A pair of articles demonstrates how TransparentCalifornia.com data helps to empower the public.
An East Bay Times op-ed entitled EBMUD, Central San rate hikes? Give us a break argues that continual rate hikes are the result of soaring pay packages:
In April, the Central Contra Costa Sanitary District approved its latest rate increase for treating wastewater flows, now charging $530 annually per single-family home. That’s a 182 percent increase since 2000, when the rate was $188. And, 2018’s planned rate boost to $567 will take the 2000-2019 increase to more than 200 percent.
Meanwhile, the district’s board approved a 4.4 percent salary increase for its employees in this last year of a current five-year contract that has guaranteed an increase every year.
Placing related figures posted at http://transparentcalifornia.com on a spreadsheet shows Central San’s 278 full-time and highly compensated part-time individuals as having already averaged $116,280 in 2016 pay, and $100,437 in benefits, including extraordinary pension contributions, funded by district ratepayers.
The benefits also provide 13 paid holidays and up to six weeks of vacation.
An excellent VoiceofOC.org report, “Amid Funding Shortfall, Santa Ana Raises Median Police Compensation Above $213,000″ exposes how elected officials sell out their constituents — who had median private earnings of only $27,000 — while enriching the public unions who get them elected.
As for the market rate comparison, Kurtz, the interim city manager, said city staff’s analysis found Santa Ana was below the officer pay rate for comparable cities by a couple of percentage points.
Kurtz said she wasn’t able to immediately provide a copy of the analysis, but that it looked at cities of a similar size and level of service, and within the same geographic pool Santa Ana would be competing with.
Voice of OC reviewed police compensation data for Santa Ana and the other two largest cities in Orange County, Anaheim and Irvine. The review found that before Wednesday’s pay raise, Santa Ana was already compensating its officers more than its two largest neighbors.
Santa Ana’s starting salary for officers was $4,400 higher than Irvine’s and $6,100 higher than Anaheim’s. And last year, median total compensation for Santa Ana officers was higher than Irvine and Anaheim, both with and without overtime included.
The police union is by far Santa Ana’s most significant election campaign contributor, with over $400,000 spent on last year’s City Council and mayoral races, including support and attack ads. It is widely expected to be a major spender in next year’s city election as well.
Obviously the average Santa Ana resident is incapable of competing with the political influence of the police union, which is why the City Council continues to enrich them at the expense of residents.