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Community crowds City Council meeting to demand better contract for police union

Original post made on Aug 16, 2023

Nearly 60 Pleasanton residents, former city leaders and police officers packed Tuesday night's City Council meeting to demand that city officials settle on a fair contract with the Pleasanton Police Officers Association.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, August 16, 2023, 12:07 PM

Comments (19)

Posted by Henry
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 16, 2023 at 1:28 pm

Henry is a registered user.

Having watched the council meeting, my general takeaways are:
1. We have a great police department.
2. They should be paid well.
3. The city's goal of paying within 3% of the median for similar cities is very reasonable. Going higher than average is not warranted and would be fiscally irresponsible.
4. Retention bonuses based on seniority aren't right. Like in business, pay bonuses based on performance and results, not tenure. The city is right to not agree to that.
5. The city council and city manager have done the right thing. They have a budget to balance, today and in the future, and they are handling that responsibility prudently. I for one do not want to see our city run a deficit or risk bankruptcy if tax revenues decline during the next recession.
6. I feel that the city council and city manager genuinely care about the police department and are very much on their side. Their heart is the in the right place, but their brains are on the budget numbers.

Bottom line, the PPOA union should accept the contract. It's generous and fiscally prudent.

Posted by MsVic
a resident of Mission Park
on Aug 16, 2023 at 4:09 pm

MsVic is a registered user.

Henry, if you have read all the information you would know that within 3% is below all the comparable cities, so they would still be at the bottom of the scale. Just saying within 3% is meaningless if you don’t know where that 3% puts you. The comparable cities also pay retention bonuses. I disagree with you and think it’s part of the comparable wages. The city is stalling because for every day that’s one less they they have to pay out more dollars. This contract needs to be fair and needs to be done.

Posted by Fact Checker
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 16, 2023 at 4:31 pm

Fact Checker is a registered user.

We need some fact checking here.

-it may be the most generous pay raise offered in the City Manager’s short tenure but it isn’t the largest increase ever. That would be in 2001.

-Triple the city’s contribution to health savings account? Sounds great, right? In reality, tripling is $50 more. It goes from $25 a month to $75 a month.

-City policy has been median or above, not 3% plus or minus of the median. This city has always wanted officers to be in in the top 3 of the 10 comparable cities.

-That capital improvement money that can’t be used? “Different buckets” says the CM. Let’s dig in.
1. The City received more than $8.5 million in ARPA money from the federal government due to Covid pandemic. It listed how it could be used. Most cities used it for employee retention, specifically first responders who worked through the pandemic, which was one of the stated uses. Our city? Moved $5 million of that money INTO the capital improvement program.
2. The city ended FY 2022 with a surplus and added an extra $1 million to the CIP bucket.

The City crying poor is laughable. A budget is a reflection of your values. You can certainly defend the choices made, but don’t hide the ball.

Police Officers also have a website.

Kudos to the community for supporting our police officers. They seem to get it. Why doesn’t the Council?

Posted by Ptown-res
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Aug 17, 2023 at 3:53 am

Ptown-res is a registered user.

Henry, a couple things to point out.
1) the CM’s statement of “+/- 3%” was stated for the first time this meeting. This is the first time he’s ever said anything about 3% and to say that it has always been the city’s policy when Pleasanton used to be top paid would imply that is false.
2) the proposed offer would still not bring Pleasanton POA to the median and within a year they would fall to the very bottom again…. So, not within 3% of the median.
3) retention bonuses are offered by every single comparable city as an incentive to retain trained officers. To not offer that incentive makes Pleasanton a training ground for other agencies because there is 0 reason to stay here.
4) if you have a problem with retention bonuses, which is standard practice in law enforcement at this point, how do you feel about the GM’s and other department heads having unspecified $$ bonuses listed in their contracts for something as unspecific as “increasing savings.” There is no definition to how they get this bonus nor what that bonus will be. So for all we know the GM will be getting a nice sized bonus simply for saving money on not giving our officers a raise.
5) to be clear, the Pleasanton POA has stated repeatedly that they aren’t even asking to be top paid. But Pleasanton needs to raise them to at least the middle because they will inevitably fall again as other departments get raises as well. Starting the offer at -3% of the median means they will be dead last again and nobody will want to come here.
6) you stated our officers are good. If you want to keep the good ones, there has to be appropriate compensation. You don’t get high end goods for department store prices. Same goes for workers.

Posted by Doug Miller
a resident of Ironwood
on Aug 17, 2023 at 8:09 am

Doug Miller is a registered user.

By their actions, the Pleasanton City Council is "Defunding the Police".

The council has shown us where their priorities are with their votes to approve expensive projects that benefit very few residents while public safety and water are ignored.

We must continue to pressure the Mayor and City Council members to reach an agreement that will attract the highest quality candidates to our police department or we will become just another crime infested California city.

The next election is not that far away. We will remember.

Posted by Willy
a resident of Old Towne
on Aug 17, 2023 at 9:39 am

Willy is a registered user.

Pleasanton leaders, give the PPD what they need and get it done ASAP. Our Liberal City leaders need to be removed and replaced ASAP.

Posted by zz
a resident of Harvest Park Middle School
on Aug 17, 2023 at 9:48 am

zz is a registered user.

Here are some stats:
Dublin general fund budget = 118m, 33% spent on Fire+Police
Pleasanton general fund budget = 125m, 44% spent on Fire+Police

The two cities have comparable population sizes.

Posted by Andrew Littlefield
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 17, 2023 at 10:45 am

Andrew Littlefield is a registered user.

City Council's message is loud and clear. They want to DEFUND THE POLICE.
CM's logic is comical. Mayor made CM speak last at the last council meeting so that there are no rebuttals. Bunch of jokers are controlling the city. Just pay our PPD you losers.

Posted by MsVic
a resident of Mission Park
on Aug 17, 2023 at 11:18 am

MsVic is a registered user.

Mayor Brown, even the CM Beaudin said you and the council could end this now, you don’t have to follow the steps in the process. At any time you can give the CM direction to get their wages to median, not within 3% of median and include retention bonuses. Get it done!

Posted by BH
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 17, 2023 at 11:28 am

BH is a registered user.

Pleasanton CITY COUNCIL - GET THIS DONE, for our City, Safety and the Hard Working Men & Women of the Pleasanton Police Department.

Posted by Janeen
a resident of Laguna Oaks
on Aug 17, 2023 at 11:33 am

Janeen is a registered user.

City Council, please give the PPD what they are asking for! Make public safety your top priority and get this done NOW! Our officers are worth it!

Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Aug 18, 2023 at 1:10 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

I support PPOA year-round with money donation to the PPOA.

It is obvious this community knows better what it wants than what the city council knows this community wants. Although this is the same community that elected this city council majority.

These council members are not inclined to support this police department. The mayor by way of her actions is obviously not a supporter of this, her, police department. Arkin with her support of mayor Brown does not support this police department.

Council member jeff Nibert supported Pamela Price with his money donation in her run for Alameda County DA. Jule Testa endorsed Pamela Price in her run for Alameda County DA.

When council member Jack Balch asked for close door for the police, the mayor quickly silenced him with question to city manager, city manager in response, let it slip, "it's what the council wants," in response to mayor Brown.

Posted by Patty M
a resident of Valley Trails
on Aug 18, 2023 at 1:45 pm

Patty M is a registered user.

Pleasanton City Council & City Manager, please get this done! Revisit your budget and find a way to make it work. We cannot let any more of our officers leave, or have any more of the police units downsized! They need their contract NOW. 70+ days is way too long. Your decisions, or lack of, directly effect how we vote come the next elections for city council. Pleasanton POA, keep fighting, we wholeheartedly support you!

Posted by ptown
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 18, 2023 at 6:20 pm

ptown is a registered user.

Agree with Patty M. and others. City Council, step up and get this done.

Posted by MichaelB
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Aug 19, 2023 at 9:18 am

MichaelB is a registered user.

"We must continue to pressure the Mayor and City Council members to reach an agreement that will attract the highest quality candidates to our police department, or we will become just another crime infested California city."

Unfortunately, we may become one regardless.

It does no good to have adequate law enforcement resources/high-quality staff if Pamela Price responds with plea bargains/slaps on the wrist for anyone arrested and charged. She needs to be recalled and replaced with a DA that prioritizes public safety. Not "social justice" and second guessing every action/decision of police officers.

Posted by MsVic
a resident of Mission Park
on Aug 19, 2023 at 1:23 pm

MsVic is a registered user.

Two council members supported Pamela Price. Guess we know how they feel about supporting our Pleasanton Police. Maybe when Price recall is successful we can follow suit and recall Testa and Nibert. Mayor Brown and Arkin terms are up next year. Time for major change of our council members.

Posted by Jake Waters
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 20, 2023 at 10:22 am

Jake Waters is a registered user.

The President of the LAPD Union told their officers that they probably should seek a career outside of California. Oakland PD officers are also leaving. The same with SFPD down 500 officers, they have left as well. Let’s not become those cities. Lowering police standards to acquire bodies that would not have been hired is a flag of surrender. Think long and hard where you want to be in the future. I don’t want my police department to be mediocre. I want it to be well funded, proud, and prepared to protect this little town. I want my money going to things that matter, not skate parks to keep a very, very, very few kids happy. The skate parks we have now hardly have anyone in them.

Posted by Erlinda
a resident of Danbury Park
on Aug 20, 2023 at 12:07 pm

Erlinda is a registered user.

I agree to give more salary to our teachers and police here in Pleasanton. Instead of putting these streets green little poles or post and fixed a skate park that almost no body use. Our students and our safety must be prioritize to keep up City of Pleasanton. The budget is from our taxes anyway. Give love to our City employees. Please mayor Brown and city manager, we can make it and get it done.

Posted by Birdland Resident
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 22, 2023 at 9:31 am

Birdland Resident is a registered user.

Having negotiated contracts with another city in Alameda County, I know first-hand how the process works, the politics involved, and the tactics employed on both sides. In this case, the city is VERY OBVIOUSLY not negotiating in "good faith", instead trying to get the PPOA to settle the contract which would keep them below the comp-cities median. PPOA is not being greedy, they are not trying to get more than they deserve, but are simply trying to stay competitive and be appropriately compensated for the work they do.

I have recently heard that the Hayward Police Department has over 30 vacancies, the Fremont Police Department has at least 20 vacancies, San Francisco has 600 vacancies, and San Jose has over 100 vacancies. How does that impact Pleasanton? Well, every department in the state is competing for qualified personnel. And, the reality is that people entering the profession now have the opportunity to choose where to work, instead of taking the first job that is offered. Why would they come work for Pleasanton when they could make more money at another department where the culture of the city seems to support the police?

The City Council needs to protect the future of our city, support our city employees, pay them a fair salary/benefits, retain great personnel, and create culture into which job-seekers are attracted. Right now, the opposite is occuring.

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