If you reside in Santa Monica and love the city as much as I do, I urge you to contact your Council members, the Mayor, and the new City Manager immediately. There is very little transparency happening with The City of Santa Monica. They have eliminated ALL part-time (as needed) employees from City run facilities. The City is also eliminating 40% of full time employees. What this means is the services you enjoy and pay for with your tax dollars will no longer exist. This includes the Santa Monica Public Pool, Santa Monica Public Library, Housing and Economic Development, Community and Cultural Service Department, among many other vital City services available to the elderly, at risk youth, disabled people, etc.
Full time City employees are being forced out. Full-time city employees are being offered a "buyout" that is not adequate. If a City employee takes the latest proposed deal, they will NOT be rehired for 3 years. Their spouses and family will lose their healthcare benefits. This "buyout" deal is being rushed through. City employees are being forced to make an irreversible decision that will affect their families and future by MAY 1, 2020. The City Council will not vote on this proposed deal until MAY 5, 2020. So, City employees are being forced to make a life changing decision on proposed information that is NOT certain and has yet to be voted on by City Council.
You as Santa Monica residents and tax payers have the right and responsibility to have your voices heard. Let the City of Santa Monica leaders understand that you do NOT want these vital services cut and City employees who provide these services reduced.
Here are the dangers of these permanent cuts to City workers and budgets:
- too fast (the deadline is tomorrow, Friday, May 1, 2020);
- too permanent (these lost jobs, services and budgets will not be restored);
- too final (they're immediate and permanent);
- too extreme & too unequal (cops & fire and city attorney and Council themselves are exempt);
- too little Public review, comment, input and oversight (Council is RAMMING this through, a majority of City residents and the general public have no time to research, evaluate or offer counter-offers/proposals);
- too short sighted & too long-lasting (Council is using "worst case scenario ONLY" budgeting numbers and loss in temporary City revenue. Further, the City continues to make and repeat its own unjustified claim the that both the State and Federal bailout/rescue money absolutely will be denied in whole, based on no evidence whatsoever. The mayor and city manager (Lane replacing Rick Cole), claim, "the City of Santa Monica's 30,000 residents make Santa Monica ineligible to receive State and Federal rescue money.
- Cut Fire Department and Police Department budgets and staff EQUAL TO the cuts all other City Departments are being forced to make.
- Do not pay $244,0000 to the former City Manager, Rick Cole, who literally "voluntarily separated" with his city job, 2 weeks ago. He then took several WEEKS of PAID administrative leave, and is getting to keep his "golden parachute" severance DURING a pandemic crisis, WHILE the City is cutting budgets because they "don't have enough money"! This is the same Rick Cole (and cohorts) who are now bullying city employees to "quit or be fired" by May 1st, 2020. Tomorrow. Period.
City Employees have to GET BACK their right to go on STRIKE! City employees bargained that away, to their own detriment, as is now obvious! Strikes are the right of ALL working people!
Sadly (and likely on purpose), there is NO FORM available to submit a comment or question to City Council's upcoming online only council meetings, so email them instead at:
Agenda for May 05, 2020 Council Meeting, upcoming this Tuesday, https://www.smgov.net/Departments/council/infoitems.aspx
PLEASE HAVE YOUR VOICE HEARD! DON'T LOSE THE CITY AND SERVICES YOU LOVE AND PAY FOR.
--CONTACTS TO CITY--
To contact all Council members simultaneously: (310) 458-8201,
Phone in or email your comments regarding Council's upcoming May 5th agenda to (310) 458-8211,
Mayor Kevin McKeown, (310) 458-8411,
Gleam Davis, (310) 458-8201,
Mayor Pro Tempore Terry O'Day, (310) 458-8411,
Council member Ana Maria Jar, (310) 458-8411,
Council member Sue Himmelrich, (310) 458-8411,
Council member Greg Morena, (310) 458-8411,
Council member Ted Winterer, (310) 458-8411,
City Manager's Office Phone Numbers:
City Hall Main Information Line (310) 458-8411,
police front desk (310)458.8495;
Police Headquarters (310) 395.9931;
SM fire department
City Manager Lane Dilg (formerly Rick Cole) (310) 458-8301,
Asst. City Manager Katie Lichtig (310) 458-8301,
Deputy City Manager Anuj Gupta (310) 458-8301,
Asst. to the City Manager/LGBTQ Liaison Christopher J. Smith- (310) 458-8301,
Chief Communications Officer Debbie Lee (310) 458-8301,
Marketing: Erin Taylor (310) 458-8257,
Media Inquiries: Constance Farrell (310) 458-8301,
CityTV: Russ Maloney (310) 458-5859,
Performance Management: Tim Dodd (310) 458-2412,
Office of Emergency Management: Lindsay Barker (310) 458-2263,
Chief of Civic Well-being: Julie Rusk-(310) 458-5100,
Senior Adviser to the City Manager on Homelessness Alisa Orduña (310) 458-8301,
Santa Monica Resident