Friday, April 10, 2009

CM PRESS # 661

BREAKING NEWS--2:56 PM, 4/10/09

The City of Costa Mesa has released the agenda for next Tuesday's special City Council meeting on finances and it looks grim.

According to the agenda, the City will need to make up a shortfall of $ 19.9 million dollars (some earlier thought it would be $14 million). The City plans on making up the shortfall with a package of cuts to ten categories of expenses that will include eliminating 23 full time City jobs, elimination of excessive overtime, and various other cuts. LINK

The City is clear that if the Council doesn't approve cuts to all ten categories that make up the package of cuts, and removes an item or two from cuts, that the dollar value of those cuts will have to be added to other categories.

Here are the ten categories where staff is recommending cuts:

1. Reduce department operating budgets by an additional 5.0% (resulting in an average reduction of 10% from the prior fiscal year which will require elimination of approximately 23 full-time positions). Est. $6,318,134.
2. Negotiated reduction in employee compensation equating to approximately 5.0% of salary. Est. $3,623,663.
3. Reduction of $1 million dollars in non-reimbursable overtime for Police and Fire departments. Est. $1,000,000.
4. Negotiated suspension of minimum manning requirements in the Fire department in order to accomplish the aforementioned reduction in overtime.
5. Seek Federal Stimulus funding for ten police officer positions to be eliminated due to Police department budget reductions. Est. 1,052,010.
6. Offer PERS Retirement Incentive to create vacancies to (a) reduce the number of personnel that may be laid off as a result of reductions in departmental operating budgets and (b) create additional vacancies needed for budgetary purposes (assumes total of 50 employees opting to retire of which 25 positions would be eliminated). Est. $3,485,000.
7. Suspension or termination of the Retiree Health Savings Plan (Contributions are comprised of 1% by Employer and 1% by Employee). Est. $508,764.
8. Implement various cost recovery programs including resident EMS fees, inspection fees, and Police and Fire Cost Reimbursement Fees. Est. $959,700.
9. Renegotiate/extend the Golf Course Operator’s agreement for a greater share of revenues and institute formula adjustments to the greens fees. Est. $244,850.
10. Utilization of undesignated unreserved General Fund fund balance. Est. $2,900,000.
Total estimated budgetary reductions and new revenues amount to $20,092,121

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Over at the know-nothing almost daily Daily Pilot we're reading the usual knee-jerk claptrap from know-nothings voicing outrage about practices of the Santeria religion which include ritual animal sacrifice. LINK

Now, don't get us wrong, many of us abhor the harming of any living things except to provide food for us, and would like to see such sacrifices stopped.

However, whenever you deal with religions, you have to tread very softly. And, remember, lefties, your great god Obama recently declared that the U.S. is not a Christian nation. So, you better get used to the diversity. LINK

Put aside Santeria for a moment...

Consider: Are you outraged at the ritual mutilation of the sexual organs of male human babies?

Will we see editorials in the Daily Pilot and letters from know-nothings about the practice? Probably not. Why? Because this religious practice is circumcision. In orthodox Judaism, the mohel (the man who performs the circumcision)also traditionally puts his mouth on the sexual organ of the baby to stop bleeding. Come on know-nothings, you can find several laws about such practices, right? Let's see your editorials and letters against this.

Consider: What about religious folks who believe they're eating the flesh of Jesus and drinking his blood during their religious ceremonies? Sounds like ritual cannibalism or the teaching of cannibalism to young kids. That's Catholic Communion. Editorials and letters, anyone?

We could go on with religious examples, but the point is made to those capable of understanding, and it'll never be made to those who aren't as capable.

It depends on what the definition of "is" is

Over at the Daily Pilot, folks are citing California Penal Code section 597(a), as their rationale for demanding the cops stop the Santerians from practicing their religion.

It won't work, and here's why: the law turns on words.

CPC Sec. 597(a) provides, in relevant part:“...every person who maliciously and intentionally maims, mutilates, tortures or wounds a living animal, or maliciously and intentionally kills an animal, is guilty of an offense punishable by imprisonment in the state prison, or by a fine of not more than twenty thousand dollars ($20,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment, or, alternatively, by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than twenty thousand dollars ($20,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment.”

"Maliciously" is a legal term of art. Try to prove the Santerians act "maliciously." Go ahead. Knock yourself out. You can't do it. And, that's just one element you'll have to prove. Next, you'll have to prove "intentionally," "maims," "mutilates," "tortures," "wounds."

Oh, and while you're considering how to rein in the Santerians, how about doing something about these Christians who nail people to the cross each year (as shown in the photo above)? LINK

One last thing. We heard a conservative radio talk show host the other day giving voice to the old but false cliche about how America was founded on Christian principles.

He then went on to talk about Jesus and the founding fathers. Then, midsentence,he made a subtle switch in words from "Jesus" to "God" and said Thomas Jefferson believed in God. Ah, right. Jefferson did believe in God, but he was a Deist. He was not a Christian. He did not believe that Jesus was divine or the Son of God. And, many of the other founding fathers were also Deists, not Christians.
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