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Council Benefits

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.

Mr. Judge, 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.
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.
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.
Yep, the names change, but the people remain the same and you can't trust what most people say during an election campaign.
Not cost-prohbitive? 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. Mr. Judge, $20 is not much, so it would not be cost-prohibitive for you to give me $20/month out of your salary. Care to do that? It is only $20/month? Yeah, 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 politician.
So what is Mr. Judge doing to stop the Council from getting a pension? Just talk, nothing more, no action. Typical. 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.
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.
People of this City have been making the request to reduce the Council benefits, 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 election, so she has to position herself now?

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 benefits? 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 event, so perhaps that is what she is focused on.
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 they drive. 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 business, 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, no actions. 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 (not politicians) and who speak the truth, rather than what people want to hear.



Index for Save Simi Valley

Written: 27-May-2011

Updated: 27-May-2011

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