News

City employees may be asked to take pay cut

Mountain View officials are in talks with the city's labor groups about ways to ease the impact of a projected $6 million budget deficit -- and one of those ways involves reining in salary increases.

The city's 600-plus employees may be asked to forgo at least a portion of pay raises for next year, though talks have not reached any specific proposals. Any pay cut would be voluntary for most of the city's unions, as all of them have contracts locked in for the next year, with the exception of the SEIU, which represents most of the city's lowest paid workers.

The current deficit arose after the economic recession caused city revenues to decline despite rising costs. Among those rising costs, personnel expenses are climbing at a rate of about $3.8 million a year, a cost which will compound if solutions are not found, warns city manager Kevin Duggan.

Patty Kong, the city's finance director, says the personnel cost hikes are due to pay raises to city employees in the form of cost-of-living adjustments ($2.3 million), and regular pay raises and merit pay ($700,000), with the remaining $800,000 from cost increases for health and dental benefits.

Not including benefits, the total cost of city employee salaries has gone from $53.8 million in 2006 to $62.3 million a year in 2008 an increase of 16 percent. The city has a general fund budget of $89 million, and revenues are expected to remain flat through 2012.

Meetings underway

Although Duggan says his predictions are not "overly pessimistic," some union representatives believe they may be too conservative. Labor unions, including the Firefighter's Association, have been meeting with the city manager to figure out how to address the budget issues more specifically.

Duggan contends that the "less painful" budget cuts have already been made, but union representatives and some council members think there may be alternatives to some of his proposals, which include closing the library one day a week and cutting three police officer positions. Specific budget proposals will be presented on May 5.

"We have and we are continuing to work with city staff to try and find a solution to this," said John Miguel, president of the Mountain View Firefighters Association. "We were in meetings as late as yesterday [Monday regarding this and what could be done."

Next week the city is set to begin contract negotiations with the SEIU, whose contract is set to expire in June. At this point the union, which represents employees in nearly every city department, is still gathering information about the city's budget situation.

"Everybody [at SEIU is on board to at least be a part of the solution, if there is a problem," said Chris Costanzo, chapter chair. "We're not going to stick our heads in the sand -- we really want to understand" the situation.

Mayor Margaret Abe-Koga expressed concern that the city's lowest paid employees could be strong-armed into foregoing salary increases while the groups that have contracts would not have to.

"This needs to be a group effort, we can't single out one group," Abe-Koga said.

To patch the $6 million deficit in the $89 general fund budget next year, Duggan has proposed cutting the city budget by $4 million and filling the rest of the gap with $2 million of the city's $38 million in reserves. The cuts would likely mean elimination of staff positions, but whether that can be done without layoffs is unclear. Duggan aims to reduce staff through attrition.

If city employees agree to forgo pay raises, it wouldn't be the first time. In 2003-04, non-public safety employees took a pass on cost-of-living adjustments, agreeing instead to a $700 lump sum and additional time off (City Hall shut down during the holidays that year). Miguel says firefighters were not asked to take a pay cut then.

Calls to current and former Police Officer's Association presidents were not returned by press time.

Sacrifices

Costanzo said the SEIU was not taking an "adversarial" approach to negotiations. The SEIU will be engaging in a collaborative "interest-based" approach, he said, which involves department heads negotiating with a team of city staff who are SEIU members. He said this is cheaper and may be less contentious than "position-based" bargaining, which in the past required the city to pay for an outside attorney to mediate negotiations.

For his part, Duggan, who currently makes $251,125 a year, is refusing a pay increase that could total about $20,000. He was scheduled to receive a 3.2 percent cost-of-living adjustment in July and an additional merit pay increase of up to 5 percent.

"Now I'm just saying forget about it, to set an example basically," Duggan said. Given the state of the economy and how it has affected people, "I simply don't think it is an appropriate time for me to accept such increases."

Duggan says city department heads have expressed interest in foregoing similar pay raises. City attorney Michael Martello said he hasn't decided whether he'll forgo his pay raises yet.

"Certainly if a critical mass [of city employees is going to do it I would certainly go along with it," Martello said, adding that it wouldn't be for "symbolism" but to make a "real difference" and continue the city's tradition of being a year ahead of other cities in anticipating budget problems.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nelson
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 15, 2009 at 1:31 pm

Lead by example......thanks Kevin Duggan!

"For his part, Duggan, who currently makes $251,125 a year, is refusing a pay increase that could total about $20,000. He was scheduled to receive a 3.2 percent cost-of-living adjustment in July and an additional merit pay increase of up to 5 percent."


 +   Like this comment
Posted by oldschgrl
a resident of Whisman Station
on Apr 15, 2009 at 3:22 pm

too bad our esteemed fire and police couldn't follow Redwood City's example;
Web Link=


 +   Like this comment
Posted by GDM
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 15, 2009 at 3:35 pm

I can't see how it would be a hardship for Police and Fire to at least hold the line on their pay and benefits. They are very well paid compared to the average worker. I hope that our City Council has the will to expect that of them.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by I agree
a resident of another community
on Apr 15, 2009 at 3:39 pm

Yes oldschgrl, I agree that Police and Fire need to step up and freeze their salaries at the City of Mountain View along with the rest of the employees.

"In 2003-04, non-public safety employees took a pass on cost-of-living adjustments.." Why didn't the public safety folks do the same?

There is no excuse for public safety employees to take a pay raise if everyone else is giving it up. Employees are employees, equals. They all have families, they all have financial responsiblities. Besides, how many public safety employees actually live in Mt. View? They probably live somewhere where their dollars go further. No excuses.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tony
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 15, 2009 at 3:48 pm

This is a pattern that has been repeated over and over in Mountain View. City staffers take the hit, lose positions, and we as citizens lose services. But public safety grows. City staff take pay cuts. Public safety grows. City staff stays home and gets no pay OVER THE HOLIDAYS. Public safety grows.

Anyone else seen the Porshce in front of Mountain View PD? How about the new BMW? NO. Do you know why? They make so much in overtime, they can afford to live in a better city!!! One without all these budget problems.

Thanks public safety. The next time a building in Mountain View burns to the ground, or these murders that you claim to spend all your time solving remains unsolved, or we can't get water service because the employees were furloughed, we'll be thinking of you.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Fred
a resident of Castro City
on Apr 15, 2009 at 4:02 pm

So, if they're giving up their COLA, why aren't they giving up their step and merit increases?


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Posted by indaknow
a resident of another community
on Apr 15, 2009 at 4:16 pm

Step and merit increases are only for the first 2 years or so. After that, it's just COLA.
Most City employees are at the top step of the pay range after 2 years.


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Castro City
on Apr 15, 2009 at 4:29 pm

I think everyone needs to calm down. Everyone needs to get all the facts before getting all excited. Police get much of their money from grants and are reimbursed for much of their time 100%+ for special events. This goes for some of the fire personnel as well. Remember people, they are watching over us as we sleep tucked away in our beds at night.


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Posted by Thor
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 15, 2009 at 4:30 pm

Public Safety has become the Bernard Madoff of the Public Sector. Their overtime schemes are reprehensible and have continued unchecked for years. I think they actually believe they are entitled to cheat we tax payers out of tens of thousands of dollars per man every year. Its shamefull and connot be justified. Most of them already make six figure salaries without OT. To see that they won't forgo their COLAs in a time of financial crisis is no surprise to me as this is the way greedy people act.


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Posted by indaknow
a resident of another community
on Apr 15, 2009 at 5:29 pm

We are in this financial crisis because of greedy people, not Public Safety. DotCom millionaires never bitched about how much lowly cops made until the well dried up. Now, everyone is whining.
I know some smart Cops who got out of the DotCom/Tech. business in time to get a decent career as a Police Officer. They could see the writing on the wall, why can't others?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by outtatowner
a resident of another community
on Apr 15, 2009 at 6:47 pm

Madoff?? Are you kidding. Do you really believe Mountain View blindly pays overtime without looking at comparitve costs of hiring a 30+ year employee?? Theres a reason the city pays overtime vs hiring, it doesnt actually cost the city any more money.

And has anyone actually seen our budget situation? How much of a deficit are we actually in? Just becasue one individual says we are in trouble does that mean we really are? Has anyone actually looked at the history of our stated "deficits" and compared them to actual city income. You might find an interesting pattern...


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Posted by Confused
a resident of another community
on Apr 15, 2009 at 7:24 pm

Hey I heard the city was planning on spending $50+ milllion on capital projects. How can they ethically ask employees to give up raises while they go out and spend, spend, spend? How bad is Mountain View really hurting if they have this kind of money to throw around?

Are any other cities doing this as well?


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Posted by lame
a resident of another community
on Apr 15, 2009 at 7:52 pm

To Anonymous, a resident of the Castro City neighborhood. Yes, maybe police and fire watch over us while we sleep, but who do you think is paving the roads in MV or keeping the water and the waste flowing through the pipes? who is keeping the roadways and the parks clean and maintained? who is helping your child at the library find a reference book for their school paper? who is running the summer camps for your kids? There is more to the City than police and fire. There are many other hard working employees who deserve their pay and recognition from the community. Let's open our eyes people.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Enough
a resident of another community
on Apr 15, 2009 at 8:15 pm

Outtatowner, you summed it up perfectly.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anthony
a resident of Whisman Station
on Apr 15, 2009 at 9:28 pm

Whats the big deal, just give up the increases for a year. At least you have a job. Don't you get benefits? Don't you get income? Fine. Congratulations. You made a good choice. When nobody else, me included, didn't want the jobs, you took them and it turned out to be a good choice. Now give us a hand here and don't take your incresases. It's just a year. It could be worse, right? You took those jobs because hopefully, at some level, you wanted to serve the greater good. This will help us keep our beautiful city running the way we want. This will make us a shining example to everyone else what we can accomplish, how well we prepared, how smart we were.

A race car driver doesn't win without a good support team. A doctor doesn't operate without a good team.


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Posted by Nelson
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 15, 2009 at 10:04 pm

The 10 most dangerous jobs
Occupation Fatalities per 100,000
Timber cutters 117.8
Fishers 71.1
Pilots and navigators 69.8
Structural metal workers 58.2
Drivers-sales workers 37.9
Roofers 37
Electrical power installers 32.5
Farm occupations 28
Construction laborers 27.7
Truck drivers 25
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics; survey of occupations with minimum 30 fatalities and 45,000 workers in 2002


 +   Like this comment
Posted by kanan krishnan
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 15, 2009 at 10:27 pm

I have lot of respect for the average city workers who are already stuck with high cost of living in this area. Overtime pay for fire and police is way too much. I have lots of respect for police and fire but doesn't mean that they should be exorbitant money in the form of overtime and 80% of the max salary as pension. These are not sustainable. This whole country was spending money like it is water. They never thought about a doomsday scenario and thats the time we are facing now. I strongly urge people at the top take a 30% pay cut i.e people like Duggan. 250K+ salary? This is just outrageous. This city and other cities are run by people whoa are out of their mind to pay these kinds of salaries. The city is meant to serve the people and not fatten their wallets and live in million dollar homes at the expense of our sales taxes and property taxes.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tommy
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 15, 2009 at 10:38 pm

Nelson,
one thing that makes a difference to me about the danger of a job is that police and fire employees knowingly will risk their lives. The other occupations may have a higher death per/1000, but those are generally accidents. Cops face armed criminals and firemen go into burning buildings. I read some where that firemen die of cancer at a higher rate then normal and cops die of heart attacks at a higher rate than normal. Maybe those jobs are more stressful and fatal than we know.

This does not mean they should not consider passing on raises if all other employees do, but I think it takes a different personality to knowingly risk your life for a living.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Fed up
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 15, 2009 at 10:40 pm

I'm fed up with my neighbors who complain about city workers. You pay for what you get. Do you want the bottom of the barrel? Compare Mountain View to Milpitas, Santa Clara, and Redwood City. Salaries aren't out of control. Be real. But city employees also need to be real. Even if the budget situation is not as bad as it appears, the proper thing is to be conservative and give up what you don't yet have. Public safety should take the lead and show these malcontents that our city workers are reasonable!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jim
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 15, 2009 at 10:45 pm

We pay our city workers too much - CHECK...

The Silicon Valley Association of Realtors reports that the median price of a single-family home in Mountain View was at $1,015,037 in the first quarter of 2009, down just slightly from $1,050,000 in the first quarter of 2008 and up from $946,500 in the first quarter of 2007.

For the BS they put up with from all of us who can afford these homes, they should get a raise!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nelson
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 15, 2009 at 11:13 pm


Here are some salary examples taken from a large American city, Denver, Colorado. The city's contract with the firefighters union calls for the following salaries.

Fire Fighter 1st Grade, effective January 1, 2008 $61,548

Fire Fighter 2nd, effective January 1, 2008 $51,206

Fire Fighter 3rd, effective January 1, 2008 $46,085

Fire Fighter 4th, effective January 1, 2008 $41,605



 +   Like this comment
Posted by rr
a resident of another community
on Apr 15, 2009 at 11:23 pm

Please note:
The value of homes in Mountain View in 1989 was way, way less than it is now. A lot of city workers have been at the city about that same amount of time. Their pay increases have in no way been in touch with local trends over the past 20-30 years compare or d to home prices and Silicon Valley salaries.
The same, if not better services to the community have been in place for years and continue to provide for the residents. Recent trends in economy and crime do not allow for a reduction in services. Crime must be kept in check or we will all suffer.
City workers, whether you know it or not, are themselves eyes and ears for the community they serve. They go beyond their scope to look out for their residents and report suspicious people and activities. Just because you don't read about it in the paper, doesn't mean that people are not out and about caring for the communities they serve.
Sure, everything can and will improve, however, if you don't tend to the hen house, you're done.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Fred
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 16, 2009 at 6:53 am

I love how everyone says Government staff get paid too much just because you got fired from Jack in the Box, or you were some volunteer who made $30K a year as the CEO.

How much do you think the average CEO of a company that has 600 employees and 70,000 customers gets paid. Oh, by the way, those CEO's don't have to deal with crime, fire, water supply to their customers, accidents on the freeway that cuts right through their company campus, or planning what to do in the event their company suffers a terrorist attack and has to save all 70,000 customers.

If government jobs are so high paid and cushy, then why doesn't everyone want the jobs? If for years, they've just been ripping eveyrone off, why didn't everyone jump on the bandwagon. Every time I turned around over the last few years I ran into a home mortgage banker looking to get you into a interest only loan, but I didn't see city managers falling from the sky's.

On average government workers get 10% less than their private sector equivelants. The reason nobody wanted those jobs was because you didn't make a lot of money, there was no stock options, there was no bonuses every year, there were no free sodas or subsudized lunches. No corporate jets or management retreats in Aruba. There was just work. And now that your jobs have dried up, you all want to hang the people who are trying to keep the ship running?

You want top notch service but want everyone to get paid minimum wage. This isn't socialism, there should be some reward for high skilled workers. These people are not pencil pushers, they are employees. Can we push them around because our taxes pay their wages? Can you tell McDonalds what to put on their menu since your money pays THEIR wages?

These guys aren't the enemy, all those private sector who lied and stole our jobs and pensions are. The people who are running the banks are, the people who were running the mortgage scams are. But you idiots just voted to give them 1.6 trillion dollars, AND THEY'RE NOT EVEN DOING THEIR JOBS RIGHT! Meanwhile, these people are giving up their measly 3% to help out and you want more blood?

Someday, if we're not careful, we'll get the city workers we want. Minimum wager, under motivated and completly disintersted in doing a good job when their paid as much as the guy flipping burgers.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Confused
a resident of Whisman Station
on Apr 16, 2009 at 6:59 am

So according to the article, public safety has not taken a pay cut either time the rest of the city did. Isn't it about time?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 16, 2009 at 9:30 am

Well said Fred!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Love It
a resident of another community
on Apr 16, 2009 at 9:43 am

Fred, you are my personal hero! Well said!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nelson
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 16, 2009 at 3:09 pm

"Posted by Tommy-
one thing that makes a difference to me about the danger of a job is that police and fire employees knowingly will risk their lives."


How about others that knowingly risk their lives?
How about our dedicated enlisted military members?

Figures below are from a 2008 Annual Salary Chart for military enlisted personnel:

Starting Pay: $32,567.87 (Rank E-1)
Pay after 20 years: $87,989.89 (Rank E-9)



 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 16, 2009 at 6:09 pm

Nelson, I understand where you are coming from but you are comparing apples to oranges; federal to local.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Wilma
a resident of another community
on Apr 16, 2009 at 6:22 pm

Has anyone stopped to think how many days a firefighter actually works in a month? For those who earn 6 figures in Mountain View(which is most of them) they only have to work 5 days a month. Then they get paid overtime for any days beyond that. They can retire at 50 and if they end up having cancer the employer is on the hook for the healthcare and possible death claim. I'd knowingly risk my life for that. I'll live in an affordable community, have my wife stay at home to take care of our kids and I'll work the 5 days. Forget the 40/week, 5 days/week schedule!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tommy
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 16, 2009 at 9:17 pm

"Posted by Nelson-

How about others that knowingly risk their lives?

How about our dedicated enlisted military members?

Figures below are from a 2008 Annual Salary Chart for military enlisted personnel:

Starting Pay: $32,567.87 (Rank E-1)

Pay after 20 years: $87,989.89 (Rank E-9)"

I think they are underpaid and would rather give them a better salary than paying for bailouts or for a war in Iraq. These brave members of the military should be paid well to handle the problem in Afghanistan. Anyone willing to risk their lives for us should be paid well for it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 16, 2009 at 11:00 pm

re: Posted by Wilma, a resident of another community: "they only have to work 5 days a month." UNTRUE!!!!

Wilma, you are a perfect example of someone who does not have their facts straight and i hope does not vote (if so, you scare me). Before you make such a statement, get the facts....


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 17, 2009 at 8:29 am

Just to clarify: Firefighters work 10 days a month, two 24 hours shifts at a time, totaling 240 hours per month as opposed to us normal scheduled people who work 160 hours a month....


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nelson
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 17, 2009 at 3:06 pm

"Posted by Peter, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, 6 hours ago

Just to clarify: Firefighters work 10 days a month, two 24 hours shifts at a time, totaling 240 hours per month as opposed to us normal scheduled people who work 160 hours a month...."


Firefighters most likely get at least 8 hours of sleep for their each of their "two 24 hour shifts"? Maybe more?

If so, take away their sleep time from the above calculation, and you get a 160 hours of work , that their not sleeping.

Am I missing something?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 17, 2009 at 7:32 pm

Yes you are missing something Nelson: They are away from their families for two days while we get to go home to our families each day. Why do you think they have health issues? Maybe because they are woken up from their REM sleep and need to get out of their fire station in a matter of minutes to save lives.... Nelson, think before you write....
I for one am comforted by the fact that they are looking out for our city; I am sorry that you feel differently.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nelson
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 17, 2009 at 9:24 pm


Peter,

Here are the last 15 calls(Sept'08-March'09) in Mtn. View that involved some type of fire over the past 6 months, with most of 13 occurring outside of any of the fire fighters' REM sleep:

3/19/2009: 2 Alarm Structure Fire- 1825 Springer Road
3/3/2009: 1 Alarm Structure Fire- 918 Bonita Avenue #5
2/20/2009: UPDATE on 2 Alarm Fire - 288 Church Street 2/11/09
2/20/2009: 2 Alarm Structure Fire- 100 North Whisman Road
2/11/2009: 2 Alarm Fire - 288 Church Street
1/14/2009: Hwy 101- Garbage Truck Fire
1/12/2009: Gas Leak
1/9/2009: 2 Alarm Structure Fire- Ranch 99 Market
12/23/2008: Downed Power Line on Highway 101
12/9/2008: 2 Alarm Structure Fire, 2320 California Street,
10/10/2008: 3 Alarm Fire - 333 Escuela Avenue
10/9/2008: Alibi Bar- Interior Ceiling Collapse
9/13/2008: One Alarm Structure Fire, 2010 Latham Street,

Many of our citizens of Mtn. View work on many different times of the day and night, including night shifts which prevents REM sleep. Shouldn't they be compensated as lucratively as our firefighters?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 17, 2009 at 9:29 pm

Nelson, are you not aware that the majority of fire department calls are medical (non-fire calls)? Get your facts straight!....


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nelson
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 18, 2009 at 8:41 am

Peter,

What are the facts regarding the number of calls, medical or fire, that our firefighters respond to?

Can you give us a list of those that happened during their REM sleep that you're so concerned about?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 18, 2009 at 11:22 am

Have a nice weekend Nelson ;)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ex MV resident
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 18, 2009 at 7:06 pm

Those Paragons of Public Safety DON'T HAVE TO PROTECT THE INDIVIDUAL. That was settled in a SCOTUS ruling called Gonzales vs Castle Pock.

Your " protectors " don't have to do jack schitt and most of them don't.

When it gets down to REALITY, Officer FRIENDLY was gunned down by the SWAT team, you know, the people who prevented COLUMBINE ten years ago...Oh that's right, they DIDN'T...They sat around, picking their butts and actually STOPPED some parents who were ARMED and willing to rescue their kids. ( That was the parts of the LIVE FEED that got censored. I know, I was there ). Yes, the CIVILIAN can and DOES open carry in Colorado. YOU TRUST protectors that don't have to protect at all! When SECONDS count, your protectors will be there in MINUTES, HOURS, DAYS or sometimes NEVER!( I know. I had to grow up and learned about the propaganda your boys in blue spew ) So how about reducing the size of your overpaid poLICE force and get people who WILL do the job, like ARMED CIVILIANS that VOLUNTEER. That works in states like Colorado ( the DNC had CIVILIANS protecting the OBAMANATION ).

Advice to the Flakes called FUZZ: Take your cuts and shut up, before REAL PEOPLE VOLUNTEER to do your job ( that you don't do well at all )...and issue more permits. That is if you aren't AFRAID of the people you ( don't ) protect....

PS: Colorado has a " Make My Day " law and uses it. Colorado also DOESN'T have home invasions. Burglars play Russian Roulette when they do. You should issue more


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Posted by tex
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 19, 2009 at 12:50 pm

You can retire at 50 with 90% of pay only if you were hired at age 21. You have to put in about 30 years of service for the 90% payout. Most don't put in a full 30 years, and at the same time very few retire at 50.

Goverment workers HAVE to pay into the retirement system, you cannot opt out. Private sector is the other way around. You may not have a pension or 401K for many reasons, because you contributed little to it, because it was mis-managed, because your company did not contribute... I don't know. But your choice didn't pan out, sorry. It looks petty to blame others who made smarter choices than you did however.

You are right, there's thousands of applicants for those positions. That doesn't mean they are all qualified for the job. Think about it like American Idol. Many, many people try out and certainly some are qualified. But most of them aren't. If you set your hiring standards too low, you end up with PD's like NY and LA, where there's legitimate problems with graft.

The benefits aren't outrageous, they are fair. The City bargains with the Union, and when the dust settles there's a compromise. If either side demanded an "outrageous" benefit then the negotiations simply wouldn't happen. If you want better benefits, maybe you should unionize too.

I understand you are angry, but the bottom line is you don't understand why. Police and Fire have negotiated for decades to get what they have now. Back when dot-com companies had stock options, golden parachutes, in-house masseuses and chefs- were those employees complaining? Turn about is fair play buddy. I really doubt you work 24 hour shifts, most holidays or even a midnight shift. The cops and firefighters do. It all evens out, even though you don't like it right now.



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Posted by Nelson
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 19, 2009 at 12:54 pm

Misinformed – I can not believe that you are so concerned about public safety not giving up their cost of living raises. Not that many police and fire fighters are able to live within or around this city. Compensations and salries are high because you need to attract the best candidates before another city takes them away. Fire Fighters rarely fight fires anymore and when they do it is excruciating work. Fire fighters spend the majority of their time responding to medical calls and finding paramedics that are willing to put the time for the training and the lower pay is amazing. They should just continue with their studies and become a medical assistant. Thank you fire fighters that respond to the traffic collision and pull out the survivors, stabilize them, get them superior medical treatment so they can go home to their families. Who wants to be a police officer and have to get second guessed and scrutinized by everyone for having to make a life or death decision in a matter of half of a second. They arrest those that harm and steal from us just to learn that the criminal is going to get out on a technicality because of a procedural issue. They is way more to know then just how to put hand cuffs on a person and shoot a firearm. Thank you police officers for all the nights you drive around in the rain just to be there when a criminal on narcotics high breaks into woman's house and decides to rape her because he needs to feel that power. What other profession requires you to rush towards the someone shooting a firearm recklessly at your children in their school and then save the very person that was on the killing spree. Yes, these men and women of public safety deserve everything they get when they retire. Yes, they should retire at 50 although most of them do not because the only way to get that full package is to get hired at 20 years old or buy service time at a major price. I think we forgot who rushes into the buildings on 9-11, into the line of fire when everyone is running the other way like in Columbine or deal with the criminals that are going to shot it out till the death just because they don't want to deal with society's laws like in Oakland. Are you going to have the skills and willing to safe your neighbor when they are having a medical problem or their house is on fire? Are you going to pick up that gun and help? Please don't unless your wearing the uniform…I don't want to get hit in the cross fire. If you are…step-up…join them on the graveyard shift, spend your holidays at work, deal with a drunk that just hit his wife and has defecated all over himself and now he is your problem. Be a hero when you save the day and hated or despised the rest of the time. Your local city, state and federal public safety agency is waiting for you….as soon as they are allow to start hiring again due to lack of funding. Thank you those that wear the uniform…you're better then me.


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Posted by Dude
a resident of Castro City
on Apr 19, 2009 at 12:59 pm

I can not believe that someone is comparing Colorado wages and cost of living to California. Amazingly stupid.


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Posted by Mark
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 19, 2009 at 9:06 pm

To "Ex MV Resident",
Good news!! Near the corner of 237 and El Camino Real you'll find a U-Haul that will accommodate all your 15 belongings including guns. Pack it up and find yourself right back in Colorado in no time....where you belong. You've got some screws loose man! We have the best cops around. From the sounds of things you've probably met them several times and don't like the way they play. Done. Let's find something else to complain about.

How'd someone like you get on a computer anyhow...?


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Posted by Ex MV resident
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 20, 2009 at 7:52 am

Mark:

Keep your blinders on. That is what the SHEEPLE in this country do.

The funny thing is that I have done my homework and am quoting FACTS and OBSERVATION. SHEEPLE just attack the message bearer.

Today we will see the PROPAGANDA the Boys in Blue created on Columbine. The truth is a bit more graphic and not just the spin M$M created. I know, I was there.

I have also grown up in the MV/SFBA area in several places. I have SEEN the underbelly of our protectors. SOME are worthy to wear a badge, MOST should had been FIRED decades ago before they could ROT the rest of the barrel.

The reason you can use this form of communication to spew YOUR propaganda is that I left the SFBA quite some time ago to work at a small computer company in Northern Wisconsin....I helped design a few systems that NASA/AMES used....and I worked on a little communications system called DARPANET....

So people have choices: Keep the Pollyanna view of the world or face REALITY. REALITY has a habit of promoting survival. You get less FATAL surprises that way.

Gonzales vs Castle Rock is an example of REALITY that the MVPD and the rest of your " protectors " would rather hide.

Your FACTS?


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Posted by who
a resident of Jackson Park
on Apr 20, 2009 at 11:44 am

Propaganda, Ex MV resident? Who but the fully indoctrinated uses ALL CAPS terms like sheeple and M$M without irony? You're a zombie if ever there was one.


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Posted by outatowner
a resident of another community
on Apr 22, 2009 at 5:04 pm

outatowner is a registered user.

What many of you Civil Service Haters do not realize is that one, the City pays Police and Fire OVERTIME because there is what is known as "minimum staffing" this is the minimum amount of people it takes to make and keep your community safe, as well as the police and fire folks safe. This number is far less than what is recommended by the NFPA and IAFF Fire organizations say are a safe number of persons on a fire apparatus. The over time created by this is much cheaper that hiring more than needed firefighters. If you figure pay plus benefits plus retirement and not to mention the extra training needed. Add to that the time it takes to make a firefighter or police officer competent and safe. So yes, there are some firefighters and police making some extra money in overtime. Some more than others. This is because some VOLUNTEER to be away from their families and lives to stay and work so others can go home to their families and lives. Someone has to be there. They are open 24/7/365. They risk their lives all the time. Don't you think they should be compesated for that risk. The Oakland incident could have easily happened in quiet Mtn View. Did you know that when anyone calls 911, they get a Fire engine and sometimes a Rescue with a Paramedic or paramedics and EMT's that is/are capable of life saving procedures usually within 3-5 minutes of that phone call. Also, on critical calls, a police officer, capable of CPR and AED defibrillation responds as well. Sometimes, we need to step back and thank our Police and Fire for a job well done and not criticize them for taking a well earned and well deserved pay. When the city was rolling in the money and putting MILLIONS away, did they ever offer to pay any extra to ANY city employee except the City Manager. He got bonus after bonus for making money. Did any other city employee see a dime that they didnt have to FIGHT for in negotiations? The City signed a contract with the Unions. They should HONOR that. If we were still in the BLACK do you think they would GIVE them a raise NOT in their contract?. I think not. Let it be. They are getting what they deserve for a job well done that others don't want to do. Or can't.


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Posted by outatowner
a resident of another community
on Apr 22, 2009 at 5:24 pm

outatowner is a registered user.

By the way, just to clarify... Firefighters work 240 hrs a month thats ten 24 hr shifts. Now, add to that overtime. Some of which is MANDATORY to cover the all of the fire stations with the proper amount of personnel. So sometimes, even when they have family plans, trips, birthdays, holidays, or anything special most of us get to go home for... they are there protecting you. Same goes for the cops. Keeping the bad guys out of your cushy neighborhood is a difficult and full time job. Responding to your sick or injured family memeber takes SPECIALIZED training and continued education. Putting out your small fire, before it takes ALL of your belongings not just a room or a roof, takes training and guts to go in and risk the roof falling on them and then never getting to see their kids again. Getting shot at because you wear a badge.... you try it.. then we can chat about how much you think you need to be paid.


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