Friday, February 15, 2013

"COIN" Analysis Spreadsheet

On Valentine's Day I wrote, HERE, about the story Orange County Register columnist, Frank Mickadeit, published that day about a document that he basically described as the be-all, end-all to municipal contract management.  Of course, he didn't provide it to us so we could make our own decision - he just teased us, saying it would be available yesterday or today.

Well, I had seen that document - which has now been tinkered with to clean up some glitches - and I didn't think it was all that earth-shaking.  It certainly didn't live up to Mickadeit's hype.  Yes, it provides some numbers that may be valuable when negotiating, but it leaves many questions unanswered.  I was asked not to publish it until it was more broadly available.

Now the document is available and is linked on the city web site.  If you wish to view the page that includes links to the COIN ordinance and has a summary of what is required by that ordinance click HERE.  Once there you will find a link to the spreadsheet, but I'll save you that step.  You can click HERE for a peek at it.

Once there you'll find lots of interesting numbers, but I've been trying for two days to get someone at City Hall to tell me how they arrived at the numbers in the column that includes projections for the fiscal year 2013/2014.  Did they just pull numbers out of a hat or what?

Those with relatively good memories will recall what the current council core - those guys who were on the last council - did a couple years ago with made-up numbers.  They went off the deep end and began attempting to change the very type of government we have simply because they either didn't understand the numbers or chose to misinterpret them to suit their own purposes.  I have that old "deja vu" feeling all over again.

So, take a look at those numbers and tell me what you think.  Incidentally, there is an item on the agenda for next Tuesday's council meeting that authorizes lawyer Richard Kreisler and Assistant CEO Rick Francis to be the official negotiators when that process begins with the Costa Mesa City Employee's Association (CMCEA) very shortly.  That's when Steve Mensinger's COIN scheme is scheduled to be launched.

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Blogger Marquis said...

So this is what "transparency" means in COIN-operated Costa Mesa? Without the actual calculations and real numbers behind this spreadsheet, it's useless at best and deceptive at worst. It definitely seems like more obfuscation and manipulation to make an artificial case for a specific agenda. How else do you explain that the 2102 Existing Contract column's numbers are based on 179 included employees and that the 13-14 Projected column's numbers are based on 213 employees? So we're going to have a 19% increase in staff next year? That should make the unions pretty happy. Didn't Righeimer just go on record saying that we're going to whittle the staff down with attrition? They use actual, best-case, or worst-case numbers interchangeably whenever one set or the other suits their purpose, regardless of facts or even their own proclamations.

2/16/2013 09:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Jack John said...

This COIN thing is a complete joke and a waste of time. It's going to be interesting to see how long one full negation process takes. All this back and forth at council meetings will take forever and my question is are they going to start the process 6 months before a contract is up or are they going to wait until a contract is up and then start this long drawn out process?

2/16/2013 11:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Cha Ching said...

Geoff, it looks like someone is trying to deceive the people again. If you can understand the numbers they actually show that CMCEA employees aren't as overpaid and pensioned as often claimed.

I am not saying we should just continue the status quo and not seek more relief, but I really expected the numbers to be a lot higher with the way Mensinger, Ringheimer and their little pals scream about this. In fact I expected numbers to be in the range of what the city is paying Bill Lobdell and Dan Joyce. As we can see the average CMCEA employee is compensated MUCH MUCH less than Joyce and Lobdell. 180K compared to about 90K.

The deception people need to be careful about is the huge looking increases between the 2 years shown. I am sure staff, management and council don't mean to be deceiving?

The predicted year is based on 213 employees. The current year is based on about 182 employees. That is 31 more employees.

Sadly I would guess many people will read this and probably write how the employee pay and cost to the city is going to jump. It will if they fill those vacant positions or are creating more for their supporters to gain employment.

What they should do is clarify this and also provide the pedicure total if they keep things the same. That way we would actually see if and how much the cost per employee is going up if it is.

For a city bent on downsizing you would think they would clarify this but then people couldn't mislead with the information if they clarified it.

If you run the numbers you can see the average CMCEA worker is not making 200k a year as if often claimed about city workers. The CMCEA average for salary and pension appears to be about 90k a year. And that could be lower depending on whether or not the pension totals listed are the entire pension or just the cost to the city.

Everyone should note that of the 18 or 19 percent the pensions costs for CMCEA employees, they are paying at least 8.52 percent of that maybe even more.

Now before the Phil's and Sesslers and other misleaders pipe in why are we paying janitors 90k in total salary and pension? Keep in mind many of these people are high tech, highly educated engineers and more not just janitors. Even our Billy Folsom, you know the Jiffy Lube guy, is a MASTER MECHANIC PLUS.

What I would like to know do these numbers include Lobdell and Joyce who make around 180K in total compensation. That's twice the average of the regular employees that seem to be always targeted as evil drains on our city budget. Plus anyone who understands averages knows that the targeted maintennance staff and lower tiered employees actual cost are much lower than the averages.

I actually like the COIN idea but in it's current form it's really more like CHUMP CHANGE!

2/16/2013 12:12:00 PM  
Blogger Marquis said...

So this is what passes for transparency in COIN-operated Costa Mesa? Without the actual source numbers and calculations behind this spreadsheet, it's useless at best and deceptive at worst. The 2012 numbers are based on an actual employee count of 179, but the projected 13-14 numbers are based on an "authorized" number of 213. So staffing is going to increase by 19% next year? That ought to make the unions pretty happy. Righeimer just went on record saying that staffing would be reduced by attrition and now they put forth a financial case based on a huge increase in staff. The council boys use actual, best-case, and worst-case numbers interchangeably, to best fit whatever case the are trying to make at the time.

As the old saying goes - Figures lie and liars figure.

2/16/2013 12:22:00 PM  
Blogger Marquis said...

Sorry for doubling up on my comment - I know I didn't enter anti-robot numbers and letters correctly so I assumed that the comment would not make it through.

2/16/2013 02:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Selective openness said...

I say don't wait until negotiations release the others now. Show us residents what the Management Folks chart looks like, the police and fire charts too. Lets see them all so we can compare. There about five groups. Put them all out there now so residents can see the truth. Lets see once and for all who really is Bankrupting the city if its being bankrupted. If they are serious about COIN then let's do it the right way.

Why don't writers, reporters or whatever they think they are ask for where is the openness over other things. Bidding, contracting etc.

Macadeit(i dont care if i spelled his pathetic name wrong he is not worth looking it up) needs to go, he is washed up and useless. Most of these Pilot and Register reporters give the industry a bad name. Either lazy, incompetent or just in the pockets of the current regime.

I disagree wholeheartedly with you Geoff. The local papers show a clear bias and their investigative reporting is actually more like a negative number it is so pathetic.

2/16/2013 02:35:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

They were not exact duplicates, so I published both.

Selective openness,
You are not the first person here to "wholeheartedly" disagree with me and certainly will not be the last. I appreciate your views.

2/16/2013 03:09:00 PM  
Blogger kwahlf said...

Transparency is needed in all negotiations.
Otherwise is it selective "transparency".

2/16/2013 04:58:00 PM  
Anonymous The Mighty COIN. said...

How is this for transparency? Mensinger is asking to change the Fire Works policy. Let's see, if we have 40 and we can get rid of 15 groups that means more sales for the 25 that get the lottery. OK I am down with this as long as Estancia Football is one of the 15 that will sacrifice and not get approval this year. Or I can support this if the downsizing is mostly groups doubling up and nobody loses out.

I'd say form a committee to make the decisions but we all know who would get appt. to that committee.

I can just see Mensinger, the Football Coaches and others sitting around Monahans saying how can we screw other organizations to help Estancia Football profit. Let's limit the the number of Fire Works Stands yeah that's it.

These people increased the days they can sell fire works and also the number of days they can set them off to increase sales. Now you are going to tell me they want to limit the number of stands.

Which church or non athletic organization gets screwed so Mensinger's Estancia Football Team can make more money?

Didn't they all make record dollars last year?

Way to go my fellow residents you elected someone who will screw others to benefit himself and his groups and cares nothing of the rest of the community as a whole.

FACADE for sure.
COIN yepp it's all about making the coin for his friends and screwing everyone else.

2/16/2013 11:16:00 PM  
Anonymous No Mensinger Stands said...

I highly doubt that Mr. Mensinger and his flunkies group wouldn't get one of the 15 spots, but we as community could surely boycott their stand and give the business to the other groups.

2/17/2013 12:10:00 PM  
Anonymous There's enough for everyone! said...

I dont want to see Estancia Football or the Lighthouse Church lose out. What is really sad is this is purely Mensinger trying to screw other for so Estancia Football gets more.

Pretty sad and pathetic no matter how wonderful he is for those groups this screws others. That's not leadership or caring for the community that is caring about yourself pure and simple.

2/18/2013 08:03:00 PM  

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