July 30, 2009

San Leandro Misses Out on Stimulus Money for Police

According to a list of grants awarded as part of the COPS Hiring Recovery Program published on July 28, 2009, San Leandro did not receive a grant it had submitted to fund six police officers.

City officials had hoped that funding from the grant would help to fund additional officers that have been lost because of retirements and budget reductions.

The COPS Hiring Recovery Program web site states that the $1 billion in grants was intended "to create and/or preserve nearly 5,000 law enforcement positions."

Neighboring cities Hayward and Oakland received funding for nine and 41 police officers, respectively, while Union City received funding for four, Richmond 8, and Emeryville two.

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July 28, 2009

Housing Element Draft Available for Review and Comment

According to a notice sent out by the City of San Leandro, an administrative draft of the San Leandro Housing Element is available for review and comment on the city's web site.

The Housing Element "addresses affordable housing and other housing issues. The update helps the City meet the state requirement to revise the housing element every five to seven years and will serve as a blueprint for accommodating San Leandro's housing needs through 2014."

Comments on the draft Housing Element can be emailed to Phil Millenbah, faxed to (510) 577-6007, by TDD at (510) 577-3343 or sent by snail mail to Mr. Millenbah's attention at 835 E. 14th St., San Leandro, CA, 94577. Comments will be accepted until August 15, 2009.

The full text of the notification is after the break:

Dear Neighbor:

We are writing to let you know that an Administrative Draft of the San Leandro Housing Element has been completed and may be reviewed on the City of San Leandro's website at http://www.ci.san-leandro.ca.us/CDHousElement2008_09.asp

During July and August 2009, this Administrative Draft will be evaluated by the State of California Department of Housing and Community Development. At the end of August, the State will issue·a formal comment letter indicating what changes (if any) will be required to receive State certification. The City will make appropriate revisions and produce a Planning Commission Draft in September 2009. At that time, a second public review and comment period will be provided and public hearings will be held.

Comments on this Administrative Draft are welcome and will be accepted through August 15, 2009. You may provide comments via email to pmillenbah@ci.san-Ieandro.ca.us, by phone to 510-517-:3321, by fax to 510-577-6007, by TDD to 510-577-3343, or by surface mail to:

Phil Millenbah
San Leandro Planning Department
835 East 14th Street
San Leandro, CA 94577
You will receive additional notification this Fall when the Planning Commission Draft is released for public review and hearings.

Sincerely

Phil Millenbah
Senior Planner

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July 27, 2009

Summer Movie NIght at Zocalo Sunday August 2

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Once again, Lisa Jackson has organized a family movie night at Zocalo Coffeehouse. Jim Henson's The Muppet Movie will be shown at 7pm on Sunday, August 2.

This 1979 live-action musical features characters voiced by Jim Henson and Frank Oz and includes appearances by Mel Brooks, Edgar Bergen, Dom Deluise, Bob Hope, Milton Berle, Jame Coburn, Elliot Gould, and Madeline Kahn.

The movie, popcorn and coffee are free. Bring blankets and pillows for the kids.

Zocalo Coffeehouse is located at 645 Bancroft Avenue near Dutton Avenue in San Leandro.

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Former City Employees Retire on More Than $100,000 A Year

Recent articles in the San Leandro Times and the Daily Review have drawn attention to the salaries and perks enjoyed by City of San Leandro employees.

According to a June 2009 San Leandro Times article, 110 city employees made more than $100,000 during the prior fiscal year, up from 78 reported in 2007.

As noted in these articles, these salaries and perks are not unusual for government employees throughout the state.

Government pensions have recently received a lot of attention, largely due to information published by the California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility at its California Pension Reform web site. The web site provides the retirement amount for government retirees receiving more than $100,000 annually through the California Public Employee Retirement System (CalPERS).

According to the California Pension Reform web site, the following former City of San Leandro employees receive more than $100,000 annually:

NameMonthlyAnnually
JOSEPH KITCHEN13,824.22165,890.64
DENNIS GLOVER11,851.32142,215.84
JAMES O'MEARA 10,539.57126,474.84
ROBERT MAGINNIS10,018.45120,221.40
JOHN BISCHOFF9,517.42 114,209.04
ROBERT ROCKETT9,505.66114,067.92
DANIEL MARCHETTI9,172.36110,068.32
WILLIAM RUGG8,735.47104,825.64
RENEE SOLOMON8,542.68102,512.16
RANDALL STOUT8,430.50101,166.00
DAN LUNSFORD 8,387.10100,645.20

San Leandro isn't unusual in the number of former employees getting more than $100,000 in retirement. It's also not unusual in that most of the former employees worked for the police department. The City of Alameda has 34 people listed, Berkeley has 37, and Hayward has 35.

Since the information at the California Pension Reform web site doesn't include recent retirees such as former City Manager John Jermanis and former Police Chief Dale Attarian, San Leandro Bytes made a request for more recent information from CalPERS. This is the current list (as of July 23, 2009):

NameMonthlyYearly
John Jermanis, Jr.$18,054.96$216,659.52
Dale S. Attarian$14,302.57$171,630.84
Joseph W. Kitchen$14,100.70 $169,208.40
Leroy E. Riordan$11,233.93 $134,807.16
Marcelus A. Decoulode$10,940.94 $131,291.28
Barbara F. Randall$9,560.60 $114,727.20
Daniel T. Marchetti$9,355.74 $112,268.88
William R. Rugg $8,910.06$106,920.72
Louis Spirou, Jr. $8,863.14$106,357.68
Randall R. Stout$8,598.86$103,186.32
James J. Johnston$8,595.75 $103,149.00

Many government employees are eligible for retirement at age 50 and receive three percent of their salary for each year of service. In addition, employees can manipulate the system to increase their pensions. For example, the former Fire Chief of Orinda and Moraga was making $186,000 before he retired, but receives an annual pension of $241,000 because he was permitted to sell unused vacation and holidays.

Unlike many retirement plans, CalPERS guarantees its pensions. This means that when CalPERS loses money on its investments, it requires local governments to pay more money into the system. As local governments struggle to survive with less revenues, increasing retirement costs may push some into fiscal ruin.

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