There’s been considerable point-counterpoint in Anaheim over the Tom Tait/Lorri Galloway Mayoral flap over the past couple of days and many of the Tait-bots complaining that Galloway has “turned on a man of integrity” Jason Young, that Tait supports traditional Democratic issues (Greg Diamond), or that Galloway is too stupid to be Mayor (Cynthia Ward: “And if Galloway was so dumb as a rock that she didn’t know any better, or failed to find out if she was unfamiliar with the show, what makes her think she is smart enough to run this City?), or comments on her decorating from someone who never set foot in her Colony home during her BoS run(Dave Zenger, “I seem to remember this was shot in her second fake new home. Just check out the thrift store furniture. Even a bad house stager would be embarrassed). Note to Dave, it wasn’t cheap furniture and the home wasn’t fake, but you certainly are).
There have been the usual strings of attacks on Galloway: what did she really do during her time on the council? I can keep bringing up her work on affordable housing that helps working class families in Anaheim. She helped create the Anaheim Family Justice Center to help curb domestic violence, served on the OCTA and has received numerous awards for public service
I keep hearing the word “integrity” associated with Tom Tait. So if an elected conservative Republican mayor takes credit for something they actually voted against, is that a mark of integrity?
Tait is quoted by the OC Register’s Frank Mickadeit, in a response column to Galloway’s announcement, saying he led on the issue of city budget cuts.
““When I took office, the city was losing $56,000 a day and had been for two years. If I didn’t do anything, we would have run out of money. We had eaten through $30 million in reserves. We had to make immediate cuts. A lot of people didn’t like that but it had to be done.”
“If ‘I’ didn’t do anything” is the key phrase here. As it turned out, Tait didn’t do anything.
When the Anaheim City Council voted on deficit reduction, Tait was the lone vote against moves by the council to cut the deficit in half. Galloway voted with the Council majority to cut employee pay by 5 percent. Tait voted no because the city staff was getting a 10 percent reduction in their schedules and Tait suggested that it amounted to an hourly increase even though workers were making less. The vote was not so much about the 5 percent but about restoring it after an 18 month period.
From the minutes of the March 2011 meeting:
RESOLUTION NO 2011 030 A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF ANAHEIM approving a Letter of Understanding between the D1154 Anaheim Municipal Employees Association General and Clerical Units and the City of Anaheim Council Meeting Minutes of March 22 2011.
Approve and authorize the Human Resources Director to temporarily suspend applicable personnel rules and pay policies in order to reduce the base compensation of all unrepresented employees including all management safety and non safety along with confidential employees. Human Resources Director Kristine Ridge explained Item No 19 reflected a unique concession agreement reached with one of the City largest full time unions AMEA, which would provide temporary fiscal relief and included a five percent reduction in take home pay of all AMEA fulltime employees except dispatch personnel and a corresponding reduction in all employer paid percentage based benefits such as required pension contributions matching retired health savings contributions and other items such as bilingual pay In addition to this concession there would be a modification of the overtime policy to meet the minimum FLSA standards reducing the number of hours eligible for time and a half compensation and the establishment of a 36 hour work week Council action would also consider approval of a temporary suspension of applicable personnel rules and pay policies to provide for a five percent reduction in pay for all City fulltime unrepresented employees including safety and non safety management employees and confidential employees. She added approval of this item would be for a 12 month period and was expected to generate citywide savings in personnel costs of 59million with 31 million of those savings attributed directly to the General Fund.
Mayor Tait asked for clarification on the36 hour work week with Ms. Ridge responding it was modified to not include a City Hall closure but the work week was designated 36 hours and combined for a two week period would be 72 hours.
Mayor Pro Tem Sidhu inquired if there would be impacts to service levels with Ms. Ridge replying there would be a slight impact to service levels because of the reduction in work hours however each of the operation departments had been tasked with identifying mitigating measures to lessen any impact such as relying more on salaried employees having greater reliance on technology and additional scheduling of part-time personnel. The City would retain the same operating hours for all public counters and similar operations. This program she explained offered temporary fiscal relief and would be effective until July 5 2012. Mayor Pro Tern Sidhu asked how many employees would be affected by this concession Ms Ridge replied 590 AMEA employees and 540 unrepresented employees extended to management and unclassified employees as well.
Mayor Tait requested clarification regarding proposed savings related to this agreement. After some discussion Ms Ridge explained that for every hourly employee there would be an effective increased rate change however at the end of the day all hourly employees would be taking home five percent less in base wages. Mayor Tait responded his concern was that for a two week period an employee would work for 9 days and be paid for9-1/2days and he would not be able to support this unless it was a one for one exchange. He expressed appreciation for AMEA negotiating in good faith and wished he could have been part of the decision making process earlier on however he would not be able to support a concession that provided an hourly rate increase.
Council Member Murray remarked she had given this proposal a great deal of consideration and also would have liked to have been part of the team coming up with the terms of this negotiation However she stated with the City facing at 10 to 12 million shortfall this option would reduce salaries across the board by five percent and provide significant interim relief that would eliminate additional layoffs and cuts to vital City services to residents and businesses She added Anaheim was now at its lowest employee head count in 20 years while population and service needs had expanded and while prior councils had taken fiscal measures which kept Anaheim out of dire fiscal straits there were still tough choices to be made to get reserves back She felt this was a significant concession at this junction and would support the agreement.
Council Member Eastman concurred stating this action would enable the City to control overtime and pension costs and she would be in support of the agreement as well.
Council Member Galloway appreciated AMEA’s willingness to work with staff and make a sacrifice which would help cut the City’s general fund liabilities at a time when it was needed and she would support this effort.
Staff answered questions on the negotiation process ongoing drain of reserve funds and potential layoffs impacting City services City Manager Tom Wood stated the action before Council would lessen the impact of reduced services In previous workshops staff clearly laid out financial considerations and a 10 to 12 million structural deficit which was burning reserves at 03080 a day This concession he remarked would reduce the reductions needed by about one-third and while staff was attempting to minimize the impact on services there would ultimately be no way to reduce operations by that amount without having some impact on services.
Mayor Pro Tem Sidhu remarked he would personally like to see structural changes to come up with solutions to stop raiding reserves and while not fully satisfied with this concession he was willing to support it He then moved to approve RESOLUTION NO 2011 030 OF THE CITY OF ANAHEIM approving a Letter of Understanding between the Anaheim Municipal Employees Association General and Clerical Units and the City of Anaheim seconded by Council Member Eastman. Roll Call Vote Ayes: 4 Council Members Eastman Galloway Murray and Sidhu. Noes: 1 Mayor Tait. Motion Carried.
Yep, Tom Tait did something alright. He voted no. He can’t claim credit for doing something he didn’t do.
The only thing Tait did do was force staff to contract out Anaheim’s Parks Maintenance workers and replace them with a Private Contractor after employees agreed to take the cut in pay. Wow, how does that move to privatize a public employee union staffed city service align with values of the Democratic Party as the Bald Barrister claims? Tait threw about 30 people under the bus to make a minor dent in the city’s finances to help balance the books.
And because of “Saint Tait’s integrity,” Mickadeit just quoted him and broke the rule posted all over the Register’s newsroom” “If you mother says she loves you, check it out.” Had Mickadeit “checked it out” Tait’s lie would be exposed.
It was Lorri Galloway who brokered the compromise with the Republican council majority and the unions to save the city millions of dollars with minimal cuts in service and without layoffs. She deserves credit for cutting the deficit in half. Tait had nothing to do with it. Case and point how Lorri can govern by working with her colleagues – for those who claim it would be no different if she were mayor.