Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida and Europe, especially the UK and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Run-amok govt. gravy train in Los Angeles and corresponding lack of common sense in public policy; Steve Lopez of LA Times positively owns story re LA taxpayers angry about $$$ spigot at city's Dept. of Water and Power. City officials upset re proposed new contract under which employees still WON'T have to contribute a cent towards their own healthcare costs.; DWP's unlimited sick pay policy has cost LA taxpayers $35.5 Million since 2010 for extra days off that AREN'T covered by the agency's 10-day cap; New LA mayor Eric Garcetti has a "back to basics" plan but will city council and unions just ignore it?

"I don't have more pockets for you guys to dip into to get more money for rate increases..."
Los Angeles Times
Angry about the money spigot at L.A.'s Department of Water and Power
City officials get an earful from residents upset about proposed new contract under which employees still won't have to contribute toward healthcare costs.
By Steve Lopez
August 17, 2013, 12:00 p.m.
Ordinarily, I don't spend more than an hour or so at a time in Los Angeles City Hall. I get in and out of there, quick as a burglar, to avoid having my judgment impaired.
I thought longingly about that approach on Friday, when I attended a windy public hearing on a proposed new contract for employees of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. For the first two hours, public officials explained the contract, in mostly rosy terms.
It wasn't perfect, they said, but pretty good. 
Well, I guess I don't have to tell you that lots of concerned LA taxpayers had a different idea, right?
Read the rest of the column at:

Los Angeles Times
Costly perk forces DWP to shell out extra if it gives work to outside contractors
Overtime clause hikes the department's costs for hiring contractors.
By Jack Dolan
August 15, 2013, 6:44 p.m.
It's no secret Los Angeles Department of Water and Power employees are paid well. But a little-known clause in their union contract ensures they can work extra hours and collect even higher wages when private contractors are hired to help them get the job done.
The so-called "outsourcing bonus" traces back to a single sentence inserted into the city-owned utility's labor contract nearly two decades ago. Intended partly to discourage use of private companies with lower labor costs, the contract provision requires DWP managers to offer overtime to any employee who could have performed tasks assigned to a contractor — such as engineering, construction or clerical work. 

Read the rest of the article at:

Los Angeles Times 
DWP's unlimited sick pay policy costs millions
The L.A. utility has paid $35.5 million since 2010 for extra days off that aren't covered by the agency's 10-day cap.
By Jack Dolan
July 26, 2013, 5:00 a.m.
Los Angeles' Department of Water and Power has paid thousands of employees a total of $35.5 million since 2010 in extra sick days under an unusual program that the utility's top executive acknowledges has been vulnerable to abuse.
DWP employees benefit from a 32-year-old policy that allows them to take paid days off well beyond the agency's 10-day-a-year cap on sick days. Last year, 10% of the department's roughly 10,000 employees took at least 10 extra days off, the data show. More than 220 took an extra 20 working days off, or about a month, according to a Times examination of data obtained under the California Public Records Act. 

Read the rest of the article at:

Steve Lopez LA Times  @LATstevelopez  https://twitter.com/LATstevelopez

Jack Dolan  @jackdolanLAT  https://twitter.com/jackdolanLAT

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Me in the Summer of 2016

Me in the Summer of 2016
Above, me in June, pre-recent haircut, near acres and acres of orange groves off Scenic U.S. #17 in Frostproof, FL, while visiting hot/humid Central Florida, which I'm convinced is where heat/humidity goes in the Summer to get away from it all... The oppressive heat & humidity there is literally everywhere you go. :-(

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation
"In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation." -South Beach Hoosier, 2007.

North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers

North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers
Before I was a Hoosier, I was an NMB Charger, Class of 1979.