McCarthy Attacks Employees
Colin McCarthy, president of the OC GOP shill organization, Costa Mesa Taxpayer's Association and current Planning Commission Chairman, has produced yet another anti-employee screed straight from the OC GOP song book as edited by Jim Righeimer, HERE.
BLAMING THE FIREFIGHTERS
Just as Righeimer did at the last city council meeting, in his latest attempt to ignite the ire of residents of our city against all public employees McCarthy paints Costa Mesa firefighters as a bunch of greedy laggards, intent on destroying the fiscal well-being of our city by earning outrageous salaries and benefits. He points out that two battalion chiefs earned what he described as, "a whopping $347,000 per year and $313,00 per year, respectively." and goes on to mention that one of them topped nearly $110,000 in overtime pay last year.
COUNCIL ACTIONS CAUSED THE OVERTIME
Well, what he doesn't tell you as he rants about overtime is that those men were forced to work those hours - in one case nearly 4,000 hours in a year - because THIS city council has refused to permit them to fill vacancies that would have eased the pressure for such overtime. Do you actually believe that ANY of our firefighters prefer to work what amounts to two jobs rather than be with their families? He also conveniently neglects to mention that EVERY expert in this field, including our current Interim Fire Chief, Tom Arnold, has acknowledged that the use of overtime in some cases is actually less-costly to the city than if we hired more firefighters to cover all the hours required.
McCarthy implies that the overtime adds to the pension burden of the city - it doesn't. Overtime pay is NOT included in the calculation of retirement benefits, but acknowledging that fact doesn't fit the agenda that he and others have in attempting to bust the employee associations.
MAKES ME WANT TO PUKE!
Near the end of his piece McCarthy says, "In addition, we need to remove the politics from the discussion." Well, just who is he talking to when he says that? The only people who have injected politics into this discussion are McCarthy himself and his fellow-travelers on the far right wing of local politics, led by OC GOP President Scott Baugh. It was Baugh who declared Costa Mesa "Ground Zero" in the state-wide battle for pension reform.
COUNCIL REJECTS HELP
The current council has rejected overtures by the firefighters to save the city money in recent months - $500,000 was rejected by the council at one point. In an attempt to help the city understand our fire and emergency medical response organization, the firefighters paid to have the Orange County Fire Authority assess the Costa Mesa fire operations and provide a bid to take it over. Three proposals were included in that bid, each of which would have saved millions of dollars and would have cost many individual firefighters pay and benefits, but the current city council stiff-armed that proposal and it sits molding on a shelf somewhere.
HALF-TRUTHS AND FABRICATIONS
The current city council and their shills like McCarthy are, at best, disingenuous as they attempt to mislead the residents of our city with incendiary rhetoric full of half-truths and fabrications. They have attempted to use the public employees of our city as scapegoats for their perceived fiscal crisis and yet we had a budget surplus last year. We would be even better off this year if they were not incurring legal fees at double the budgeted rate - an increase caused by their own misguided and malicious actions.
So, while Chief Arnold and Costa Mesa Firefighters Association President Tim Vasin are working hard to find solutions, McCarthy and Righeimer continue to dump gasoline on the fire THEY started with bogus claims and fabricated crises. It's no surprise to hear that our city is rapidly becoming a laughingstock among those who actually understand municipal government management. It seems that a week does not pass lately without this cabal making one more attempt to destroy our fine city.
REMEMBER IN NOVEMBER
It is widely assumed that McCarthy and his Vice President of the CM Taxpayers Association, Ethan Temianka, will run for higher office in November - McCarthy for city council and Temianka for a seat on the Mesa Consolidated Water District Board. There is a groundswell within our community of plain old regular folks who are tired of their shenanigans and will resist the takeover of our community by this band of political extremists. We will, indeed, remember in November.