David Smyle's Blog (22)

Fair Trade Go Away, Don't Come Back Another Day

The Fair Trade folks Nancy Ryan and Anne Pacheco are at it again trying to lobby the City Council to have the city of La Mesa labeled as a "Fair Trade" city after getting shot down once. Why don't you people just concentrate your efforts on getting more stores to carry fair trades products and leave the City out of this.  Your doctrine on your website and all your literature might indicate your cause is one of a religious zealot and maybe you are.  Stop trying to convert the world by…


Added by David Smyle on September 13, 2012 at 12:26am — 1 Comment

HWD Board puts screws to rate payers again

One week after HWD General Manager Carlos Lugo stood before the La Mesa City Council professing how the HWD has done all things right about reducing costs in an attempt to keep water rates from increasing even further, the back room deals are back.

 The HWD Board, General Manager and Employees have conspired to bypass the regular process of re-negotiating the MOU which wasn’t up until 2013   In exchange, the rate payers get to watch the payroll costs continue to balloon out of…


Added by David Smyle on July 30, 2012 at 10:30pm — 3 Comments

Government employees -- the true 1 percent

Great op ed piece by Wayne Root:

How did America become broke and insolvent? How did we build up an unimaginable $115 trillion in debt and unfunded liabilities? How did we allow the American Dream to become a nightmare?

All we need do is look at the primary demand the Eurozone and…


Added by David Smyle on March 7, 2012 at 11:00am — No Comments

Smyle: Local Leaders and Elected Officials A No Show on the Helix Water Increase

Only a week away from the "Town Hall" public meeting on July 21st from 6-7:30 at the community center about the proposed Helix Water rate increase and our current elected officials and candidates for the upcoming City Council elections are mysteriously silent about the issue.  One would expect our City Council to take a position on the matter like Lemon Grove does and either support or oppose the increase publicly since they are the second or third largest water user in the District but…


Added by David Smyle on July 14, 2011 at 10:00pm — No Comments


Water Increase Notice and instructions to protest

I know it is a hopeless effort because the rules state 50% of the rate payers have to send in a written protest in order for the increase not to happen but here is our chance to make a statement anyway.  The Helix Water Board with the exception of Kathleen Hedberg, the peoples champion, have all voted to increase your water rates…


Added by David Smyle on July 11, 2011 at 9:00pm — 2 Comments

Smyle: Helix Water Public Hearing Not So Public

Once again, our elected Helix Water Board has chosen to try and limit the amount of public input into the Board approved rate increase.  On WEDNESDAY, August 17th at 2:00 pm when most of the ratepayers are working and those who aren't are at home taking care of the family since there is no school, the HWD is holding the required Public Hearing on the Board approved water rate increase.  Thanks DeAna Verbeke for once again as head of the Board for failing to consider the schedules of the working… Continue

Added by David Smyle on July 1, 2011 at 12:00am — 1 Comment

CA taxpayers eat another larger Public Employee Pension

Click here to see a news report on more outrageous scamming of the system from the director of a public hospital.




$5.2 million payout on the way out the door not including his $150K a year pension.


Time for some real reform Gov. Brown. …


Added by David Smyle on May 1, 2011 at 4:13pm — No Comments

Taxation Without Representation is Alive and Well

On Wednesday April 20th, the Helix Water Board on a 4-1 vote approved the two year MOU negotiated by the employees for the employees with no rate payer representation.  That’s right!  Mark Weston and Lisa Irvine, employees of Helix Water were appointed by the Board to represent the rate payer’s interest in the negotiations with the employees.  Ok, what did I miss?  General Manager Weston ($200,000+ salary) and Administrative Services Director Lisa Irvine negotiated against…


Added by David Smyle on April 22, 2011 at 9:30pm — 16 Comments

Gov Brown back to old self with Prison Guard Union Contract

So much for reform. 

Gov. Jerry Brown negotiates a new contract for California's prison guards, who will be allowed to save unlimited amounts of vacation, potentially leading to massive payouts when officers retire.

The guards, who are among Brown's largest political benefactors, would be able to save an unlimited number of vacation days under their new deal. When they leave state service, those days could be exchanged for cash at their final pay rate, which would probably be…


Added by David Smyle on April 19, 2011 at 11:33am — No Comments

Smyle: Helix Water District Reform Proposals Weak

By David Smyle

On Wednesday April 20th at 2 pm at the HWD board room, the Board will vote on a new two year employee memorandum of understandng or MOU.  The new MOU calls for existing employees to pay 2% of the 8% "employee pension share" in year 1 and 4% in year 2 with new employees paying 4% starting July 1, 2011.  Of course this is being offset by a minimum of 2% cost…


Added by David Smyle on April 17, 2011 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Governor Brown Issues Pension Reform Recommendations

Water Districts take note!  Governor Brown has just come out with his pension reform recommendations.  While many of the local agencies have already taken steps towards reforming pensions, our Water Disricts are far behind the curve, especially HWD.  (See Gov. Browns reforms at the link below).…


Added by David Smyle on March 31, 2011 at 5:30pm — 4 Comments

Smyle: Helix Water Directors Paid Handsomely

Don't expect the Helix Water Board to make any changes to employee benefit and pension package in the upcoming Memorandum of Understanding with its employees.  When they themselves can make over $18,500 in benefit compensation (see chart below) before you add in the $200 per meeting for another 7-10 meetings per month and you have total compensation that could approach nearly $40,000 for a part time job. Not bad. 

Some wonder why a Board member would spend $10,000 to win an election…


Added by David Smyle on March 25, 2011 at 10:00pm — 1 Comment

City of Costa Mesa laying off 43% of city workforce

A sign of things to come.




Tough decisions being made for the good of the people.  We just can't afford the pensions.

Added by David Smyle on March 7, 2011 at 1:49pm — No Comments

Tax Hawks shed light on HWD excesses

David Smyle, a LaMesaToday.com member, is one of the founding members of the East County Tax Hawks group. He files this report on the organization's behalf.


At Wednesday’s HWD Board Meeting, the East County Tax Hawks brought to light how the failure of HWD Boards to act responsibly and in the best interests of the rate payers in the last two employee MOUs is going to cost the rate payer. Since 2002, HWD has hired 76 people of the 150 current employees or over 50% of…


Added by David Smyle on March 2, 2011 at 10:30pm — 35 Comments

Join the Tea Party Patriots!

In addition to the new East County Tax Hawks group in the process of being formed (join by emailing eastcountytaxhawks@gmail.com), please take the time to sign up as a member of the Tea Party Patriots http://teapartypatriots.org.  It is free and will keep you informed on the up to the minute goings on in Washington and around the country.  You will receive emails about events… Continue

Added by David Smyle on February 18, 2011 at 11:35pm — No Comments

Helix Water Board Meeting Wednesday

Posted By David Smyle

We need a show of force at this Wednesday's HWD Board meeting at 2 pm at the HWD offices.  Tell everyone you know who can make it to show up at the meeting and let the Board know their continued acceptance and promotion of these excessive employee beneifts EMPLOYEE BENEFIT PACKAGE are not acceptable any more and they represent us, the…


Added by David Smyle on February 14, 2011 at 10:00am — 1 Comment

Join the East County Tax Payers Watchdog Group

We are in the early stages of forming an east county taxpayer group to bring to light excesses and abuses by any east county public agency.  The informal group will focus on ways to educate the public about government run wild and try to force change when needed through public participation.  If interested in being part of the group or staying informed on information and events, send an email with your contact information to… Continue

Added by David Smyle on February 13, 2011 at 4:36pm — No Comments

David Smyle "If you weren't mad yet, wait until you hear this!"

To all Helix Water District rate payers.  We all just received an 8% rate increase for this year from the HWD which was also approved by the cities who have to vote on it but did you know that for FYE 6/30/2010, the HWD made a net profit of $7 million and have made over $23 million in profits over the last 10 years having only two losing years.  Even more outrageous is that if you work for the HWD whose average  salary per employee is $63,000+ (assumes all are at the bottom end of the pay…


Added by David Smyle on February 4, 2011 at 3:30pm — 8 Comments

Politicians Top Ten Promises Gone Wrong

For anyone looking to add a little more fuel to your already angry fire about what our politicians are doing with our money, check out the Fox News Channel (cox 37) on Sunday at 5pm or 8 pm (double check your TV guide for correct times)  for John Stossel's Report on the Top Ten Political Promises and the "unintended consequences" of those promises.  It is a very entertaining and enlightening report which may get you thinking about laws and ordinances our own City Council may want to put into…


Added by David Smyle on December 21, 2010 at 2:12pm — No Comments

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