EDITOR’S NOTE: At 5:30 p.m. tonight and again at 10 p.m., KCET’s SoCal Connected will drop another bomb on City Hall’s DROP program — Deferred Retirement Option Plan — that is letting retired cops and firefighters retire one day on a 90 percent pension and come back the next day at their full salary with their pension check being banked for up to five years at 5 percent interest. Read more below about double-dipping retirees getting earning six-figure salaries and then getting lump sum checks of more than $1 million when they finally retire for good. Transcript and video here.
This is your last chance Los Angeles: If you pass Proposition A’s sales tax hike and put Greuel or Garcetti in the Mayor’s office, Feuer in City Attorney’s office and Zine in the Controller’s office with eight failed legislators, five obedient staffers and two cops on the City Council, you deserve the calamity that is coming.
Check out City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana’s “Road to Financial Recovery — City at a Crossroads” Analysis released Feb. 7 and see just how feeble City Hall’s efforts have been to rein in costs and how precarious the city’s financial position remains because of the inadequacy of the measures taken — more smoke and mirrors than substance, to be sure.
Santana who’s own position is said to be even more precarious than the city’s because the unions that so heavily funding the sleazy Greuel, Garcetti, Feuer and Zine campaigns have demanded he be fired. His crime: Daring to suggest over and over that stronger measures were needed while the elected officials showed what moral and political cowards they are by remaining silent.
You can see the depths of political perversity that reigns at City Hall in the opening words of Santana’s report when he credits “the steadfast leadership of the mayor” and “the resolve of the City Council” for a serious of half measures that have reduced general fund positions by 14.4 percent but not reduced salary costs a single penny.
Between the lines of his report, deep in the details, is a shocking story of mismanagement by those who would presume to rise to higher office like Greuel, Garcetti and Zine and those who want to double their salaries at public expense as Councilmen after years of destroying the state’s financial position as legislators in Sacramento.
What the report makes clear is the only losers are the residents and taxpayers. Of 5,300 positions eliminated from the general fund, barely 400 people lost their jobs, 2,400 were paid off handsomely to retire and the rest were transferred to the DWP, Harbor, Airport and the special funded positions.
It’s public services and maintenance of public facilities, roads and parks that have suffered.
The poster child of this failure is the city’s continuing use of the DROP program for cops and firefighters.
Two years ago, SoCal Connected exposed just how outrageous the program is at a time when there’s an unending budget crisis driven by out of control costs and people lined up dying to get great paying jobs in public safety.
Monday night, the show reports an updated look at how the program is working with more than 3,000 officers and firefighters having taken advantage of it over the last decade at a spectacular cost to the public.
Shockingly, the program reports that the city has never studied the cost and benefits of DROP even though other cities across the country are dropping DROP
Greuel and Garcetti — the gutless wonders — fully support DROP and despite their total ignorance of any facts, since there aren’t any, insist it’s cost effective and keeps veteran personnel on the job.
That from the people who created and endorsed the early retirement buyout for senior civilian workers, a shotgun approach that left numerous departments in chaos.
That from people that are too timid to speak out strongly against the sales tax hike on the ballot. That from people who don’t the courage to denounce the police and fire chief threatening to put your life in jeopardy by eliminating hundreds of public safety jobs as punishment if you don’t vote for a regressive, destructive and unnecessary tax that punishes low income people the most. i
Vote for these people if you want, it’s your right, it’s your city — just know you will have to live with the consequences and they won’t be pretty.