Culver City Observer -

Culver's Deficit Exceeds $360 Million?

Observer Columnist

 

February 23, 2017



Has Mayor Jim Clarke mentioned our city of approximately 40,000 is in the red by over $360 million? Perhaps Jeff Cooper, soon to be mayor, will get a loan from his employer, Wells Fargo Bank, to cover any bounced city checks.

If you need another example of pension abuse, just look to Jacksonville, Florida. America’s oldest city is in the hole $2.85 billion for its pension debt (December 21, 2016, the Times-Union, page 31).

Rumor is strong that our city needs to dump its garbage collection service so the fat cats will get their annual automatic pension increase. Many of us just don’t know who has Cooper’s ear, but soon to be on the Culver City ballot will be a proposal to change term limits of our city council from 8 to 12 years. Since Cooper was elected I believe he has voted for every tax increase.

After reading over and over that our military had reductions over the last administration I was pleasantly surprised to see the Navy Force Structure Assessment chart and the increase of 46 ships in 2016 over 2014. Major changes: aircraft carriers 11 to 12; large surface Combatants 88 to 104; and attack submarines from 48 ships to 66.

For those who enjoy speeding on the freeway do I have bad news for you? On Interstate 10 (the Santa Monica Freeway) between Jacksonville and Tallahassee, Florida, the government will install traffic cameras and vehicle detection sensors. The public has been told these devices will be used to allow emergency agencies to better detect traffic slowdowns which can be posted to drivers via overhead message boards. This phase should be completed by November 2019 at an estimated cost of $31.7 million for 170 detectors and 30 overhead digital signs. Personally, I feel if the FBI, CIA and Homeland Security are looking for someone, they will also use this equipment to find you.

Have you read that Starbucks is planning to open 12,000 more coffee shops by 2021? Is the rumor floating around that one café will be in the Julian Dixon County Library?

A question all ladies should ask is this: “Does this test or treatment work well for women in the hospital or in the doctor’s office?” If not, why not?

A short time ago I picked up a copy of “On Common Ground News” and read that De Kalb County Chief Executive Officer Michael Thurmond proposes a $1.3 billion budget. Included in fiscal year 2017 budget is:

1. $17.2 million to fully fund the pay raises

2. $2.1 million to fund 20 additional police positions

3. $600,000 for police body cameras and other items

Hard to believe the Presidents’ nominee for Treasury Secretary Mr. Steven Mnuchin failed to disclose $100 million in assets to Congress. I wish I had those kinds of problems.

The housing market here in Georgia has, over the past 12 months, really taken off. The median home price in the Metro Atlanta area last month was $222,000. That’s right – from January 2016 to January 2017 it’s up 6 percent. Homes sold in December 2016 were approximately 2,400 with a typical starter price rising 7.5 percent to $80,000.

What do you do as a city councilmember if you see several homes about to fall down, and with city and county taxes unpaid for the longest time? The Brunswick City Commission is looking into a land bank. Their city would buy the property and fix it up for sale. The buyer would then pay all back taxes to the county and city. It seems like a great idea for everyone in Georgia.

The 2017 model year Insurance Institute for Highway Safety choices were recently announced:

Small cars Chevrolet Volt

Midsize cars Honda Accord

Midsize luxury cars Audi A4

Large luxury cars Genesis G80

Small SUVS Mazda CX3

Midsize SUVS Honda Pilot

Midsize luxury SUVS Acura MDX

Mini van Chrysler Pacifica

Large pickup Honda Ridgeline

A while back I was going through some Sports Illustrated magazines from 10 years ago; do you remember McLaren Mercedes was fined $100 million for using Ferrari data to improve its own race car?

Dick Clark must be rolling over in his grave now that his company was sold for $1 billion to China’s D. Wanda Group.

Are you a civil engineer with a degree from USC or UCLA and after months on the unemployment rolls you still cannot get a job? Well, Cousin Neil has an answer, and before your interest on the student loan causes you to flip hamburgers at two Wendy’s, why not drill a tunnel between San Diego and Mexico? About a year ago the Feds seized a ton of cocaine and more than seven tons of marijuana. There’s big money to be made here, but don’t do anything criminal.

For those who missed an article, all my commentaries can be found at http://www.culvercityobserver.com by placing Rubenstein in the website’s search box.

 

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