Dr. Thomas Pierce recently spoke at fundraising event for Yes on Q & R at the home of Phil and Lynda Savage, sponsored by Residents for a Better San Bernardino. Below is Dr. Pierce’s remarks on Measure Q during that fundraiser:
“Thanks to all of you for coming, and to Phil and Lynda Savage for hosting this event.
My name is Tom Pierce. I came to San Bernardino in 1976 when I was hired as an economics professor at Cal State San Bernardino. That was 38 years ago and I’ve lived in San Bernardino since my arrival. But, as I look around the room tonight, I realize I’m a relative newcomer. The Savage family goes back generations in San Bernardino, Gloria Macias Harrison was born here and she and her husband Bill have run a successful business in town for decades. Mayor Carey Davis was born here, Ernie and Dottie Garcia have lived here for decades, and Councilman Fred Shorett just mentioned to me that his grandfather was also a City Councilman.
In fact, all of you here tonight have contributed to the community in major ways over the years in terms of both time and money. And, right now, we face another challenge – passing Measures Q and R on Tuesday, November 4th.
Measure Q seeks to rewrite Section 186 of the City Charter because the current wording of Section 186 makes it almost impossible for City Council to do its most important job – passing a budget that delivers a level of public services (police and fire, parks and rec, street maintenance, libraries, etc.) that add to the quality of life of San Bernardino citizens and taxpayers.
Why does Section 186 make that budgeting task so difficult? Because it requires that police and fire salaries be set by forces totally outside the control of City Council. The 186 formula stipulates that salaries for specific public safety jobs in San Bernardino must be exactly the same as the average salary paid for those same jobs in 10 California cities of comparable population. The problem, however, is that none of those cities are comparable to San Bernardino in terms of their economies, tax bases, and household income levels. In 2011, for example, the median household income levels of the ‘comparable’ cities ranged from $47,000-$87,000; San Bernardino’s average household income was less than $40,000.
So Section 186 requires that we pay our public safety employees on the basis of what other, more prosperous cities say we must. What we can afford to pay never comes into play. That just doesn’t make sense. In effect, Council has absolutely no control over most of the City’s budget.
No other city in California determines police and fire salaries that way. They all use the collective bargaining process – and collective bargaining has long been used to determine compensation for all other unionized San Bernardino City employees, besides police and fire.
So Measure Q simply says:
– let’s give City Council the flexibility to manage the budget in a way that provides the level of public services that citizens deserve; and
– let’s determine public safety salaries in a fair way – the way that‘s used by every other California city.
There used to be a saying around town that I bet many of you have heard: “It’s a great day in San Bernardino.” If we’re honest with ourselves, that hasn’t been true for a long time. We need to change that. And that process started with last year’s elections. We need to build on that momentum. There’s a long road ahead, but passing Measure Q is an absolutely essential step in the process.
Vote YES on Measure Q.”
Jerry Brown, Governor
Gavin Newsom, Lt. Governor
Alex Padilla, Secretary of State
Kamala Harris, Attorney General
Betty Yee, Controller
John Chiang, Treasurer
Dave Jones, Insurance Commissioner
SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY
Pete Aguilar, 31st Congress District
Norma Torres, 35th Congress District
Connie Leyva 20th Senate District
Steve Fox 36th Assembly Dist
Nate Holden 41st Assembly Dist
Cheryl R. Brown 47th Assembly Dist
Freddie Rodriguez 52nd Assembly Dist
Ron King, County Board of Education Area B
Hardy Brown II, County Board of Education Area D
Joseph Williams, Community College Trustee Area 2
Don Singer, Community College Trustee Area 4
Gloria Negrete McLeod, Supervisor 4th District
Susan Longville, SBVMWD #3
Frank Gonzales, Mayor Colton
Acquanetta Warren, Mayor Fontana
John Roberts, City Council Fontana
Michael Tahan, City Council Fontana
Janet Koehler-Brooks, Treasurer Fontana
Tonia Lewis, City Clerk Fontana
Ayanna Blackmon-Balogun, School Board Fontana
Matt Slowick, School Board Fontana
Jesse Armendarez, School Board Fontana
Dina Walker, School Board Rialto
Lillie Houston, School Board Rialto
Mark Takano, 41st Congress
Eric Linder 60th Assembly Dist
Jose Medina 61st Assembly Dist
Virginia Blumenthal: Community College Trustee Area 2
Ben Johnson: Community College Trustee Area 4
Angelov Farooq, Community College Trustee Area 5
Kim Curry Goldsby, WMWD #2
Corey Jackson, City Council Moreno Valley
PROPOSITIONS AND MEASURES
Proposition 1: YES
Proposition 2: State Budget Stabilization Account: YES
Proposition 45: Health Care Insurance Rate Change: NO
Proposition 46: Drug and Alcohol testing of doctor’s medical lawsuits: NO
Proposition 47: Criminal sentences misdemeanor changes. While
I am in agreement that changes are needed in our criminal justice
laws this one is too confusing in its language: Undecided
Proposition 48: Indian Gaming Compacts: YES
SAN BERNARDINO CITY
Measure Q: Help Save San Bernardino. It is Right for the city vote: YES
Measure R: Help Save San Bernardino. It is Right for the city vote: YES