FULLERTON - “I don’t work for you!” shouted Fullerton Mayor Dick Jones at the October 18, 2011 City Council Meeting. The Mayor’s statement was directed at a
resident and voter who pointed out that the Council works for the voters. Fullerton
On Tuesday, November 1, the Fullerton City Council approved the employee associations’ MOU. In it, the City agreed to end the 2009 across-the-board 5% salary reduction which took the Fullerton Fire Department almost a year longer than any other of
’s employee bargaining units to agree to. Fullerton
Clearly this is not a raise, but a reinstatement of employees’ full salaries. That gives me little comfort however, because the effect on the City’s budget is the same as a raise.
The current budget (FY2011-12) allocated 80% ($53,433,457) of the General Fund’s $66,641,741 to
’s public safety. 85% (31,740,804) of the Police budget and 87% ($14,803,561) of the Fire budget covers the salaries and benefits of public safety employees. Combined, police and fire employee salaries and benefits account for 69.8% of Fullerton ’s General Fund. All of these percentages seem very high. Fullerton
Even the City’s own Administrative Services Manager, Julia James, pointed out these costs in her April 26, 2011 report to the City Council. She said, “the Proposed Budget for 2011‑12 and 2012-13 projects a General Operating Funds deficit of over $8 million over the next two years due primarily to increased employee retirement and group insurance costs.”
James goes on in the same report and explains how the City plans to make up the $8-million shortfall. “Unfortunately, expenditures continue to outpace revenues despite the extensive cost cutting measures implemented in the last budget year. As the majority of increases relate to employee benefits it is anticipated that the budget deficit will be closed primarily through employee negotiations in the coming months.”
After these failed negotiations and other questionable increased revenue estimates, the City will still have a multi-million dollar deficit.
Considering Mayor Jones’ public outburst, the Fullerton City Council has shown taxpayers and voters who they really work for, the public employee unions.
’s City Council continues to ignore the multi-million dollar deficit and shirk their fiduciary responsibility, I find even more reason to recall Mayor Dick Jones, former police captain turned council member Don Bankhead, and former police chief turned council member Pat McKinley. Fullerton
|L to R: Bruce Whitaker, Don Bankhead, F. Dick Jones, Pat McKinley,|
and Sharon Quirk-Silva (Photo courtesy of TheFullertonian.com)