Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Burrell Ellis, Commissoners, Are Playing a Dangerous Game

Burrell Ellis and the commissioners insist the county is broke. The taxpayers are facing a short fall of upwards of 30 million dollars in 2011. 2010 budget had to be cut, which included "work for no pay" on holidays. This only changed to straight out furlough days after police officers banded together with a ticket furlough.

During the ordeal of being forced to work for no pay, we learned Burrell Ellis was handing out pay raises to his staff up to 34% a year. When two of his staff were forced to resign, we learned they were given severance packages of 10's of thousands of dollars and car allowances.

This week, we are learning the county is limiting our choice of health insurance benefits, and others will see increases of nearly 100 dollars per month in premiums. The county is also offering a health insurance buyout program. Meaning, if your spouse is employed and has health insurance, the county will pay you $2,200.00 to drop out of county offered insurance, if you agree to be carried by your spouse's insurance. More money being spent.

It has be so long since we've had a cost of living increase, no one can remember when the last one was. All merit pay increases have been frozen. Rumors are abound we are facing anywhere from 12 to 17 furlough days in 2011. Our pension contributions are going to be increased since we will be the only ones paying into it, because the county sure as hell won't be.

On top of all this, we learn from Wendy Saltzman of CBS Atlanta that Burrell Ellis continues to take care of his staff and others with take home cars and car allowances.

In order to cut the 2010 budget, besides cutting our pay, the commission called for a $700,000 cut in county take-home cars because they say that is an area where significant cuts could be made.

The county still has about 381 take-home cars, a minor cut from the June record of 429 cars. The public defender's office has 16 cars, the marshal's office has 22 cars, and the medical examiner has eight. How many take home cars does the police department have? When is the last time you saw a property crimes detective called out after hours?

Here's a kick in the groin. While our pay is being cut and Ellis is giving his staff pay raises, 20 members of the CEO's staff also have hefty car allowances. Up to $500 a month paid on top of top staffers' pay, as part of their employment perks. The total amount for those car allowances runs up to nearly $120,000 a year.

If Burrell Ellis and the commissioners think for one second we will continue to stand by while they play their games with our families livelihood by cutting our pay, while giving staff raises, giving car allowances, increasing our health insurance premiums, increasing the insurance premiums of our retirees who are over 65 by as much as $85.00 per month, then they have another thing coming.

We are outraged! This has to stop! Burrell Ellis has to be held accountable. The raises of his staff have to be taken away. The car allowances have to be taken away. The take home car program has to end.

Our MIA Public Safety Director chimed in with "it's just not a practical way of accomplishing that budget goal," What the hell? Cutting out take home cars and having a car pool is not practical?

Apparently the county doesn't need the revenue generated by traffic citations, hell, according to Burrell Ellis' actions, the county has plenty of money.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Who would have thought the day would come when we have police officers leaving to go work for the sheriff.

We are being told no furlough , all the overtime you want to work plus mandatory overtime.

They say its easy no pressure, just like hanging out till time to go home.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many new officers they can recruit to replace everyone leaving. Look at the benefits of being employed by Dekalb Police Department. The retirement package is one of the worst ones around. They went backward by reducing the retirement package.

Anonymous said...

Enough is enough…
My fellow Police Officers what more have to be done for use to come together as one voice? Clearly we are working for individuals that only have one agenda and by now we can see Police services are not part of that plan. While we complain individually, nobody cares nobody is listening. Friends there are power in numbers. If we stick together and really rally behind this badge and fellow police officers we will be heard. Let’s complain together lets go to those county meetings, with t-shirts that say (ex. Underpaid, Unappreciated). Let stop being lazy and think things will change on its own. It’s time to let the Dekalb County know how we feel. If we move together, speak together I promise people will listen. This is good site, it’s a good communicate tool this is the only place Officers from North, Center, East, South and South can come together in the same room and let each other know what’s going on. We need to stop knocking each other, stop looking down on each other, I don’t know if you guys have noticed but we are in this together. When one of our fellow officers is being treated unfair we need to take up for each other. Let become more of a team. We do not need a union to just be good friends to each other. When I asked for help on these streets I know it’s probably somebody that’s reading this blog right now that coming to my aid. Not the CEO, not the County commissioners or anybody else that hold some office. God forbid but you may be that officer on the ground one day and need somebody to come. You’re not going to care if they are white, black, male, female, talk about you behind your back or your best friend. As long as they have a gun and a smooth trigger pull. This is the attitude we need to have for one another. Let come together and show some type of love or likeness for each other because in this line of work we must be our brother keeper. I don’t know about you guys but I am tired of getting mess over. I am tired of saying I am tired. We risk our lives over gun fights, domestics, burglaries, robberies, traffic stop etc. But are we so afraid to come together and say “Listen, we are tried of being treated unfair and we not going to take it no more”. Are we too afraid to stand up for ourselves

Let start posting ways to make changes, let’s be nice to each other ideas and concerns even if they sound as silly as our commissioners. I just downloaded my FOB form today. I had enough, I love my job and I don’t expect to get rich doing what I do. All I want is a county that know how to treat people that risk their lives doing what the next person is too scare to do Protect and Serve!

LoFlyer said...

Yes the county has tons of money for the CEO and BOC office and staff.

Two years ago at the start of the recession the BOC was saying the same thing. Now the employees have 12 furlough days and the talk is that it will increase to 17 days next year. Oddly enough none of these furloughs touch DeKalb rulers as by law they cannot be furloughed.

Now lets move on to the touchy subject of take home cars or allowances. The last 23 years of my life I have been on-call for DeKalb County government. This meant I had to stay in town, available and on site within two hours of notification. My oncall status ranged from one to two weeks a month during my tenure as network engineer.

I was not given a take home car, nor received any extra pay for this gift of my private life to DeKalb county government.

I could not even charge the county for the gas or personal use of my vehicle unless I traveled to my office first whilst I had a deadline of two hours to be on site for the issue which was usually another county facility.

In 23 years of oncall status I never received a fracken' cent or any monetary compensation for the use of my vehicle and myself. I was like you, the little people who make DeKalb work and ineligible for compensation.

But now I find the CEO and BOC's staff receiving hefty monthly vehicle allowances as a perk to work for the county. From the Wendy Saltzman article (who I just pissed off today) "And there's more. CBS Atlanta has uncovered another record, which shows 20 members of the CEO's staff also have hefty car allowances. Up to $500 a month paid on top of top staffers' pay, as part of their employment perks. The total amount for those car allowances runs up to nearly $120,000 a year.

"That is a part of the compensation that is negotiated for some people, not for everyone," Ellis said."

To CEO Burrel Ellis; Frack you and the horse you rode in on. You sit in your luxurious office while the roof leaks at the Tom Scott building and many other facilities. I placed my marriage at risk responding to calls that my ex-wife did not understand nor approve. I did not receive one fracken' cent of money for myself nor the use of my vehicle. You are an asshole and I sincerely hope you get what you richly deserve in the future.

Retirement was a godsend for me, mates. I guarantee I would of been fired for insubordination if I had remained with county any longer.

Best of luck, guys!

Anonymous said...

"The county is also offering a health insurance buyout program. Meaning, if your spouse is employed and has health insurance, the county will pay you $2,200.00 to drop out of county offered insurance, if you agree to be carried by your spouse's insurance."

That's the first I've heard of any incentive to move to my wife's insurance plan. Will they also be taxing it at the new rate that will be in effective 1/1/2011?

Where can I find more information? I'll be at the open house today....

Anonymous said...

GRAND JURY, Where are you????? The biggest criminals in DeKalb County continue to wlk the streets. Wait a minute one of them is even driven around by DKPD. I guess the only hope is that they bankrupt this county then maybe the state will have to take it over.

Anonymous said...

"Our pension contributions are going to be increased since we will be the only ones paying into it, because the county sure as hell won't be."

Dekalb Officers: You forgot to mention that part of the deal for the pension to give the county $43 MILLION dollars to impliment the early out, that they world contribute to the pension. The BOC then refused to keep their end of the bargain and we are out $43 million from the pension. On top of that,the pension board never even challanged the BOC on why they refused to keep up their end of the bargain. What gives with that?

Anonymous said...

"Our pension contributions are going to be increased since we will be the only ones paying into it, because the county sure as hell won't be."

Dekalb Officers: You forgot to mention that part of the deal for the pension to give the county $43 MILLION dollars to impliment the early out, that they world contribute to the pension. The BOC then refused to keep their end of the bargain and we are out $43 million from the pension. On top of that,the pension board never even challanged the BOC on why they refused to keep up their end of the bargain. What gives with that?

Anonymous said...

They could save money by taking the take home cars away. How often does a Capt or a Major get called out? They don't, that is what they have a Duty Commander for. If it involves an Officer and if your Commander cares about his/her Precinct or their troops they will be there.
Detectives? Give a car to the Detective on call. When have you seen Star Team or a Motorcycle cop get called out at night? Most of the ones that have a take home car don't even live in the county. Quit taking and taking from the officers.
Insurance, that is a sore subject.
The County has nothing left to offer for new hires,(Lets go to work for DeKalb, they have a shitty retirement, terrible insurance, furlough days, no raises) no wonder all the good ones are leaving.
Chief you have a challenge ahead of you.

Anonymous said...

The county budget should be to serve the needs of the public and not for kingdom building with special perks for special people.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if any of the "special employees" got "special" pension deals? I wish the news media would conduct an in depth investigation into the goings on of the pension board.

Anonymous said...

One of the incentives to be a detective is to have a take home car. There is no pay raise involved and there are a alot of extra duties as being a detective. Thats just the way it is!!!!

BTW.....The Public Defender's office have cars but they don't take them home, their cars have been grounded for June.

Anonymous said...

Cry me a river. You sound like theft detective.

When's the last time you were called out? When's the last time you worked morning watch? When's the last time you worked weekends? When's the last time you stood in the heat, cold or rain working a wreck?

I bet you sure are eating good at the local sit down restaurant with a menu that consist of anything but Chinese food, fried chicken or greasy hamburgers.

Matt said...

See this is why we will never get anywhere and why they keep taking from us. We would rather take pot shots at each other for being a Detective or on a specialized unit than working together to make this place better, give that shit a rest and start working together and stop bitching so much. You don't like the way detectives work take the test and become one and change shit. You don't like the way Sgts. or Lts. work take the test and change shit. Stop sitting on your asses and complaining and DO SOMETHING we are becoming the type of place that nobody wants to be because all we do is complain and do nothing to fix it you want change don’t wait on somebody else. And if you are too chicken shit to do anything you have zero right to complain about how things are going .

Anonymous said...

Is it true when a radio operator is on a furlough day that have have someone on overtime working to cover?

Because when I have court time and a holiday in the same week, they use my court time as some of my holiday time. The lieutenant tells me that personnel is making those changes.

What a place to work.

Anonymous said...

This is what happens when Stress levels get to dangerously high levels. Just wait people are going to begin to snap this is just the begining. I suspect fights, criminal activity, and policy violations, to increase. I already know of Officers who are currently working side jobs while on duty, double dipping. Hey do what you have to too survive on Tucker morning watch. Stay safe and continue the ticket strike.

Anonymous said...

I have a simple solution to all of this mess. Just look at it like I do now. I dont have a job, its just a ten hour inconvienance to my day for four days. Do this for two weeks and then collect what is left of your check. You should not even think of doing anything proactive. As a matter of fact stay hidden until you get a call so that the citizens will notice less productivity. Leave it up to TAC to do the proactive work.

Anonymous said...

The one thing that people in Dekalb do not understand is that the BOC and the CEO do not want a strong united police department. If the police departmant is organized and united then the powers that be run the risk of having it investigate their dealings. The CEO kept the DA's office under their thumb for years with a "Yes, Sir" DA. The BOC and CEO are in the business of destroying the PD for whatever nefarious reason they have. Maybe they want the PD merged into the SO.... who knows. All I know is that I am just hoping they finally bankrupt the county so the State has to move in and take over.

Anonymous said...

Wow...someone complains about Detectives having take home cars and doesn't think it is fair, then states all THEY (I guess County) keep taking away from officers. So my question is, isn't a detective a police officer? So many people worried about what little scraps others get around here. I'm guessing those complaining about take home cars would have a different outlook if they applied themselves and got promoted or transferred to CID. Giving up any take home car in the police department is a step backwards. I don't care who it belongs to.

The person who posted about holiday and court time being changed. FLSA which is a law by the way, states you don't have to pay overtime until an employee physically works over 40 hours. Thats why when you take a sick, holiday, or vacation day your time is converted. Educate yourself and maybe you'll find some useful information out there.

Anonymous said...

Where do you guys come up with these crazy ideas? You do realize citizens read this blog and some of you sound like complete fools. You bitch and moan about crazy stuff and each other!!!!

The State come in and take over the county??? WTF.....

The DeKalb citizens vote for these nut jobs and you get what you vote for. Same crap is in the White House. Until the BOC stops SPENDING tax money except on mandatory things to keep the county running at the bare minimum, it will never get better.

Anonymous said...

Anon #3 "Enough is enough..." you hit the nail on the head!!! Unity amongst the Police Department personnel, as well as with other Public Safety entities, is really what is needed. Complaining only leads to a worse morale (as if that is possible, right???). The oldest trick in the book: "Divide and conquer".... that's exactly what we are--- divided and conquered. I am confident that we can take that back through a unified front!

Anonymous said...

Why is it that the BOC is always going to take a closer look at something AFTER it hit's the news. Arn't they supposed to stay on top and of follow up on their own directives?

Anonymous said...

I have nothing against CID, Special Ops or Uniform. There are some damn good officers in all areas of this department. There is also some first class jack asses throughout the department who wouldn’t know what leadership is if it crawled up their ass. I am not going to criticize an entire division like some of you do, but there are some horrible individuals who work here. The CEO and the BOC are disgraceful but we can’t blame everything on them.

Fred Becker retired a couple of weeks ago. He didn’t really want to retire but he had just had enough of the bullshit. The man is a DKPD legend and some ass wipes ran him off. That is just great. All the man ever did was work and bring in millions of dollars to the police department over the last few years. Who in the hell is going to replace what this man did for the department?

Yeah, just keep running off all of the old guys. That is really smart. All of that experience is just GONE! It is gone and it is not coming back. Did it ever occur to anyone that guys like Becker actually know what the fuck they are doing? Who is next on the list to be run off? Whittington?

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of screw up's in the Dekalb Co government and the PD but the biggest screw up in my opinion is the lack of supervision ON the pension board. The $43 million to the county to impliment the early out, the refusal of the BOC to keep up with their end of the bargain to contribute to the pension, the lack of a challange to the BOC on this is all pretty unbelieveable to me.I do not fault the people that took the Early out deal but damn !!! I do SEEM to remember reading pension board minutes way back that said...allowed an employee to buy back time for time served in the Georgia General Assembly. Am I wrong? Did I dream this? Please tell me I saw this in a dream...and who the heck would that person be? I don't even have to guess. Someone from the pension board denied this happened on this blog. I'd like the news media to pull an open records back about 10 years and see if this is true. Better than that I'd like to see the blog to do it in some manner.

Anonymous said...

The same people who bitch about those people that have take home cars (In PD) are for the most part the same people that have never and will never do anything here. Wake up! Good God you people are thick. List out what you want and let the chief see it he will act on it in some manner if its put in the correct way. Everything is criticized. Go back look at the old post about the taking of our holidays. Over and over people said well if you are going to furlough us then furlough us. That way we can at least spend the time with our family or work an extra job to make up for it. Chief went to the BOC more than one time and spoke to the BOC on your behalf and got it changed. Now you have furlough days instead of working for free. Don't get me wrong don't think any Public Safety should be furloughed at all (We are not the same as other county employees) and its going to make for a tight Christmas for the kids. All I ask is stop taking it out on our own and think through what you really want and need, Be responsible for what you post.Stop with the class warfare the So called rich who have cars and/or have been here 20, 25 or more years and and have some little perk. God I am so tired of the bitchen and no solutions crowd.