Banging my head against the wall one more time


How many times can you bang your head into a wall before you finally realize that you can’t fight City Hall?

After years and years of writing about the Civic Center-Dog Park-Espresso Stand in the Park/Taj Mahal/White Elephant and it’s huge price tag and the roundabout way $150 million was borrowed without one vote of the people, the hits keep on coming as the Newport Beach City Council unanimously voted last week to spend millions more due to “items left out of the original design plans that later had to be incorporated into the project.”

I’m not too sure what that means, but I think it somehow has to do with zinc and white bunnies.

And it also has something to do with the blind, out-of-control spending our Republicans on the City Council have to do to properly construct that shiny monument to themselves and larger government. Just take a gander at that egregious plaque on the outside of the Council Chambers to properly feel that love of self.

But in order to properly celebrate this white elephant, the city employees also need to be congratulated, as a compensation study requested by Newport Beach employees to determine whether those same Newport Beach employees are paid as much as other government employees came in and, guess what, it said Newport Beach executive employees should be paid over 20 percent more. 

If my employees commissioned a study to see whether they are properly compensated, I wonder if it would say they are underpaid? Hmmm …

So of course, Republican-for-convenience-only Councilmember Mike Henn said that the median salary, as determined by the report commissioned by city employees, should be the starting point when dealing with employees, and “If we think about median salaries, we are going to end up with median employees,” and “Our citizens don’t want us to hire mediocre performers.”

I would like to think that when he was CFO for KB Homes that they only accepted the highest bids from their subcontractors, because those companies would perform at the highest levels. Do you think that when he was CFO for Vons, they would any accept the highest bids to build their stores and deliver the food in the trucks? Both of those companies must have had the highest paid employees in their industries under Henn’s watch.

Actually, with Henn’s logic, the city should never go out to bid for any services because the more they pay for stuff, the better it must be.

Then of course, the city’s human resources director justified the study because government jobs are just like private sector job.

Well, except for the part where government employees get a nice big fat pension when they retire. A pension that will dwarf anything that a private sector employee would ever dream of getting from their 401k or Roth IRA, because the city fully funded it.

So to add insult to injury, because Newport Beach’s executive employees are grossly underpaid, the City Council unanimously approved giving one-time bonuses totaling $35,000 to 10 members of the city’s executive staff.

Must be a merit bonus for having to put up with their paltry $1,000 chairs in the new Civic Center. The horror!

It must be easy spending other people’s money. What’s an extra $5 million here and another $5 million dollars there?

– Jack Wu resides in Newport Beach.

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