Huntington Beach has at least a $4 million budget shortfall and Annie Burris at the OC Register reported today that city officials are thinking about ending a little-known special perk for the city's cops: an extra 60 hours of paid vacation each year if they aren't fat and out of shape.
According to Burris, Councilman Joe Carchio defended the perk as a "cheap" benefit for taxpayers--not cops!--even though there are currently 172 employees taking advantage of the scheme.
I'm not good at math, but let's see . . . 172 x 60 equals, according to this computer, 10,320 hours of bonus vacation time annually for these government workers.
Oh, dear God, where are you Steven Greenhut, author of "Plunder: How Public Employee Unions are Raiding Treasuries, Controlling Our Lives and Bankrupting the Nation"?
A sane person did arise in the Burris article: Councilman Devin Dwyer. He said he thought this perk was a "joke" when he first heard about it.
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"The idea that we have to incentivize [cops] to stay in good shape to me is a bit of a joke," Dwyer told the Reg.
Kreg Muller, president of the Huntington Beach police officer's union, announced that a police helicopter would be flying low circles over Dwyer's home every night at 2 a.m. until he agrees to keep the perk and declare police officers immune from criticism.
Relax. I'm kidding. We all know that cops in Orange County would never abuse their positions of public trust for juvenile personal revenge. Don't we?
--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly