APPRECIATES POLICE, COALITION
I wanted to say thank you to the Glendale Police Department and the Crescenta Valley Drug and Alcohol Prevention Coalition for putting on such an informative Town Hall Meeting on Sept. 15th at the Verdugo Hills Hospital. I thought it was an appropriate subject to address as many crimes that police have to deal with are drug related. They were addressing one of the key sources of the problem. The presentations themselves, the videos and the educational materials were all very enlightening.
I had two brothers who were heroin addicts in their teens and I saw first-hand how they turned into criminals, lying, cheating and stealing to support their habit. My father was a doctor and always had lots of medications around which I think may have made it much easier for my brothers to start taking drugs.
I think that addressing the issue of prescription medicine at the meeting was important as this is a real problem and we as parents have to take a look at first of all, what message are we sending to our children if we are taking drugs just to feel better (I am not referring to a legitimate physical health problems here) and leaving these drugs in a location where they can be taken by teens or their friends.
As adults we need to know what is going on in the younger generation and be aware of what specific things to look for when it comes to drug abuse. All of the presentations done at the meeting were helpful and eye opening to me. My hat’s off to the Glendale Police Department and the Coalition for involving the community in efforts to combat drug abuse. We all need to work together on this and an informed public has a greater chance of being able to help.
URGES CVWD CUSTOMERS TO WAKE UP
The residents of Crescenta Valley have to wake up and smell the water. A recent editorial [in another paper] on raising water rates should have alarmed us as customers and ratepayers. I don’t see any concern within our community. Is there any skepticism on why water rates are going to increase again? The community of Crescenta Valley has to show that we are putting our elected officials under the microscope.
This past November election, rising water rates was one of the major campaign issues. Now is the time to hold these individuals to their campaign promises. Starting off with James Bodnar’s political philosophy, which is to “have safe and affordable drinking water.” The key word here is affordable.
Mr. Bodnar, I don’t see any uprising on your part especially having a position as a senior water resource engineer for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California where water prices are trickled down and affect our rates here where it matters.
Kerry Erickson’s campaign promise and solution is to reduce dependence on expensive imported water, obtain reduction in water and sewer charges for the residents. Mr. Erickson, you stated that “we have been stagnant for too long. It’s time to inject some new blood into the board.” What happened to your promise and priorities? Almost a year and no significant or minimal change have been noted with our current CVWD board.
Judy Tejada, Kathy Ross, Ken Putnam are board members who are not excluded from a healthy dose of uncertainty. With our neighboring cities, elected officials are hung over the edge by their serving community with every miniscule decision which would affect rates. We should not leave the entire decision-making up to the board; if we do, it will belong less and less to our community.
Let’s not sit here dormant. We will be watching. These are the officials we elected, Crescenta Valley! It’s obvious our hard earned dollars during a recession isn’t a priority to this board. One could tell last November elections were a popularity vote rather than a well- educated qualified vote. The CVWD board has not accomplished anything in my opinion. A year later and no campaign promises have been met, no solutions have been remarked, and no movement or action towards a better course for our community has been undertaken. A year later and our community receives a “public notice of proposed increase in water rates and charges.”
BIDS WARNOCK FAREWELL
I was sad to hear of coach Warnock’s passing. I played for him 40 years ago at CV and he was definitely an old school coach. He required butch haircuts and ties on game day. He called me Kappie and was a true friend. He attended my wedding and watched my kids grow and graduate from CV. Every time I saw him at a CV game throughout my life it was always, “So how’s it going, Kappie?” He was always able to get the best out of you.
Back in those days it was not uncommon for players to play both offense and defense. One game against Muir I scored five touchdowns and he came to me after the game and said, “Kappie you played decent offense tonight, but your defense sucked!” The next game I played the best defense of my life. After the game he came up to me and said, “Kappie you played decent defense tonight but your offense sucked!”
He was a good friend, a great coach and mentor to all. I will miss him.
A SENSE OF ENTITLEMENT
In July 2010 Glendale City Manager Jim Starbird, after first learning about former Chief of Police Randy Adams’ entanglement with the city of Bell, commented that Adams was “gaming the system.”
When Chief Adams left the Glendale Police Department, he left with no disability on his record. In September 2010 City Manager Starbird was informed Adams had struck a deal with former City of Bell Administrator Robert Rizzo that guaranteed the incoming chief a disability retirement because of injuries he had sustained years earlier. With a disability upon retirement, Adams would not have to pay taxes on half of his projected pension income of over $205,000 annually.
[According to the L.A. Times, “Bell chief’s pension deal investigated; Randy Adams’ lawyer says the former top cop wasn’t wrong to take disabled status,” Sept. 24] Starbird said he had counseled Adams in Spring 2009 not to work for Bell because of its history of corruption. Starbird asked, “Why Bell?” Adams said, “The package was too good to refuse.”
So where did Adams learn to “game the system”, but in the city of Glendale and all the other cities Adams had worked for in the past. He is not alone in his “sense of entitlement.” Even during this “Great Recession,” Glendale City fire fighters refused to change their staffing policy from constant staffing (64-66 fire fighters working 24/7) to stationing on demand, which would reduce staffing personnel. Reduced working hours would also reduce city payroll and pension obligations.
Recently, when speaking with one of Glendale’s managers whose salary was over $100,000 annually, not including a lucrative pension, retirement at age 55, car allowance, education allowance, Cadillac family medical plan etc., this individual told me the managers took a cut in salary just like everyone else this year.
I asked, “What cut?”
“Oh, I have to contribute an additional 1.5% to my pension plan.”
Excuse me … such a hardship … I feel your pain?
As millions of people in the private sector continue losing their jobs and medical benefits, government employees have been conditioned to have this sense of “entitlement.” Look how the unions dig in their heels when negotiating with the politicians, who gave them their generous salary and benefits in the first place. Of course, let us not forget the generous campaign contributions these same unions gave to our elected officials.
Hopefully, this year when police, firefighters, teachers and other government employees send mailers to our homes asking us to vote for their favorite politicians or propositions, we will be more informed and say “no” to their wishes.
The system is broken and the sooner the public demands all employees receive social security and a 401K plan, the sooner our present system can be repaired.
The voters are the stockholders of our great cities and state and we must act like we are in charge and not the politicians or the unions. Otherwise, a “sense of entitlement” will prevail and the Randy Adamses of the world will continue laughing at us from above.