OC Political

A right-of-center blog covering local, statewide, and national politics

Showdown with the Sheriff

Posted by Brenda Higgins on April 22, 2012

I posted last week “Policing Yorba Linda” related to the ongoing bidding process for the contract to provide Law Enforcement services to the city of Yorba Linda. This issue is close to resolution as there is a public meeting Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at the Yorba Linda Community Center, 4501 Casa Loma Ave.. I am in receipt of email correspondence from the Sheriff’s Union, encouraging union members to be there at 5:15 because a capacity crowd is expected.

Residents have confirmed that there were doorhangers left on Yorba Linda homes on Saturday. I have no information or confirmation who was dropping these off or whether there were Sheriff deputies, uniformed or plain clothes, canvasing in Yorba Linda on Saturday.

Citizens should be aware of this plan for Union members to be present on Tuesday evening, there is no indication that citizens of Yorba Linda will be given priority seating, it seems that a first-come-first-seated will be observed as with other public City Council meetings. Each agency submitting bids will be permitted to provide a presentation. My understanding is that these presentations will be 45 minutes in length.

This is the only formal presentation and discussion of the competing bids that is scheduled. It is not determined or known whether a vote of the council will occur on Tuesday evening. Residents with any concern or interest in the topic should be present.

I have requested that supporters of any of these proposals to forward information to me. There has been a high degree of interest in the “Policing Yorba Linda” post, and I am happy to share all information supporting any of the proposals here. I have overwhelmingly received information from those clearly in support of maintaining Brea Police, but I requested information from those in support of the Sheriff or Anaheim proposal. Other than anecdotal dislike of Brea Police Department, I have received no data in support of the other proposals. I will provide the information here, that I have obtained in my own review.

Bids and expert analysis

The November 1, 2011 Council meeting in which the Brea Police department was given formal Notice of Termination, in which the Council triggered the Termination process contained in the current contract, agenda and staff report for that November 1, 2011 council meeting are contained here.

The complaint of residents who attended that meeting was that the presence of the Sheriff at that meeting with a power point presentation appeared to be contrived, and not properly noticed to the citizens of the city who may have a high level of concern for this issue, and that the Notice of Termination to Brea PD was also prematurely given in that the agenda item gave the impression that the topic was for open for discussion as to timing process and not actually being voted on that evening.

Now, formal bids have been received, from Brea Police, Anaheim Police, and Orange County Sheriff, and are available for public review on the city website here.

The city has obtained a side by side comparison, and apples to apples comparison. It is here, posted on Thursday April 19, 2012, in the form of a comparison Matrix and a narrative report.

The alleged cost savings of a contract with OCSD (Sheriff)

Reviews and discussions of the bids, as well as a review of the matrix and narrative, show that the alleged $1million savings is not exactly accurate when all start up costs and differences are taken into consideration. The actual savings is about $60,000. The Matrix and Narrative also shows a diminished staffing in nearly every area when the OCSD is compared to Brea and Anaheim. Also noteworthy and difficult to quantify is that Brea and Anaheim are already actively enforcing North Orange County and presumably aware of the unique needs of this community. The Sheriff proposal to cut staffing in nearly every area, while undertaking to police a new area that they have no experience with, should raise some concern. It will be important to hear from Brea and Anaheim, why they chose not to reduce staffing, and from the Sheriff to justify why it is appropriate. (See FTE comparisons and discussions in Ralph Anderson narrative)

Additionally, the Sheriff proposal devotes a great deal of marketing effort and praise for multiple special units and technology under their jurisdiction. (See Sections ix – xiv, Proposal)

When viewed in the comparison study, (Ralph Anderson narrative above) it is clear that most of these special units are available regardless of whether the city contracts with OCSD or not. (Paragraph 19, page 15, Community Wide Services)

The Dispatch center of the OCSD is at the Loma Ridge communications center, which is staffed by 44 dispatchers and handles 2500 calls per day. Anaheim and Brea dispatch from their local stations and handle only the city(ies) in their jurisdiction. This is not cited or addressed as a big issue in the comparison, but the uniqueness of the community of Yorba Linda, the idiosyncratic nature of the streets, street names and rural areas, is something that should be considered in evaluating the ability to respond and effectiveness of communication with citizen callers. The persons staffing the Brea Police Department dispatch, have great familiarity with the community and overall map of Yorba Linda which certainly has an impact on response time and effective response. This seems not to have been quantified.

Distance and response time is included in an empirical fashion with distance only from the Anaheim and Brea stations to the Yorba Linda city limits. Notable is the asserted .5 mile from the Anaheim Hills station to Yorba Linda, it should be noted that the closest city limit to that station is an exclusively retail and commercial area of the city, reaching a residential area is considerably farther, but probably the same or closer than the approximate 3 miles from the Brea Station.

A dramatic difference in the Anaheim and Brea proposals is the existence of a permanent station location. It is difficult to see an apples-to-apples comparison when OCSD is proposing a portable or leased building, neither of which is yet in existence. In my opinion, the information and literature that has been propagated by the supporters of a contract with OSCD on this issue of a “Police Station” is highly misleading. (Protect Yorba Linda, site address is below) The verbiage on that site speaks for itself, and is not completely accurate and thorough as to what is required and proposed by OCSD.

Not included in the Sheriff proposal or the side-by-side comparison is any analysis of the existing contracts of cities contracting with the Sheriff.

The city of Stanton has incurred a $1.7 million increase in its policing costs since 2008, under its arrangement with OCSD.

Dana Point, also contracted with the OCSD, reported a $890,000 increase in law enforcement costs while contracted with OCSD. (Page 4 of this report).

Unfunded pension liability is an ongoing issue for the Sheriff and the County of Orange, as set forth in this County memo, and the possibility of looking to contract cities is being explored.

Analysis of the unfunded liability for the OCSD is estimated at $1.7 Billion.

One of the arguments offered by the proponents of a contract between YL and OCSD is that there will be no financial implication of any unfunded pension liability. This memo and actuarial evaluation seems to suggest differently. There may be no direct provisional ramification in the proposal for contract with Yorba Linda, but in contracting with any agency or individual, the overall financial health and liabilities should be a consideration. The majority 3 council members continue to assert this is a purely fiscal and financial issue, they ought then, to be questioning why all potential issues have not been covered and addressed. This is not a consideration or factor in the OCSD bid, or in the Matrix comparison. The matrix comparison, while very helpful, does not provide any analysis of issues not directly contained in the contract, i.e. non-direct costs, overall financial and organizational health of each entity, and any esoteric efficiency problems due to lack of locally experienced personnel.

Who’s on First

The supporters of the maintenance of a contract with Brea Police can be found at YorbaLindaPolice.com. They have on their site, a list of citizens who support keeping the Brea Police.

There is also a Facebook page, it is not clear to me whether these are the same people of group as the website above, but clearly on the same side in supporting an ongoing relationship with Brea PD.

On that Facebook page, there is the usual ongoing vitriolic exchange, with the usual alignments and alliances. There are also (as usual) repeated anonymous posters who may very well be duplicates of the named posters, but the contention goes on, on this page and on the OC Register site, each time this issue comes up.

In my prior post, “Policing Yorba Linda” one of these prolific commenters chastised me for asserting the relationship between the majority 3 council (Rikel, Schwing and Anderson) and the YLRRR, and the Protect Yorba Linda Group.

The “Protect” site, discusses and clearly endorses the actions of the 3 majority council members. Interestingly, the “Protect” site has a contact page that you can log in as a supporter of a contract with the Sheriff. However, there is no list of who has included themselves in this organization or supports it.

The YLRRR site is here.

On the YLRRR site they provide links to the “Protect” site (Pro-Sheriff), but not to the Yorba Linda Police site (Pro Brea PD).  YLRRR continues to align with the 3 majority that they helped elect, the same 3 which are favorably promoted on the “Protect” site.   The YLRRR has been similarly elusive as to it’s membership and supporters, just like the “Protect” site, have never made public any membership, management or supporter list. Earl Carbonne has asserted, in a post on the “Keep Police” page that he is the current Chairman of the YLRRR, and asserts a variety of oppositions to Brea PD, attempts to factually support the efforts of the Sheriff, while also asserting that there is no “financial” relationship of the YLRRR with any supporters of the Sheriff contract.

This semantical wrangling reminds me of the 2010 campaign wherein, after an expensive and ugly series of hit pieces and robo calls against candidate Jan Horton, Mayor John Anderson, in carefully chosen words stated that “I did not write that piece”. He and Tom Lindsey struggled to choose words that distanced them from the smear campaign.  I do not believe anyone “claimed” responsibility for the hate mail, but it was delivered on the same day and with the same bulk mail permit, in the same size and style, as the piece from YLRRR supporting Anderson and Lindsey.

My comments in the prior “Policing” post continue to fit the overall circumstance, I don’t know who is the puppet and who pulls the strings, but the relationship is unmistakable.

Disclaimer:

It was suggested by a commenter on the “Policing” blog post that I should provide a ‘disclaimer’ that I am a candidate on the June 2012 ballot for the Republican Central Committee.  I don’t see the relationship, and my candidacy has been mentioned on OC Political several times, BUT I am happy to engage in self promotion whenever necessary.

I was a candidate for Yorba Linda City Council in 2010. I do not have a close personal, professional or familial relationship with anyone on the current or past council. I would not support or endorse any of them for re-election. I continue to be disappointed at the degeneration of civility and objectivity in Yorba Linda politics.

I am happy to blog further on information, data or articles in support of Anaheim or Sheriff proposals, in the event anyone wishes to provide it to me.

3 Responses to “Showdown with the Sheriff”

  1. Ed Rakochy said

    Brenda, Where do you come up with this stuff? $1.7 billion in unfunded pensions for the Sheriff? You are terribly mistaken.

    The unfunded pension figure is actually $3.7 billion in that report and it’s for ALL County employees. There are 17,655 County employees. The Sheriff employs 1460 sworn deputies, 1446 civilian employees and 800 reserves for a total of 3706. Please tell us how you came up with $1.7 billion when the Sheriff is just 21% of the County’s work force and that’s even including the reserves, which are part-time.

    The OCSD proposal does NOT put Yorba Linda taxpayers on the hook for the Sheriff’s unfunded pensions. The Brea proposal does. But, for the sake of your argument let’s do a pension comparison. For starters, the County is in great financial shape. Brea on the other hand has $250 million in RDA debt and one of the worst police department pension problems in the County as indicated in this OC Register article: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/brea-312710-pension-police.html

    The article stated that Brea’s unfunded pension liability is over $100 million. Brea has fewer than 40,000 residents, which puts their pension liability at $2500 per resident. If we use your incorrect $1.7 billion figure and divide it by 3 million County residents, that’s $566 of liability per resident. Hmmm. Brea is $2500 and the Sheriff is $566 using your incorrect figure.

    Now, let’s do the math with the correct figures. $3.7 billion in total County employee liability divided by 3 million residents is $1233 of liability per resident. The Sheriff is 21% of the County workforce, so 21% of $1233 is $259.

    It’s a no brainer. Brea PD’s unfunded pension liability (2500-259) is $2241/resident more than the Sheriff. As a Yorba Linda taxpayer, my share of that $2500 is a lot more than $259.

    I certainly know who’s pulling your strings and one thing is for certain. You’re both bad at math and bad at sharing and verifying your facts.

  2. Correct Ed? Based upon your spin and your position? As always you miss the point, as does the Sheriff proposal. The flaws lie in the silence and the pertinent but omitted facts. Changing the subject and your constant histrionics impair your credibility but thanks as always for reading.

    • Ed Rakochy said

      There’s no spin Brenda and I didn’t change the subject. I commented on the pension issue, which was a large part of your blast. My facts are there for everyone to read in black and white and do their own math. You’re also accusing the “Orange County Register” of a spin. They wrote the NEWS story on Brea’s pension problems and they substantiated their information and their sources. You wrote a BLOG, with unsubstantiated information on County pensions and no sources. You just threw a report and some numbers against the wall and hope it stuck. You’ve offered no specific evidence to dispute my information and calculations. Once again, you attack the messenger and not the message when you can’t back up your information.

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