Is Council trying to pull a fast one?

What’s with Frank Mickadeit’s OCR column last Thursday? It’s one of the most rambling non-news pieces I’ve seen in the Register lately. A dubious honor, to be sure.

First, he lets Don Schweitzer off the hook because Don wrote a weak and blatantly self serving op-ed piece suggesting that all will be okay when they (Council) “revisit” their medical compensation.

What on earth does “revisit” mean? Are they going to flog a dead horse during a study session, effectively changing nothing, while keeping the whole affair out of public view? Unacceptable.

There’s more to discuss than just medical benefits.

No matter how hard Council tries to portray their “job” as demanding and time consuming, it’s still part time. C’mon, they didn’t know what they were getting into when they ran for office? That might be a plausible excuse for Mr. Murdock, but it doesn’t hold water for anyone else.

The whole compensation package, including whatever retirement benefits they receive, should be on the table for discussion… and not at a study session.

It’s obviously a part time job.

It’s laughable that the item won’t land on the agenda until January thanks to either cancelled meetings or the absence of various council members over the holidays. If Mickadeit’s calculations are accurate, our illustrious hard working Council will have either cancelled or run short handed for a third of their meetings during 2011.

I’m not sure how much others might be willing to pay someone to show up so sporadically, but I’m thinking it ought to be significantly less than what these guys were making before they surprised themselves with a raise.

Even the Mayor’s 100 hours a month is less than what my favorite Starbucks barista works, and he doesn’t get the sort of medical coverage and retirement they do.

Yeah, Mr. Mickadeit, I’ve circled January 3rd as well. I hope a lot of other folks do too, and show up in council chambers ready to make their opinions heard loud and clear.

I’ve also made a note about the elections next November.

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.