Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Why California Is Going Bankrupt

From the August 10, 2012 Orange County Register, this amazing story of the meter maids of Hermosa Beach:

There are 10 parking enforcement employees for the 1.3-square-mile beach city southwest of downtown Los Angeles, and they pull down some disproportionate compensation, considering their job functions. In fact, the two highest-earning employees for fiscal year 2011-12 are estimated to have made more than $92,000 and $93,000, respectively, according to city documents provided by Patrick “Kit” Bobko, one of five council members and who also serves as mayor pro tem. Those two have supervisory roles. The other eight parking-enforcement employees make from $67,367 to $84,267 in total compensation.
There are four qualifications for being a city “community service officer,” Bobko told me: “You have to be able to drive a standard transmission; you have to able to handle large animals; you have to read and interpret statutes and regulations; and you have a high school diploma or equivalent.”
I can't tell if this "total compensation" includes health insurance costs or not, but even when you account for how expensive it is to live in that area, this seems rather a generous compensation for the job.  Is it really that hard to find people able and willing to do this work for somewhat lower salaries?  Especially since you get to live in Hermosa Beach, and work on your tan twelve months a year?


  1. Large animals? In veterinary parlance, that means horses and cattle, vs dogs and cats.

  2. "a standard transmission": does that mean an automatic transmission or a stick shift?

  3. Remember - these are meter maids. They are a source of revenue for the city, not an expense.

  4. Public workers unions?

    I was amazed when it came out a few years ago that So Cal lifeguards can pull in over $100K per year! Get to chase and watch the Bay Watch beauties and get paid that kind of dough....if only I was young enough to consider doing that job....CRAZY!!!!

  5. The "standard" transmission is the one that used to the standard equipment on an automobile. If you wanted to pay more, you could upgrade to the optional "automatic" transmission.

    A standard transmission is the one with the stick shift.

  6. Standard is stick. The toll takers in Philly make 90K.