A year ago, the City Council needed a long, raucous meeting to approve a budget.
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#124 Sep 19, 2013
Tom Calderon worked for a number of years as a consultant (reportedly very well paid) for the San Gabriel Valley Water Company. As far as I know he was still working for them when they joined Councilmember (and re-imbursee) Hadjinian, as well as State Senator Ron Calderon and State Assemblyman Charles Calderon in opposition to SB1386. At the time Tom Calderon was still a very well paid consultant for the Central Basin Water District, which entity also opposed SB1386. He had lost his perch as Chairperson of the City of Montebello Planning commission when Mayor Rosie Vasquez, who had appointed him, was defeated for re-election. Montebello dodged a big one. We too could have had the FBI knocking on our door. Oops, I forgot, sometimes they don't knock.
#125 Sep 19, 2013
Oops. Actually, my only mistake was in my first post where I said supporters instead of opponents. Thanks for catching my error. I blame too many Harvey's Bristol Creams while flying.
My second posting was correct in its characterizations.
You do answer some of the questions, but not all. What about the lobbyist aspect or use of the city's name?
Well, we're coming in to land, so tah-tah till the morrow.
#126 Sep 19, 2013
Sorry, I don't have an answer to your first question. The Political Reform Act says:
"a lobbyist is a person who is paid for directly communicating with government officials in order to try to influence legislative or administrative actions, such as bills and regulations."
I don't know if a "travel reimbursement" would be considered the same as being paid.
Did the City of Montebello take an official position on SB1386? If not, then this is probably an issue that should be brought up to the city council.
#128 Sep 20, 2013
Covers El Monte Baldwin Park and West Covina
While economists say the national recession officially ended in 2009, new U.S. Census data indicate that Southern Californians became increasingly impoverished at least through last year
Many major local cities, including Los Angeles, Long Beach and Torrance, had no or little change in the poverty rate from 2011 to 2012.
Meanwhile, the median household income adjusted for inflation has also fallen significantly from 2008 to 2012 in these counties
Unwed moms, Illegal immigrants worst off
#129 Sep 21, 2013
Just as in Montebello the LAFD wastes your money with "Mission Creep".
Just change the name to Your City
"LAFD response times are being inexorably dragged down — not by fire calls, and not by requests for those dramatic life-or-death rescues that make the news.
Average response times to those serious events actually decreased by 21 seconds between 2007 and 2012, a City Controller audit found."
No, LAFD slowdowns are being caused by a tsunami of ambulance calls from people with shortness of breath, vague pains, cardiac arrest and all manner of real and imagined maladies
LAFD gets absurd requests — like help finding the lost remote control. And it gets hundreds of calls, every single day, just for a lift to the hospital.
Almost unnoticed, these often lower-level calls now all but define LAFD's reason for being.
It's NOT your Mother's Fire Department Anymore
#130 Sep 22, 2013
L.A. Times confirmed it, showing not only that LAFD crews were slowing down but also that LAFD brass were thoroughly incapable of measuring their own emergency-response times.
Fire Chief Brian Cummings was hauled in front of the angry (and equally statistically challenged) L.A. City Council, which wanted answers but didn't know the questions. Cummings grabbed at an answer — he blamed budget cuts. Council members had no real clue but threw $35.6 million at LAFD, much of it to pay for hiring hundreds of new firefighters.
Since then, the debate has been framed thus: More money means more firemen, which means shorter response times.
That's not the whole truth.
The cost, and the mission drift at LAFD, are vast.
A report by Chief Cummings himself concluded that in 2012,
who at the basic fireman level earn $187,000 in salary, overtime, health care and pension ($200,000 is the average when all LAFD jobs are included),
spent a cumulative 3.2 years simply sitting outside emergency rooms in city ambulances or standing in ER hallways.
The city's well-paid firefighter crews aren't there due to emergencies.
They are waiting for people they've transported, with non-emergency complaints, to be booked by busy ER staffs.
Some firefighters call it "wall time," as in "holding up a wall" while a patient is admitted for a broken toe or a funny burning feeling in the lower back.
How much does Montebello spend on "wall time"?
How much on n0n emergencies?
How much on emergencies that could be solved by the ambulance crews all by themselves?
#131 Sep 23, 2013
Last year, LAFD ambulances spent a cumulative 28,239 hours parked outside ERs, twiddling their thumbs. It cost L.A. taxpayers $3.4 million in 2012. That's a lot of cheddar.
Wall time also matters because each marooned ambulance, sitting silently outside the ER at Good Samaritan Hospital, USC Medical Center, UCLA or Valley Presbyterian, inevitably causes other LAFD ambulances to be called to incidents outside of their own jurisdictions. That contorted situation means they arrive late, dangerously slowing LAFD's emergency-response times. Sometimes, a "light force" — two large, gas-guzzling, difficult-to-maintain vehicles carrying five or six firefighters — has to respond as well. Or both happen at the same time, stressing the broader system.
What Cummings' report didn't mention is that the elected leaders of San Jose, San Diego and Denver would find the policies long embraced by LAFD brass and the Los Angeles City Council —
"wall time" handled by guys making $187,000, for example — just plain weird.
Those cities use private ambulances to shepherd non-emergency patients to ERs, for a lot less money, and they avoid compromising their system for true emergencies.
Good luck, however, selling that to the powerful and popular firefighters union,
United Firefighters of Los Angeles City, which plays a major role in electing L.A. city councilmen, showering their campaigns with money and getting out votes for council members on Election Day.
Same problem in Montebello
#132 Sep 23, 2013
Thought that these posts had not much to do with Montebello's budget then I realize that they have EVERYTHING to do with Montebello's budget.
When I get a break I'm going to read the whole story and relate it to Montebello.
#133 Sep 23, 2013
The LAFD has become a huge mobile health clinic. And that's simply unsustainable
"There are different models," Miguel Santana, top budget adviser to both Mayor Eric Garcetti and the L.A. City Council, says diplomatically. "We have a model that's expensive."
That it is.
It may not, however, be sustainable
Leonard Gilroy, director of government reform for the Reason Foundation, a research organization, calls it a "significant budget item, to have fire teams respond to something medical teams could be responding to."
#134 Sep 24, 2013
The City of Los Angeles,
straining to replace leaky antique chunks of its 100-year-old municipal water system,
and six decades behind on a $3 billion street-paving backlog, somehow became proud owner of a costly shadow health care system:
the red-and-white taxi service known as LAFD.
"I'd say someone comes in four or five times a day," says Evans, the paramedic. "There are a few clinics around here, and a lot of people use those. But we're primary care. We're the first line of defense."
And that's an interesting statement.
Because Los Angeles County, not Los Angeles City, is tasked as the lead agency overseeing $3.5 billion in state and federal money for public health, emergency care and hospitals.
L.A. County turns away no poor person, and it operates a massive ambulance service.
L.A. County is, in fact, the official first line of defense for the homeless, uninsured and destitute.
Despite that, in Los Angeles, people use the city's "911 as their medical care," says Mike V., a firefighter who drives for the Wine-o Nine-os.
A typical request: " 'I need my blood pressure checked.'
And dispatch, because we don't want to get sued, sends a 'resource' " —
a city fire crew in an ambulance.
#135 Sep 25, 2013
Every city firefighter has a most ridiculous house call.
A ring wouldn't come off a finger.
A bloody nose.
A lizard stuck in a toilet.
A cow stuck in a swimming pool.
"It was moonwalking," says the firefighter who responded to the waterlogged bovine. "I roped it."
"A good percentage of them are headaches," says firefighter Vinny Jenkins, who grew up a few blocks from Station 64, where he works, in Watts. He's been on the job for nearly 30 years.
"I went on one the other day," he says.
"It was a dog trapped in the car.
The thing was —[the caller] had AAA!
But it's easier to call us.
The red-and-white taxi
#136 Sep 25, 2013
Baldwin Park faces new taxes or sheriff under proposed budget
BALDWIN PARK >>
Raise taxes or eliminate the Police Department — that is the choice city staff has given the City Council if it wants to financially survive the next decade.
Baldwin Park finally released its much-delayed fiscal 2013-2014 budget this week and with it a comprehensive 10-year financial plan for the city.
Without dramatic changes, the numbers aren’t optimistic.
If Baldwin Park wants to maintain even a basic level of service and begin addressing...
#137 Sep 26, 2013
If you're going to post a story post the link
Does Montebello have a "comprehensive 10-year financial plan for the City"?
"Without dramatic changes, the numbers aren’t optimistic.
If Baldwin Park wants to maintain even a basic level of service and begin addressing its long-term financial obligations, like pensions,
Baldwin Park faces a $3.6 million budget deficit this year — 13 percent of total proposed spending — and larger deficits in the years to come, according to the budget"
About the same as Montebello id "deferred" obligations such as the Hilton were included.
Does not include "deferred maintenance".
#138 Sep 26, 2013
Anybody notice the statement by councilman Pacheco?
Pacheco said Baldwin Park can increase spending and restore funding for some positions and needs that were cut, but it should do so over time, as revenues in the city increase.
“The state has balanced its budget because the economy is improving, our revenue will increase too.
THE STATE "BALANCED" it's budget with Prop 30
A HUGE tax increase during an economic downturn.
That big sucking sound is more businesses leaving the state.
Frank proposed a Utility Tax. Pico Rivera's sales tax is higher than Montebello.
At the current rate of increase it will take YEARS just to get current and ALL of Montebello's bills paid.
Montebello needs a 10 year plan.
Similar problems to Baldwin Park and similar options.
#139 Sep 26, 2013
The proposed budget includes restoring some levels of service and staff that have been cut or left vacant in recent years.
It proposes initially adding six full-time staff positions, including a city clerk and an economic development department, neither of which currently exist,
Montebello's EDD has no time for Planning or Economic Development- just enough to do routine work.
Not enough to work on a new General Plan or 10 year Plan.
#140 Sep 27, 2013
Compare Montebello with LA City
But mostly, firefighters provided routine emergency treatment — 333,333 calls,
or 88 percent, dealt with chest pains, falls, trouble breathing, heart attacks, gunshots, numb legs and so on.
Just 2 percent of LAFD's call volume, 7,657 calls, were due to fires.
Fewer than half were in homes, businesses or structures.
Most of the rest were in cars, trash cans or Dumpsters.
"We're a form of nationalized health care," says Capt. Mark Woolf, LAFD's chief statistician.
"Everyone has access.
Even if you're a tourist from Granada
#141 Sep 27, 2013
Kudos to whoever thought this up
Montebello Committee Approves Spending Former RDA $$$ For City Properties
If the City did not get reimbursed then the funds would go to Jerry Brown and the State and never be seen again.
Even with Prop 30 the States (public employee unions)wants and desires are endless.
"MONTEBELLO >> It wasn't big bucks that were at issue in the latest six-month payment schedule for former city redevelopment dollars approved at Tuesday's meeting of the Oversight Committee of the city's former Redevelopment Agency.
Rather, it was the $219,000 that had been spent on maintenance of Montebello City Hall,"
We need more ideas like this one.
Who to thank for the sharp pencil
#142 Sep 27, 2013
I heard that it was the mayor's representative on the committee Denise Hagopian.
#143 Sep 27, 2013
"We don't have as many fires as we used to," Duffy says.
"From a public point of view, that's good."
"You can thank the massive decline in smoking —
a lot fewer smoldering mattresses and curtains —
as well as home smoke alarms and prevention efforts by fire departments and,
most important, those seemingly fussy building regulations."
Los Angeles is especially fire-safe.
It has about two-thirds fewer fires per capita than the U.S. average.
Last year, fires in Los Angeles killed 24 people. "
So Why an Expensive Fire Department?
$16 an hour Ambulance EMT's could do most of the duties.
Use County for Fires, Wildfires, Heavy Rescue
About 125 more people in L.A. each year are killed by hit-and-run drivers, yet no effort is made by the Los Angeles Police Department, Police Chief Charlie Beck or the L.A. City Council to prevent hit-and-run deaths.
#144 Sep 29, 2013
It’s not only critics of pension abuse that should support this bill, but also public employee unions and other supporters of public pensions.
The blatant abusers of public employment and pensions do the most to give the pension system a bad name.
While it’s true that many, perhaps most, public pensions have been overpromised by pandering politicians and are unsustainable in the long run,
it’s the outrageous cases like Malkenhorst’s that make taxpayers livid.
Why should any public official be paid $545,000 a year in retirement by taxpayers?
There can be no justification for it.
The “regular” CalPERS and CalSTRS pensioners who did the public’s work — honestly — for 30 or 35 years and retired with a pension of $50,000 or so a year should be outraged too.
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