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Richard Rider

Columnist thinks CA suffers from “generations of excessive frugality.” Seriously???

California columnist Joe Mathews raises a great issue in a U-T op-ed — California’s problem of us increasingly paying more for less.  It’s a major issue, especially with government services.

But then he fails miserably — not identifying the single biggest factor.  In this case, he never addresses the principal reason why the cost of California government services are so high — and how that high cost impacts the quantity and quality of such services.

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2015/oct/21/california-costs-economy-taxes/

The primary problem?  We overpay and over-pension our CA state and local “public servants” — compared to other states, and especially compared to the California private sector.  That unnecessary expense adversely impacts government’s ability to adequately deliver its services.

For instance, the average California firefighter is paid 60% more than paid firefighters in the other 49 states. CA cops are paid 56% more. Are our firefighters 60% better than firefighters in the other states?  Are our cops 56% better?  Not likely.

www.tinyurl.com/CA-ff-and-cop-pay

Meanwhile the CA 2011 median household income (including our 2,400,000[!] or so government workers) is only 13.4% above above the national average. There’s no justification for this public employee excessive compensation cost.

www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_income 

and

http://www.topix.com/forum/state/ca/TG5QS6TN2977KU7UI

Mathews states that “ ‘More for less’ in California is the consequence of long-term trends and public policies. The gist: Generations of excessive frugality and underinvestment have created various forms of scarcity in public services.”

Seriously??  California has experienced “generations of excessive frugality“??? In what parallel universe is that true?

CA is one of the three highest taxed states in America, and that’s not counting our madhouse “fee” and fine structure that periodically gouges us “Hazzard County” style — far more than the fees and fines levied in other states.  For instance, our CA traffic tickets average triple the cost of other states.

We taxpayers have “invested” plenty over the years, but most of it has gone for excessive public employee pay and benefits — not counting the huge unfunded taxpayer liability for all the underfunded pensions and retiree healthcare.  Yes, much of that excess should have been invested in infrastructure improvements — but though we taxpayers coughed up the “investment” money, and it was then spent at the behest of the public employee labor unions — not for what was needed.

And then, to add insult to injury, when our CA politicians deign to spend some money on our infrastructure, they seek to do it in the most inefficient manner possible — paying “prevailing wage” rates (a.k.a. the highest wage rates and benefits by far) to labor union construction firms that in turn must comply with “make work” union rules. This overspending coupled with limiting bidders on such projects drives up our construction costs 30% or more — giving us less bang for the infrastructure buck.

BTW, water is one of the “pay more for less” irritations we face in California, as Mathews correctly points out.  But even our higher “water” rates are partially related to our overpaying government employees.  Buried in every public water agency’s budget are the salaries and benefits we pay the employees of these monopolies. These gold-plated payments fly below the radar of the press and taxpayers, but are worth a look.

Here’s one water agency’s rates — typical of what such agencies throughout the state pay.  It’s the Marin Municipal Water District.  12 pages — I’ll post here only page 1 — generally the highest paid folks.  But look at the other pages as well (the bottom pages are part-timers, or people who left or retired during the year, or people who changed job positions during the year [job title changers will show up as two employees in the stats]).

CAUTION:  First take your blood pressure medicine.  And then, if your head hasn’t yet exploded, consider searching your OWN water district — if you dare.

http://transparentcalifornia.com/salaries/marin-municipal-water/   


All salaries for Marin Municipal Water
595 employee records found – Page 1 of 12

 Download records |  Discuss records |  View all localities

Search within these records:

   Year            2013          2012              
Name Job title Regular pay Overtime pay Other pay Total
benefits
Total pay &
benefits
KUMAR, KRISHNA General ManagerMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $207,591.00 $0.00 $8,026.00 $73,777.00 $289,394.00
CASEY, MARY District General CounselMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $210,496.00 $0.00 $11,424.00 $59,326.00 $281,246.00
BAN, MICHAEL Environmental & Engineering Svcs Div MgrMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $180,313.00 $0.00 $6,378.00 $68,426.00 $255,117.00
DELGADO, OREEN Finance Division ManagerMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $176,308.00 $0.00 $12,219.00 $57,995.00 $246,522.00
CRONIN, THOMAS Facilities and Watershed ManagerMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $177,260.00 $0.00 $5,101.00 $58,613.00 $240,974.00
WILLIAMSON, A. MARK Human Resources Division ManagerMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $155,608.00 $0.00 $7,206.00 $61,628.00 $224,442.00
LAHAYE, JON Principal Engineer – PlanningMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $157,692.00 $1.00 $4,870.00 $50,604.00 $213,167.00
OHMART, JEFFREY Principal Engineer-Design & ConstructionMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $152,878.00 $0.00 $2,602.00 $51,004.00 $206,484.00
FAIRCHILD, ROBERT Information Technology ManagerMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $150,259.00 $0.00 $9,321.00 $41,024.00 $200,604.00
MIRCHANDANI, ROGER System Maintenance SuperintendentMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $135,734.00 $1,350.00 $13,562.00 $46,312.00 $196,958.00
MCDONNELL, KEVIN Senior Engineer IIMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $140,320.00 $0.00 $6,690.00 $48,091.00 $195,101.00
CARNEY, DANIEL Water Conservation ManagerMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $140,262.00 $0.00 $2,758.00 $46,952.00 $189,972.00
SUSKIND, STEVEN Senior Engineer IIMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $144,583.00 $0.00 $8,995.00 $32,216.00 $185,794.00
WESTERMAN, ERIK Superintendent of OperationsMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $139,084.00 $0.00 $3,963.00 $38,724.00 $181,771.00
ANDERSEN, GARY Assistant Superintendent of OperationsMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $124,026.00 $2,015.00 $7,164.00 $45,355.00 $178,560.00
KENNEY, JAMES Superintendent of Water TreatmentMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $123,789.00 $268.00 $8,475.00 $44,763.00 $177,295.00
PISCHEL, ELIZABETH Public Information OfficerMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $123,477.00 $0.00 $6,491.00 $43,469.00 $173,437.00
ANDERSON, DAIN Environmental Services CoordinatorMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $125,849.00 $0.00 $3,440.00 $43,995.00 $173,284.00
YAP, JAYSON Information Systems Analyst SupervisorMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $121,795.00 $3,931.00 $2,355.00 $44,117.00 $172,198.00
HOGAN, WILLIAM Watershed Protection MGR-Chief RangerMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $125,196.00 $62.00 $2,558.00 $43,918.00 $171,734.00
SWEZY, DAVID Watershed Resources ManagerMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $133,699.00 $0.00 $6,649.00 $30,036.00 $170,384.00
ARCHER, JEFFREY Information Systems Analyst IIIMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $105,227.00 $20,355.00 $2,048.00 $40,653.00 $168,283.00
SELLIER, PAUL Senior Engineer I – ManagerMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $131,972.00 $0.00 $7,107.00 $29,105.00 $168,184.00
CRAIG, FORREST Construction Inspector IIMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $91,345.00 $33,909.00 $4,897.00 $37,732.00 $167,883.00
MORRISON, PAUL Engineering Support Services ManagerMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $122,172.00 $2.00 $2,000.00 $43,230.00 $167,404.00
MCGHIE, ROBERT Information Systems Analyst SupervisorMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $121,845.00 $2.00 $642.00 $44,120.00 $166,609.00
MACHADO, DARREN Supv Facilities Maint & Special ProjectsMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $87,974.00 $33,407.00 $6,601.00 $36,174.00 $164,156.00
HEDEEN, MARK Utility System SpecialistMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $82,290.00 $39,160.00 $5,838.00 $35,844.00 $163,132.00
PIERI, ROBERT Field SupervisorMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $103,669.00 $3,895.00 $15,709.00 $39,323.00 $162,596.00
SEITEL, FREDERICK Senior Engineer I – ElectricalMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $117,484.00 $0.00 $1,633.00 $43,404.00 $162,521.00
GOWAN, CARL Senior Engineer IMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $118,484.00 $1.00 $0.00 $43,398.00 $161,883.00
STROM, MICHAEL Utility Crew LeaderMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $87,104.00 $24,371.00 $12,300.00 $36,151.00 $159,926.00
KLEIN, JANET Natural Resources Program ManagerMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $115,339.00 $0.00 $2,323.00 $41,836.00 $159,498.00
SCHENONE, JOHN Construction Inspector IIMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $87,727.00 $28,498.00 $4,822.00 $38,132.00 $159,179.00
INGWERSEN, HANK Construction Inspector IIMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $94,154.00 $26,954.00 $4,575.00 $33,477.00 $159,160.00
AUGHNEY, MICHAEL Supv Facilities Maint & Special ProjectsMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $98,854.00 $3,199.00 $17,534.00 $39,323.00 $158,910.00
DE MARCO, MIKE Assistant Superintendent Water TreatmentMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $109,188.00 $55.00 $5,942.00 $41,776.00 $156,961.00
ZABOROWSKI, WOJCIECH Associate Engineer – CivilMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $114,613.00 $0.00 $0.00 $41,583.00 $156,196.00
MOMSEN, MICHAEL Utility System SpecialistMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $82,290.00 $31,516.00 $5,938.00 $35,844.00 $155,588.00
GOLDSTEIN, GLENN Mechanical & Electrical Operations SuperMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $109,513.00 $760.00 $3,377.00 $41,752.00 $155,402.00
PEERY, JAN Safety and Risk ManagerMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $105,568.00 $0.00 $6,175.00 $40,044.00 $151,787.00
SHIRKEY, MARK Information Systems Analyst IIIMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $110,052.00 $362.00 $0.00 $40,650.00 $151,064.00
PAULSON, RICHARD Senior Construction InspectorMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $101,925.00 $9,172.00 $250.00 $38,945.00 $150,292.00
GRIM, THOMASIN Grant Program CoordinatorMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $110,884.00 $2.00 $7,235.00 $31,879.00 $150,000.00
ANDREW, GREGORY Fisheries Program ManagerMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $106,905.00 $0.00 $898.00 $41,830.00 $149,633.00
MARA, DECLAN Utility Crew LeaderMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $81,408.00 $20,897.00 $10,784.00 $35,841.00 $148,930.00
FEERY, SEAN Information Systems Analyst IIMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $100,098.00 $5,550.00 $2,559.00 $38,826.00 $147,033.00
SANDERS, CARL Watershed Maintenance SupervisorMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $103,658.00 $3,452.00 $347.00 $39,374.00 $146,831.00
WHITE, RONALD Mechanical & Electrical Main. Worker IVMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $91,560.00 $3,500.00 $13,332.00 $37,108.00 $145,500.00
AGUIRRE, MIGUEL Treatment Plant System Operator IIIMarin Municipal Water, 2013 $88,806.00 $8,547.00 $16,306.00 $31,411.00 $145,070.00

 Download Marin Municipal Water payroll data for 2013

 Download Marin Municipal Water payroll data for 2012