Opinion: Deputy Sheriffs Association Wrong in Suing County Supervisors

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It’s safe to say that when Contra Costa County Board of Supervisor Karen Mitchoff stated that damage has been done between labor unions and the Board, she was foreshadowing a rocky future between the two parties.

Shortly after those comments were made, four-of-five County Board of Supervisors (Gioia, Glover, Mitchoff, Pipeho) were named in a lawsuit by the Deputy Sheriffs Association (DSA) highlighting that the Supervisors threatened them, took away their right to free speech, and that civil rights were violated.

The lawsuit comes after the DSA and other unions led a referendum campaign netting nearly 40,000 signatures to stop a salary adjustment of 33% by the Board of Supervisors. The DSA is now claiming the Supervisors are retaliating against this effort.

With these new accusations, it adds yet another black eye to the Supervisors record as the unions try to control the message when it comes to public opinion.

If anything, the public should realize that suing four-of-five  Supervisors is a form of retaliation for bringing up the words “Chuck Reed Pension Reform”. Simply put, Chuck Reed is code word for pension reform and putting the idea in the hands of the voters.

For those unfamiliar with Chuck Reed, he is the San Jose Mayor who helped place Measure B in San Jose on the 2012 ballot which called for city workers to pay more into their pension plans, gave the City Council the right to suspend cost of living increases in a fiscal emergency and required a city-wide vote before retirement benefits could be increased. It passed with 69 percent of the vote.

What is silly about this lawsuit (click here)  is that the DSA is not in labor negotiations for 16-months.  So when I hear the idea of “greed” come up, it is for positiong to sway public opinion because when negotiating, everything is on the table at the start. When negotiations proceed, items are accepted, removed, or mediated out.

This claim of greed is rather silly because it appears the DSA cannot wait 16-months to see what potential increase or decrease may occur. It appears the union is either frightened or offended by the idea of Chuck Reed even being brought up.

Lets admit it, the DSA is afraid of the public getting a say. They prefer the public believe its a naughty word that  neither Supervisors Mary Piepho nor Karen Mitchoff are allowed to discuss.

Regrettably for the DSA and regardless of the context the threats being made, it’s simply an idea at this point and not a threat. Although, I have to admit, the DSA is smart in removing the discussion from pension reform and focusing on Supervisor salary adjustments—basically, distracting the public from the larger issue facing the county.

What the public needs to understand is that once the law removed pension spiking, its no secret the DSA instead wanted compensation in return. So should pension reform end up going to a public vote, it scares the DSA just by uttering the name Chuck Reed.

The Supervisors may want to discuss the idea of Chuck Reed pension reform, it doesn’t mean they will move forward with it—in our opinion, it’s actually a very bad idea. That said, it certainly does not justify a lawsuit.

At the heart of this lawsuit, it appears the DSA is afraid the public will take this idea and begin petition to try and implement pension reform through a ballot initiative. Highly unlikely, but the DSA anger should be directed at Chuck Reed, not the Board of Supervisors. Furthermore, the idea of Chuck Reed is nothing new as last March, the Contra Costa Taxpayers Association had Chuck Reed as a guest speaker—so it’s not out of context for a Supervisor to bring his name up.

In reading the lawsuit, it this is nothing more than hearsay discussions taken out of context. The accusations hold little merit and the idea of free speech being taken away is rather silly.

If you recall, over the past several months, DSA leadership, as well as other unions, have had plenty to say without Supervisors intervening both during a public forum and to various news media. If anything, the unions didn’t know when to pipe on the verbal assaults because common sense says there will be some response at some point which may put DSA leadership in an awkward position with its members for playing poor politics.

As for the threats, the old saying goes actions speak louder than words and in the game of politics; there is an awful lot of chatter, not enough action.

In this lawsuit, which was published Wednesday on this website:

  • ASSOCIATION President Ken Westermann met with Supervisor PIEPHO where he says he told her the ASSOCIATION “made a bad decision and it is not going to end well for you guys.” The suit further says Piepho said in a dismissive tone that “we can always make it worse.”

At best, this can be interpreted a thousand different ways. Did Piepho really speak in a “dismissive tone” or did Westermann take it as such? Ultimately, who cares if the tone was dismissive. What really matters is at this time, can Mr. Westermann prove any damage has been done? No, because they are not in negotiations.

I am curious what action has the Board of Supervisors taken to hurt the DSA? As of Friday, the answer is nothing. There has to be an action for there to be damages.

With regards to Supervisor Karen Mithcoff, the association uses a hearsay conversation from Local1230 President Vince Wells who is in another union. They accuse Mitchoff of requesting firefighters to deliver a message to the DSA that because of the referendum sponsored by the Association, it would end badly for them in the next round of negotiations.

  • Defendant MITCHOFF stated that the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors would present their own referendum and reiterated Defendant PEIPHO’s threat, made during the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors’ meeting on December 16, 2014, to bring “Chuck Reed type pension reform” to Contra Costa County employees. Defendant PIEPHO was nodding her head in the affirmative, concurring with Defendant MITCHOFF’s threat. Defendant MITCHOFF said she would gladly be the swing vote in support of such a referendum.

In speaking to Vince Wells of Local 1230 Thursday, he stated he was asked to deliver a message, but refused to write a statement for the DSA lawsuit. He explained he is only going to participate if it goes to court and he is subpoenaed.

The game of “telephone” comes to mind here. You have people repeating something to others and the message gets lost in the translation. The end result is a lawsuit.

We can only assume the context of the comments were slurred at various stages as phone calls were made. With regards to both sides, I encourage them to stop acting like high school children and act like adults and simply communicate and talk out their issues. They will all be better for it and relationships can be rebuilt.

Like it or not, Mitchoff has every right to reference a statement made by another Supervisor or express a pension idea. It’s neither a threat nor against the law. In the end, if the Board of Supervisors want to go forward, they have the luxury of needing just 3-votes for a ballot initiative, whereas everyone else needs 25,000 signatures to put an idea on the ballot.

Ironically, this fear over “Chuck Reed reform” has never been discussed in public nor has it been placed on any agenda. Is the DSA afraid that through public discussions that the public might figure out this action may actually save the county money. The DSA can’t have that because this ride of public support they currently enjoy would begin to disintegrate.

Fortunately for the DSA, and all unions, should the idea of Chuck Reed’s pension reform be brought forward as an actual legislation after much discussion, we would support them in rejecting the idea based on the consequences it would cause countywide to public safety.

Overall, the lawsuit is weak, petty, and a waste of money which is where the public should focus, not their hatred of the Board of Supervisors.

The DSA should have the forward thinking and experience in law enforcement of finding common ground through communication; instead, the DSA leadership apparently prefers a temper tantrum which does their members a disservice.

During the recent petition drive, unions spent a lot of money to prevent a pay raise which averaged under 4% each year–if average over the last decade. Instead of cutting their losses, the DSA leadership would prefer to attempt to save face to its members by continuing to throw stones as if they believe they have nothing left to lose—note to DSA, this is not your version of “Custers Last Stand”.

A last stand actually comes if the Board of Supervisors begins to take away pay or benefits while other employee unions in the county are seeing rewards of an improved economy. To get to “Custers Last Stand”, it actually has to happen via a Board vote, currently, the DSA is making assumptions of what may occur 16-months from now.

The root of all this is the DSA is taking a few statements and turning it into a threat.

Amazingly, this lawsuit was low hanging fruit and the union took full advantage of the public’s lack of knowledge with regards to labor negotiations. The union has the public focused on retaliation when this is just single snap shot in real of film.

Ironically, the DSA should know better that when it comes to hearsay arguments holding up in court. This publicity stunt is aimed at bullying the Board to put legislation on hold—this is not a good way to build bridges.

This lawsuit, as silly as it is, still does not change our opinion deputy sheriffs are underpaid and deserve much more, but we question what is wrong with a 4% on average per year increase since the last raise? Yes, it adds up to nearly 33% when you make the jump at one time, but it’s not unreasonable spread over 8-years.

The supervisors who go through the salary adjustment process ultimately pay the price at no fault of their own due to a ballot initiative put in place by the public more than 20-years ago.

I can only assume that 16-months from now the DSA will gladly accept much less than a 4% increase for their members. Since they are throwing a fit at 4% annually, maybe 1% or 2% annually would satisfy union leadership.

 

This lawsuit is not about the Supervisor salary, threats, freedom of speech or civil rights; rather it’s about positioning the DSA for 16-months from now when negotiations open up. It’s about putting the Supervisors under a microscope and trying to remove four of them from office in the next two election cycles so they can strike a better union deal in the future.

The Deputy Sheriffs Association may be going for public empathy, but expect no sympathy from the Board of Supervisors at the bargaining table.

Burk BylineBy Mike Burkholder
[email protected]


50 COMMENTS

  1. Why I love this site. CC Times go left, ECT goes right. Support law enforcement, but not this lawsuit. Solid points. Hope you dont get any tickets in the near future ECT

    • Sheriffs don’t do routine traffic enforcement. Besides that would be an actual threat and retaliation.

  2. Thanks for the laugh on this poor support of the BOS. Yes, you can justify their raise all you want but the unions have been getting screwed for years. Yes, BOS have not had an increase in 8 years, but they knew that when they were elected what it paid. I thought this site was pro law enforcement?

  3. I wonder if a BOS paid off ECT for this terrible opinion. Yes, negotiations are not for 16 months but the county took away pay, benefits and increased medical. Sue the hell out of them as deputies are the lowest paid!

    • I find it hilarious that the supervisors felt they were entitled to a 33% raise, basically asking for wage increase from not receiving increases in past years, when all other unions in the county were in the same boat but were expected to take minimal raises (2-3 % raises going forward). Talk about elitist attitude. Stand in line with the rest of county employees and take your minimal raise and struggle like the rest of county employees. Don’t be a hippocrit.

  4. It’s nice to see someone looking at the big picture for a change. Unions always have a hidden agenda. The average public will not realize the bamboozle going on of having you look one way when the real action is in the other direction

  5. Figures with law enforcement they would file a lawsuit with very little evidence. They should know better. And people wonder why people are less and less supporting cops.

    • You got it Joe. Burk is bought and paid for by his good buddies wife. recall the supervisors making threats. They are no longer credible leaders.

    • Hey Joe Union, who paid you to post here? Your Union? Or are they too broke from paying for all those signatures?

  6. Wow, is that what is called now ‘Salary Adjustment” instead of a pay increase for the supervisors. That’s what I called trying to deceive the public!

    • Alfredo, unions actually classify this type of thing as a salary adjustment when it applies to their members. Apparently when it applies to management the very same unions try to pass it off as a “raise” in hopes that the public will assume it is an annual raise. From what I have read and heard it is a “Salary Adjustment”. Calling it a “raise” is a tactic which the unions used to deceive the public.

  7. So far no one is disputing the statements being attributed to Piepho and Mitchoff.

    Is it ECT’s position that the plaintiff’s have failed to establish a prima facie case? If Mary Piepho and Karen Mitchoff’s statements and actions are accurately portrayed in the complaint does ECT believe they were not intended dissuade the Union from their support for the petition drive?

    Does ECT support Piepho and Mitchoff’s right to persuade in this manner?

    • Stop the Greed, why would anyone attempt to dispute “allegations” here? Wouldn’t the proper forum be in a legal proceeding? Or were you just thinking someone with a screen name of stop the greed was deserving of a rational answer. If so you would be sadly mistaken on all counts. Wouldn’t be the first time would it?

      Conventional wisdom would suggest that the Board of Supervisors has been advised by legal counsel not to respond to allegations. Talking about a pending law suit “never ends well”.

      What does it really matter what ECT thinks. What matters is what a Judge will think. My guess is that doesn’t really make you happy. Too bad.

  8. I have lost all faith in those two ladies. The whole board of course too. I have never been a union supporter but I signed the petition and was very happy to do it. I support the federal case also. Time the elected remember who elected them….

    • Based on a few of the pre judging comments here, I’ll wager the two ladies have lost a little faith in you. Time to remember not to judge others based on your lack of knowledge. Ever wonder why it’s called Monday morning quarterbacking?

  9. Recall is the only way to put this to rest. Karen and Mary have failed the public with their threats. The power they have been blessed with has now been abused.

  10. wow funny stuff…..

    completely typical ccc f-up and every opportunity by every party.

    you get what you elect and in ccc it ain’t much.

    but the good news is every one of the bos has likely rendered themselves unelectable.

    once again I will put forth that the county bos position should be part time so not to be so appealing to those in it to make a buck and get government benefits. make the job appealing to people who have already achieved success so they can use the wisdom that comes with success to deal with higher level issues.

  11. As a member of the DSA, I will acknowledge that Mr. Burkholder has one valid point; we are afraid of “Chuck Reed style pension reform.” In fact, that fear is greatly understated. When Chuck Reed came to San Jose, the city was the second safest large city in America. It had a police department that set the national standard in training, tactics, community oriented policing, and officer safety. Thanks to Chuck Reed’s pension reform, San Jose PD is no longer even nationally recognized as a safer large city. In fact, it’s the only police department in the greater Bay Area that deputies from Contra Costa County are not applying to.

    What the DSA has to fear is far greater than what San Jose had to fear. We are not a great agency. We are barely holding it together. We are already floundering. Our dismal state is due to the County Board of Supervisors lack of concern for county employees and the public’s safety. If they are successful in carrying out their threats against us, it will not be to the detriment of anyone except for the public that is served by the agency. We won’t attempt to shortchange the public in our effort to provide services. We will just move on to an agency that allows us to better provide for our families.

    • Paul, meet Jim, you two should get your stories straight!

      “As a member of the DSA, I will acknowledge that Mr. Burkholder has one valid point; we are afraid of “Chuck Reed style pension reform.” In fact, that fear is greatly understated. -Paul Swick, DSA member

      “The Deputy Sheriffs Association is not “afraid” of Chuck Reed-type pension reform,” -Jim Bickert, Former president and current Labor Relations Representative to the DSA

  12. Journalists and peace officers are probably two groups upon which government would least want to direct the impairment of constitutional free speech rights. The right to free speech is the bread and butter upon which journalists in this country rely. Peace officers are literally sworn to uphold the Constitution.

    I would venture to say that Mr. Burkholder’s tune would be radically different if government authorities threatened him with retribution for anything he wrote in his articles; and it wouldn’t matter if the threats had yet been carried out. In that sense, I believe Mr. Burkholder is being hypocritical in his argument. Imagine if the county supervisors could threaten to impose a tax on all citizens that signed the petitions regarding the supervisors’ pay increase. It is the mere concept that government authorities would use their position of power to try to intimidate citizens to back down that is offensive. As an aside, if someone were to threaten you or your family, is it better to take the threat seriously and deal with the situation right up front in an attempt to head off the threat, or wait until actual harm is done?

    Look, if folks think that blind loyalty (emphasis on “blind”) to local politicians trumps the Constitution and the concept of responding to intimidation by those same government officials, then that is certainly their business. My guess is that those same people would react differently if they were the target of the threat.

    Regarding collective bargaining, deputy sheriffs are not allowed to strike, nor do they have the right to binding arbitration in Contra Costa County. Binding arbitration is the ability to resort to a neutral third party to determine a contract settlement when an agreement can’t be reached between the employees and the county. When bargaining reaches an impasse, the county supervisors can literally impose their will, impose a contract, on the deputies. Because of these facts, deputy sheriffs are totally at the mercy of the county supervisors in bargaining. Deputy sheriffs simply must rely on the sanctity of the collective bargaining process itself, specifically the legal duty to bargain in good faith, and guard it jealously. This legal duty is provided in the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act. These county supervisors literally told the DSA up front that they are not going to bargain in good faith, but instead retaliate for the DSA’s participation in the right to petition government. As you can see, the county supervisors are in a position to unilaterally carry out that threat. It would be foolish to consider it a false threat. Far from “positioning” themselves for future contract negotiations, the DSA is seeking to PROTECT its members from explicit threats of retaliation in those future negotiations.

    For those that think that the DSA is so reactionary as to rush to judgment on this issue, think again. The DSA has, for years, cultivated very good relationships with these county supervisors, to the point where some could even say they were friendships. These parties are not constantly at each others throats, as one might think. Understanding that, one would be able to see that none of this was entered into lightly. Whether you are talking about friends, acquaintances, enemies or total strangers, at some point you must stand up in the face of something that is blatantly wrong and illegal. At some point, enough is enough and too much is unacceptable. Even if you believe that the DSA should not hold the supervisors legally accountable, their true character has been exposed, and one should question whether that character represents the “stuff” of which a government representative should be made.

    The Deputy Sheriffs Association is not “afraid” of Chuck Reed-type pension reform, for the same reasons that Mr. Burkholder knows to be true, and it would be inaccurate to conclude that the lawsuit is based upon that single concept, as is so often reiterated in this article. Rather, the comments made by the supervisors relating to that reform are merely used as one example of the threats issued.

    In the end, the citizens both understand the DSA’s position and agree, or they understand the DSA’s position and choose not to agree for reasons that go beyond the actual issues. Either way, that is the beauty of our government; that we can voice these opinions freely, without fear of intimidation or retaliation by the government. And when threatened by the government with retaliation for voicing those opinions, I believe all citizens of the United States would take an intrinsic offense to the concept.

    As to the very last line of the article, the DSA never expects “sympathy” at the bargaining table. What they expect is fairness. What they expect is for Contra Costa Office of the Sheriff be able to legitimately compete with other law enforcement agencies in the area for quality candidates, to be paid competitively with their peers, to retain the 1-2% of candidates that actually make it through the process. What they expect is for the Sheriff’s Office to be able to adequately staff the beats, the jails, to investigate the crimes, etc., so that they may properly serve the citizens of this county. What they expect is for the board of supervisors to treat themselves in the same manner in which they treat their employees. We are all in this together, or should be.

    And Mr. Burkholder, it was General Custer, not “Custard”, that made his last stand. Good grief.

    Jim Bickert
    Rains Lucia Stern PC
    Labor Relations Representative to the DSA

    • Thanks for sharing more about the legal basis for SDA’s actions. People do not understand that public employee associations have much different rules and significantly less bargaining power than private sector unions. With the political nature of the landscape, there have been many rules of law put in place to attempt to separate staff functions from political functions and clear lines of appropriate contact from elected officials regarding good faith bargaining.

      Elected officials by law are held to a very high standard of conduct and if accusations are held true, the officials have to answer.

      I applaud SDA leadership in standing for both their communities as well as their membership.

    • Jim, total poker bluff, which is the best you can do when you have a bad hand.

      Going on a full public comment blitz seeking sympathy is a shrewd move when you know full well your opponent will be advised by Legal to keep quiet. You’re battling an unarmed opponent in this forum context.

      Let’s be honest. This has nothing to do with the DSA claiming they were threatened. It’s really about preserving pension spiking and the CCCERA rebuff you guys are dealing with. Remember this little ditty in the Minutes from last year?

      “My members are so angry about this board’s action that I’m surprised they haven’t come down here and burned this building to the ground.”

      Dunno. Looks like on the making threats score sheet you might be leading by a fairly wide margin.

      I support the DSA, but this is ambulance chaser grade. I hope you’re smart enough to figure out it folds up like a cheap tent as soon as you hit Deposition phase. Which, if my timeline read is correct puts this getting dismissed with bad feelings all around right about the time you have to negotiate a contract.

      Weird way to set the table, IMO.

      Commenting that you have established “friendships” and then basically shooting their dog on the way out the door seems like an odd strategy.

      To your credit, your PR effort is paying some dividends here. You have the East County Clown Brigade covering your ass, not even realizing that by proxy they are defending pension spiking practices. Which in the past they have railed against.

      No worries, the core group here is too stupid to ever figure it out. But some of us are getting a good laugh out of the hypocrisy.

      Dan Borenstein’s hatred of Unions is only surpassed by his hatred of the BoS. Which is why he’s taking your side………for now. Eventually his flip-flopping is exposed too. Or maybe he just forgot he penned this?

      http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_24533203/daniel-borenstein-chuck-reeds-pension-reform-initiative-is?source=infinite

    • Jim meet Paul, you two should get your stories straight!

      “As a member of the DSA, I will acknowledge that Mr. Burkholder has one valid point; we are afraid of “Chuck Reed style pension reform.” In fact, that fear is greatly understated. -Paul Swick, DSA member

      “The Deputy Sheriffs Association is not “afraid” of Chuck Reed-type pension reform,” -Jim Bickert, Former president and current Labor Relations Representative to the DSA

  13. Fortunately, a trier of fact will determine the merits of this case and not the EastCountyNet. An abuse of power is always wrong, and if any supervisor threatened any type of payback in negotiations with any labor unions as a result of the 33 1/3 percent rollback of their raise, that is unethical, unfair, and an abuse of power. If Contra Costa County wants deputies to leave in droves like officers in San Jose have done and not be able to have enough enrollees in the Academy, they can continue down a Chuck Reed path of pension reform. However, the public needs to recognize such a move doesn’t just affect the deputies but the community itself. Less boots on the grounds means a greater risk to public safety. Supervisors should get the same raises that it expects its county employees to take and not a dime more. I support law enforcement. Posted by mom of murdered Pittsburg Officer Larry Lasater, eow 4/24/05

  14. @Phyliss Lasater Loya, I am very sorry for you loss.

    Credit to and Jim Bickert for contributing your thoughts on this matter. Unless and until Piepho and Mitchoff deny these statements being attributed to them, resignation or recall is warranted.

    I think the Editor has gone about as far as he can to protect Piepho. Probably time to reassess

    • So what’s preventing you from pulling the papers for that recall tomorrow, Flint?

      I mean besides the fact that you’re stuck playing the anonymous coward drive-by post game here?

      Apparently you don’t have the common sense of a grapefruit. People at the end of litigation don’t wage defense campaigns in blogs to please anonymous clowns like you. Pretty obvious to anyone with half a brain.

      A better question is, what do you have against the judicial system and due process? What do you have against the concept of innocence until proven otherwise?

      You sure seem intent on short circuiting that, violating the civil rights of several people and instead waging your little public trial and hanging right here.

      Sounds a little unAmerican to me.

    • Laugh Koe, I must have missed where the editor was trying to protect Piepho (or Mitchoff).

      On the flip side, what I have personally witnessed here on this website is your obsessive, compulsive behavior and increased infactuation. You really ought to get that checked out. I guess waiting for the facts to surface from these allegations is too much to ask from someone with such an eager appetite to rush to judgement.

      Odds are you’ll be disappointed once again.

  15. Let call a spade a spade.This is not about reform.This is about Supervisors crooked antics ( Karen & Mary ).
    San Jose, Chuck Reed, CC Sheriff, that is not what this is about. This is about threats made in order to censor free speech and coheres other officials.The conspiracy of the two supervisors is sickening, immoral, unethical, and illegal. Since one of the supervisors has connections with the DA’s office via her father, fairness in a investigation needs to come from an independent source like the state attorneys office or the FBI. The two supervisors have ruined the county until they are prosecuted or replaced

    • Recall Next, sure! Let’s call a spade a spade. You have no factual information to base your commentary. Your comment isn’t about anything else but your own issues. The one “supervisor’s father” has been deceased for over a decade, you really think the fix is in? Perhaps you should call the DA yourself and try to float your conspiracy.

      Your opinions are sickening.

      End of story.

  16. Supervisors Piepho and Mitchoff need to RESIGN. They have resorted to Nixonian dirty tricks methods and have soiled themselves politically. Making implicit threats, smacks of “Bridge Gate” in New Jersey, and the IRS auditing political enemies of whatever administration is in power. Simply wrong. As far as “Chuck Reed Pension Reform”, Contra Costa County is a 1937 Act county, and any pension reform has to be decided by the State Legislature, not local voters. This was tried in Ventura County and court rulings have determined this to be the case. San Jose is not a 1937 Act retirement system and thus subject to local vote. In short, the Supervisors are blowing smoke and resort to the “Do as I say, don’t do as I do” argument. Both Mitchoff and Piepho are on the record making threats and they must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The State Attorney General and FBI need to conduct the investigation.

    • From the video and then the statements attributed to Mary and Karen via the lawsuit, you’re right. They crossed the line.
      There is nothing at all preventing them from denying these comments … Doing so would not hurt their lawsuit defense. It’s easy to lay the blame for refusing to comment on the lawsuit, but the best explanation for lack of a denial is fear they will be caught in a lie.
      Think about it. A written statement denying the allegations and making it clear they will not comment further until the legal process plays out would (if true) be very helpful to these supervisors.
      For those that defend Mary and Karen, if the allegations are true, would you support a recall or resignation? Or, would you defend their right to make these comments (threats)?

      And do you think these guys (including your pal Vince Wells) would make and allow such allegations to stand if they weren’t valid?

      At some point, after 39,000 signatures, a lawsuit with clear allegations, dozens of public comments supporting the DSA and FF Local 1239, it must seem like you are the only smart people in the county. Everyone else have been duped or have personality disorders, right.

      Or maybe it’s not that way at all….

      • Allegations without merit don’t warrant a response, especially when that demand comes from a well known, but low level trouble maker like you, Flint.

        You MIGHT get credibility with the dozen or so reading this thread, but within the halls of Martinez your name is poison. You should have gotten a clue by now with the consistent manner in which department heads blow you off. People are fed up with your years of innuendo and character assassination attempts. Not to mention your very unhealthy obsession with Mary Piepho.

        You support the DSA in this campaign to preserve pension spiking compensation practices in contract negotiations.

        Duly noted.

        You should probably pick up the pace of rotating through your many aliases here to agree with yourself. Looks to me like you’re losing traction with your latest witch hunt.

      • Looks like the driver of the “clown car” did another hot lap and “stop the greed” is once again behind the wheel.

        – In what video did Mary and Karen “cross the line”? Do you have some secret squirrel video that the public hasn’t seen? Or is this another allegation & assumption on your part?

        – “Statements attributed to” equals “hearsay” which in turn equals “non admissible”.

        – Defendants in any lawsuit are ALWAYS advised against comment. This case would be no different. So “stop the greed” where is it exactly that you received your education in public policy and law degree? (just trying to justify your recommendations).

        – No one in their right mind would ignore their legal counsel and follow “stop the greeds” ridiculous suggestions. Perhaps a guilty party would, but that is simply speculation. Does anyone really believe “stop the greed” is looking for what he asks? Now that would be foolish, even for someone of his low brow mentality.

        – Vince Wells is not voluntarily going to step into a lawsuit. Especially one that the DA won’t touch and lacks merit. He clearly has stayed away from the DSA’s efforts. He is not a fool.

        – There are not 39,000 valid signatures-never was. There are no “clear” allegations-never was, and dozens of comments supporting the DSA and ff local 1239?

        Sorry to break it to you, but there might be a marginal amount of valid signatures (after the thousands of invalid ones have been disqualified), having to rely on “allegations” in any lawsuit is a losing proposition. The “dozens” of comments seem to be limited to a few with an axe to grind, whereas support for the supervisors seems to be coming from an array of reputable entities. A lack of support from other unions towards the DSA is creating a loud and undeniable silence.

        Stop the greed, we know you are not one for details, but before you go too much further with your trumped up allegations, for the record the firefighters union is Local 1230 not 1239.

        In a case which is more about a union’s, pension spiking, low salaries and leveraging for better position during contract negotiations, I find it odd that someone with a “stop the greed” screen name cannot see the forest for the trees. One could say your position is purposefully ignorant and Yes, that would qualify as a personality disorder on your part.

        Hmmmmmm, no wonder your legal advice sucks. You should stick to mudslinging and frustration-I’m told you have the market cornered on both.

  17. Stephen, you wrote, “Both Mitchoff and Piepho are on the record making threats and they must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The State Attorney General and FBI need to conduct the investigation.”

    I must have missed the part where “they are both on the record of making threats….”

    The district attorney must have missed that one too. You should call the AG and the FBI and share your ability to see that which isn’t there. They might be interested……or not.

    Damn those details!

  18. I’ve been a county worker for over 20 years.i have not seen a wage increase for over 8 years up until this years negotiation. In between, they have given me furloughs, taken away 2.75% and increased my benefits payments. With this years increase, I am still not bringing home what I made 8 years ago. And they want 33% ? I’m sorry, they get what they deserve. And to threaten the unions because they are not getting what they want ?? I would vote to recall them in a heartbeat. This whole thing just makes me sick. They chose to work for the people. They need to show us some respect, and live in our shoes. If we get 4%, they should get 4%, until we all have fairly competitive salaries with other counties.

    • MP, not sure what business world you live in but the reality is, management, CEO’s, supervisors are non represented and do not “get what we get”. There is a pyramid of responsibility and a job title that puts supervisors in a different classification than unionized employees. Stomping your feet and repeating the same talking points does nothing to change the real world reality associated with public and private business models.

      The supervisors voted on a 8 year adjustment that worked out to less than 4 percent a year. The same amount you say they should get “If we get 4%, they should get 4%…”. The rescinded it, and now you want to recall over what again? Allegations from your unions? The very same unions that circulated petitions? The very same unions that have made threats on the record? You might want to step back a bit and wait until this is sorted out, otherwise you look like you are trying to rush to judgment. Knee jerk reactions don’t always produce the best results. I’m guessing the law, innocent until proven guilty doesn’t sit well with you?

      Oh, and incase you missed it, the supervisors relinquished the 8 year salary adjustment so they got ZERO. To use your own argument; “If we get 4%, they should get 4%, until we all have fairly competitive salaries with other counties.” Now that they “get” ZERO then using your logic the unions should get the same (ZERO) correct? Doesn’t sound like a threat to me. It sounds like the unions are getting what they wanted.

  19. Sure are a lot of anon names on here. Guess people don’t want their feelings hurt. The supervisors have handled this very poorly and unfortunately for years nobody has wanted to run against the one from my voting area (Mr Glover). Maybe finally we will get a few new faces in there.

    • Joe, found this Facebook link that has lots of comments for attribution.

      https://www.facebook.com/EastCountyToday/posts/678423605613464

      Very interesting comments from a wide variety of community members. Opinion seems to be strongly in favor of the Union and against Mary Piepho and Karen Mitchoff.

      Also see a few comments on this Contra Costa Times Editorial page that also challenge the supervisors.

      http://www.contracostatimes.com/lafayette/ci_27376617/daniel-borenstein-contra-costa-supervisor-pay-debacle-may

      I heard Mary Piepho say at a meeting earlier this month that she was going to run for reelection again. Might have been a threat, but she sounded serious about it. You’re right though, we need candidates to challenge the sitting board members. I like Gioia and Andersen….I don’t agree with them all the time, but I think they have integrity. Not sure about Glover either way. Piepho and Mitchoff…just can’t trust them.

      I like Piepho’s line: We can always make it worse!
      Whether the tone was dismissive or not, it sounds like the supervisor really wanted to change the hearts and minds of the Union with her persuasive arguments against the signature gathering. Just another interesting public policy debate with Mary Piepho.

      • Stop the Greed,

        You are obviously reading through your blinders again. What’s wrong, brain stuck on ignorant?

        The Facebook link you provided is the same as written by the author here. The only difference is the stream of responses is overwhelmingly from law enforcement who are connected to one another through Facebook “friends”. I presume you don’t know how Facebook works? Further, most are trying to justify their reactions to a raise which has been rejected, low deputy pay, and needed pension reform. They note nothing of the DSA’s previous actions leading up to this nor do they come from a position of neutrality. Somehow you are trying to bridge the focus on Mary Piepho and Karen Mitchoff which again shows your deep rooted infatuation. So much for your assertation of a “wide variety of community members”. Nice try!

        You certainly have some deep seated personal issues that go way beyond this one. Jealousy and infatuation with subject matter you don’t seem to comprehend. You choose to go for the low hanging fruit, while completely ignoring the whole picture. Thankfully Judges and the legal process itself takes all information and weeds out hearsay, allegations, bias, assumptions and weighs what is proven to be factual . It’s no wonder you are trying to get someone-anyone to buy into your fever pitch wails of desperation.

        Finally, speaking of editorial pages in the CCTimes/Bay area news group you might want to read this one written by the same Dan Borenstein a little over a year ago; You must then believe he is also making threats? Go figure.

        Daniel Borenstein: Chuck Reed’s pension reform initiative is badly needed

        As San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed promotes his statewide pension initiative, unions have cranked up cries that their retirement benefits and future security will be gutted.

        Not true.

        Anyone who cares about state and local government finances should take the time to understand what the measure would actually do. It’s much-needed reform enabling government leaders to control the ballooning costs of public employee retirement programs.
        To be sure, even if Reed’s campaign collects the necessary signatures, and if voters approve the initiative, it will only survive if the state Supreme Court reverses its previously misguided rulings.
        As difficult as that might seem, it’s worth pursuing. While Gov. Jerry Brown and legislators last year developed new pension rules that made small changes, Reed’s initiative would provide critical reform essential for financially stabilizing the system.

        Let’s be clear: The initiative would not affect current retirees. It also would not affect pension benefits that current workers have already earned. It would only allow changes to future pension accruals, making the rules similar to those for the private sector and most other states in the nation.
        To understand what’s at stake, remember that pensions are just one form of compensation. Each year that an employee stays on the job, he earns a salary, benefits like health care insurance and additional future pension income payable after retirement.
        What’s at issue is the rate of that pension accrual. For example, a police officer might be promised a pension equal to 3 percent of final salary for every year worked. But what happens when the employer recognizes it cannot afford such a generous benefit?
        A private-sector company would probably reduce the rate of future accruals. It might tell the worker that he can keep the 3 percent credit for each year he has already worked, but going forward he will only earn pension benefits at a rate of, say, 2 percent a year.
        However, in California, thanks to the Supreme Court, once a public employee starts working, that accrual rate can never be reduced. It can go up, but not down. Using our example, that 3-percent-a-year accrual rate is the minimum for the worker’s entire career.

        It’s absurd.

        Financially strapped government employers, often through collective bargaining, can reduce salaries, trim health care benefits, impose furlough days and even lay off workers.
        But they cannot touch future pension accruals, which are merely another form of compensation.
        That is what Reed aims to fix. Once again, notice that the initiative would only affect future accruals. Yet, it’s a critical change. As the Little Hoover Commission, a state bipartisan watchdog group, concluded, “state and local governments have made a promise to workers they can no longer afford.”
        Pensions will strangle funding for public services unless officials reduce future accrual rates for current workers, the commission reported in 2011. Since then, government pension costs have continued to rise. But the state Supreme Court has stood in the way of reform, ruling more than two decades ago that future accruals are promises that government cannot reduce without violating the contract clauses of the state and federal constitutions.

        Amy Monahan, a University of Minnesota law professor, has sharply criticized the “California Rule.” California courts, she writes, have “established one of the most protective legal approaches for public employee pension benefits of any state in the country.”
        It has been created without establishing lawmakers’ objectives. “The failure to even attempt to discern legislative intent creates a separation-of-powers issue,” she writes. “Courts that bind legislatures, absent clear indication that a legislature intended to bind itself in perpetuity, are infringing on legislative power.”

        If voters pass Reed’s initiative, which would amend the state Constitution, the issue will almost certainly return to the state Supreme Court. In 1991, the court overturned a part of a voter initiative that would have ended future pension accruals for state lawmakers.
        A lot has changed since then. Pensions are draining public funds like never before. The seven-member court has five new members. It’s time for them to revisit the issue.

        But voters must act first.

      • Agreed Greed. It would be better to have vacant seats rather than those two.This election should be any easy pick off. Even easier if they are jailed.

  20. Anon, do you see what a turd you are with your attempt to defend criminal behavior. Either you are related to one of the Supervisors or you have got more of an infatuation for them than anyone. Oh, and yes they have been on record in the news media and this website quoted as making threats to public employees. They need to resign, recalled, and get prosecuted. There is no room for crooked politicians. PS, the DA will not touch them because they would like a raise too besides the link with Mary’s father. He is probably turning over right in shame.

  21. Recall Next,

    If you weren’t willingly trying to spread your delusional disease I might actually feel sorry for you. However I don’t. You are your own worst enemy. Ironic. You must believe everyone is as dumbed down as you are? You would be wrong.

    Anyone can see how desperate your infatuation has become by reading your rants including the one on another unrelated (Kamala Harris) thread here. If that is not enough, the lawsuits focus is mainly on Mitchoff, yet you let your infatuations with Piepho get the best of you. Are you related or just infatuated with the supervisor? Perhaps you can show us all where Piepho or Mitchoff is on the record making threats? Remember, hearsay doesn’t count. I failed to see that anywhere-including this website. In my opinion, there is no room for frivolous lawsuits. However no legal proceeding has even begun, let alone been determined, so how is it that you are issuing statements which include resign, recalled and prosecuted. One word; “infatuation”. Thank goodness you are not in any position to make decisions.

    Criminal behavior? Nice attempt at projection. I don’t have to defend that which doesn’t exist in the first place. It must really chap your ass that the District Attorney agrees. I’m sure the metallic hat you are wearing tells you the fix must be in there too.

    I had to laugh when I read your plea on the Kamala Harris link. Talk about derailed! I would hope you have someone close to you that can persuade you to get some professional help.
    How do you actually make it through the day?

    P.S. I’m sure the Contra Costa D.A., Mark Peterson would be interested in your comments alleging his corruption in as much as you are accusing him of being a willful accomplice. Maybe I’ll give him a call. I think you need to get your ducks in order before making any such “allegations”. For starters, he is an elected official, not a represented employee and his pay is not bargained for. Secondly, it has been over 70 years since Mary’s father was first hired in the district attorney’s office and he left in 1968. If you can count that was 47 years ago. (Google is a wonderful tool). Yeah, I’m sure his influence there is historical magic, especially since he has been deceased for almost a decade.

  22. @ Stop the greed & recall next

    Since you appear to be on a witch hunt & believe you have special insight at reading into threats…. you might want to explain away this little ditty.

    “My members are so angry about this board’s action that I’m surprised they haven’t come down here and burned this building to the ground.” -Jim Bickert, former head of the DSA, and current labor representative working for the DSA’s law firm

  23. Elected officials can’t issue threats against people making political speech. That clear…no one disputes that.
    The union statement of surprise that no one has burned down a building isn’t very smart, but it is not a threat, not illegal, and not intended to deprive any citizens of their right to speak.
    Idunnoknow and Anon aren’t stupid. They’re deflecting, which means they know their gals (wife?) messed up. Good for them. Let’s respect their motivation and ignore them.

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