Bob Strauss has a Box of Stuff he wants to share. This will be where he shares it.
And we can now consider the Election Campaign Season as fully open.
Hollywood Circle Magazine has a write up on the recent Candidates Forum for Districts 2 and 3, you can read it here: Shootout at the OK Corral Redux.
There is no one take-away moment from the article so read the whole thing and form your own opinions.
And don’t forget to tell your candidates what you expect them to do if elected.
Public ~vs~ Private.
It’s an interesting question and the answer is constantly changing. Every private contractor will tell you they can do better than Municipal Employees and can show you an endless stream of powerpoint slides proving their point.
The reality, however, is quite often very different. An example from the city of San Diego:
The evidence is in. Given the chance, city staff can figure out how to do their work at a lower cost than private, for-profit companies can.
Muni-Workers ‘beat out’ private contractors four times running in providing services and saving money.
The article goes on to list several other examples where municipalities have brought services back in-house and saved money at the same time.
Do you remember when the Librarians and School Teachers caused the crisis way back in the 70’s?
The myth of massive bankruptcies has a cousin, the big lie that public employees — and their salaries and benefits — are the culprit. That, too, is simply untrue.
The ‘myth’ in the article is that currently five municipalities have declared bankruptcy. Only Five. Out of 50,000 Municipalities in the US. That is math out to four decimal places….. 0.0001%.
Some ‘Tidal Wave’ isn’t it?
Leave a comment on the USA Today article and show your support of Labor. And show your support for AFSCME.
One of our members asked if the website could be made multi-lingual and the answer is yes. Each area of the site should have somewhere near the top of each page a little blue button that says Translate. Clicking on the button gives you a choice of languages including Spanish, Creole, and Italian, among others.
Two things to keep in mind:
First, If the system tells you “Language under development” when you choose, give it a minute and try again. It takes a minute for the system to synch-up with the all the various translation engines. It’s a long ways to space, it takes a moment to get there and back.
Then, this is a ‘machine translator’ meaning the grammar and spelling won’t be perfect. If the translation is too terrible the please let the admin know and we’ll see if we can find a better translation system.
So Hylo; Sut Mae? and Qanuipit?
Reading an interesting article from the Minnesota Star Tribune about smaller municipalities switching away from people and to automated phone systems….
…Smaller cities are increasingly finding the receptionist a luxury they can no longer afford.
The quote was the most chilling… Employees are now considered a ‘luxury?’ And an expensive luxury to boot?
Yes, the receptionist might be the lowest pay grade out there, but it is still a person performing a job and not some luxury item that only the idle rich can afford.
The story is focused on the City’s financial issues specific to Bonds….
A 2½-year investigation by federal authorities has concluded that the city of Miami misled investors about the city’s financial health as it sold hundreds of millions of dollars worth of bonds dating back to 2007.
But it does make you wonder about the need to declare Fiscal Urgency…. if things were moved around to make the Bond deals ‘better’ why couldn’t things be moved around to make the F.U. equally necessary?
Give You Power – power that will help you make decisions about promotion policies, job security, fair hearing of grievances, better wages, pensions and much more.
You help decide your own future by joining with other public employees and by getting AFSCME’s expert help and service.
Why do I need a Union? Why do I need Local 2432?
Simply talking about issues that affect public employees just isn’t enough – you have to be heard. All by yourself, it’s hard to be heard. You and your co-workers face similar problems and have similar needs. When you organize, you’ll gain strength to make the changes you need by working together. Through AFSCME, employees have a voice – one that is heard – on the job and in the legislatures and city halls.
An excerpt from the Margate News .net regarding Red-Light Cameras:
Red Light Camera revenues not what the city thought they would be
Originally, the state wasn’t supposed to get a piece of a city’s red light camera revenues. But in July 2010 that changed when Florida lawmakers enacted legislation requiring Florida cities to fork over more than 50 percent of red-light camera fines to state coffers, leaving Margate and other cities with far fewer revenues than anticipated. For every $158 red-light camera citation Margate collects, the state gets $83.00.
But that’s not all. Of the $385,000 in red light camera fines Margate collected in October 2011 – April 2012 (the first six-months of the program in Margate), the city paid the red light camera vendor (America Traffic Solutions) $240,000 in contract services; hired two community service aides at a combined salary of $67,400 to administer the program; paid out a combined $19,000 in operating and office supplies and $6,500 in court expenses.*
Margate’s share: about $52,000.
So another Municipality acknowledges that the Red Light Camera’s were really a revenue stream and had little to do with ‘public safety.’
Now, how do we go about removing these things?