Schweitzer digs a deeper hole.

In today’s Orange County Register, Don Schweitzer offers a weak response after weeks of no response. Hammered in the news media and local coffee shops, Council and staff have come under heavy fire for their blind approval of hefty raises to their flex benefits.

Reading between the lines.

The much larger policy question is not how much medical coverage should the city provide sitting council members, but how much longer are we going to get the runaround about what the true total compensation package is and what sort of retirement benefits come with the job?

Council has long masqueraded their $600+ stipend as being their total compensation, playing a deceptive game of semantics when the real monthly figure is purportedly on the upside of $2,200. $26,400 per year, which interestingly enough is what has just been reported by major news outlets as the average full time earnings in this country for almost half the population.

Start thinking about us for once.

Schweitzer, the third generation to think they know what’s better for us than we do and to spend more time building the family legacy… leaving the Schweitzer footprint all over town from rarely visited museums, rose gardens, to Cooperstown knockoffs and war memorials… devotes over 200 words in this essay trying to score political points.

His equivalent of a sound bite. Fail.

Everything Schweitzer and his cohorts do involves the public trust, not just Council compensation. I would guess that his silence was more due to damage control than diligence.

Oh please, does he really think we’re idiots?

He finally succumbed to public pressure, a little bit, and is trying to minimize potential vulnerabilities to his (possible) campaign for reelection. Fail.

Put it on the record.

This, and several other important matters, need to find their way onto the Council agenda, not just the study session when most Brea residents are at work and the TV cameras are unavailable, but for the general session which will allow residents to share their opinions and ideas, where the meeting can be seen live and and archived for future review and reference.

24 thoughts on “Schweitzer digs a deeper hole.

    • It seems that so many politicians have forgotten that, particularly the small town home grown variety. They try to make you believe they’re doing you a favor, stepping up to run things on your behalf, when they’re spending our tax dollars on boondoggle projects and leaving their mark all over the city on little brass plaques.

    • Brea is a great little community with it’s own unique history. It’s just gotten politically somewhat inbred, nothing a motivated voting public couldn’t change if they heard the truth more often.

  1. Any hidden perks and retirement benefits must be disclosed. Why should anyone get retirement benefits for a part time, short term job?

  2. Exactly right Jeanette! Even those who try to turn their position into a twenty year gig thanks to no term limits, ought not tap the system for retirement benefits.

  3. Most people are not getting retirement benefits for their full time jobs. Part time politicos shouldn’t be getting any.

  4. Thanks Debbie, I’ll do all I can to fill in the blanks and shed a little light on any misinformation. It’s still up to the reader to take full responsibility in understanding the issues and where council members and candidates stand on them. There are few things more powerful that an informed voter.

    Like I said in the opening post, my goal isn’t to build a fan base, but to encourage readers to get to the heart of things on their own. To help them ask more questions, expect more answers and to develop the ability to separate the truth from fiction. When they do that, I’ll be more than happy to live with whatever they decide is best for Brea.

  5. Nice work, Rick, and congrats on the new blog. Glad to see you’re stirring things up. Many pols have a tendency to double-dip when it comes to pensions. They trade in one government job for another and then collect pensions on both.

    Check out this proposal idea I found about Congress, which could even apply on a local level:

    Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best quotes about the debt ceiling:
    “I could end the deficit in 5 minutes,” he told CNBC. “You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election
    The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple! The people demanded it. That was in 1971…before computers, e-mail, cell phones, etc.
    Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took 1 year or less to become the law of the land…all because of public pressure.
    Warren Buffet is asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise.
    In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message. This is one idea that really should be passed around.

    Congressional Reform Act of 2011
    1. No Tenure / No Pension.
    A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.
    2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security.
    All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.
    3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.
    4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
    5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.
    6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.
    7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/12. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen.
    Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.
    If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only take three days for most people (in the U.S.) to receive the message. Maybe it is time.

    • Mitch, thanks for taking the time to save and post that here. I’d seen the Warren Buffet remarks and love the 3% of GDP rule. Not sure how to translate that to the local level. I’ll probably have to wait until Jimmy Buffet wades in on this.

      Welcome to Margaritaville.

    • Thanks Suki! What I would love to see happen is that a few single voices would grow into a chorus of public opinion, that their song would resonate all the way to the ballot box and we could send a few of these carpet baggers packin’.

  6. Rick – it’s great to have local voices – I love that we live in a time where the people can have a voice not just the traditional media – your blog will be quite a service to the Brea community. Looking forward to more of your articles..

    • Cyndee, given a little time and traction, I would hope this little blog would help make a difference. Thanks to you and all who have responded for your support!

    • Steve, to one such as yourself, who is no stranger to taking a stand, thanks.

      I think this forum and format has far greater grassroots potential than any five minute commentary you, I or anyone might make during Matters from the Audience. Of greatest importance, we have something we can point voters to when it’s time to make a choice.

      Hopefully, this will help lead to better choices in the future and a better Brea for us all.

  7. Absent divine intervention at the next Council meeting, Don Schweitzer will ascend to the throne once again bypassing the true heir apparent, Marty Simonoff. This will be the second time the Wizard’s majority has snubbed the veteran council member. Adding insult to injury, we will see Brett Murdock dubbed the Clown Prince (MPT).

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