Sunday, February 26, 2012

Bizarro town: Encinitas "progressives" are its only fiscally responsible leaders

Nationally, it's generally true that Republicans side with taxpayers and at least give lip service to controlling spending, while Democrats are allied with government labor unions and support lavish spending and benefits.

Not so in Encinitas. Republican Jerome Stocks voted for the huge 35% pension increase in 2005, and he is joined by Republicans Kristen Gaspar and Jim Bond in the Gravy Train Giveaway of 2012, giving 12% raises to firefighters already making well over $100,000 a year, far more than the median household income in Encinitas.

Meanwhile here are progressive Democrats Teresa Barth and Tony Kranz in the Coast News:
Tony Kranz, a Leucadia resident told the council that more detailed information should have been available to the public. “This is a very complex subject, especially with respect to retirement,” he said. “You really haven’t spelled it out to the public.”

“It’s still not time to give them a raise,” Kranz said. “There’s still the same liability to the community.” While Kranz said he supported and applauded firefighters, he disagreed that the savings were as high as anticipated. “We have an unfunded liability that’s going to bite us in the end,” he said, referring to the cost of pensions.

Councilwoman Teresa Barth said she could not support the actual contract. While her stepson is a firefighter in Los Angeles County, and she respects the work of first responders, she said the city had more pressing financial considerations.

“We’re faced with a lot of difficult decisions up here,” she said.

In light of the national economic situation and the high number of capital improvement projects in the city’s pipeline, the contract did not provide enough short-term realization of funds to gain Barth’s support.

The contract passed 3-1, with Barth opposed and Muir absent.


  1. "'s generally ASSUMED that Republicans side with taxpayers..."

    Regardless of what they claim, Republican policies have been incredibly damaging. Need I remind you that the last president started two decades-long unfunded wars while cutting taxes on the wealthiest, driving up the deficit and putting the burden on those who can least afford it. They also furthered deregulation of the financial industry that took down the economy while reaping record payouts for their executives and then bailed those same institutions out with taxpayer money. And they do everything in their power to defend and subsidize the oil industry (again with taxpayer money) whose goal is to keep us addicted to fossil fuels no matter how negative the consequences and no matter how many better technologies and solutions exist. Just a few things that came to mind. They're not so much about good policy as they are about defending old policies that hold society back.

  2. I fight labels because they tend to cause us to act less independently. I'm not sure how they could ignore the issue of the unfunded liability we are leaving our kids. When James Bond asked the Director of HR about the unfunded liability, the Director said the unfunded liability in the new contract has been reduced but not eliminated. How is that OK? Perhaps if they just filled us in on their thinking with pie charts, graphs and good ol' fashion data, we'd better understand why we're going to be fine.

  3. Staff to Council: Give us another raise and every other Friday off or makes it so I can sleep on the job and get 4-5 days off a week.

    Council asks a phony question with a prearranged answer: Is this raise a good idea?

    Staff to Council: Yes. Giving us another raise is in the best interest of the citizens, so give us an lifetime increase in our already platinum pension payouts.

    Council to sheep: See, we checked with staff and they said it was a good idea.

  4. Voters to Council: you are fuck'd in November.

  5. Spin spin spin. The "raise" of 3% for the first three years is actually just an offset for the fact that the firefighters will be paying for the 9% in retirement that the city currently pays; essentially equalling a wash/status quo for both the City and the firefighters paycheck. The 2.75% raise in the 4th year is a long overdue cost of living raise. It will be the firefighters first actual salary increase in 8 years.

  6. For a department that has been a total failure in the past 2 fires with the McDonalds a total loss and the arrival of he fire department to the Crest home 2 hours after the dispatch call, they have a lot of nerve not begging to keep their jobs. It is shameful!