Big Simi Valley News

The high profile negotiations between the City of Simi Valley and Simi Valley Police Officers Association have reached a new milestone. Here’s the latest according to the city website:

The City of Simi Valley announced today that it has reached agreement with the Simi Valley Police Officers’ Association (SVPOA) to revise and extend the current labor contract for a three-year term. The term of the contract, originally set to expire on December 31, 2010, will run from August 2, 2010 through June 30, 2013. The revised contract is a reflection of the tough economy and need to cut labor costs while achieving the City Council’s goal of maintaining the maximum possible level of public law enforcement services.

This effectively extends the 3.43% salary decrease that was effective in July of 2009 for another three years. Additionally, the new terms include modifications to various medical benefits, specialty assignments and opens the door for discussions regarding PERS retirement contributions by new officers.

CITY OF BELL SCANDAL

Mayor Paul Miller expressed his sincere concern on Saturday night at Steve Sojka’s campaign fundraiser regarding the safe keeping of our city’s finances in the wake of the City of Bell Scandal. Mayor Miller indicated his desire to do whatever was needed to keep from having to pay for another city’s mistake.

According to the City website:

Bell’s Police Chief, Randy Adams, is reported to have drawn an annual salary of $457,000, many times in excess of a normal salary for a Police Chief in California and, if permitted to receive a pension based on that salary, there have been insufficient contributions made into the CalPERS system to provide for the unanticipated, inflated pension. Under CalPERS’ actuarial practices, the additional funding needed to cover those pension costs would be apportioned among the cities where Adams spent some of his career, including the cities of Simi Valley, Ventura, and Glendale.

To protect its taxpayers against the irresponsible actions of another jurisdiction, the Simi Valley City Council is taking a proactive stance in pursuing all avenues to prevent Simi Valley from bearing any costs attributable to Adams’ employment by the City of Bell.

I’m pleased by Paul Miller’s immediate and proactive response. This is an important issue to me and I intend to follow it closely as it continues to develop.

Keith Mashburn on Council Compensation

KEITH MASHBURN SUBMITTED THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT REGARDING COMPENSATION FOR MEMBERS OF CITY COUNCIL.

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 is normally reserved for full time employment, is excessive.  A council members total compensation reaches about $53,000 per year.

I currently pay $1400 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.

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UPDATE: This information has been publicly available on the Police Officers Association website for quite a while. You can see this information by clicking here. It’s also important to note that the Simi Valley POA has run paid advertisements in the Acorn publishing this data.

CITY HALL DISCLOSURE: In the wake of the City of Bell Scandal, the city has acknowledged the importance of detailing this data. The complete details of City Council compensation and all benefits were disclosed in the most recent City Council meeting. To see the webcast, click here and look at the meeting dated August 2, 2010.