Huntington Beach Councilman Joe Shaw calls for “Common Sense, Not Costa Mesa” in HB.




Not having a “transom” as Jerbal does, I went ahead and checked my e-mail inbox, and I liked what I found:  A new battle-cry from my favorite HB councilman Joe Shaw – here it is:

Put Common-Sense Reform First!

Dear Friend,

City revenues in Huntington Beach still haven’t fully recovered from the Great Recession.

Recently the Huntington Beach City Council asked our police officers to help us close our budget gap, even though their contract does not expire until 2012.

They stepped up, and offered to do two things.

First, they will contribute another half a million dollars a year towards their pensions. Secondly, they will waive a benefit they are now receiving that will save the City another $350,000 a year.

Each of our 237  police officers will take home about $3,500 a year less than they would make under their current contract.

If the City Council rejects this contract, we will have rejected nearly $3 million in concession savings over the next two years. Recently, the council narrowly rejected $1.2 million in concessions for our Firefighters, including creating a second tier pension program.

A few of our council members want to reject these immediate savings and demand more, following the aggressive tactics that have turned Costa Mesa into a battleground.

We can’t afford to wait.

We have seen what has happened in Costa Mesa, where experienced police officers are now leaving for other agencies at a rate of one per week. Costa Mesa is spending more on consultants, public relations, and attorneys while they lose police officers.

Responsible Pension Reform

All seven council members are seeking pension reform in our negotiations with our employees. The council recently heard from our pension expert John Bartels, and we endorsed his recommended goals:

Short term: Work on employees paying full member contribution, 9% for safety and 8% for non-safety, the maximum allowed by law.

Mid term: Move towards more shared risk, lower compensation, and a two-tier pension program.

Long Term: We have longterm goals of getting safety employees to 2@50, and non-safety employees to 2@60 or 2@55.

We are making progress towards all of these goals.

Contact the Huntington Beach City Council and let them know you support common-sense reform!

If the council rejects this contract, our police officers will receive their previously negotiated raises, further impacting our budget and we will be no closer to pension reform than we are today. Please support gradual, common sense reform, and reject Costa Mesa style politics for Huntington Beach.

Joe Shaw

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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.