Letters to the Editor: May 12, 2011

Bin Laden compound

In viewing the Bin Laden compound in Pakistan on TV we know it would never be allowed in Seal Beach.


The brick wall was erected without a permit and lacks rebar.

The height of the wall in excess of 6 feet is not allowed. The barbed wire on top of the wall is not of approved material.

Electrified barbed wire is unsafe to children and pets.

The maximum height of the house exceed permissible limits.

The square footage of the home exceeds lot size. Windows lacking on all four sides of the building.

Buildings do not meet set back requirements. The property is not zoned for multiple housing units … and there are no garages.

The Seal Beach Planning Commission would have a field day reviewing this project.

Bruce Stark


Seal Beach

Los Al city and employees negotiations

I read a recap of the negotiations between the city of Los Alamitos and the City Employees Association. At first glance, I was happy to see the acknowledgement of the current economy, the need for city employees to pay into their own pension plan as all private sector and self-employed and the focus on the balanced budget.

However, phrases like “adequately compensate employees for their time and labor” created reason for concern only for the public to learn that the small budget surplus from this year would not be spent on improving services for the 14,000 residents and businesses in our community, repairing sidewalks and streets, reducing fees for permits, park use and other costs charged to residents or a rebate on the 6 percent utility tax to the struggling unemployed or fixed income residents for whom the City Council is supposed to represent.

Instead, a $2000 “bonus” would be given to each of the 21 employees as compensation for the unpaid furlough days.

Correct me if I am wrong, but were city offices not closed for the furlough days and did these employees work without pay or was it a day off without pay?

Are we paying them and getting nothing in return?  In addition, we have added another paid holiday (how many is that now?), increased the uniform allowance to $50 per month (are they not saving money on not wearing street clothes, as they have to wear something?) and a base pay increase of 2.5 percent.

So, no sacrifice for city employees, only the residents and business owners that pay their wages and benefits?  When President Barrack Obama calls for everyone having skin in the game, I guess he does not refer to government employees.

As if that is not enough, the article also stated that “the city,” that would be you and I as taxpayers not some imaginary money machine, will pay an additional $50 per month this year ($600 per employee, $7,200 per year) towards the medical insurance and an additional $50 per month next year for another $7,200.  Then for those employees who opt out of the coverage, saving the city (again you and I) $350 per month  in premiums per employee, we will pay the employee $700 per month.  Isn’t it cheaper to mandate the insurance coverage for all 21 employees?  And don’t we get better rates for more employees participating? Duh … group coverage!

Having read this recap I have a clear understanding as to why these negotiations happen in “closed session” behind closed doors and the ones responsible for the financial burden are never consulted or informed of the issues on the table.  I am not only appalled at such an outcome, but deeply offended and disappointed in our elected officials and our city manager, who by the way makes well more than the taxpayers of our city and pays nothing for his health insurance, pension and many other unclarified benefits.  What happened to providing the services first and a reasonable compensation and benefit package for the employees? Just who are you working for?  The residents of the city, our business owners, or the 21 employees we provide a safe and friendly work environment?  You are just feeding the monster that has corrupted so many other cities and our state.

Disgusted with the lack of leadership

Cathie Salai,


Los Alamitos