Index for Save Simi Valley
Yet another article about the City of Simi Valley Benefits/Compensation.
This is due to the following article in the local newspaper:
The Acorn: Committee: Some council benefits need to go
Read the article and notice what the Council members said in the article,
as well as what they said when they were running for Council.
This issue is not a new issue,
but if you look at the responses,
it seems to me that they are acting like this is something that has only
recently come up.
I don't think that they expected the committee to raise such a "minor" issue
since they consider the money for their benefits so low.
One has to wonder how much money is wasted because they don't consider every
dollar to be important.
A bit of background:
Becerra said that if the people did not want them to have all the benefits that
they would get rid of them.
The problem is that he is not doing anything to allow the people to vote on the
issue nor speak on the issue at a Council meeting.
Sojka said that he would bring up the issue at a Council Meeting,
but so far he has not kept his word.
One could argue that he never said when he would do it,
but I think that enough time has passed since he has said it to show that he
does not intend to do what he said.
Judge said that he would not take the benefits during the election.
I spoke to Judge at one of Huber Town Hall Meeting (Simi Valley Side Step
Dance) and he told me that while he did not take all of the benefits that he
was not going to tell the other Council members what they could accept.
I reminded him that he was elected to represent the people of the City,
not the other Council members.
As I recall,
Huber also made statements against the benefits.
Some of the quotes is this article is amazing.
Those people that we elect to represent us just don't seem to get it and
instead do what is in their best interest,
rather than what is in the best interest of the people.
It seems clear to me that the laws should be change such that those people
elected can not vote to given themselves ANYTHING,
but that the PEOPLE have to vote on it.
Mike Judge, the newest member of the City Council, said he'd hoped the
committee would stick to looking at the budget instead of taking positions on
council benefits and "becoming a political animal that just makes noise."
in case you have not figured this out,
the benefits that the Council gets costs money,
that money comes from the budget.
The committee was put in place to review the BUDGET and make recommendations,
so it is a recommendation that the benefits be reduced.
If you add up ALL the benefits that the part-time Council members get,
it adds up to additional employees to serve the people or that the fees for
permits could be reduced.
It all adds up and it seems clear that the Council does not respect where the
money is coming from and that every dollar matters.
His other comments shows that he just does not get it.
But if the committee considers council benefits a serious budget item, Judge
said, he's open to the suggestions.
The benefits was an issue in the last election,
but he does not seem to remember that nor does he seem to really want to raise
the issue at a Council meeting.
The names change,
but the people remain the same.
"It's not a bad recommendation," he said. "I'm not a big fan of the council
getting all the benefits that they get as far as the medical; I think it's a
little over the top."
Ok Mr. Judge,
if you think that the medical insurance is over the top,
then please explain to the people of this City,
who you were elected to represent and serve,
what exactly you are doing about this?
Nothing as far as I know.
Although Judge said during his campaign last fall that he wouldn't take any
benefits since he receives them from his employer, the Los Angeles Police
Department, he does in fact accept some of them.
the names change,
but the people remain the same and you can't trust what most people say during
an election campaign.
"The only thing I took from the city was the vision coverage . . . and I took
the 401(k), which is like a matching thing-I kick in a little, the city kicks
in a little," he said. "Those two I kept because I didn't think those were
cost-prohibitive for the city."
Does Mr. Judge not understand that it all adds up?
Just another politician who is getting what they can get from the people,
in conflict with what their word was in the election.
$20 is not much,
so it would not be cost-prohibitive for you to give me $20/month out of your
Care to do that?
It is only $20/month?
his statements is just a sorry excuse as to why he can get more for himself.
I had hoped he was better than that when he was running in the last election,
but his words and actions so far show that he is no different than any other
Judge said the mileage allowance and flex-pay benefits help cover the cost of
driving to and from meetings and events and attending charitable functions. But
he agrees that council members shouldn't receive a pension.
So what is Mr. Judge doing to stop the Council from getting a pension?
Just talk, nothing more, no action.
While going to events and attending charitable functiosn is nice,
it is really NOT doing City business.
It is more like campaigning for the next election and/or getting free stuff.
The City (aka the people of the City) should NOT be paying for this.
"That's where you get career politicians in a City Council," he said.
Now that is a statement that I can agree with Mr. Judge on.
Getting Vision coverage and a 401k is also how you get career politicians.
Barbra Williamson, the longest serving council member, said she believes the
committee's suggestion regarding council compensation is a fair request.
People of this City have been making the request to reduce the Council
so why did Ms. Williamson not consider that a fair request?
Is it that she is understanding that this is going to be an issue in the next
so she has to position herself now?
"I have to tell you quite honestly, we're not in this job because of the
benefits. They're there and they're really nice, but when I took a look at
those (recently), I was shocked actually."
Since Ms. Williamson has been on the Council for a long time and the Council is
supposed to oversee the operation of the City,
could someone explain to me how Ms. Williamson could be shocked at the
Was she not paying attention?
Was she not doing what she was elected to do?
Or was her attention towards other things,
such as what she gets?
I recall a comment from her about the good food and wine that she got at an
so perhaps that is what she is focused on.
She thinks the mileage allowance, disability and life insurance are
appropriate. Still, she's open to discussion.
Due to the abuse,
I don't think that the mileage allowance is acceptable,
but instead they should be required to only get money for the actual miles that
This should be documented so that the people of the City can see how their
money is being spent and the mileage should be limited to only Official City
not all the other events that Council members go to in order to get re-elected.
Ms. Williamson needs to explain why disability and life insurance are
appropriate for what the City considers a part-time job.
This statement shows me that Ms. Williamson's judgement is flawed.
Actions speak louder than words and so far these people who are supposed to
represent the people are only speaking,
Perhaps this article will force the Council to do the right thing since it
seems clear that they will not do the right thing on their own.
The people of this City needs to watch what the Council is doing,
not just their words,
and also elect people who are honest
and who speak the truth,
rather than what people want to hear.
Index for Save Simi Valley
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