Referendum – The Utility Users Tax
The only reason that Measure N is on the ballot is because this [Glendale City Council] and previous councils have approved and given outrageous salaries and outrageous retirement pension benefits year after year after year to CALPERS union city employees.
The repeal of the Utility Users Tax is a referendum on our city government. It is David vs. Goliath. Little David is a band of citizen soldiers using email, social media, walking neighborhoods handing out literature, putting out yard signs and asking the public for campaign donations, taking on Goliath, the larger city elite establishment and how the elite establishment is using fear to hide greed.
Albert Einstein said three forces rule the world: stupidity, fear and greed.
Stupidity: The elite establishment fools the public by using (reportedly at least) $50,000 of taxpayers’ money to reach 200,000 residents in a repeated one-sided message in slanted opinion mailers inserted in our GWP bills and newspapers and using school children as mail carriers, TV, etc. The bigger the lie … the more people believe it!
Fear: They say cutting taxes will drastically reduce city services.
Greed: The truth is the elite establishment loves your money.
In 2014, 756 city employees earned annually between $100,000 and $300,000 in salary with outrageous retirement pensions for life at age 50/55! Who among us non-government workers have these benefits?
Why in 2014 was the median pay and benefits income of a Glendale city employee 83% higher than a full-time employed Glendale resident?
The Stanford Institute For Economic Policy Research estimates Glendale pension debt at $1.4 billion. Current bond debt (borrowed money) to our children is $1.6 billion.
In 2016, City Manager Scott Ochoa’s salary and benefits [equaled] $354,000. Assistant City Manager Jasmine Beers in 2015 [had] salary and benefits of $251,000, a job classification change from eight to 12 and given an additional $4,000 per month for doing exactly the same job, bringing her annual salary and benefits to $299,000.
To put this into perspective, the governor of California’s salary and benefits are $212,640.
We do not have a revenue problem; we have a spending problem.
A Call to Action – Prom Plus
May 21 was CV High School’s prom and Prom Plus, the safe after-prom event for seniors and their prom guests. Admission is free for prom attendees and $20 at the door for seniors not attending prom.
The Prom Plus motto is “Saving Lives, One Prom at a Time.” This wonderful event is only possible due to the volunteers, sponsors and donations from our community.
If you have students who have attended or will attend the CVHS prom in the future, please support Prom Plus. Consider volunteering, sponsoring, donating, or supporting our fundraising events.
Please help us in any way you can, in any of the following ways:
Community Support – Fundraisers include dine-out nights, purchasing barbecue meals at CVHS’ Back to School Night or Open House, Taste of Montrose the first Sunday in May, or the Prom Plus Holiday Boutique in November.
Volunteers – It takes dozens of volunteers to prepare for, set up, and work the event.
Help – Food, prizes and sponsorships for the event help ensure that our guests are fed throughout the night and stay until 5 a.m. for raffle prizes that have included flat screen TVs, microwave ovens, luggage, gift cards, etc.
$ – Donations of any size will help us reach our goal of $25,000 for a memorable, fun, and safe after prom party!
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (818) 970-0976 if you would like to help Prom Plus continue this important event for our community’s students and families. Visit our website at www.promplus.org. Plan now to help in 2017!
Cheryl Davis, treasurer
La Crescenta resident
Disappointed in Lack of Support of Measure N
How disappointing that [another newspaper] is not supporting Measure N. The 17.5 million dollars that would be cut represents a small percentage of the overall budget –and the only way our city council can manage this cut is to degrade the essential services of our police and fire departments, as well as our great library system. It seems to me that a truly devoted and creative city council could find other and better ways to accomplish the necessary cuts. We are lucky to have a citizens group like the Glendale Coalition for Better Government. Maybe if Bell, California had had such a dedicated group of unpaid volunteers the financial rape of their coffers could have been prevented.
The 7% difference in our utility bill is minor and is not the point. We must reverse the practice of the city council which uses increases like this to pay for unfunded and bloated retirement benefits. By putting the brakes on now we can begin to deal with a situation which is unsustainable and threatens the financial stability of Glendale’s future. It’s an insult to the voters’ intelligence to threaten vital services when we all know there are other less dire options available.
Look No Further Than Glendale for Worst Drivers
If you were to inquire about Glendale’s worst drivers on the Internet do you what know you would find? You would find the worst drivers in California. What you won’t find is why we have the worst drivers.
What I realized is that the why is absolutely of no importance. Our current mayor and previous mayors and councilmen have all failed totally in this so important issue. The number of deaths and injuries has not fazed them. I reach this conclusion because other cities have had the same problems and resolved them.
North of Glendale College was an electronic sign stating that in April in one six-hour period they gave out more than 100 tickets. In a population of 200,000 people they managed to ticket 100. By my math you should be giving out that many three times a week and still you would be barely making an impression on this town.
Is it so hard for the politicians in this city to inquire what other cities have done? There are many examples, but our mayor and councilmen can’t find the information. It eludes them.
Memorize the names of our current esteemed group and whenever you see them on a ballot vote for someone else. Maybe you will get someone interested in public safety and the quality of life.
‘Grave Concerns’ Regarding Ped/Bike Path
I had been out of town for a bit and just saw the article regarding the pedestrian/bike path in your May 12 issue [“Meeting Planned for Pedestrian/Bike Path]. In the article, it mentioned that neighbors have voiced their worries about the possibility of increased crime and the creation of easy access to individual properties. I would like to be an additional voice as I have “grave” concerns. I am a neighborhood watch block captain and regularly attend the meetings with the Glendale Police Dept. We are briefed on the most current crime statistics and types of crimes. Over the past year or so, the number of residential burglaries has increased due to recent changes in the laws. Our police are already stretched thin.
The Verdugo Wash runs right along our entire back and side yard and to have a bike path put in would have a devastating effect on not only our privacy, but would literally allow almost anyone happening by the ability to see right into our yard and walk right into it. I know a number of other neighbors whose houses are also along the wash have similar concerns. Property values will more than likely decrease, too.
I’ve seen many bike paths on the streets which already exist and I feel the funds for this project could be far better utilized toward something that would benefit the “entire” community. I participated in a community survey not long ago and one of the main things local members wanted was more places where families could do things together (a community recreation center, a theater, places for live entertainment, more local shops were some of the things mentioned). Perhaps directing the available funds toward something where a larger section of the community could benefit would be of far greater value and even produce more income for the city.