A Raspberry for the Raspberry!

Jerome Stocks Jerome Stocks 19 Comments

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I was troubled by the “Raspberry” the NCTimes handed out to SANDAG the other day for a number of reasons. I have emailed them my concerns but doubt they’ll have the fortitude to publish any correction, so I’ll post here and you will know the accurate  facts. It’s a shame the editorial Board couldn’t have the courage or courtesy to call and confirm their concerns… I guarantee you they have my phone number and email address… Too much trouble I suppose.  The editorial is in italics, and my corrections are in bold:

Posted in Editorial on Monday, February 1, 2010 12:00 am Updated: 10:25 pm.| Tags: Editorials, Nct, Opinion

The ‘Less Work, More Pay’ award: The Headline “Less Work, More Pay” is a cheap shot. Gallegos works his tail off and he’s not going to work less. That’s an unfair and incorrect assertion.

On that note, a raspberry to San Diego Association of Governments’ Executive Director Gary Gallegos for accepting a $50,000 raise, and to the SANDAG board members who voted to give it to him. I have respectfully requested a correction, thus far not published,  because Gallegos was not offered, and did not accept a $50,000 raise. His contract calls for a $10,000 raise each year, and he got it. The Board action was to extended the contract by three years with no changes in the provisions of the contract. Each year the percentage of the raise goes down, but even if you want to put a negative spin on it, three years is $30,000 not $50,000.

The decision to give Gallegos a raise comes as his agency struggles with declining revenues that threaten to put some of the region’s long-term transportation projects on hold and cut public transit.: Wrong again!  The agency (SANDAG) isn’t “struggling with declining revenues that threaten to put some of the regions long term transportation projects on hold” That’s another incorrect assertion. In fact, the projects referenced are TransNet projects, and the TransNet plan of finance is healthier now than it was previously because while revenues are indeed down, the bids on projects are down even more! In fact, we recently were able to move $50 million dollars from I-15 to I-5 due to favorable bids on the I-15 project. Additionally,  SANDAG doesn’t operate public transit, nor does it recommend route changes or cuts. MTS in San Diego and NCTD in the North County respectively are responsible for that. SANDAG has the responsibility (under SB1703) to sign off on process that is handled at the transit agencies, and to dole out various Federal and  State funds as well as Transnet dollars according to various formulas.

The raise is an addition to Gallegos’ $240,000 annual salary. His total compensation for the 2008-09 fiscal year was $325,000. That included his $230,000 salary at the time, a $23,000 bonus, retirement pay, deferred compensation, executive benefit, parking, car, cell phone, medical, dental and vision benefits.: His contract calls for a flat $10,000 raise per year, which is less than 4%, and he’s excelled in his performance by any rational measurement. So he got his $10,000 raise as called out in his contract, but no bonus. Are the editors merely envious of a highly compensated extremely competent individual who is serving our region admirably?

Solana Beach City Councilwoman Lesa Heebner and Del Mar Mayor Crystal Crawford were two of the few board members who opposed the raise. Lori Holt Pfeiler, SANDAG’s chairwoman and mayor of Escondido, and Jerome Stocks, vice chairman and an Encinitas councilman, both enthusiastically supported the pay hike.: Yes, I did. Along with the VAST majority of the Board. Those who voted “no” made comments of high praise for Gallegos, but were unhappy with the process used, so once again, a misleading comment in the Raspberry.

In short, I think the N.C. Times should re-hire a fact-check department to keep themselves from making this type of credibility destroying error in the future. The Raspberry deserves a Raspberry. And I hope the North County Times has the guts to admit their errors on this one. I also hope the correction will be as big and bold as the original was, but I’m not holding my breath.

Thanks for reading.

Jerome Stocks

Councilman, City of Encinitas; 1st Vice-Chair, SANDAG; Board Member, NCTD

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Comments 19

  1. Boo Hoo Jerome! Now you know how it feels when you fail to call people back or return their emails when you are contacted as a City Council member by one of your constituents. The only difference is you are paid to listen by public funds and the NCT is not.

  2. if he gets a flat $10k a year raise, why are you babbling about percentages? Your ‘splanation is teetering on obfuscation.

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    To make a point. Most raises and the CPI are reported as a percentage.
    The flat dollar amount means the percentage is reduced each year. Currently it is less than 4%.

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    Other than with a couple of known non-sincere individuals, I pride myself on returning each email I receive by email, each phone call I receive by phone, and each letter received by letter.
    If somehow you didn’t receive a reply, please accept my apology and re-send your communication.

  5. Councilman Stocks: “Karma” and “Math Genius” are one in the same, FYI. Which, commenters, is why we have rules here about changing names to falsely appear to be more than one person. So, whatever your name is, Karma Genius, select it and stick to it on Rostra. Otherwise, I will ask that Thor ban you.

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  7. Mr. Stocks,

    It seems clear that the NCT is guilty of some sloppy editorializing. But I’m guessing that the Raspberry was conferred upon the SANDAG board largely because of its disregard for the current state of economic affairs.

    To be giving civil servants raises at a time when many in the private sector workforce are having their pay or jobs cut is pretty out-of-touch. It wouldn’t have been that hard to have the attorney prepare a contract that extended the salary and benefits of Mr. Gallegos without the raise. Make it for a year so that if the economic climate improves, the next contract can be written with a raise in it. If Mr. Gallegos gets bent out of shape over that offer and decides to pursue employment elsewhere, so be it. Most certainly, one of the managers that was instrumental in saving the $50 million on the I-15 project would be happy to pursue a promotion.

  8. No need to spank you, just letting you know the rules and asking for you to post comments using the same moniker or pseudonym (whatever you want to call it). Heck, Diane, we are even okay with you posting using your real name if you’d like!

  9. That’s just about the funniest comment I have yet seen on Rosta. I had no idea what your real name was, so I asked Mighty Thor. He knows all.

    Seriously, though, we didn’t know your name, it was a pure guess, based on those that dis Councilman Stocks on a regular basis. Thanks for confirming. Oh…and thanks for playing.

  10. Nearly spit my coffee! Genius (Diane), maybe you want to learn how to spell the word if you are going to use it as a name. You do know that political operatives and strategists write for this site. Amateurs shouldn’t play where the pros tread.

  11. Dear Thorazine, or Thorette, or Thorson, etc.:
    I have never “dissed” Councilperson Stocks on a regular basis, only semi-irregularly. But he is a public figure so he should expect it. If he can’t, then he should not be in public service. Your ‘splantion smacks of obfuscation too. What does ROSTRA mean anyway, your banner is very ambiguous. Given the posts so far, I think I fell into a world where Really Obnoxious Strange Territorial Republican Runts Anonymous rule. Eeeeuuuwwww.

  12. “What does Rostra mean?”
    You may have passed the bar, but it appears someone lowered it before you got there!
    Got a dictionary? Google? Wikipedia? Geeze!
    I find it sad that anyone calling themselves “genius / genuis” would have the temerity to write such a comment confirming what many have long suspested of them.

  13. Highly entertaining. A brief look around what is purposely a fairly simple website will easily provide info to anyone interested in the meaning of Rostra. Ok, fun had, a suggestion that we move back to issues.

  14. The issue is that Stocks and his supporters attack people when they feel threatened. I did not attack anyone in my posts, just addressed the issues. I have passed a bar, unlike Stocks. Nuf said.

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