Arnold Goes Soft On Pay Scandal

Steven Greenhut: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is not serious about reining in the abusive salaries and pensions at the local level. He vetoed AB827, which would have prohibited “an employment contract for a local excluded employee, as defined, from including any clause that provides for an automatic renewal, an automatic compensation increase, as specified, or an automatic compensation increase in excess of a cost-of-living adjustment.”

This targets those “evergreen” contracts that give local employees a permanent one-way ratchet for their pay levels and was targeted at the city of Bell city scammers. The League of California Cities, that taxpayer-funded lobbying groups that lobbies for more taxpayer funds for local cities and helped create the situation whereby city officials can enrich themselves with little scrutiny, opposes these limits on compensation, but instead is pushing for transparency. Transparency is great, but limits are needed because of the level of greed common at city government level, especially among city managers, police and firefighters.

Schwarzenegger’s veto message was bizarre: “I share the public outrage expressed over the abuses attributed to the city of Bell’s management of employee contracts. Assembly Bill 827 presents good public policy in that it provides transparency with regards to some municipal personnel contracts, but it should be applied to all public employees, including labor union members and state employees.”

So, he’s saying the bill doesn’t go far enough. Fine. Sign it and then sponsor a bill that takes it further.

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