Over the past few weeks you have probably been sent various mail pieces about the District II Contra Costa County Supervisor Race. A few of them are informative, others humorous, and some completely ridiculous. To help you overcome some of the confusion they cause, you might be interested in the real facts:
Who is sending out these mailings?
Trade and Public Employee Unions. They have formed an “Independent Expenditure” group called the Committee to Elect Tomi Van de Brooke Supervsior 2012, sponsored by Local Contra Costa Building Trade Unions. In the last few weeks they have contributed over $32,000 to send these misleading mailers out.
Contributors are: the Service Employees International Union Local 1021; IBEW 302; SEIU United Healthcare Workers West; Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 159; International Brother of Electrical Workers Local 302; Sheet Metal Workers Local 104; Public Employees Local One; American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees Council 57; Bricklayers and Allied Craftworker Local No. 3; Plumbers and Pipefitters U.A. Local #246; Plumbing Piping and Mechanical Contractors; United Association No. 159. See the Committee Financial Reports. For more information about how this election is being funded click here.
There is no Budget Shortfall in Danville:
Danville does not have an “$8 million budget shortfall.” They never have. It has a balanced budget with revenue of approximately $28 million and expenditures of close to $26 million. An additional $11 million, or 42.5% of the operating budget is held in reserve. It is one of the most fiscally sound cities in California, because it has no unfunded pensions or retiree health care costs.
Mayor Andersen Oversees More Than a Town Budget:
Candace doesn’t just oversee Danville’s budget, but those of other Agency boards she serves on such as the County Connection and the Central Contra Costa Solid Waste Authority. She has also overseen hundreds of millions of dollars worth of transportation projects on both SWAT and TVTC. The responsibilities of a Council Member and Mayor include significant decisions beyond budgeting. Read more about Candace’s extensive experience here.
Tomi has Not Been Fiscally Responsible:
While serving on the Community College Board, Tomi imposed a Project Labor Agreement requiring union only labor on new construction projects. The College Staff were against this proposal and its 10-15% increased cost to taxpayers for all new projects. Two weeks after the agreement, Tomi began to receive thousands of dollars of campaign donations from those same trade unions. Read more on her campaign funding here. It should also be noted that the College Board is now dipping into its reserves and is looking at a parcel tax for the November ballot to pay for its “operations funding.”
Mayor Andersen has Not been Silent on Women’s Healthcare Issues:
Candace has repeatedly stated that she recognizes that the law gives a woman the right to have an abortion. This was decided by the US Supreme Court years ago and is not a County issue. Although her personal beliefs on abortion may be more conservative, Mayor Andersen strongly supports access to quality healthcare and medical services for women. She does not have an “agenda” or plans to cut funding to Planned Parenthood. The Contra Costa Times criticizes Tomi’s attack on this issue. Read more here.
Mayor Andersen is Not Anti-Union:
Candace has great respect for all workers, including those who are members of unions. She agrees that the trade unions have excellent training, apprentice, and employment programs. Her concern is with Project Labor Agreements which mandate union only labor and can drive up the cost of building. Mayor Andersen looks forward to working with the many County employee unions to ensure that they are appropriately compensated for the work they provide and have fair pensions that are sustainable and affordable to taxpayers.
Danville’s Town Manager is Fairly Compensated:
Let’s compare “apples to apples.” Danville’s Town Manager has as base salary of $207,000. He has the most seniority of any City Manager in Contra Costa and his salary is not even the highest. When you add in his car allowance, medical retirement benefit, and an ability to cash out a limited number of leave days, his compensation comes to approximately $240,000, lower than what is paid to Contra Costa’s County Administrator. Danville’s City Manger also receives 35% going into a 401k type retirement plan (instead of Social Security or a defined benefit plan such as PERS). The cost of retirement and pension costs are not reflected in most City Manager salary surveys, which is why it is misleading to include it in comparing his compensation. In contrast, the Contra Costa Community College Chancellor salary approved by Tomi includes a base salary of $273,000, and with a car allowance, an annuity, and expenses it comes up to $289,000. Just last year a local article was written about how Danville’s salaries were lower than others in the Tri-Valley area.
Learn more about Candace at www.leadcontracosta.com.