Culver City Observer -

By Neil Rubenstein
Observer Columnist 

Payroll Hit the High Note Over at City Hall

 

October 10, 2019



I am so very proud to be a resident of Culver City since 1974 or thereabouts. Yes, siree bob; our little city of 40,000 with its own police force, fire department and bus system are just amazing. Down at City Hall our benefits and wages are competitive; for example, if we eyeball the 2018 pay and benefits package received by the four employees noted by Transparent California, in the city manager’s office we would see the following:

• John Nachbor, City Manager pay and benefits, 2018 - $421,504.47, or there about

• Serena Wright, Assistant City Manager pay and benefits, 2018 - $308,806.43, or there about

• Shelly Wolfberg, Assistant to City Manager, pay and benefits, 2018 - $222,344.74, or there about

• Jesse Mays, Assistant to City Manager, pay and benefits, 2018 - $200,006.70, or there about

These salary totals $1,152,662.34 per the year of 2018, or there about

Its been eleven years since the last Backlot Film Festival took place on April 5, 2008. An idea of Culver City resident Ross Hawkins who quickly inspired a lot of Hollywood folks and Culver City leaders to get involved. There were many luminaries who filled Veterans auditorium much to many to list them all – I just bet many of you will recall Carl Reiner was the Honoree, Zev Yaroslavsky received the Founder’s Award, the Honorary Committee was Mel Brooks, Rosie Marie, Steve Martin, Lily Tomlin, Dick Van Dyke, Sid Caesar, Michele Lee, Garry Marshall, Bette Midler, Don Richles and Henry Winkler. Culver City citizens involved were Pam Robinson, Howard Welinsky, Steve Hadland, Steven Gourley and Judy Stangler.

Don’t look for Florence and Michael they have been retired as the names of hurricanes, because they cause so much destruction. In their place will be Francine and Milton. The new names will first appear during the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season. (Associated Press)

It now appears Denver passed an ordinance decriminalizing hallucinogenic magic mushrooms. (L.A. Times)

When will Dr. Hoult be named, “Poet Laureate of California?”

Dozens of retired Los Angeles City employees are collecting such generous retirement pay that they exceed pension fund limits set by the Internal Revenue Services, saddling taxpayers with additional costs, a Los Angeles Times data analysis has found. Their lavish pensions forced the city to establish an “Excess Benefit Plan” to pay what the pension system cannot legally cover, using money that could otherwise be tapped to fix sidewalks, fight homelessness or hire more cops. In all the little-known fund has paid $14.6 million to 110 retired employees since 2010. The Times analysis showed.

When is President Trump going to stop begging North Korea and get a treaty or at least an agreement on nuclear arms?

Do you realize October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month? I just hope Kelly Kent can temporarily put her campaign rumors aside and have the teachers work to eradicate this scourge. The data from the 2015 FBI Homicide Report shows 476 black females were murdered-while at a rate 2.43 per 100,000. In comparison .96 per 100,000 was the murdered rate for White females (Sentinel News Service).

It is quite disconcerting to see that not one of the unified school districts in Los Angeles County had a positive net position (UNP). In comparison with the other school districts, the CCUSD doesn’t stand out. But, when compared with good financial standards, most of the districts are not in good shape financially and we are one of the worst at number 831 out of 940 listed throughout the entire State of California.

Los Angeles County Office of Education, itself, had a much better unrestricted not position than any of its unified school districts at -$19. This is probably due to the enormous population in the county. I remember when Culver City had the fourth lowest tax rate in L.A. County, but not anymore. Local citizens are now paying taxes that is above the average percentage of Los Angeles County.

Do you follow college basketball? Many of us do and I am personally surprised with the amount of their checks the colleges pay:

Coaches making at least $3 million – Source USA Today Sports research

Year Number of Coaches

2018-2019 21

2017-2018 14

Coaches making at least $2 million

Year Number of Coaches

2018-2019 55

2017-2018 47

Average total pays among power 5 coaches

Year Amounts

2018-2019 $2.83 million

2017-2018 $2.67 million

New Mexico would become the first state to set up its own government operated marijuana store and subsidize medical cannabis for the poor under a bill brokered between Republicans and Democrats.

A County board in Arlington recently approved unanimously an incentive package for Amazon worth approximately $23 million to build a new headquarters in Northern Virginia (USA Today).

Can we be honest, companies like Apple and Amazon have cities by the throat, in my opinion, if the taxing authorities don’t give up big, big bucks they will go to another location. Could it be true when I submitted a Public Documents request the city replied our town gave up nothing. What’s a joke, but then again, I didn’t see anyone holding a Bible either.

Next year we will celebrate the 400th Anniversary of the Pilgrim landing of the Mayflower. One can only wonder about the disease, racism and oppression native people suffered after the Europeans arrived.

All weekly commentaries may treat the news with humor and satire. For those who missed an article, all my commentaries can be found at http://www.culvercityobserver.com; strolling down the page and underneath Opinion look for Rubenstein.

 

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