Glendora councilman Doug Tessitor’s apology

Glendora councilman Doug Tessitor was caught with his foot in his month last month when debating the merits of imposing a new set of contract restrictions on the general employees association.

Tessitor had said it was “BS” when the association claimed the police officers association and others made concessions to help spare the general employees association. It later came out – from the POA – that it was actually quite true.

To his credit, Tessitor owned it. He did so in the Tribune and made remarks at Glendora’s council meeting Tuesday admitting his mistake. (Relevant discussion is at 33:30)

The one gripe I might have is that Tessitor says that POA President Mike Henderson told him the city rejected the POA’s offer of taking a bullet for the GMEA.

When I spoke with Henderson, his characterization to me was that the city accepted their proposal, only to renege later in an effort to have equal cuts.

Henderson’s words to me were: “After we made the concession they still pursued 3 percent and we found out that it was desired to have every group in the city give up the same amount.” (italic emphasis added by me)

That doesn’t exactly jive with Tessitor’s recap of what happened.

Breakdown of pay for Glendora’s contracted employee association negotiator

A quick note going back to the recent impasse between Glendora and the municpal employees association where the council forced a one year contract on the association with several concessions.

In years past, the City Manager or other members of the city’s executive team would handle negotiations with the association. This year the city hired Richard Kreisler to handle negotiations for the city with all its employee associations, teamed with Deputy City Manager Brenda Fischer and Finance Director Josh Betta.

The total cost for Kreisler’s services (contracted through Liebert, Cassidy, Whitmore Legal Fees)
is $42,797 since March 2010.

Kreisler’s pay breaks down like this:

He was paid $6,682.05 for work ending March 31, 2010.
- $1,296 for work on the Glendora Manager’s Association.
- $1,039.05 for work on the Glendora Municipal Employees Association.
- $2,727 for work with the Police Officer’s Association.
- $1,620 for work with the Police Manager’s Association

For work completed between April 1 and April 30, he was paid $9,855.
- $5,427 for work with GMA.
- $1,161 for work with GMEA.
- $324 for work with POA.
- $2,943 for work with PMA.

For work between May 1 and May 31 he received $6,804.
- $2,106 for GMA
- $2,889 for GMEA
- $783 for POA
- $1,026 for PMA

For work between June 1 and June 30 he was paid $10,681.32. All of that work was with the GMEA. He was also paid $1,701 for work with the GMA during that time.

For work between July 1 and July 31, he received $6,993 for work with the GMEA.

He finally received $81 for work with the GMA at the end of July.

Email: daniel.tedford@sgvn.com | Twitter: @dgtedford @sgvtribune | Facebook: SGVTribune

Claims of liar may have been exaggerated at Glendora council meeting

Wendell Phillips, the attorney representing the Glendora municipal employees association, took a beating at the council meeting Tuesday night.

In the process of making a unanimous vote to impose contract concessions on the association, many council members questioned Phillips handling of the truth.

Watch for yourself toward the end of the council meeting video.

But Phillips may not have been fibbing about the motivation behind concessions made by the police officers association and police managers association last year.

Phillips has said that the POA and the PMA took the bullet for the employees association last year by making concessions with the understanding that the employees association would not have to.

At time time, Councilman Doug Tessitor called those claims “B.S.”

Well… I spoke with Police Officers Association President Michael Henderson and PMA President Sgt. Scott Strong and both confirmed Phillips’ claims to be true.

Henderson said that part of the motivation for agreeing to defer their salary increases as well as making other concessions was to avoid the employees association being hit. Henderson said they made their motivation clear to the city during negotiations.

After agreeing to those concessions, Henderson said they later learned the city wanted a 3 percent concession across the board.

Strong echoed those remarks, saying they made clear that they were making the concessions with the understanding the GMEA would not be asked to make the same concessions. Those negotiations were with City Manager Chris Jeffers, Finance Director Josh Betta and then deputy city manager Culver Heaton, Strong said.

Considering the council’s remarks from last night, Strong said there must have been some “misunderstanding.”

Councilman Doug Tessitor called me today and apologized for his remarks. He said he was wrong on that particular issue and planned to clarify that at the next council meeting.

“That was an error on my part,” Tessitor said. “I intend to make a public announcement at the next council meeting that I was in error and apologize for making that statement.”

Jeffers, in remarks to this newspaper, and in city staff reports regarding the negotiations, an argument made in favor of approving the city’s recommended concessions was that the employees association had not made concessions in the previous year.

Fair?

The one thing that seems to be clear is, at least for this one, Phillips may have been telling the truth.

More on this story online tomorrow and in tomorrow’s newspaper.

Email: daniel.tedford@sgvn.com | Twitter: @dgtedford @sgvtribune | Facebook: SGVTribune

A tale of two letters: Glendora City Manager Chris Jeffers vs. employee association’s Wendell Phillips

In tomorrow’s paper there will be a story on the failed negotiations between Glendora city staff and the general municipal employees association and how it will now be incumbent upon the council to make a decision Tuesday night.

The two groups have been going at it for months now, and it doesn’t appear that the attorney for the employees association Wendell Phillips and Glendora City Manager Chris Jeffers get along very well.

While the pair have traded subtle barbs at each other in articles in the newspaper and with the way negotiations turned out, those don’t seem to have been tea and crumpets type meetings either.

Now we have two letters, both sent to Glendora employees, one from Jeffers, one from Phillips, at the apex of this battle.

Take a look and tell me what you think. Phillips’ letter is decidedly more aggressive and is a rebuttal to Jeffers. It goes as far as to call Jeffers petulant.

Jeffers letter has a political tone. It paints a picture of today’s environment for public employees, is trying to sway opinion in favor of the city’s efforts, and makes a case that the employees association’s negotiators are being unreasonable.

Both seem to use taxpayer angry against public officials/employees to their advantage.

What do you think? Who makes the better argument?

FYI: Both letters were obtained anonymously, but were both confirmed to exist by Jeffers and Phillips.

Glendora Chris Jeffers letter.doc
Glendora employees association attorney letter.doc

Email: daniel.tedford@sgvn.com | Twitter: @dgtedford @sgvtribune | Facebook: SGVTribune