Thursday, May 27, 2010

Love Affair with West Coast Arborists Continues

NCT West Coast Arborists Get a New Contract

[Excerpts]Despite objections from two tree specialists and several tree lovers, Encinitas will continue to do business with West Coast Arborists.

In a 4-1 vote with Councilwoman Teresa Barth opposed, the City Council agreed to award a two-year contract to the company, which has served the city since 2000. The city expects to spend $140,000 on tree maintenance in the coming fiscal year, which begins July 1.

Views varied widely Wednesday night on whether West Coast Arborists has done a good job for the city during its past decade of service. City public works employees said the company's service has been outstanding.

"Their performance in our opinion is superior ... they're very responsive ... we've had nothing but success with this company," said Mark Hosford, city street division superintendent.

note: The Rosemead RFP notices went out to a list of 20 greater LA companies and only two responded with bids, so West Coast won against one other company. None on the list were companies in San Diego. Staff was asked about this and they implied that any company from San Diego could have responded to Rosemead's call. But, Rosemead is over an hour away form here and how could they have guessed that the contract for the City of Encinitas rested on the results of a competition up in LA?

Local tree trimmers made a good argument last night that the city's policies and practices as codified in the way the city pays West Coast Arborists are not optimal for the care of our trees or the taxpayers wallets. The way things are set up the tree trimmers have monetary incentives to do work, regardless if it is truly needed.


  1. The video for the meeting is already up. Jump to agenda item #5 and watch the cat fight between Jerome and Maggie about a letter. Maggie appeared to make some valid points, but frankly Jerome didn't give a damn.

  2. A website for WCA has one commendation.

    "This tree service is very reputable in the city contracts. They are able to complete projects on time and keep the city government happy with their work. They are great at removal and planting."

    #1 How many trees have they removed on N. Coast Hwy 101 in the last two years?

    #2. How many trees have they planted on N. Coast Hwy 101 in the last two years?

  3. Great - the city council is sending our tax dollars out of the city (and out of the county) instead of at least considering hiring a local business and keeping the tax dollars within our community. How do our elected officials and the city employees expect citizens to "support Local-E" if the city won't even try?

  4. Our City Council sadly including Maggie (excluding Teresa) and Staff support the LA model all the time and LA companies.

    So your dissapproval, Vote for anyone but Dan Dalager in November.

    Maggie sure has buddied up to the wall of saugage. Geez!

  5. The message from council is "do as I say, don't do as I do" we are encouraged to shop locally but the City isn't --- come on, keep the money local.

  6. They (the four) do not get it. Even if the company is the most capable at the best price, we will never know since no other bids were taken.

    At least Halliburton no bid contracts were made in the name of "national security". What is the council majority's excuse here?

    Why do they think their intuition is somehow better than making fact (bid review) based decisions.

    I'm sorry to see Maggie's voting with the boys on issues like this. Maybe she's sick of being on the losing side of 3-2 battles.

  7. Gifts, kickbacks and campaign contributions. Its election year. Remember these guy's are dirty, they push the limits of ethics and don't care about fairness and what's best for the community. That's obvious based on the patterns they choose to follow.

  8. Perhaps it is also time for Maggie to go. It does unfortunately seem that she is going with the 3 stooges on more and more things. So this time, we need to get rid of Dan. Next time Jerome and Maggie. We had better start seeing who might be good people for the Council. I like Tony Krantz and Teresa for 2010. I wonder if Jerry Sodomka would run. Or maybe Mitch Wilder or Lorri Greene?

  9. There is something to be said for term limits.

  10. Steve for City Council- he has the timeMay 27, 2010 4:31 PM

    How about Steve. He is good at "time management". But then its easy to be good at time management when you only work 2 days a week get paid for 8 hours overtime each week.

    Thats right 24 hour shifts. 2 times 24 is 48 hours a week spells OT Brother. Union says anything over 40 is time a half. Then five days off..... yeeeee haaaaa, sometimes I get back to back 5 days off and then I have a block of 10 days off without ever using any PTO. What a great job!!! Oh Yeah, Oh Yeah..... I am good at Time management! Oh Yeah Oh Yeah I am a time managment expert.

    Its good to be a fire employee.

  11. steve,

    don't take the bait.

  12. no bait, just the truth. Steve for City Council. He has the time.

  13. No double dippers for council please. That should be one of the questions for candidates. - Just how much do you collect every month excluding what the city will pay you if you're elected? It's one thing nursing the government teat, and two or more things when they're teats.

  14. Recent comments show how many posters are very mad that anyone makes a pension. Envy? Jealousy?

    i.e.: Steve is a bad man because he is a fireman and will receive a pension.
    Phil is evil because he served our country and city and receives a pension.
    Should we not elect anyone if, in their lives, they have earned a pension from a previous job.
    Logic should prevail and have the best qualified individual for the elected position.
    Berating the extravagance of pensions plans that can not be sustained has merit. Making changes to programs seems appropriate.
    Receiving a pension should not be grounds for reticule.

  15. "Recent comments show how many posters are very mad that anyone makes a pension. Envy? Jealousy?"

    Try Pissed. The governments are spending money and getting in debt on pensions and not on projects.

    Never elect Dalager, Stocks, or Houlihan. They all increased their own pensions and ever other pension to unsustainable levels.

  16. 7:04- I agree that receiving a pension should not be grounds for ridicule. However, in both Steve and Phil's cases, I think people may be using the pension issue as an excuse for the real reason that they are "trashing" them. The real reason with Steve may be that he huffs and puffs about certain issues, states he has all the facts, or will get them, and then comes back with nothing or false information. At least that is this posters experience with him. Phil is a different situation which I will not get into at this time.

  17. pensions are the highest priority reason to ridicule the politicians in bed with the unions.

    Never ever forgive Dalager, Stocks, and Houlihan for bankrupting our future.

  18. Don't blame the recepients of pensions, blame those politicians that granted the benefits and those people that elected them. No one goes out and steals pension benefits the tax layers, us, grant them through labor negotiations. So you people that are botching, bitch at yourself..

  19. 7:04
    You're right. The greedy are the most prolific and ambitious movers and shakers in public office. Let's not forget there are eight teats on that government pig. Might as well get someone who'll grab for all the gusto they can. Power to the powerful, right on.

  20. Greed and Ego- What terrific trait characteristics our Politicians possess.

  21. The real story is as follows: firemen in North County work a 56 hour work week and don't get overtime for that. They work every other day until four 24-hour shifts have been completed then get several days off. Nights spent at home and with the family is much less than the average worker and most guys are at work at least 56 hours a week. So to anyone who has their anonymous complaints, go get the years of demanding education, pass the hundreds of tests you have to take, pass the multitude of physical agility testing if you even can, get your EMt then your paramedic license, work for $8.50 an hour for numerous years just trying to get qualified enough to interview for a department (along with hundreds of equally qualified individuals), maybe get lucky enough to get a job offer, spend the first year of said job on probation, and get woken up at any hour of the night to do everything from helping your grandma off the ground when she falls out of bed to freeway accidents with dead bodies and brains all over the inside of a car. The opportunity to become a fireman is there for whoever wants it. It takes a minimum of 3 to 5 years to even be qualified to get an interview here in North County. We all love our job and it allows us to provide for our families but there is more to it than you know so get your facts straight before you decide to open you negative mouth.

  22. 56 hour work week? How does that work? 2 24 hours shift is 48 hours. that leaves an 8 hour shift. To my understanding that does not happen. Do fire employees get 16 hours of OT a week? Please explain.

    Secondly, I have at least 6 friends with masters that quite their day job after 10 years to become an entry level firefighter. The reason- quality of life and money.

    All of them, say it was the best decision they ever made. They make more than me without their second jobs as mortgage brokers or owners of carwashes and still have way more time with their families than I.

    They all clear $160k per year every year. Fire storms double it.

    Its the dream job. Lottery.

    Jealous. hell yeah. I wish I made the switch. I only make between $100 and #$150k per year depending on my business. And talk about stress. You don't know stress unless you've owned a business. that’s right the business owns you.

    Please. Because of the lottery pensions. Fire department jobs are a windfall. It cannot remain as is. Everyone knows that.

    Quite the talk about a tough job. A tough job is a cop. A firemans opening get about a 1000 applicants. Cops have to recruit from ex GIs with no other option or guys without the smart to go to college.

    Fireman have it made. I salute you. I wish I made the choice to become one. When I was making career decisions, firemen were not clearing 100k per year with full retirement at 50. If they were. I would have blown off Stanford for an engineering degree and my masters at BYU. Believe me. My grandkids and every other kid will want the cake job of a fireperson, not a cop. President of the USA - no way. Fire fighter with full privileges- hell yeah. Fact. Please rebut- I love to learn more.

  23. PS- you firefighters better listen to the USA constitution and appreciate freedom. The devil union that tells you they are your friend are the devil in USA dollar skins. Don’t believe them.

    With any true value. Its cost is dependent on its worth. Fire fighters are valuable and need to be compensated for their true worth.

    I say let the fire fighters with integrity come and say I am wiling work for what we negotiate without buying council members. I solemnly swear I will not support a union that will buy off politicians like Dan Dalager and Jerome Stocks.

    That would be a start for fire fighters to start rebuilding their reputation which at this point is workfare no more sons and daughters of my holy grail.

  24. Larry Watt (what an idot) always refers to other to do his reports. I think he takes direction from Chris Hazeltine.

  25. Anyone who has worked with Larry Watt will attest to his competence and effectivenes.

  26. The latest rumor out of City Hall:

    Mark Muir is in consideration as City Manager.

  27. ahhh hahhhhha haaaaa haahhha. Good one.

  28. The 56 hour work week is an average. some weeks are 96 hours, some weeks are 72, some are 48, and so on because our shifts are 24 hours. its a different deal than a m-f 9-5 but the salary is based on working 56 hours a week and no, that doesn't mean 16 hours of overtime. that is what the salery is based on...56 hour work weeks. we are still putting in the time at work, its just in clumps and in return the time off is in clumps as well. it is provides a good lifestyle but it isn't for everyone. many holidays are spent at work and oftentimes we are here for 2, 3, 4, 5 days straight without going home to the family. as far as your "6" friends making 160K, that is not even realistic in north county as a fireman. they must work somewhere else or they are bragging and pumping it way up for some reason or other. you can cut that money in half and its still more than a firefighter/paramedic salary in north county. as far as them doubling that on firestorms... that too is completely far fetched. It is comments like yours that give a very false impression of reality. in other words...don't believe everything your buddies are telling you or get your facts straight. thanks

  29. Dear foreperson,

    Let's get this straight. You work 24 hour shift. The shift is broken into three eight hour phases. First eight hours you clean equipment and make fire inspections. Maybe you go to a training class. During this eight hours you cook lunch in your kitchen after shopping at the local market the next eight hours is shopping, cooking eating dinner, working out, watching tv. The next eight hours you sleep. Granted every once in a while you respond to a fire.

    I think last year we has eleven fires in our city. You do respond to accidents mostly on i5 where the primary jurisdiction is the states.

    Don't cry on this blog that you work to hard.

  30. You are implying that I work here. I live in Encinitas and enjoy this site. It has become pretty negative lately though. I work in a nearby department however and am oftentimes extremely busy. I do not think I ever stated I was overworked though, merely correcting the careless comments posted on here by a misinformed person. Some days are very busy, some days are quiet. Its the nature of the job. You forget to add in the medical calls and all of the others that don't make the paper. Just decided to state some factual information on here because so much of what was posted previously was quite wrong per San Diego County fire departments. not sure if that means tears were shed or not but i guess everyone's perception is different. thanks

  31. Of course you don’t work here. Encinitas is a small town with incestuous habits. Just like West Virginia.

    the point is- Fire paramedics job is cake. A dream job. Everybody wants it. A thousand people apply for any opening. Talk about being away from family and other issues is a joke. Obviously you have never spend time away from a government job for talking about stresses on family and personal lives.

    the union and in hand politicians like Dalager, Stocks, and houlihan have made the pay and benefits way out of sync for the job.

    A cops job is hard. A fire paramedics jobs is nice.

    Fire department retirement along with all government employees besides cops is off the chart and has to be revised.

    A thousand people want to become fire fighters because its a cake job with huge benefits. No one wants to be a cop. Its a shitty job and serious threats exist.

    The point is don't cry your ass about firefighters being glorious and saviors. We know the politicians are to blame, but you all are reaping a cake job at the tax payers expense. Soooooo In my humble opinion you should be thankful to the taxpayer and quite trying to act like your something special. You hit the lottery. Be gracious and be thankful.

    The Ego of union fire fighters gets me sick. And yes I am jealous I did not choose to become a fire department employee when I had the chance. I had no idea it would be a big money maker. One thing for sure is my grandkids are going for the cake job. Some of them are marrying other ethic partners to help their offspring get the cake government jobs.

    As far as education and fitness- please let at the current and past fire chiefs. I need not say anything more.

    For more facts about what fire fighters/paramedics make per year and in retirement please go to

  32. wow, you are one unhappy negative person. its too bad you chose this area to spread your hate.

  33. Yeah. I am one unhappy person. Boo hooo. just because I state true facts, you think I am unhappy. Hardly.

  34. Firemen are in the defense mode again. They should work 8 hour shifts like most other government employees. They should be required work regardless of the time of day. Let's get 8 hours work for 8 hours pay. We should not be paying for them to sleep, eat, shop, work out and watch tv. E
    What other job would let their employees on the clock sit in easy chairs and watch tv.

    If we used these firemen in the middle of the night patrol our streets we might cut down on some crime. They don't have to intervene just observe and report, but no we pay them to sleep.

    Why doesn't this change? Unions, unions, unions.

  35. Yep. Unions are bad for the public tax payer. End the 24 hour shift and the pensions.


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