Sunday, December 18, 2011

Stories to Avoid Here

Greeks now wish they hadn't tolerated favoritism in their government. It is not good democracy for doors of government policymakers and public resources to be open only to those who remain quiet about disagreeing with those in power. They should remain open to whistle blowers. 

Many Greeks now wish they had built institutions based on executing good policy with equal opportunity for all, rather than promote government based on who you were connected with. Are this important lessons for California? Encinitas?

NPR reporter Joanna Kakissis says the task of turning Greece around is especially daunting because Greeks let the integrity of their civic institutions decay. - Listen to

From Greek Crisis, A Call For Transparency Emerges


Another story is from right here in America. Big labor (UAW) has approved a plan that will mean people doing the same job will get different pay. Substantially different pay. I'm surprised we are not hearing about the social justice issues here.

Two-tier pay system brings reopening of GM plant, reviving hope

The full story can be viewed at:,0,384910.story?track=latiphoneapp

A few days before Thanksgiving, hundreds of people from around the country jammed into the idled General Motors Co. plant here, cheering as company and union officials pushed a big red button signifying the reopening of the car-assembly factory.

Under its agreement with the United Auto Workers union, GM will be hiring mostly new workers for the plant who will start at $15.78 an hour, about half the prevailing rate paid to the company's production employees...

UAW President Bob King said he wasn't thrilled with a two-tier pay system: It goes against the union's core belief in equal pay for equal work. But "there really wasn't an alternative," he said.

Was that really the only alternative? What about sharing the pain? Will Encinitas be better off  if we start offering a two-tier compensation system for city employees? Will it be a just system? Will it be the most effective and fair system to all staff and the taxpayers?


  1. I guess people are busy with Holiday stuff, but with respect to transparency, and an "equality under the law," I feel that Kristin Gaspar, and Council engaged in another Brown Act violation. I don't think that Bonnie Dumanis would do anything about it. The time for an individual, through private attorneys or through the DA, to take a City to Court on a Brown Act violation is very short, if the violation takes place during an open meeting.

    Yes, the City counts on individuals having limited funds, or limited interest, to get away with its misdeeds, acting against the public trust with respect to open government.

    Specifically, I don't think the time for "reports" should be used by Councilmembers to make political statements, or offer opinions about their colleagues performance . I don't see how Barth's offering an outline of questions or a position offered by some staff members, was in any way acting without transparency or was disparaging to the "subcommittee process." Barth met with staff, and subsequently presented questions or proposals. I see no fault there, and cannot fathom Kristin's objections.

    If Gaspar or any other Council Member wants to make a statement of her or his political views, or a statement, in general, about the conduct of another Council Member, or staff, or members of the public, with respect to city policy or operations, then she (or he) could do so a DURING ORAL COMMUNICATIONS! During Council "Reports" is NOT the time to do so. In fact, I see no reason why the public is not allowed to ask questions during the "Reporting" portion of a public Council Meeting. Not to allow questions or comments, when Council members ARE allowed to make comments and political statements certainly does appear to be an obvious Brown Act Violation.

  2. California state government is broke and in a matter of time Encinitas will suffer the same fate. We cannot continue to pay exsorbantly high salaries and benefits and millionire's pensions when these employees pay little or nothing in. Take Cotton, $200,000 plus a year AND FREE medical care for LIFE! Now Watt's in the millionires club along with many other firemen and city staff. There is no money set aside to pay for these retirements, it comes out of each years budget. Now we get a new city manager and Watt's replacement at very high wages who will soon retire and we will be paying two or three times for each position. Insane thanks to greedy staff and the council who gave these huge increases. Soon there will be no funds for anything except employee salaries, benefits and retirements. We have to fail as Greece is before things get better. Too bad they can't go to jail for their crimes.

  3. The only way pension reform will ever be enacted in Encinitas is thru a ballot initiative. To ask the City Council to consider it is like asking the rats to quit chewing on the cheese. (Except for Barth - she is a different species). These pensions in the hundreds of thousands for individuals are nothing more than greed and outright exploitation of the public sector.


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