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Revenues Needed

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Revenues Needed

Postby The Watcher » Sat Feb 16, 2013 7:51 am

Was reading the aricle about the city needing more revenue in the next fiscal year. The suggestion was to seek a sales tax measure to help compensate for the anticipated shortfall in revenues. I know, it's always the answer right?

Of concern were police costs including:
Additional expenses include $310,000 in police overtime...
...funding a fifth police lieutenant's position created for former interim Police Chief Dan Fish...

They also include several unbudgeted expenses, such as $84,000 for a new parking enforcement computer system

$77,000 in police retirement payouts

Fire costs:
$92,000 in fire department overtime and compensation

Parks & Rec costs:
$40,000 in parks maintenance water usage bills.


So here are my questions/suggestions:
For police overtime - how much real crime is out there that requires overtime? Besides traffic stops, how many B&Es, murders, rapes, major drug transactions, etc. are you preventing, investigating, etc. The DUI work is paid for by the state so where is the OT requirement coming from? Here's an idea, sell the Police Command Unit. Or the pickup.

On the Lieutenant's position here's an idea - sorry Dan ain't gonna happen. We can't afford it and quite frankly, we're not sure we need another. In fact, what do the other 4 do? And no I have nothing against Mr. Fish. But in the private sector if you can't afford a position it's not created. So if it's important that Dan get this, then someone else has to go. That's how it works in the *real* world.

Police computer for parking enforcement? $84K? Really? You can get a really powerful laptop (64-bit, Windows 8, 16GB of RAM, 500GB disk drive) for ~$5K that I bet will hook up to all the systems you need as well as let you continue playing solitaire - at the same time. Parking enforement? Really? I bet it could handle the massage parlor stuff as well.

$77K in Police retirement funds - ummm how many police officers are retiring next year? I know we give to a centralized fund but really, you didn't plan for this?

$92K for fire overtime and compensation? How many car wrecks are we experiencing that we need to be paying overtime? Don't get me wrong, I know fighting fires, etc. is dangerous and I respect that but in looking at the logs seems to me 85-90% of the calls are automobile accidents/medical calls. Additionally I've wondered why trucks from the South McDowell station respond to calls in the North while the N. McDowell station folk are washing their private vehicles in the back parking lot?

$40K for water bills? How much different is this from last year, or the year before. Is this an additional cost? Too bad Measure X didn't pass. Prolly coulda covered that...oh wait that was going to be *just* for the new parks.

So let me ask city "leaders" a question - if these are unforeseen expenses why is that? Don't you get paid above-market salaries because you're so good at your job? If that's true I would think you'd be looking 3, 5, 20 years ahead at these types of issues and planning accordingly.

Oh, as was pointed out on Facebook, with the new shopping center opening, how much of *that* revenue is being included in your revenue projections?

Just looking for some real justification.
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Re: Revenues Needed

Postby Bear » Sat Feb 16, 2013 12:37 pm

agree with everything you stated, watcher. your city manager john brown, and council member mike healy, want to put a sales tax measure on the ballot in 2014. you can guess where our sales tax money will go. they will use the old line that the money will fix our streets. that will never happen. they always find something else to spend it on.
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Re: Revenues Needed

Postby russet » Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:12 am

Could not have said it better Watcher. You are right on with everything.I'm just so sick of the whole thing,and it always comes back to raising the tax so we have more money to waste. I've seen the new cars the police have. I've seen the new hires at the fire dept. Why does the city get to waste water on parks and we have to foot the bill for it? Why are we told to put rocks and bark in our yards to conserve water and the city puts in grass and plants and trees that we have ro pay to maintain? The only waste I can see is the city themselves. ENOUGH SAID!
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Re: Revenues Needed

Postby mongoose » Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:48 am

Instead of picking on the police department (BTW, they don't have new cars, several they have are id dire need of replacement) and the fire department (who also are in desparate need of new vehicles) lets look at the true waste. How much money has been spent on things outside the city. Dutra, the Rohnert Park casino, the Roblar quarry and now Lafferty has surfaced agained. All items brought up by Healy. I say when the problems are fixed in the city then we can look outside at problems. It seems that Mr Healy is more interested in dealing with county issues instead of city issues. Maybe he should be supervisor. Oh wait, he got his butt kicked in that election. God help us if the Petaluma Princess gets back in because then we will really be spending money on needless expenses. John Brown is more interested in finding a new job than running the city properly. Ask yourselves are we better off as a city since Brown got here. I think not.
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Re: Revenues Needed

Postby fxlnll » Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:07 pm

mongoose wrote:Instead of picking on the police department (BTW, they don't have new cars, several they have are id dire need of replacement) and the fire department (who also are in desparate need of new vehicles) lets look at the true waste.

They have some new vehicles. They are driving around in some of the new dodge cop cars. The reason some pick on the cops is because the people that want to raise taxes are the first ones to used the cops and fireman, to blackmail the voters.
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Re: Revenues Needed

Postby da shaman » Mon Feb 18, 2013 3:01 pm

agree about what would happen if the Petaluma Princess were to be elected. I agree that we need to hold down taxes. Noreen Evans will take care of that by going after the big oil companies to pay more in taxes for the oil they take out of the ground in California. What a freakin' moron she is. Who the hell will eventually pay that "tax"? We will everytime we pump gas. What a sh*t for brains. Now back to part of the issue at hand:
the police overtime may be calculated over an average of past years OT payouts. Seeing that the P.D. officers have not had a raise in awhile this might be easy to figure out. A chief cannot come out and say "this is what we are going to spend the OT money on." There are unforeseen events (floods and other disasters, major crimes.) Organized events requiring officers usually have the sponsors ponying up with the OT cash plus.
Re. the Lts: I don't know where Fish sits in seniority. If he was the last one promoted there could always be a possibility that he can get reduced back to sergeant. Sears is the senior LT. They all have specific jobs-Admin, Patrol, Special Ops etc.
$84K for updating the parking enforcement computers: the P.E. vehicles had a special GPS computer equipment in them. They allowed the P.E. officer the ability to drive down the street and the computer would register each vehicle by plate and location. After 2 hours (or whatever) the officer could return and the computer would alert her of the vehicles in violation. This beats the hell out of walking down the street marking the tires with chalk. The computers/GPS broke a couple years ago and were never updated/repaired. Truthfully, the city would probably make back the money in no time at all.
$77K police retirement- this must be the money the city has to pay to CalPERS for the employee retirements.
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Re: Revenues Needed

Postby Bear » Mon Feb 18, 2013 5:14 pm

da shaman wrote:Re. the Lts: I don't know where Fish sits in seniority. If he was the last one promoted there could always be a possibility that he can get reduced back to sergeant.

he was demoted from police chief. where have you been??? do you even live in town? you are missing the point and guarantee when they ask the taxpayers for a sales tax increase you and your logic are the exact reason we will say no. it never ends, what you need. what about us - the taxpayers?
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Re: Revenues Needed

Postby da shaman » Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:06 am

Bear, I live in town and, maybe like you, pay taxes. My screed basically gave an opinion of where some of the money goes. Maybe it would have helped if I had indicated that if the city council would stop wasting time and money on B.S. lawsuits to stop a variety of enterprises (Dutra, R.P. casino etc) there might not be a need for additional taxes or at least a lower rate.

Now, re. Fish. He was an "interim" chief which meant that he was basically filling in until a permanent chief could be appointed. That does not necessarily protect him from demotion and should not have any affect on his seniority as a lieutenant. Unless he (and others) are afforded job and rank protection under their management association contract, anything could happen.
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Re: Revenues Needed

Postby PetalumaGal » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:47 am

My fantasy: a ballot is put out listing all the city needs. Voters vote for what they think the top ten should be. Tax revenues are divided according to the vote.
Same fantasy goes for federal tax revenues.
One can dream.
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Re: Revenues Needed

Postby walk2k » Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:13 pm

but we need police overtime to write more parking tickets to pay for more police overtime to write more ....
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