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El Segundo: Say "No!" to Measure A

El Segundo (Source: SameerKhan)
El Segundo (Source: SameerKhan)
El Segundo, CA: I love that city. It's quiet and quaint, with a great library, mostly residential, but with a beautiful and well-financed business corridor in the eastern part of the city. On any given day, you can walk along Imperial Highway or watch planes take off or land at LAX. They even have their own beach, yet the city coexists with one of the largest corporations in the world: Chevron.

El Segundo is one of the best cities in California, and an overlooked treasure in the South Bay, a perfect example (like Torrance) on how businesses can thrive and do good for a city, too. Unless, of course, public sector unions attempt to take over city hall and demand salary, pension, and benefits increases at the expense of the taxpayer and the businesses whose tax receipts keep the city strong and viable.

I remember reading in the Daily Breeze how city leaders wanted to hire a Public Relations firm to invite more business investment to the city.

If El Segundo leaders really want to invite businesses and serve their residents, they will resist Measure A and inform votes to reject the measure, one filled with tax increases on individuals and businesses. Such measures fail to increase city revenue. One ad in the local paper, the El Segundo Herald, displayed that at least 18 public employees are drawing a six figure salary, with a commensurate pension to follow. Where will most of the projected revenue flow?

Torrance, California is facing massive pension liabilities, too, and the next city council and mayor must take steps to stand up to unions and curb their demands. While one candidate for Torrance mayor, Pat Furey, has indicted criticisms of lavish public sector contracts "pension envy", another mayoral candidate, Tom Brewer, has moved that city employees contribute as much as he does to his own pension: 9%.

That's a good start.

But what about the remaining debt? Will this reform apply to all public employees, or just new hires? Measures to save money and redirect funding back to the city, and all of its residents, must include shared sacrifice from all employees. They all took on public jobs to serve the public, did they not?

Last time I checked, individuals do not enter the public sector to get rich. They want to contribute to the city, and they find that their skills best ally with employment in a public institution.

Fine. As far as wealth, retirement, and legacies are concerned, however, those interests must be met by individual employees through their time and investment strategies. Cities should not bear so great a burden of shoring up the massive (excessive) retirement of public employees, especially top brass taking in $200,000-$300,000 a year.

Visit the latest link from The Public Safety Project, where any reader will find that the major supporters for El Segundo Measure A come from the city's public sector unions. This demand for more money is petty and brazen, thus insulting.

I agree with Democratic President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and former labor leader Samuel Gompers: public sector employees should not form unions, as their salaries and financing of political action groups pose an inevitable conflict of interest, against the public interest, and are now bankrupting cities throughout the country, including four cities in California (with more likely to follow).

Let us hope that El Segundo residents, no matter what their party affiliation, share the same anathema to public sector unionization/political machinations and vote against Measure A, then start holding their city council accountable and demand that their representatives y press back against heavy-handed union demands.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Liz Champlain April 03, 2014 at 08:11 PM
Arthur, as a woman, I'm going to give you--a member of the REAL "weaker sex", a suggestion: don't try to to lecture us on a phony "Left's war on women". We know who's waging that war, and it's the aholes on the right who are trying to restrict our reproductive rights and yammering on incorrectly about rape. I highly suggest you never try to tell a woman one thing about her gender, Arthur. I suspect you have a tough enough time figuring out your own.
Arthur Christopher Schaper April 04, 2014 at 10:54 AM
Liz Champlain wrote: "Sort of like Sarah Palin whoring to go on real network TV instead of just Fox "News". ======================================= Why are you part of this war on women, Liz? That makes no sense. Why are you attacking another woman? Are you confused?
laura cipollari April 04, 2014 at 11:09 AM
Are any of these public sector employees part of the 1%? They're your neighbors trying to make a middle class living. Try questioning the cities that have robbed their pension funds for a variety of reasons.
Arthur Christopher Schaper April 04, 2014 at 11:30 AM
Ivan Levy wrote: "They have those demon public employee unions there!" Then you agree that El Segundo voters should reject Measure A, Ivan? Thanks!
Arthur Christopher Schaper April 04, 2014 at 11:41 AM
Unions do not equal employees! I have spoken with public sector works who resent their unions taking their money by force. Furthermore, top brass taking in $200k $300k is unsustainable, unaffordable, and unacceptable. Finally, this is about fiscal solvency for all residents. Why are you discriminating against schools, property owners, small businesses, etc? Should they have to pay for overgenerous contracts? That is not fair! ======================================= " They're your neighbors trying to make a middle class living." Public employees taking in $200k are not making a living -- they are taking the living from hardworking taxpayers, businesses, and every other interest which makes a city a city , i.e. the public interest.

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