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commissioners stated that givin’ us a 7% medi- cal subsidy increase amounted to throwin’ mon- ey down a rat hole. Fortunately for this com- missioner, Sam Diannitto and Ken Buzzell defended our position and set this individual straight. This commissioner later apologized


PENSION NEWS I recently attended a Retired Fire and


Police Association meetin’ at the Grace E. Simons lodge in Elysian Park, where lots of pension news and information was discussed. Two good things about this meetin’ - I saw a number of retired firefighters that I hadn’t seen in years and I got a free lunch! But I also learned a lot about the on- goin’ struggle to convince


Mayor Villaraigosa’s appointed commissioners


to vote in favor of givin’ us our annual 7% med- ical subsidy increase. If approved, this would go into effect July 1, 2012. But don’t hold your breath waitin’ for this increase. Currently, there are four elected pen-


sion commissions. Ruben Navarro represents the active firefighters and Sam Diannitto rep- resents us retired guys. The police have two as well. The wrinkle is there are five pension com- missioners appointed by the mayor - who must mindlessly dance to his music. Some months ago one of the mayor’s commissioners decided to dance to a different tune. For this he was removed. So currently, it’s a four against four


“...our promised benefits have become a political football...”


struggle to get our 7% increase. The mayor’s commissioners have offered us a 5% increase, but Sam Diannitto and the other elected com- missioners have rejected that offer. However, once the fifth mayoral commissioner is appoint- ed, which will be very soon, we’ll really have a difficult time gettin’ our 7% medical subsidy increase.


Durin’ one of the most recent Fire


& Police Pension meetin’s, one of the mayor’s 20 • June 2012


for his “poor” choice of words, but an apology ain’t close to what we deserve. Among the many arguments in our favor is the fact that we all worked under specific pension plans. Whether you were in Tier I, II or V, there were provisions for our benefits, which included an annual 7% medical subsidy increase. And if you worked 20, 25, 30, 35 years or more, all of us completed our end of the bargain. Now that it’s time for the City to own up to their part of the deal, the powers-to-be have changed their minds.


Sadly, our promised benefits have


become a political football and because the City claims it’s in financial trouble, us retired guys are suppose to help balance their books. And ain’t it amazin’, when the mayor wants to implement a new program, build new buildings or satisfy political allies, the money for these fa- vors or projects always seem to appear without a problem.


When it’s convenient or it suits our


political leader’s agenda, the Fire Department becomes their darlin’s and sweethearts. But when they find themselves behind the finan- cial 8 ball, their professed love affair with us is forgotten and we’re quickly dropped off at the nearest street corner.


Editor’s Note: Immediately prior to this issue of the Grapevine going to print, the LA Fire and Police Pension Commission did approve a 7% increase in the retiree’s medical subsidy effective July 1, 2012.


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COWBOY HUMOR An old, blind


cowboy wandered into an all-girl biker bar by mistake. He found his way to a bar stool and ordered a shot of Jack Daniels. After sittin’ there for a while, he


yelled to the bartender, “Hey, you wanna hear a blonde joke?” The bar immediately fell abso- lutely silent. In a very deep, husky voice, the wom-


an next to him said, “Before you tell that joke, cowboy, I think it’s only fair, given that you are blind, that you should know five things: 1. The bartender is a blonde girl with a base-


ball bat. 2. The bouncer is a blonde girl. 3. I’m a 6-foot tall, 175 pound blonde woman with a black belt in karate. 4. The woman sittin’ next to me is blonde and a professional weight lifter. 5. The lady to your right is blonde and a pro- fessional wrestler.


“Now, think about it seriously, cow-


boy. Do you still wanna tell that blonde joke?” The blind cowboy thought for a sec-


ond, shook his head and muttered, “No, not if I’m gonna have to explain it five times.”


KEEP SMILIN’! AC


choppedup@att.net


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