dr. Richman was fighting to reform issues like this with The California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility.

    Are we judging the people here? No, we are saying that the system as it is set up is not acceptable.

    Again, if the city would come clean with the information we can get this out to the people and have a very good discussion on the future of council and mayoral positions.

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  6. I think it’s great the city is providing insurance benefits to part-time employees. They do a service for this city, and whether they work full-time or not is unimportant to me. Frankly this nit-picking due to the Bell scandal is just that nit-picking now. It’s not like they’re being paid 100K or anything and frankly 53K for their work seems pretty darn reasonable to me.

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  7. I my opinion, Mr.Mashburn is grandstanding and playing to the audience because he’s running for election has no name recognition and figures this will grab headlines.
    Oh and Ted, if Keith Richman had such a problem with city council benefits, why did he endorse all of us?

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  8. I’m more interested if this is out of the norm for city councils?

    Honestly this is the worst election season I’ve seen in all my years that I’ve followed them (since 2000).

    Perhaps it’s the internet?

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  9. Pamala,
    I think the reason why people are so angry is because of not only what happened in Bell, but because of most politicians and bureaucrats in general. Certainly most corruption we hear about is higher up, in Washington and sometimes Sacramento, but for the most part Washington. We all hear it on a daily basis, tax fraud or quick pro quo’s. Then top it off with unemployment being at its highest in years, coupled with an unpopular president and a government who is not willing to enforce the illegal immigrant problem our county is plagued with. And let’s not forget the local newspapers, which look for the bad and the ugly rather than the good. It does, after all sell newspapers. And let’s not forget about the war that has consumed us for seven (7) years. It’s the perfect storm for an election year. Most of you know the local elected officials. Three of them were raised here, attended the same high school as your kids, probably even you, and go to the same grocery store. Their kids play on the same football or soccer team and support the same non-profits that give back to our community. These are good people Pamala, and for the most part 123,780 out of 124,000 residents know they are. So keep the faith Pamala, because we both know in every crowd there are a few disgruntled, unhappy oh woe is me down and out people who will always try to drag us down because it makes them feel important.

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  10. ooh, did I hit a nerve Mr. Coambs?
    If, and that’s a pretty big IF…Mr. Mashburn happens to get elected I think you’re forgetting that he only has one vote. And in reviewing his record on the planning commission I don’t see any leadership qualities, so I am not shaking in my boots. Next you’re telling me that Mr. Mashburn receives no medical benefits for having served on the Fire Department? Sorry Mr. Coambs, but I find that truly hard to believe…. He may be paying $1400 for his spouse, but again, I find it hard to believe he isn’t covered.
    The City Council knew exactly what they were doing when they enacted the sign ordinance. The residents were/are sick and tired of signs being placed anywhere and everywhere at any time of the day or year. Originally the ordinance was for people coming from out of town posting gun show posters and insurance rates just to mention a few, but the Attorney said we can’t pick and choose who gets signs and who doesn’t so we made the choice to ban ALL signs…and yes to the determent of even the elected officials. So we like all candidates have to ask for permission to place signs on private property and there can be no signs in the public right of way. And to this day, aside from candidates running for office, no one has complained. So that tells me that most of the residents of our community enjoy the absence of the signage obliteration that happens especially at this time of year.

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  11. What Paul said at the beginning of this string struck a nerve. If we get rid of everything for Council members except the piddly direct salary, we would reduce the pool of people who would run for Council to the well-off or those who already have benefits. It pretty much would exclude people who could not afford to do so. I think we want to make it easier for people to want to run for City Council, to expand the pool of potential candidates – not shrink it. Take away any and all potential deterrents to running.

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  12. Paul,
    First, please call me Barbra. And since you have so much to say, I’m going to cut and paste to make sure I answer all your questions…my printer isn’t working, otherwise I would print it out and answer. Hope that is ok.
    1) Your assertion that all signs must be banned is either incorrect or Council member Sojka is advocating an impermissible action by his suggestion to suspend the ordinance as it pertains to merchants negatively impacted by the pending move out of town by Farmers Insurance
    Councilman Sojka is free to suggest whatever he feels is needed to help the merchants located near or around Farmers. That doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.
    2) Your assertion that the Council knew exactly what it was doing when it enacted the sign ordinance is meaningless. Certainly members of the public had complained about the signage and certainly the ordinance would improve the aesthetics. (For a more concise read on the issue, see my piece posted elsewhere on the VSV blog.) The consequences of the ordinance is a limiting of free speech for council candidates, whether it was intended or not. The public is unlikely to ever know what was really in the heart of each council person when he/she voted. The proper thing to do is to correct the situation.
    I have never considered the request of the public, who we represent “meaningless”. I find it interesting that you feel because a candidate can’t place their signs in the public right of way it will limit them to free speech. To say the public is unlikely to ever know what was really in the heart of each councilperson is not giving the public very much credit, but then you would know what’s in our heart, right? That’s ridiculous. Placing signs in the public right of way is only one small way of getting your message out to the public. However, to get permission from property owners to place signs are a lot of hard work, which some candidates don’t want to do. That’s not my problem nor should it be that of the residents who have to look at the blight it presents in our community
    3) Ms. Williamson, reread what I wrote because I never said that Keith Mashburn receives no medical benefits from having served on the fire department. I said that Keith Mashburn has pledged to not take a medical insurance benefit from the City.
    I have no doubt that Mr. Mashburn deserves every penny he gets as a retired firefighter. I respect the many years of service he has given to our community However, it was a little misleading when he said he pays $1,400 for his medical, without explaining that he also has a medical retirement plan for the County.
    4) Ms. Williamson, you still have not responded to the allegation that the Simi Valley Council treats themselves as full-time employees when it comes to their benefit package when they don’t allow other City part-time employees the same perks.
    It’s all semantics Mr. Coambs. Technicality each Council person’s works more than full time, and you being a retired SV police officer know that. When the 94 earthquake hit, all 5 councilmember’s were at city hall manning the phone calls from residents. I get phone calls at work regarding personal issues with resident and developers constantly. For example on Wednesday I received a phone call from a resident who was being evicted from her home, had nowhere to go and was going to have to live in her car… Not only did I find her a place to live, but arranged financial assistance as well. This is very typical of the day/week we have, so please don’t insult me by saying it is a part-time job because someone 40 years ago wrote it that way.
    5) Ms. Williamson, your slam on Keith Mashburn’s work on the Planning Commission and your assertion of his lack of “leadership qualities” is nothing more than mud slinging since you offer no evidence to support your statement.
    Yes, perhaps that was going a little overboard, and I apologize. But it is very frustrating when someone of his caliber makes statements about the sitting councilmember’s (politicians I think is what he referred to us as) Here is a portion of Mr. Mashburns comments. And although he didn’t mention any names, “local government” which would mean Simi Valley to the reader;
    We should set the standard for ethical integrity within local government. If elected officials could just put residents and taxpayers above one’s self, we would have a much different moral fabric in politicians.
    These comments convey his thoughts that we have no ethical integrity or moral fabric. And I find that offensive to say the least.
    6) If Keith Mashburn is elected, it is true that he will only have one vote. But more importantly, he will be a voice of integrity on which to measure the performance of the remainder of the Council members. If a Council member doesn’t hold the community interest above personal interest, than certainly that person should fear having Keith Mashburn on the Council.

    What a bunch of baloney. When hasn’t the City Council always has the community’s interest at heart? You can’t be talking about the sign ordinance can you?

    7) Keith Mashburn, like much of the country, is in favor of term limits for elected officials. Why? Because the public has learned that a long tenure of elected office often leads to corruption and an abandonment of the public interest.
    No, I am not in favor of term limits for several reasons. Actually I believed that the bureaucrats who sit behind the desk should have term limits. The way I see it, is most elected officials want to provide service to the residents they serve, and when we try to there is always someone sitting behind a desk (not all, but most) putting road blocks in the way. This is pretty easy to verify because all you have to do is ask someone who has tried to work through the process before they get so upset they have to call an elected to get through the miles of red tape. Besides why duplicate something we already have? My term limit is you Paul. If you don’t like how I represent you, don’t vote for me. See how that works? Don’t vote for me, simple, term limits at its best.

    8) Ms. Williamson, I have not seen any mention by you of the term limits issue in this thread. Perhaps you have mentioned it in some other venue. I thank you for your 19 years of well compensated service to the City on the Council and look for you to honor the public’s will by not seeking re-election when your current term expires.
    Again, no, I am not in favor of term limits. I have always answered the “will” of the people Paul. That’s why I keep getting elected. Aren’t you paying attention?

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  13. Sorry, maybe I just don’t understand the question. However, I support the action of the council’s decision regarding the sign ordinance 100%.
    Look, it doesn’t matter what I say, or how I say it. Just because the city documents call it a part-time job, you and everyone else who have issue with the Council is going to call it a part time job. That’s like me saying that when a police officer is home, he’s “off duty” when in fact we know that’s not true.
    Personally, I think those reports are ridiculous. Transparency? You mean like we have in the police department?

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  14. So if a police officer is off duty, and he sees a crime being committed, lets say a bank robbery, he does nothing? He just lets it happen?
    And I didn’t imply that Keith was on a medical retirments and if that’s how you read it, it wasn’t intended that way.

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  15. Oh I totally understand the police department, trust me. But if you think for one minute that you’re going to drag me into a discussion on this blog regarding the POA negotiations, you’re terribly mistaken.

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  16. I’m more of a vodka tonic guy or even a nice red wine, but I’m up for a scotch now and then.

    And for today, on Labor Day, a nice cold beer sounds really great.

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  17. Gee Paul, I didn’t know you were at the negotiating table? How did I miss you? Oh, that’s right you weren’t so you go ahead and tell your side of the story…I too want to hear….oh and this statement you made…
    …you have no concept of the significance of law enforcement working conditions, which you helped diminish in the last negotiation go-around….working conditions of the SVPD? Is that who you’re talking about? Diminished working conditions in the SVPD…? Oh my gosh, please share with everyone what diminished conditions you are talking about?

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  18. Laura, As I said, he was not in the negotations, so everything he says will be second hand. And just for the record, anything that was discussed in closed session I am not allowed to discuss, so depending on where this goes, I may not be allowed to make a comment. And that’s not a cop out (sorry for the pun) because you know me, I very seldom, if ever hold back.
    Mitch was a city attorney and he can vouch for what I said.

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  19. Barbara
    If you don’t believe in term limits then you shouldn’t have set such a public record that can be recalled in two years…you have set your own term limit!

    Thankfully for you you won’t have to worry about paying for medical benefits for a llllooooonnnnngggg time!

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  20. Also, if we don’t have people who can support themselves finacially and take the time to stand up against the abuse of public funds what hope do we have.

    The thought that we need to pay a great salary with benefits to get the best representitives is not what this country started on. It was people that wanted to see themselves and others prosper because they chose to do what was RIGHT! And they pleged their SACRED FORTURNES to do just that. It wasn’t about the money it was about not forgetting where they came from! People that may have had more than most but didn’t forget about those that had less.

    Paul I agree with you, Keith may have a nice retirement but being willing to waive all the benefits…he still remembers how to be a real guy! Mayor Miller will retire this year with THREE retirments; all from CALPERS if I am not mistaken.

    Lets not miss the real issue, things will remain unchanged without people with a vision like Keith. Even the state lawmakers derailed making changes in laws due to the exposures of the City of Bell because they don’t want change…that would mean less $$$$$$!

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  21. Paul
    I am sure that you did see the handwritting on the wall at that time. I think we should all be thankful for the fine officers that we do have that are remaining, and hopefully they will see a fresh new era of our council seated in November. With that I hope many will choose to stay for the next round of negotiations when the appreciation that they deserve…not always shown in $$$…can take place.

    Heck after the election in November there will be three new faces on the council…but when the the Police contract is up in three years every face will be different!

    Question:
    When Councilmember Sojka loses his bid for Mayor will he still be a councilmember? If so when is he up for re-election for his seat…or do WE get to appoint someone to take his place?

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  22. Well Paul, since you’re being so honest, why don’t you tell the good folks what YOUR retirement consisted of? And explain the working conditions when you were employed with the City. Let’s see just how badly you were treated as an SVPO…and tell them about how the taxpayer pays (in your case paid) for your uniform allowance, gee, my employer doesn’t pay to have my cloths cleaned, and what about the motor boots the taxpayer pays for? And if you work overtime, doesn’t the taxpayer also pay for your meals? How many of you reading this blog get your meals paid for if you work overtime or have your cloths cleaned? And this is just the tip of the ice berg as to what our police officers get. I remember interviewing with the POA and they requested I support their request to pay for the down payment on the purchase of a home. So don’t play that “Oh whoa is me, I am just an underpaid, unappreciated retired police officer”. Oh and by the way Paul, no one is “stuck” here. They are free to leave whenever they wish; however, looking at who’s leaving and who isn’t pretty much says it all. And by the way, I have some pretty close friends on the LAPD and they all pretty much say the SVPD have it made in the shade…so that’s one brotherhood speaking about another. And as far as me speaking about what goes on in closed session and who cares? I do.

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  23. Oh yes, closed session. The tails I could tell! But the wife and the ex wife and the bankers may take exception to me getting disbarred for speaking out of school.

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  24. We got off the beam because Barbra is trying to justify the Council’s unconscionable awarding itself of benefits that by City fiat are for full-time employees only, not part-time workers including the Council.

    The reason they are not being transparent about their compensation, that could amount to $71k, is because California Government Code Section 36516 states:

    (d) Any amounts paid by a city for retirement, health and welfare, and federal social security benefits shall not be included for purposes of determining salary under this section, provided that the same benefits are available and paid by the city for its employees.

    See, if the city council classified themselves as part time, then they would have to offer the same benefits to all part time city employees.

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  25. Ted, I’m surprised you would publish the figure of 71K. I’m trying really hard to get a confirmation or explanation on that figure, and so far I’m finding it to be incorrect. I will know more tomorrow.

    D’lorah, I’m very interested in covering the topic of the Simi Valley PD in greater detail. I’ve reached out to the POA for comment, but I’ve done that before with no response. If you can lend a hand by providing me with any contact details, I’d be sincerely appreciative.

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  26. Mike,

    I think we are all very troubled by the lack of transparency. We know from the city website that the council gets $14,983 base, $38,051.16 in annual benefits. So that’s $53,034.16 now add the deferred medical that is on the city site at $1500 per month for each year served that is $18,000 per year which puts each year at worth approx $71K

    Can they just quit holding back and tell us what the deal is?

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  27. Ted, where do you get the $1500 per month cost for retiree health benefits? Are you running these figures by anyone for confirmation?

    Look, whatever is going to happen with the election is going to happen. Blog comments aren’t going to change that, I understand. But aren’t you worried at all about spreading misinformation?

    Honestly, I almost feel like dropping the subject altogether and not following-up with my contacts on this figure. If it’s just going to become fodder for the comments section before it’s actually confirmed, why bother?

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  28. Mike,

    The figure is posted on the city website that there is up to $1500 per month medical. The deferred medical benefit can be deferred, in the case of council people under 50 and lets say they wait until they are 60, 65 or 70, the cost of those medical benefits will be more.

    I said

    that could amount to $71k

    Can they just help us out and be as transparent as Sojka claimed on August 30th?

    Councilwoman Williamson talked about the deferred medical in one of the blog posts here. I will find it. Maybe Barbra can help out here so we can all understand.

    This all goes back to the transparency issue. They are not forthcoming with the information. If the City would please post the details of the compensation we can all move on.

    Mike I would like to think that this is not the case, so can you tell me why the city will not give us a proper explanation?

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  29. D’lorah W. I meant no disrespect for you, your husband or any other SVPO….however, your Father was the Mayor of this city for many many years, and he got so irrigated with the POA that he threaten to call in the Sheriff’s department and how long ago was that? So this is nothing new as far as the union trying to squeeze the residents of Simi Valley. It is the responsibility of the City Council to give a fair and equitable wage for the job preformed ande it is my belief that we do.
    And so, my friends, this too shall end my blogging conversation. I don’t mind a fair discussion, but when it’s a gang fight, well it’s time to move in a different direction. Thanks for the conversation(s), sorry if I was honest with my reply, because it didn’t seem to matter, perhaps that’s why no one else on the council will participate.

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  30. Ted, it irks me when these figures are tossed around without any real evidence to support them because once it becomes part of a comment thread, I’m treated with hostility by those who can confirm the data instead of someone trying to educate himself. Now I’m just a guy fostering a conversation about fictitious numbers.

    The compensation figures were posted, but you seem more interested in all the possible scenarios. Wouldn’t you rather know specifically what each council member is receiving as compensation instead of the maximum possible based on unknown conditionals? If benefits can be deferred and the future costs are unknown, how can that even be quantified? I’d much rather know here and now what each council member receives and that’s that.

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  31. Barbra, that would be California Government Code Section 54963, which prohibits disclosure of information acquired in a closed session to anyone not entitled to receive such information unless the legislative body specifically authorizes disclosure of said information.

    I believe this is a provision of the Brown act.

    And for attorneys like myself, there is also the double threat of disclosure of attorney-client information.

    So to be safe, what is said in closed session stays in closed session unless disclosure is specifically authorized.

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  32. Mitch,
    You are not winning hearts and minds with lawyer speak.

    Everyone Else,
    I spoke with a 20 year veteran of SVPD today in my store, they said that they personally know three police officers that were leaving Simi due to the adverse enviorment between the poice and city council.
    Also spoke with a LAPD officer and while Barbara would have everyone believe SVPD has it made in the shade, she gave an entirely differernt account, but they are negotiating at the current moment if that gives Barbara solice.

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  33. Fishman, I’m not looking for your heart and mind. Barbra asked specifically about confidentiality of closed sessions and I provided her with an answer. I’m a municipal lawyer, remember? Giving correct answers to council members who ask is what I do.

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  34. Barbra,

    The president’s approval is around the same level that Reagan’s was at this point in his first term. Are you saying Reagan was an unpopular president? That’s refreshing co
    Ing from a Republican.

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