Saturday, January 19, 2013

Bobko in LA Weekly

In previous issues, the alternative periodical LA Weekly highlighted frivolous lawsuits and the inept behavior of select South Bay public safety officers. Last week’s edition touched on serious matters.

The main article, entitled “Mr. Clean of Hermosa Beach”, featured Hermosa Beach City Councilmember Kit Bobko. The article repeated the alarming indictment from the Los Angeles Grand Jury, in which Hermosa Beach faces $14 million in pension liabilities, which the city cannot afford. Public safety officers receive handsome salaries in Hermosa Beach, which had one murder in seven years and few fires. The article also reported that Councilmember Bobko has been repeatedly presenting these pressing pension problems and refuses to back down. Recent scare tactics from city union elites against Bobko include trumped-up charges of filing a false address and intimidating union appearances at city council meetings.

Even though Hermosa Beach unions agreed to a two-tiered model, excessive costs like five-figure salaried meter maids remain a waste of money, with their excessive pension liabilities weighing on the future. Although contracting private meter readers would reap massive savings in the future, Hermosa Beach leaders rejected Bobko’s proposal, retaining those pension costs.

Wisconsin’s successful reforms have saved money and jobs. Rhode Island has reached “Greek” debt levels because of pension liabilities. California taxpayers face the same fiscal crises if statewide civic leaders refuse to curb collective bargaining rights and enact pension reform. South Bay residents should support reformed-minded councilmembers. California voters should press for reforming collective bargaining rights for all public sector unions.

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