“San Bernardino city is not for sale by the citizens; however, some council-members and the city attorney appear to have been paid in full by the Firefighters and Police Association.”
What we have going on in the City of San Bernardino is the firefighters and police officers associations funding political campaigns for council members, city attorney and recently, has now sponsored the city clerk and if elected would carry their water or do their bidding at City Hall.
Already these two employee associations have made the following financial contributions to the following campaigns: Councilmember Al Jenkins of the 2nd ward was given $56,240 for his recent election of which $33,041 came from firefighters.
Council member Chas Kelley of the 5th ward has received $10,000 this year and $15,000 in 2010 from the Firefighters and $24,300 in 2011 from the Police Officers Association.
Council member Wendy McCammack received $4,000 from the Firefighters in 2010 and $2,200 in 2011and $10,000 in 2010 from the Police Officers Association.
City Attorney Jim Penman has received $4,000 in 2010 and $5,000 in 2009 from the Firefighters and $12,500 in 2011 from the Police Officers Association. Maybe they increased the amount this year because Penman is running as a slate with Amelia Sanchez-Lopez for city clerk, which is a two for one to control the records of the city clerk’s office. If one person controls the records and the legal office with the support of the employees in the police department they will control the city. The police chief would be rendered insignificant in the performance of his duties with backup of the city attorney. Penman has already demonstrated how he would govern if given the authority, ask the clergy.
These associations have pumped over $33,927 into John Valdivia’s campaign for the 3rd ward as of today with $24,178 coming from the firefighters and $9,199 from the police, which would give them four paid votes on the council.
The questions that comes to mind are why are they buying council members and what is at stake for them? The combined budget for these two departments is over $90 million dollars and they will carry over $40 million of that out of the city and into the communities in which they live. One can only imagine what $40 million dollars could do if it was invested in homes, shopping at local stores, taxes for schools, buying cars and other things that local citizens do in a city. If anyone is wondering why the city is dying, this is one of the reasons; people making a good living off of local citizens without contributing to the tax base of the city.
We have over 190 police officers and 140 firefighters earning over $100,000 a year in salaries which is 93% of the employees earning that kind of money. I am not against them earning the money but they are only taking without contributing anything to the city. It is like offshore corporate accounting or greedy Wall Street executives taking without giving. For example, only (12)6.7% of the fire department’s 179 employees and 11.9% of the police department’s 472 employees live in the city limits. Add to that, the racial and gender make up of the city in comparison to the department’s make up, is alarming. The fire department is 73.7% White and the police department is 60.7% White while the city is over 75% Latino, African American and Asian. It is even worse when it comes to the females; 98.7% of the employees in the fire department are male and in the police department the males make up 91.0% while females make up over 50% of the city. All of these taxpayers are paying for these employees to live well in other cities while paying nothing to the city where the people living below the poverty rate is 34.6% and children under 18 at 44.8%. The latest community survey from the census department said 47.7% are unemployed in the city while only 17% of Whites in the city live below the poverty level.
That is why these associations support the political campaigns of these council members and the city attorney so they can protect the $40 million for the other communities in which they live.
The citizens that I have spoken to say the city is not for sale but they do not say the same for some members of the council or the city attorney.
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