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Letter: Fergusson's grand jury rant an embarrassment

Original post made on Sep 16, 2009

Editor:

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, September 16, 2009, 12:00 AM

Comments (15)

Posted by Hank Lawrence, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Sep 16, 2009 at 7:25 am

Kelly Fergusson should resign from the city council. She is so influenced by the SEIU that she can not possibly be an advocate for the residents' interests. She should save herself and the City any further embarassment and do the responsible thing by stepping down.


Posted by Steve, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Sep 18, 2009 at 3:10 pm

The recallfergie.com website now includes Fergusson's latest "incident."

Web Link
recallfergie.com

The Menlo Park video archive is archaic. I have cut to the "good part" so you don't have to wait.


Posted by ken, a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Sep 21, 2009 at 6:32 am

OK, Kelly's "rant" was childish and unfortunate, but to suggest that she's a "malevolent and unfaithful" public servant is absurd.

The overall message of the grand jury, that public employee costs are unsustainable and need to be brought under control, is an important one and the city needs to pay heed it. Let's get beyond the personal snipes and figure out how to fix the problem.


Posted by Workers, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 21, 2009 at 12:48 pm

Let's not forget.the services being provided in your tax money! The cost is not unsustainable! They keep our streets open and sewers flowing! Get more involved with the local boards , not just turn a blind eye till the end and act surprised when this situation comes up! It's not like the employees aren't deserving of the funds your cities or counties or sewers are still operating right!


Posted by Hank Lawrence, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Sep 21, 2009 at 12:56 pm

Workers,

The costs are not sustainable. As more people retire early with egregious benefits that far exceed the norm, the operating budget will be crowded out by entitlements. This means we will have a shrinking budget for operations and maintenance. This translates into deteriorating city services for the same amount of money.

No employee working for any company or Government deserves the salaries and benefits that Menlo Park's SEIU employees are getting. And we can not affor it either!


Posted by Erwin, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Sep 21, 2009 at 1:27 pm


I used to receive what I thought was informational email from Lee and Mickie...But I finally looked into the numbers of what they sent and I discovered it was all a shell game to prove their idealogy, not the facts. I have since unsubscribed because of the lies.

When the City moved to 9 hour work days, The City closed on every other Friday to make up for the increased work hours (by management request, not the workers.) Somehow, Duboc and Winkler considered that Friday off from a 9/80 compressed work week as a "holiday"! That Friday is not a holiday. That, people is lying! But, in skewed the books to look like the employees were receiving huge numbers of holidays. I am surprised, though, that they didn't include Saturday and Sunday as holidays too! As public employees, they aren't allowed to do anything but serve their masters!


Posted by Hank Lawrence, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Sep 21, 2009 at 4:20 pm

Erwin,

Mickie Winkler does not send out information e-mails. Only Lee does. Lee did not state that every other Friday off was a holiday. She did say that because of the 9/80 work week, that employees got 9 hours for holidays that were on Monday through Thursday instead of 8 hours.

Mistating the facts is either lying or showing a total lack of comprehension of the facts [portion removed; personal attacks violate terms of use]. Please try to be more careful in your research before making specious assertions.


Posted by 40 year resident, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 21, 2009 at 4:48 pm

The plight of the State and our economy has me paying attention. I am grateful to Lee Duboc and publications like The Daily Post for giving us information about the wages and benefits paid to the City employees.

Up until now, I was willing to forgive Kelly Fergussen's grand standing as harmless politics, but this latest stunt is revealing. Why would she attempt to dismiss the findings of the grand jury by blaming former council members? Isn't the grand jury a non-partisan body making recommendations to all the local cities? I suspect that Kelly is deeply beholden to the employee unions who are impacted by the grand jury findings. Unless I am mistaken the city council is supposed to represent management (the voters) and not staff (the unions).

Council member Fergussen's rant is evidence she may not be representing the voters best interests.


Posted by R.GORDON, a resident of another community
on Sep 21, 2009 at 6:14 pm

R.GORDON is a registered user.

I think she appears objectionable to most because she seems to be holding back information which might directly implicate Grand Jury members.
Fergusson has her facts and figures down pat and she shows no disrespect to the Grand Jury, who should not be excluded from malfeance. The entire operation of the County is terribly handled when looking back at the power given the G.J....
Someone has gone out of their way to bring down Fergusson, who I believe is genuinely concerned with misappropriations of funds or even something darker.
Her opinions have merit and I don't see her as anything but a threat to those who may have special interests. It happens. I have watched it happen.


Posted by Erwin, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Sep 21, 2009 at 8:11 pm

Hank

I stand corrected - the emails were officially were from Duboc.

I stand by my comment otherwise. The numbers don't add up for only 1 hour difference per official city holiday. She used the entire Friday.


Posted by KM, a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Sep 21, 2009 at 9:56 pm

Any elected official who obligates us to fund the kinds of permanent benefits now given to Menlo Park's union employees should be required to pay for them herself. Kelly Fergusson would instantly be bankrupt.
When the city was running a surplus, perhaps it didn't seem quite so irresponsible to promise the moon in return for campaign support. But now the payoffs are exposed for what they are: cushy rewards for votes and campaign donations, at the expense of the future citizens of Menlo Park.
Public employees' benefits should be on a par with private ones, not head and shoulders above them. And the city council should start explaining their expansive generosity with our money.
The grand jury's recommendations are a good start. Let's put them into action immediately.


Posted by Amistad, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 22, 2009 at 7:27 am

"they should serve thier MASTERS" wow I thought we abolishied slavery!!!


Posted by anonymous, a resident of another community
on Sep 22, 2009 at 8:48 am

The underlying issue is that a large portion of future MP budgets will go toward paying these pensions and benefits. It's really not unlike the unfunded liability the US government has for Medicare and Social Security.

It is clearly unsustainable.

I would suggest initiating a two-tiered system where newly hired workers do not get these types of benefits and compensation. The current work force should not be impacted. There will certainly be a difficult budgetary period in the future, but the liability would at least ease over time.


Posted by a bit embarrassed , a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 22, 2009 at 8:32 pm

I never thought I would ever agree with anything that Frank Tucker or Hank Lawernce would advocate. However, Kelly Fergusson is clearly out of line here. She gets out of line on occasion, like with the Park Theater, but her popularity is un-denied, as witnessed by the huge vote total she got last fall when she was re-elected.

She is out of touch here and I would have to agree, it would seem that her motives are to keep on the good side of the SEIU.


Posted by MP Resident, a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Sep 22, 2009 at 11:34 pm

Salaries and benefits for "city employees" vary greatly. If their performance justifies the expense, then why not? But who is checking their performance? If voters are the "employer", shouldn't we be looking at who's performance is exceeding and who's is lacking?


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