Saturday, August 13, 2022

Baldwin Park City Council Wants Tax Hike to Pay for Their Salaries, Which is 400% of Other Cities.

A. Alejandra, D. Damian, M. Garcia, P. Hernandez (from left to right) 

Baldwin Park City Council wants to raise its sales tax from 9.5% to 10.25%, hoping to bring in another $6 million in revenue, at a time when gas and food prices are skyrocketing with its proposed Measure Baldwin Park. Clearly, the City Council and Administrators want to take more of our money to keep up their outrageous salaries and continue with their corruption.

For instance, the City Council and Mayor make $41,295.37. That's for 2 meetings a month. Imagine making $3,441 for working four hours a month! In Alhambra, the City Council makes $11,000.30. The per capita income in Alhambra is $32,589. 

So the people in Baldwin Park make 37% less than Alhambra, and the City Council make 400% more. In short, this is what you call corruption.

Let's look at the following table for 2020 salary comparisons of Baldwin Park and Alhambra.

Baldwin Park Alhambra
City Council and Mayor $41,295.37 $11,000.30
City Manager (Shannon Yauchzee) $443,459.30 $365,532.35
Finance Director (Hong Fang aka Rose Tam aka Hong Tam) $321,361.90 $237,871.99
Parks and Recreation Director (Manny Carrillo) $286,143.24 $211,926.42
Chief of Police (Robert Lopez) $267,597.90 $378,817.73

Besides the Chief of Police, everyone should be seeing a pattern that Baldwin Park pays outrageous and corrupt salaries to its City Council and administrators. I want to repeat: Why does the Mayor and City Council get paid $1,600 to attend one meeting? They attend two meetings a month, which makes their salaries come out to $41,295.

 The City Council has been putting out propaganda, stating that the tax increase is to beautify the City. But this is far from the truth. The $6 million will be co-mingled with the general fund, which will be used to pay the outrageous salaries of the council and administrators, which right now cannot be sustained. Don't forget that these salaries will be paid out for the lifetime of these people through their pensions.

Also, the City has been engaged a number of lawsuits, because of the corrupt acts that it's been engaged in. This has ranged from unlawful firing of staff to withholding public records. The legal fees have been astronomical, especially for its City Attorney, Robert Tafoya, who is currently being investigated by the FBI. The City Council refuses to fire him, even though he's been a cause of a number of these lawsuits.

But take for instance Lili Hadsell's lawsuit, in which a judgment of over $9 million was levied against the City. Once again, this was the corrupt decision of previous council members; City Attorney, Robert Tafoya; and the former Chief of Police - Michael Taylor.

The current Chief of Police, Robert Lopez, overspent an estimated $1 million. He ordered 15 patrol cars, when there's only 5 patrol officers at a time. Who was enriched by this money?

On top of all this, because of the corrupt practices of the Council and administrators, 5,000 people have left, decreasing the revenue stream of the City.

The solution to fix Baldwin Park's problem is transparency, the cutting of these outrageous salaries and pensions, and honest and fair conduct practices that stop causing lawsuits. Instead, the City Council lies to us. For example, they say that if they don't raise the tax, LA County will. I investigated with a number of Californian tax agencies and LA County. This isn't true.

I'm proposing that the City may even have to file bankruptcy to mitigate it's unsustainable pension liabilities.

Sadly - we have greedy and incompetent people in power in Baldwin Park. We're already suffering enough with rising gas and food prices. The last thing we need is to lose money to these people; so that they live the high life of working 4 hours a month, off our hard work. So vote "NO!" on Measure Baldwin Park at the ballot to the raising of the sales tax. And tell the City Council and administrator that the corruption has to stop.