Town Square

2010 election results are in

Original post made on Nov 3, 2010

After the all precincts were reported, the unofficial results of key local races were revealed around 1 a.m. Wednesday. Measure W was steadily defeated; Rachel Hurd, Ken Mintz and Denise Jennison were elected to school board; and Joan Buchanan beat H. Abram Wilson by collecting 53 percent of votes. Jerry McNerney edged ahead of David Harmer by just 121 votes.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, November 2, 2010, 7:24 PM


Posted by Tom, a resident of Danville
on Nov 3, 2010 at 6:32 am

McNerney is up by 121 votes at 6:30am. Keep our fingers crossed

Posted by bz, a resident of Danville
on Nov 3, 2010 at 6:41 am

THANK You for the election results! I have been trying to determine who won the congressional seat. With 99% of the votes in, it was "too close to call," so this is such good news! A breath of fresh air!

Posted by cardinal, a resident of Diablo
on Nov 3, 2010 at 7:30 am

I suspect ol' Ricky's repeated bleatings about health care sent at least a net 200 people screaming to the polls to vote for McNerney.

Thanks, Ricky!

Posted by Dan, a resident of Danville
on Nov 3, 2010 at 7:50 am

still not over yet. I also think there are absentee and provisional ballots to be counted. I am sure there will be a recount. But this is good news so far.

Posted by Diane, a resident of Danville
on Nov 3, 2010 at 7:54 am

Thanks for the boost in spirit Tom. Fingers (and toes) crossed! Either way, at least the campaigning will finally stop.

Posted by bz, a resident of Danville
on Nov 3, 2010 at 7:55 am

Yup, too close to call! From what I can see, there is only a 37 vote spread. Definitely looks like a recount! :<(

Posted by jrm, a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Nov 3, 2010 at 8:28 am

jrm is a registered user.

The state website has Jerry ahead by 121 votes as of 8:25 this A.M.
A recount appears certain....thanks to all who fought back against the hate filled diatribes along the way regardless of the final outcome.

Posted by Tony, a resident of Diablo
on Nov 3, 2010 at 9:28 am

In the 11th Congressional District Race, you Libs. should be grateful that the Right-Wing American Independent Party pulled in 8000+ votes giving McNerney an apparent win. Remember McNerney received only 47.5% of the votes opposed to the other side's 52.5%, hardly a mandate.

Also the Dems. should be orgiastic after sweeping the board in all the Statewide races, including close to super majorities in both the State Senate and Assembly. This includes Gavin Newsom surviving a tawdry affair with his Chief of Staff's wife and Kamala Harris with her mind-boggling low conviction rate in San Francisco as our new Attorney General.

Now that you and your public employee unions have an absolute stranglehold on our political affairs what are YOU going to do? With an 11+% unemployment rate and a business-hating environment methinks you have quite a challenge in front of you. Good luck, you have ALL the cards. How are you going to play them?

Posted by Tony, a resident of Diablo
on Nov 3, 2010 at 9:37 am

Pardon, may I make one correction in my musings? Our Lt. Governor Elect's illicit affair was with his Campaign Manager's wife, not his Chief of Staff. I suppose this should put him in better stead with our electorate. Way to go California, your political astuteness is nothing short of brilliant.

Posted by C. R. Mudgeon, a resident of Danville
on Nov 3, 2010 at 9:42 am

I'm astounded to see that Jennifer Price was re-elected to the San Ramon Fire Protection District position, given that she is a member of the same union that she is supposed to negotiate with, and that she is married to the brother of fire chief Richard Price.

She says that she will recuse herself from votes that are directly-related to his salary as chief, but not on "policy issues".

Why don't we just let the union set their own salaries, pension plans, etc.? In the end it is no different than electing a union member to the board.

When the next round of articles come out describing the $250,000 pensions-for-life of our fire chiefs, asst. fire chiefs, etc., we should not be surprised, since apparently we are too blind (collectively) to see the huge conflict of interest...

In the end, it will take massive shut-downs of services, towns and counties declaring bankruptcy, for the majority to wake up to how they are being fleeced.

Here's the CC Times editorial that urged a vote for two Fire Protection District candidates that DIDN'T have huge conflicts of interest:

Web Link

Posted by Jayne, a resident of Alamo
on Nov 3, 2010 at 9:52 am

My husband and I walked the local neighborhood and asked for support for Abram Wilson. We know what a honorable man he is and had high hopes; that people would realize that and vote for him. He's done a wonderful job in San Ramon and felt he would be a real asset in Sacramento. But the votes weren't there and we are hoping that he stays involved in Calif. politics and can use his wise counsel and ethics for us in the future. Stay with us Abram.

Posted by Gary, a resident of Alamo
on Nov 3, 2010 at 9:59 am

I am shocked and saddened about what the liberal democrats are doing to California. McNerney never read the health care bill but voted yes because he was told to - he doesn't care about the devastating effect it will have on everyone. Thank god the rest of the nation is waking up to what is happening to our great country - too bad all the takers in California are not. People are moving out of California in droves and it will continue as long as Californian's keep electing the Jerry Brown's, Barbara Boxer's , McNerney's, George Miller's etc. I have my own small business and feel like I am the enemy to these liberal politicians. They certainly don't legislate to better my situation, in fact, they make it worse ! I guess California will just have to hit bottom before the electorate will figure out what's happening. Unfortunately, it may be too late.

Posted by Citizen Paine, a resident of Danville
on Nov 3, 2010 at 10:07 am

Tony -- if Mr. Harmer actually Lived in the District, the vote might've been even closer.

Posted by TL Nelson, a resident of Danville
on Nov 3, 2010 at 10:43 am

I feel sick to see that McNerney is slightly ahead. There are still more mail-in votes to count, but this is too close for comfort. I believe you can judge the true character of a candidate by the type of campaign they run .... and McNerney has revealed himself to be a truly unsavory character.

From his record in Congress, it is clear he does not represent me and he does not represent the best interests of the people of District 11 ... yet he still manages to garner so many votes. I guess when you have an irresponsible, under-educated electorate, strange things can happen. This does not bode well for the future of this nation or the state of California.

Posted by Sprtndad, a resident of Danville
on Nov 3, 2010 at 11:20 am

Once again, California voters proved that most are truly too stupid to vote. I continue to wonder if people read something other than the Coco and NY Times. Or if they make their voting decisions based on a TV ad for/against something? It's time to concede that the Unions run our State and most voters are anti business. One need look no further than the unemployment rate here.

My business partners have said for years it's time to close up and move out of California. Today I have to agree. Our decision to move will adversely and regrettably affect more than 100 loyal and loved people. I just don't see that there is any relief on corporate taxes, workmans comp, health insurance, CARB or any of the myriad licenses and fees we pay. McNerney, Boxer, Brown - does anything say anti business as much as these three?

Posted by collins, a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Nov 3, 2010 at 11:59 am

Glad the election is over so that the negative comments will be over???? Huh?

What is up with you people? The election is over. Some win, some lose. Business as usual.

Stop with all the hate mongering and the name calling.

Move on.....

It is a beautiful day, the leaves are turning, go for a walk, breathe in the autumn air and smile.

To quote Edna St. Vincent Millay... "Lord, I do fear Thou'st made the world too beautiful this year".

Posted by colbert fan, a resident of Diablo
on Nov 3, 2010 at 12:02 pm

hey sprtndad, you don't like it, move to a real red state where you can fear with your ilk!

Posted by guynextdoor, a resident of Danville
on Nov 3, 2010 at 1:08 pm

If you would bother to check the Contra County Elections Division you would find that the latest results show that David Harmer won CD11 by 332 votes. The latest tally is: Harmer 19,871; McNerney 19,539; Christianson 1,265 and write in 29. Congratulations David Harmer!

Posted by Tom, a resident of Danville
on Nov 3, 2010 at 1:14 pm


I know some good realtors. Let me know if you need one. Adios,The great business envirnoments in Wyoming, South Dakota, Alabama, and Oklahoma where people and companies are moving in droves is calling you. You can tell by their massive population growth (oh wait they are shrinking) Who would want to live in Democratic leaning California where companies never grow (sorry Google, Facebook, Apple, Oracle, ebay etc) Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Posted by Dan, a resident of Danville
on Nov 3, 2010 at 1:34 pm

Hey Sprtndad and other doomsayers, You are right we needed the change. Now that we have gotten rid of the Republican Governor, Republican LT Governor and the ability of Republicans to block budgets for months on end we can start growing again. Afterall what have we gotten for our last 4 years from this group? 11% unemployment, huge budget deficits, roads and infrastrucrure that are crumbling and even more porous borders. Hopefully Arnold will go back to Acting and Meg starts another business and the people of Californis can have an effective government again.

Posted by colbert fan, a resident of Diablo
on Nov 3, 2010 at 1:46 pm

guynextdoor, your facts are as bad as faux news...please realize that the 11th CD include parts of San Joaquin, Alameda, Contra Costa, and Santa Clara counties, not just CCC. DAH!

Posted by guynextdoor, a resident of Danville
on Nov 3, 2010 at 2:03 pm

colbert fan, You're right. The state as of 12:39pm had McNerney still up by 121. I'll wait for the final tally and inevitable recount before I congratulate the winner. Still pleased that Harmer won in CC County.

Posted by Derek, a resident of Danville
on Nov 3, 2010 at 2:31 pm

Can I offer any righties some Kool-aid?
When all of you start protesting the fact no third party candidates (and I do not mean the deranged section of the republican party sporting tea bags stapled to their baseball caps) can even get into televised debates, then you'll have room to talk. Until then, silence is golden.
Meg, Jerry, Bab's, Carly? These are the best choices the leadership of the two big parties can give us? What would they do if we really could choose a "no candidate acceptable" option on the ballot?
At least W went down in flames, as it should have.

Posted by NoBigDealEitherWay, a resident of Danville
on Nov 3, 2010 at 3:13 pm

With control of the House already determined, this race doesn't seem all that important. If Harmer winds up winning, I just hope he doesn't share his father's extreme and caustic views.

The one true bright spot in the election is that Pugno lost his bid for election to the Assembly. I shudder to imagine what his next objective was. Becoming fixated on any one group of people is odd.

Just as the Republicans of Delaware squandered their chance to win a Senate seat - so, too, did the Republicans of CA. Should have stuck with Tom Campbell. When will folks learn that a fiscally conservative, socially moderate Republican has the best chance to win in CA? Running a candidate who is opposed to abortion is a tough sell in CA. Republicans have nobody to blame on that loss but themselves.

Posted by Values?, a resident of Danville
on Nov 3, 2010 at 3:26 pm

Gavin Newsome not only committed adultry by sleeping with a married woman, but it was the wife of one of his best friends, and she worked for him. Kamala Harris has acknowledged that for years she was Willie Brown's mistress even though he was married. CA voters have now elected these two to top offices in our state. What type of message does that send to our children about values? Do values even matter anymore in CA? I do not care if you a Republican, a Democrat, an Independent, a Tea Party member, a liberal, etc., if you are so lacking in basic fundamental values, I will not vote for you. Period. Is it possible for people to put aside their partisian views and opinions and simply agree that we need to do a better job of teaching basic values to our children, and that starts with not electing these type of people, regardless of what party they belong to. This should not be a Republican or Democrat platform, it should be a simple human values platform. What do you think?

Posted by Chet, a resident of Danville
on Nov 3, 2010 at 3:50 pm

The CONS, Tea [party members]and GOPers all got what the deserved a big fat zero. The worst showing in California history and considering the policies and programs they ran on the results are 1000% deserved and correct.

Posted by NoBigDealEitherWay, a resident of Danville
on Nov 3, 2010 at 6:17 pm

Values? - The only "value" required of heterosexuals is to oppose any notion of treating gay people equally. Look around the country. Four out of 10 kids in this country are born to unwed mothers. Illegitimacy is out of control and bankrupting our country. Yet, we don't see any constitutional amendments aimed at curbing this behavior. In 1992, while speaking in San Francisco, a Republican VP criticized a fictional TV character for being an unwed mother. In 2008, the Republicans paraded around Bristol Palin at their convention as if her condition was something to be admired. James Dobson used Mary Cheney's pregnancy as an opportunity to spew his drivel about gay parenting. With Bristol Palin, he commended the Palin's commitment to being pro-life. So, now, all it takes to be a good Republican mother is simply not aborting your kid. Wow.

David Vitter uses a prostitute (we won't even get into the diaper wearing allegation) but gets re-elected. I doubt the Republicans would have been so forgiving if the prostitute had been a dude. So, apparently heterosexual prostitution is now a family value.

And, lest we forget Carl Palodino. How someone - who cheated on his wife with an employee, fathered an illegitimate child, asked his kids to lie by omission in an effort to keep that child a secret from their mother, and then confessed about his actions while his wife was grieving the death of her own child - can then be viewed as having the moral authority to speak about gay people is unbelievable.

Marriage is so precious that it must be "protected". Yet, we have no laws restricting or limiting divorce. California was the first state to pass no-fault divorce. Ronald Reagan signed it into law. No-fault divorce - how is that even possible? When you divorce - someone is responsible. But, heterosexuals couldn't be bothered with the burdens that were demanded in a divorce proceeding so they had to figure out a way to make the process easier.

Did we hear heterosexuals screaming when the Supreme Court made up the right to birth control in Griswold? What screaming was there when the Supreme Court said marriage was a fundamental right and tossed laws that prevented dead beat dads from obtaining a marriage license so they could start another family while not paying for the first one? Where was the screaming when the Supreme Court said marriage was a fundamental right and stuck down laws that prevented inmates from getting married? Heterosexuals accept Ted Bundy getting married, which he did while in a FL prison, but lose their mind when gay people get married. That's some real values for you.

But, Values?, while there are no moral requirements for heterosexuals anymore you can console yourself with the knowledge that it's still ok to condemn (the number of Republican gubernatorial candidates opposed to gay adoption was staggering, especially given the pathetic parenting being done by heterosexuals), bully (see Alameda's recent school mess), and judge the gay community. Heck, Tea Party Jim DeMint wants to reinstitute the Briggs initiative - which even Ronald Reagan opposed. I won't be the least bit surprised when Anita Bryant shows up in the 2012 election - probably on the Republican presidential ticket with DeMint or Huckabee.

Posted by NoBigDealEitherWay, a resident of Danville
on Nov 3, 2010 at 6:35 pm

Values? - And sadly Arkansas school board member Clint McCance is not alone in his views. Similar to the Juan/NPR mess, I think Clint McCance verbalized what many Americans think, but are simply too ashamed to admit - the death of children because of school bullies doesn't really bother them as long as the 11 year old who's killing himself is gay.

While Californians want to blame the African-American community for the passage of Prop 8. Research has shown:

1. Parents Ran Away: Almost three-quarters of the net movement toward the ban was among parents with kids under 18 living at home. Approximately 500,000 of them moved away from No on Prop 8. The lesson of the Yes on 8 campaign: when parents hear that their kids are in danger, even if it's a lie some of them believe it.
2. Our Base Shrank: Yes on 8 won by peeling away some voters who supported same-sex marriage only six weeks earlier. From September 22 through election day, at least 5% of voters moved towards the anti-gay side. No on 8 lost ground among many types of voters, but it lost most ground among parents, white Democrats, Latinos, and voters in the Greater Bay Area.

So, parents - liberal, conservative, white, black, Latino, Democrat, & Republican - haven't come that far from the Briggs/Anita Bryant days of the 1970s. Except every one of those groups has excused their contribution to the explosion in our illegitimacy rate since the late 70s.

So, Values? - you are seeing values being followed. It's just the bar for heterosexuals has been so low that it's easy to confuse it for - no values.

If Californians want to ban gay marriage - that's their right under the constitution. But, be honest, and admit it's driven by bigotry and fear because your actions of illegitimacy, divorce, and adultery do not support your contention that marriage must be protected. I'd rather deal with an honest bigot than one who lies about their motivation for bigotry.

Posted by Values?, a resident of Danville
on Nov 3, 2010 at 7:14 pm

"Nobigdealeitherway":Thanks for your input and analysis. I think your statements are very thought provoking. I did not mean to limit the issue to straight marriages, and the same issues I brought up would apply to gay marriages. If someone is so lacking in basic human values that they can not control themselves and cheat on their spouse(straight or gay) or with someone's else spouse, does that behavior suggest they should not be trusted to make critical decisions that affect our entire society? Don't we owe it to our children to teach basic human values, and to have the guts to practice what we preach in electing people who are going to represent us as a society? Am I the only one who feels this way?

Posted by jrm, a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Nov 3, 2010 at 8:27 pm

jrm is a registered user.

wow...chill folks...the election is over...can we all take a powder? Celebrate the good weather before the winter storms and the Giants win? Life is good ...after all, we don't live in Topeka...

Posted by Mike, a resident of Danville
on Nov 4, 2010 at 1:55 pm

Yeh for McNerney!!!! Glad to see that the "party of no," the tea party, didn't succeed in bringing down a great public servant just for their own selfish ideological reasons. Narrow minded thinking always loses in the long run.

Posted by Tony, a resident of Diablo
on Nov 5, 2010 at 8:28 am

To Tom, Cardinal, Dan, Diane, JRM, Collins, Colbert Fan, Derek and Mike.

Congratulations are your overwhelming victory. California's becoming a one-party state is probably a long-standing dream come true. "Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely". Let the party begin. Please carefully read today's lead article in the San Ramon Valley Times. Public Employee Unions put in more than $30,000,000 into Jerry Brown's campaign, they expect payback. With Public Employee salaries and Pensions at current levels beyond the obscene and an unfunded Pension liability of $500,000,000, combined with record-breaking deficits, how are YOU going to pay for all this? You are responsible, because this is what you wanted.

We have one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, almost 12%, yet new businesses won't come here, why should they? Look at Barak Obama's darling showcase company, Solyndra . Instead of adding new jobs, they are cutting back.

Citizen Paine made a pithy point, if Harmer actually lived in the District he would have received 2 more votes, quite true. The irony is that he lives only about one mile from the District. This didn't seem too much of a problem for the Dems. where Harmer's home 10th Congressional District is represented by John Garamendi of Walnut Grove, not even remotely close to the District. Take a good look at the map of the 11th District, it is Gerrymandering at its best (or worst, depending on how you look at it). Elbridge Gerry would be proud.

Posted by Derek, a resident of Danville
on Nov 5, 2010 at 8:57 am

What you don't seem to get Tony is that there are more than two parties, but the "outsiders" cannot even get a seat at the table. I don't like any of the choices we were given, and had he still been alive I would have voted for Peter Camejo as I did in the Gray Davis recall election. He was one of the very few honorable candidates I ever researched, whether or not you liked his positions. Until the networks and debate organizers allow more than two lame choices to debate (and they did during the recall election, but television has become even more coporate pawn-ish since then) again, we are stuck with very bad decisions. Not liking Meg or Dave doesn't mean I love the Jerry's.

Posted by Citizen Paine, a resident of Danville
on Nov 5, 2010 at 9:51 am

(a few of) My random thoughts on the current situation:

1 -- the fat lady hasn't yet sung -- she's counting absentee ballots. We don't know who our Rep will be. And yes, that district is a disaster of a gerrymander -- I hope/expect the citizens' commission to do better, but stay tuned.

2 -- let's acknowledge that the problems we face are exceptionally difficult, or else they'd have been solved.

Immigration, for example: the ultimate lesson of Nickygate is that the porous border implications are woven deep into the fabric of California life and commerce. Simplistic solutions like "hold employers accountable" won't work and would cause more harm to the economy and society than they'd do good. The fact that Megameg got hoist on that petard only reinforces the point -- even she couldn't ensure her own accountability.

"Pragmatic, not punitive" should guide the solution -- I see no alternative to providing a path to citizenship. I'm frankly a lot more worried about terrorists walking-in here than hard-working Latinos.

3 - let's remember that responsibility for the pen$ion-and-pay mess lies with every government that negotiates those contracts -- school boards, County Supes, state Departments, cities (lookin' at you San Ramon), etc. The root problem is that the taxpayers were asleep, and not represented at the bargaining table, so it was too easy for the government side to give-in to union demands -- esp those, like pensions, that wouldn't come due 'til they were termed-out.

I'm not letting Jerry off the hook, here -- this problem is huge and now front-and-center. But no one person (or Terminator, even) can solve this one. I'm guessing the unions now know they over-reached the capacity of the system to pay. Hopefully they'll agree to be part of the solution, or defaults will be the order of the day.

4 -- Pogo was right. Lots of work ahead. But quoth the Sage of Comedy Central: these are hard times, not end times.

Posted by C. R. Mudgeon, a resident of Danville
on Nov 5, 2010 at 12:17 pm

I haven't seen a comprehensive tally of all of the uncounted votes (presumably mostly due to absentee ballots that were dropped off on election day), but in piecing together various reports, the total across the state, one day after the election, may be been approaching a million!

In some counties, the uncounted ballots were in the range of 30% (or more) of the total ballots.

Any race that is close would seem to be not really decided. At the state level, the race between Harris and Cooley is still pretty clearly up in the air. And locally, Harmer/McNerney is still up in the air. Actually, I wonder if some of the "called" races shouldn't be viewed as still undecided....

Will "final" totals every be publicized?

My other hope is that the counting process on these ballots, as well as any recount process, is conducted fairly. Frankly, I am skeptical, given the lack of controls and safeguards in CA's election laws and process. Somehow the thought of ballot counters wearing their SEIU t-shirts doesn't fill me with a sense of assurance....

Posted by publicservant, a resident of Danville
on Nov 5, 2010 at 7:48 pm


you are clearly anti-union, that much is obvious. Don't forget that if it wasn't for unions we wouldn't have decent working conditions or livable wages for many people who contribute to a better society and take care of others in their time of need, often doing unpleasant, dangerous jobs that many folks would rather not do. Some of the money they earn goes back into supporting the economy. I acknowledge that a retirement of 200K plus seems extravagant, but just because one (or a few) have been able to take advantage of a system that provides a decent retirement for many, don't paint everyone who works for a union as greedy and undeserving.

I'm curious, what would you propose is a fair and reasonable pension for someone who gives 30 years to serving the public? What should a police officer or firefighter earn as a pension in your opinion? Remember, these are people who chose a career of placing themselves in harm's way so that you and your loved ones can be safe, and respond any time of day or night to calls for help. A career spent answering emergency calls all hours of the night contributes to greatly increased rates of cancer, heart disease, sleep problems, divorce, depression and a shorter lifespan... fewer years to enjoy that pension.

Check the facts... most firefighters and cops don't live nearly as long after retirement as folks who retire from more ordinary jobs, nor do they earn as much during their career as many who work for large or small companies or are self employed.

Should a school teacher, nurse, cop or firefighter be able to afford to live in our nice middle class community? Or in your world would you rather they commute in from the low-rent communities where they also should retire?

In your ideal world, should they earn less, be less highly trained, and retire with less, so you don't have to run into them in your neighborhood? What is your career? Is it so much more important to the greater good of society and more worthy of a decent retirement?

Posted by jrm, a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Nov 5, 2010 at 8:10 pm

Public disrespect, but your term "decent retirement" is really at the heart of the matter...we in the private sector do not make enough money individually to pay for the retirement benefits you seek....we all have our own individual 401K accounts that our employer may or may not match...hate to break it to you all, but nowadays we do not make enough to give you health care benefits for a matter of fact it is impossible for us to do so given the pension spiking. New more gravy train. Us in the private sector answer to shareholders, we are your shareholders, and you will learn what that means in times of meager resources. I appreciate your service but you will have to smell the coffee..

Posted by American, a resident of Danville
on Nov 5, 2010 at 8:34 pm

JRM: I agree with you 100% on this issue!(which is unbelievable) Nobody in private sector has a pension, at best we have a 401K that our employer may occasionally put some money in, but recently most employers are not. The real issue is not whether someone is pro or anti union. The real issue is that we tax payers can not afford to put much of our own money in our own 401K, so why should we be expected to pay for a pension and a 401K for public employees, and pay their health benefits after they retire when nobody is paying our health benefits when we retire? To quote Bob Dylan, "The times they are a changing", and "public servant" you and other public employees need to realize your compensation is a changing, just like us private employees. By the way, thanks JRM, for moving to the center, and offering some solid, moderate views.

Posted by publicservant, a resident of Danville
on Nov 5, 2010 at 10:54 pm


Thanks for your reply, it reminds me that a huge percentage of the population is misinformed and don't really understand how the public retirement system works. You hear others complain about the gravy train and assume that there is a free ride that public servants don't have to pay into.

First off: I do not get medical coverage after retirement... not for free anyway. I will be able to stay in the group employee plan (Kaiser) to the tune of $825. per month out-of-pocket to pay for my family of four. (Current cost, that is sure to increase every year). That is for the medical premiums only. Dental and Vision coverage are canceled as soon as I retire. I must go find these on the open market. So there is no gravy train there...

Secondly: Regarding CalPERS retirement... approximately 65 cents of every dollar paid out to retirees is from return on the system's investments-NOT THE TAXPAYERS. Of the remaining 35 cents or so, remember that the employees have paid into their own system from day one through payroll deduction. I pay 9% of every paycheck into PERS. My employer, and most employers, vary the amount they choose to contribute to the system. When the economy was booming my employer chose not to contribute any matching funds, because the fund was doing so well. Other times they have varied their contribution as they saw fit, sometimes more, sometimes less than my 9% contribution. Contrast that with what most employees put into Social Security, which is less (isn't it something like 6%?). Also, many employees getting PERS retirement benefits will not get Social Security retirements.

The public is not bankrolling my retirement. They, as taxpayers, do contribute to the costs of municipalities providing public safety -police and fire, and teachers. Part of those costs do go toward retirement, but much of it is for operational costs too, like having paramedic-staffed fire engines in reasonable proximity to peoples homes and businesses to allow for rapid response times in event of life-threatening emergencies. And having enough police on the street to keep our communities safe.

But don't take my word for it. If you're really interested in learning more, visit
Web Link
There are many MYTHS that the public is misinformed about. I invite you learn some of the FACTS. Then, why don't you share some of the facts with others who complain without knowing.

Some few have been able to get away with pension spiking, but loopholes have been closed, and the vast majority are unable to manipulate the system to unfair advantage. Something like 78% of all CalPers retirees are drawing less than 36K/year in pension. Somehow that doesn't make the sensational news.

The PERS retirement system was developed to help reward and fairly compensate those who chose to enter public service... remember- lower salaries, greater risks to safety and health, irregular hours, shortened lifespan, etc. Someone has to do these jobs, and I'm proud to do it. We: pick up old folks who have fallen out of bed, respond to children who have been hit by cars, help heart attack and seizure victims, deliver an occasional baby, cut people out of crumpled cars before they bleed to death, run the risk of being shot at while on duty (4 Oakland cops killed by one gunman last year), run into a burning house when most in their right mind are running away from it, get exposed to countless unknown chemicals/carcinogens, treat someone in hospice care with compassion and patiently deal with their vomit and diarrhea, and treat all in their time of need how we would expect our loved ones to be treated....etc. But I also hope that I can have a decent retirement after years of giving up days with my family to help others.

Sorry I had to give so many examples, but these are some of the things that those in public service do every day, and I get offended by those who loudly complain about what they perceive to be exhorbitant costs to provide a free ride for public safety retirees. I guarantee you, it ain't free. We have paid our way, and we appreciate the public's help after all we do for choosing a career in helping the public.

Posted by Chet, a resident of Danville
on Nov 6, 2010 at 9:09 am

[Post removed because it contained inappropriate and unacceptable language]

Posted by S, a resident of Alamo
on Nov 6, 2010 at 11:43 am

We're more likely to continue leaving the state with our tax dollars and leave you to wallow in your ever increasing debt.

It's common knowledge that those that use derogatory terms for the Tea party don't understand the basics of smaller gov't, lower tax burden, and capitalism. That would make liberals the morons, but thanks for playing...

Posted by Chet, a resident of Danville
on Nov 7, 2010 at 9:37 pm

We in California are very proud of the 2010 election results in California. We rejected the fear and miss-information being promoted by Cons, Tea Party, Rush, Beck and Fox. We showed we understand it was Bush/GOP policies that gave us the great Bush Recession and it was Obama and the Democrats leadership that all would be doing better except for the GOPers that only know to vote NO and to vote to hurt us all. We correctly rejected the Tea Party and Con fear in Calif and elected leaders committed to getting our economy and jobs growing again. We did not let Whitman buy Sacramento. We again have leaders in Sacramento that know how to get the job done and will be getting hard at work on day one. We again have reps in Washington D.C. that will work with Pres Obama and get our country back to work.

Posted by Mike, a resident of Danville
on Nov 7, 2010 at 10:17 pm

Thanks Chet for your comments. People seem to forget that the stock market was in great shape when W became president only to start a decline that erased trillions in value (especially in retirement accounts). Instead all the money flowed into the mortgage market only to realize the same evaporation there. I hope we don't get another Republican administration in two years. Me net worth and retirement have suffered enough.

Posted by Jake, a resident of Alamo
on Nov 7, 2010 at 11:22 pm

The Dems have been in power in this state for a long time and we are one of the most taxed, worst education and unemployment states. Apparently they like the results and therefore once again are placed in power. I suppose they can pacify themselves by somehow blaming Bush for the State's problems, however, the chickens have and will continue to come home to roost; their approach to managing this state is not sustainable. We may, by default, give California back to Mexico; I am learning Spanish!

Posted by Jake, a resident of Alamo
on Nov 7, 2010 at 11:48 pm

To Publicservant: You make some good points and we should be more informed, yet you must acknowledge that the recent negative sentiments are the result of the public learning some facts and practices about the public employee systems that I believe you would not condone. Although I agree with you that large businesses can be abusive and therefore the workers should have the right to organize, the public sector should not have been allowed to unionize. While in the private sector both the business and labor have competition, there is no real competition in the public sector. The dues are used to elect candidates that in return reward the unions with the public money. The argument that public sector employees provide useful and/or service while true does not justify the generous rewards. Members of our armed services volunteerly place their live at risk by enlisting and as we know many have been killed yet their compensation is nowhere near what other public servants are getting. Your union bosses and the government bosses ARE living large!