Page 4 - February 02, 2012
Pensions Slashed for New Escondido Firefighters
Escondido city officials announced an agreement with firefighters to cut retire- ment benefits for new employees by 33 percent, which city officials say will rein in long-term labor costs.
Identical concessions were made by firefighters in Carlsbad and Solana Beach in 2010.
Oceanside and Vista have not changed retirement benefits for firefighters. Poway, San Marcos and Encinitas approached the pension ques- tion differently; pensions for newly hired firefighters, increases the retirement age from 50 to 55 instead of low- ering benefits.
Rampant growth of pension benefits has put tremendous strain on municipal budgets nationwide. Weak city coun- cils caved in to demands from
public sector employees and increased benefits to unsus- tainable limits, given the col- lapse of the economy in 2008.
City councils can’t take away benefits under state law, but benefits for new employees can be slashed. It's called cre- ating a two-tiered pension sys- tem.
The change reduces the life- time annual pension benefit from $48,000 to $32,000 for a firefighter who reached a top salary of $80,000 and worked for 20 years.
Last year, Escondido cut pen- sions for all new hires except public safety workers. The deal with firefighters was rati- fied by union members Friday and scheduled for City Council
Escondido's move was praised Monday by the coun- ty taxpayers association, which has called slashing pen- sion benefits the most effec-
then hooked them all up to a low electrical current. By the time I was done, 98% of my pain was gone!
That was last Friday and, so far, the pain has stayed away. I can now get some work done, run some errands, and begin to feel like a human being.
Bless Dr. Cen. I think I love her!
A tip of the old chapeau is also due to Ms. Evelyn Madison, who looked in on, looked after, pampered, and tolerated this old Man About Town. (A caregiver’s job is a tough one!)
Man About Town
This old Man About Town is delighted to announce that for the first time in six weeks I am relatively pain free, thanks to Dr. Mary Cen, my Chinese acupuncturist (in San Marcos - 760.744.4988). I was hurting, big time, when I got to her office. She said my face looked pale and she could tell I was in pain. She put the needles in, tracing the nerve route from the spine to the frontal abdominal area,
Bumped into San Marcos City Council member, Hal Martin
Restaurant in Escondido last Sunday. Had not seen him for some time and we had a great chat, getting caught up on items and issues, one of which was term limits.
Sadly, we are losing Hal Martin to term limits. He will have served four terms. I, for one, hate to see him go and I’m not sure I’m in favor of term limits. We have out- standing legislators, well
San Marcos Council Member, Hal Martin
We’re losing Hal Martin and we’re also losing California State Senator Mark Wyland, another outstanding legisla- tor that I hate to see go to sidelines.
We spoke of the San Marcos search for a new City Manager. Rick Gittings retired, Paul Malone stepped into his slot and did a magnfi-
tive way for cities to rein in long-term labor costs.
Escondido Checkpoint Results in Three Arrests
Three people were arrested and six vehicles were seized during a sobriety checkpoint Friday night, according to Escondido Police Lieutenant Tom Albergo.
Officers issued 14 citations during the operation conduct- ed in the area of Centre City Parkway and Decatur .
A total of 1,445 vehicles drove through the six-hour checkpoint, including 49 vehicles that were sent to sec- ondary inspection for addi- tional screening, police said.
Two people were arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and one was arrested on sus- picion of public intoxication, Albergo said.
Nine people were cited for
trained, with lots of experi- ence, lots of contacts, they know how the system works and are able to get legislation “walked through” the system in a manner that things can get done. They also are able to cut red tape.
driving without a license and four others for driving on a suspended license, police said.
Oceanside Revenue Projects Appear to Be On Target To Meet Budget Requirements
Oceanside Financial services director Teri Ferro , said in a report prepared for the Oceanside City Council that Oceanside is virtually on tar- get for meeting revenue pro- jections set forth in its budg- et.
Through Dec. 31, the latest date for which figures were available, general fund rev- enue was about $340,000 short of meeting projections for the city to stay within its $113.6 million budget for fis- cal 2011-12, which ends June 30.
"That's less than a third of a percent," Ferro said.
Cont. on Page 8
ficent job . . . and then Paul Malone decided to retire. This is going to be a difficult position to fill. Yes, there is a very attractive salary involved so San Marcos should be able to attract a lot of qualified candidates . . . but there’s an element of chemistry, the ability to work with both the city council and staff, that is crit- ically important. Rick Gittings had it; Paul Malone had it. Now the challenge is to find someone else who has “it.”
Hal is unsure of what he will do after terming out. He’s looking at seats that may become available at one of the next elections. With his back- ground and experience, he’d fit into almost any legislative spot. He’s good people, he’s done a good job . . . and we’d like to see him to continue representing the people.
As a side note, Hal said he’d met someone at a recent San Marcos Chamber of Commerce Sundowner and spoke to him. “I know you from somewhere, but I can’t place it.” Turns out he was
‘Man About Town’ Cont. on Page 7
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