Skip to comments.Vallejo leaders should have seen crisis coming
Posted on 05/09/2008 7:54:33 AM PDT by SmithL
The question you have to ask about the officially bankrupt city of Vallejo, and other California cities with similar financial profiles, is this:
Didn't you know something was wrong when you realized you were spending 75 cents of every dollar in the general fund on public safety costs?
In a broader sense, how can any city anywhere make a legitimate claim of vibrancy when so many essential social services are shortchanged?
It seems we're about to find out in Vallejo, a city with a population of 117,000 whose City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to file Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection to reorganize its finances.
In the meantime, a city already well-known for its lack of basic municipal services, such as filling potholes, seems certain to be in for even leaner times.
Some residents, already up in arms about the city's bankruptcy, don't expect things to get much worse, mainly because city services have been slashed to rock-bottom levels already.
"I think it will be more or less the same," said Vallejo resident Marc Garman, whose Web site, ibvallejo.com, has become a public forum for the city's governmental collapse.
"We have a dearth of services right now," he said.
Even before the council voted on the bankruptcy, Vallejo city officials drastically cut funding to a variety of social services, including those for senior citizens, libraries, museums and the city pool, along with laying off city planners and public works employees.
Vallejo's two county library branches will continue to operate, although probably with reduced service hours to the public, said Ann Cousineau, Solano County's director of library services.
...In addition, services for the city's senior citizens face a minimum 20 percent cut from the current budget of $500,000 a year.
(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...
Maybe Vallejo residents should apply for concealed-carry licenses since the city is obviously unprepared to provide meaningful police services.
Perhaps people should take the initiative to fill their own potholes - they’re responsible for the cracks in their driveways already.
Especially if the cops and firefighters make huge salaries. You would think the pothole fillers union would have gotten in on the action....
Just like California leaders should’ve seen that crisis coming.
Liberal leaders want to do to the country at large what they have done to California..... sound of crickets
It's Bush's fault!
Vallejo Bankruptcy Ping
Some Vallejo muni salaries:
4 Ronald W. Becker Police Department $299,143
5 James L. Higgins Fire Department $251,094
6 Lamonte K. Morris Fire Department $247,902
7 Russell S. Sherman Fire Department $238,725
8 Richard E. Mackenzie Fire Department $236,701
9 John A. Barbuzano Fire Department $236,467
10 Gordon C. Moncibais Fire Department $233,338
11 Michael Kirchner Fire Department $229,317
12 Gregory R. Falkenthal Fire Department $226,235
13 Alphonzo L. Love Fire Department $223,933
14 Michael Deroque Fire Department $222,755
15 Douglas T. Robertson Fire Department $221,458
16 Kurt P. Henke Fire Department $218,830
17 Raymand R. Dandridge Fire Department $217,920
18 David A. Urrutia Fire Department $215,060
19 Sean Fields Fire Department $214,219
20 William G. Donovan Police Department $213,768
21 Mansfield S. Simmons Fire Department $212,395
22 Herman E. Robinson Police Department $211,556
23 Kevin M. Kelley Police Department $211,382
24 John J. Ha Fire Department $209,547
25 Robert W. Nichelini Police Department $207,294
26 David C. Jackson Police Department $206,559
27 Michael Brooks Fire Department $205,793
28 Michael H. Humphrey Fire Department $205,335
32 Joel Salinas Police Department $199,361
33 Larry W. Bohlig Fire Department $199,298
34 Maynard B. Catiis Fire Department $198,971
35 Lori A. Lee Police Department $197,037
36 Johah Nuuhiwa Fire Department $196,300
37 Matthew E. Fenzl Fire Department $195,896
38 Patrick S. Higgins Fire Department $195,397
39 Mark S. Sharpe Fire Department $195,238
40 Jerry A. Valenzuela Fire Department $193,562
41 Raymond W. Jackson Fire Department $193,216
42 William J. Tweedy Fire Department $192,641
43 Gregory A. White Fire Department $191,996
44 Thomas M. Liddicoet Police Department $191,361
45 Patrick W. Walsh Fire Department $189,698
46 Dyhanne E. Strohmeyer Fire Department $189,584
47 Kenny Park Police Department $188,882
48 Vincent J. Sarullo Fire Department $188,825
49 Donald R. Parker Fire Department $188,727
50 Charles R. Rivers Fire Department $188,576
51 Eric B. Strom Fire Department $187,825
52 Craig A. Whittom Community Development Dept. $187,300
53 Jon D. Riley Fire Department $185,640
54 Frederick Taylor Fire Department $184,366
55 Daniel L. Sarna Fire Department $184,069
56 Michael B. Carpenter Fire Department $183,641
And their solution is to cut city services and not social programs? The next time they have an earthquake tell them to call the Senior Social Center or the Library.
Awful big list of big salaries for a small city like that - I’d expect that for NYC or LA...but a city barely over 100,000?
I live in Florida. We not only fill our own potholes, we pave our own roads. And I am talking about suburbia, not rural.
Here in Pasco, the street takes a vote to pave or not. If you decide to pave, the cost is split up among residents and paid over several years.
That's an interesting (ok, slightly interesting) difference in nomenclature between the US and UK. 117000 is about the population of Ashford in Kent (UK), and yet its enough for a City in the US.
As a native San Franciscan, and Californian who left the State 15 years ago......All I can say is those politicians who helped F@#$ up the State are now some of the major players in the politics of our country!!!!
Dianne Frankenstein,Barbara the Boxer(who has a daughter married to Hellary’s brother)NancyPelosi(a carpebagger from Baltimore, whose father and brother were once mayor there) That two bit House member Waxman, and a guy who just died, Tom Latnose, all have had a big say in our government!!!There’s more too but I forgot their names...
Hey, you can add Arnold Schwarzennegger too....
He says he a Republican but would you want him dealing in our nation’s politics?
Wake up America, and throw the bums out!!
Chip’s premise is a little flawed. The city’s leaders saw the problem coming three years ago. The labor contracts signed over prior decades limited their ability to deal with it.
I think you have it right. These are big-shot salaries - and plenty of them - for a frankly tiny "City". How many taxpayers out of 117,000, to support this level of largesse?
City’s really a political subdivision in the US, so size can be quite small. I spend time regularly in a California city of 17000.
“Awful big list of big salaries for a small city like that - Id expect that for NYC or LA...but a city barely over 100,000?”
Exactly. I’m in favor of paying firemen & cops pretty decent, but there are a few too many $250K+ dudes in there, not to mention the $180K guys. Forget not that there are undoubtedly some good numbers of retired muni employees not shown and their pensions are of course calc’ed on their old salaries. And oh yeah, I couldn’t find nos 1-4!
Can you share the link with us?
So were the people who voted for them. The union goons who wanted the dough were perfectly happy to stick it to the stupid voters later.
The enviros, afraid of a liquefied natural gas terminal, didn't want the commerce. The guys who promised unfunded goodies and "protection" from the gas terminal won the election.
No terminal. The "stupid" voters who got stuck blew town.
A "crisis" ensues.
That is illuminating, thank you.
Won't matter. They will just be replaced with a new group of bums.
The problem is that citizens looking to govt to fix everything they don't like.
That guarantees you will always have bums, and lots of em.
I did a quick addition and that’s about $10.2 million just on the list you posted.
What do you call the entity of Ashford in Kent (UK)?
I’m sure these high salaries have nothing to do with a decent portion of them going to union dues, and then transfered to democrat election campaigns.
Should have seen it coming, just like all the CA liberals “should see it coming” that the entire State of CA is headed for insolvency. But either they are blind, or they simply don’t care.
Thats about 100 dollars a taxpayer, just for those guys. Sheesh.
It is not unthinkable that our federal gov’t will spend 75% of each dollar on entitlements if they meddle any further in health care.
Don’t worry though..... they will just keep borrowing money to ensure no other services or obligations are cut.
San Francisco Bay area, right next door to Marin County.....big saleries are the norm....(also illegal immigration)
Our beloved leader Gordon Brown probably calls it "collective tax-farm #1447" but to the rest of us Britons it's just a town, albeit a very fast-growing one.
or ...salarie, if you wish :^
Each State defines what consitutes a city differently as well.
“Can you share the link with us?”
Sorry, no link!
That's almost the cost of two firemen/firepersons !
Thanks for the info though, as it does help to put things in perspective.
Very true - making $150 grand in the Bay Area is like making 70 grand in flyover country...but that’s still a large list of high salaries for a small city like that.
That is the City of Vallejos HR page which lists salaries of firefighters. Looks like they actually make about $81k a yr base salary. The newspapers in California are famous for taking the top income earners in a department and posting it as if it is a regular salary, it is not. Most of the top incomes are made via overtime. The papers never mention it though.
“City” refers to the form of government, not the size. There are also towns and villages, but you can have a village bigger than a town and a town bigger than a city.
Yes but the scam is that the overtime pay is loaded up in the years just before retirement which leads to a higher basis which is used to calculate retirement pay. Meaning a guy that makes 110K as a fireman, working 14 days a month by the way...works OT for the last 3 years, averages $165,000 and then receives 80% of the 165,000 for the rest of his life. By the way that fireman might be 53 years old when he retires.....
I don't know about Vallejo, but I believe what you say is true in many situations. They either don't care, believing that there will be some safety net way down the road that will correct their current ill-doings or they have their own personal escape-hatch to retreat with their goodies and the ultimate "crisis" is actually by design.
As someone posted above, we need to "throw the bums out."
CCW is under control of the local Sheriff in California. Given that it's Solano County, that's not as bad as some, but still iffy.
There is nothing that you or I can do. In a Democracy when the majority decides that it wants everything and it wants the minority to pay, it is all over. The minority votes by leaving. That is why there are gutted cities sprinkled around the country.
In Florida a cirty is any incorporated municipality. We have cities with less than 20 inhabitants.