California’s economy is going south at a dizzying rate, but not everyone is suffering, especially in the government. The former city manager of Indian Wells, a town near Palm Springs with a population of 5,000, made a nice chunk of change last year. Well, perhaps more than a nice chunk. Would you believe a gargantuan chunk? A chunk worth $677,172?
Former governor Davis, in a telephone interview, said he now thinks state employee compensation is too high. “I find it offensive that people who work for the state try to turn around and abuse the state through inflated overtime claims and lump-sum payouts,” Davis said. “We have high salaries, they have to come down. There was a time when we could afford them, but we can’t now.”
Yet on close examination, the city's decades-long journey from prosperous, middle-class community to bankrupt, crime-ridden, foreclosure-blighted basket case is straightforward — and alarmingly similar to the path traveled by many municipalities around America's largest state. San Bernardino succumbed to a vicious circle of self-interests among city workers, local politicians and state pension overseers.
Democrat, Liberal, Government, Character, Financial, Oops, Waste, Arrogance
Last fall, more than $118,000 of designer furniture rolled into to a new downtown Sacramento high-rise office suite for Jerome Horton... According to purchase records obtained by The Sacramento Bee, more than 150 items on one invoice from Sacramento-based Miles Treaster & Associates included 24 white-leather-and-walnut chairs ($1,172 each), a matching couch ($2,267) and 21 wall-mounted cabinets with frosted-glass doors and “grooved edge top-silver undertrim” ($11,248 total)... With delivery and installation of $12,000, taxpayers spent slightly more than $130,000 to outfit Horton’s office.
Government, Incompetence, Financial, Oops, Greed
The former city manager of Indian Wells, a town near Palm Springs with a population of 5,000, made a nice chunk of change last year... Greg Johnson received $230,697 in salary and another $446,475 in severance pay last year. This exorbitant sum of money came at a time when public employees in California received more than $17.6 billion in wages. Unlike Johnson, the average chunk for city employees around the state was $61,259.
Character, Sex, Degeneracy, Fraud, Oops, Greed
A sex romp in a public park has helped prosecutors convict a California woman of faking an ankle injury to collect workers’ compensation payments. San Mateo County prosecutors say 29-year-old Modupe Adunni Martin reported the injury while working as a Sequoia Union High School District janitor in 2009. Martin claimed she couldn’t walk and needed crutches. District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe says investigators caught Martin on videotape throwing her crutches into a car and running in high heels at a public park. She then performed oral sex at the park on a boyfriend.
Liberal, Government, Financial, Greed, Jobs
California Highway Patrol division chief Jeff Talbott retired last year as the best-paid officer in the 12 most-populous U.S. states, collecting $483,581 in salary, pension and other compensation. Talbott, 53, received $280,259 for accrued leave and vacation time and took a new job running the public-safety department at a private university in Southern California. He also began collecting an annual pension of $174,888 from the state.
In fact, other than union bosses themselves, it can be easily argued that the office workers at SoCal ports are the union movement’s crème de la crème. As the office workers’ union has, so far, rejected an offer bringing their total compensation to nearly $200,000–they have become the highest paid office workers in the nation and they have a no layoff provision in their contract. They are the 1% among unionized workers.
Union, Government, Incompetence, Financial, Greed
In bankrupt San Bernardino, a third of the city's 210,000 people live below the poverty line, making it the poorest city of its size in California. But a police lieutenant can retire in his 50s and take home $230,000 in one-time payouts on his last day, before settling in with a guaranteed $128,000-a-year pension. Forty-six retired city employees receive over $100,000 a year in pensions.
Democrat, Liberal, Crime, Union, Government, Incompetence, Degeneracy, Financial, Economy, Greed
On close examination, the city’s decades-long journey from prosperous, middle-class community to bankrupt, crime-ridden, foreclosure-blighted basket case is straightforward—and alarmingly similar to the path traveled by many municipalities around America’s largest state. San Bernardino succumbed to a vicious circle of self-interests among city workers, local politicians and state pension overseers. Little by little, over many years, the salaries and retirement benefits of San Bernardino’s city workers—and especially its police and firemen—grew richer and richer, even as the city lost its major employers and gradually got poorer and poorer.
Government, Waste, Corruption
A small town official convicted of misappropriating $60,000 for golf and massages says he'll fight the move by California's public employee pension fund to reduce his annual pension by $425,000 -- arguing it's "elder abuse." "This is clearly a case of elder abuse," Bruce Malkenhorst, 77, told the Orange County Register. "I’m from an era where you made as much as you could for as long as you could."
As of July 2011, 12,199 retired California employees draw six-figure pensions, according to the watchdog group, California Foundation for Fiscal Reform (CFFR), up from 9,111 in March of last year. Three of the new six-figure pensions provide the retired recipients with more than $260,000 annually, with the most generous of the three worth $271,157 per year, according to CFFR. RffaHF7CYZeC