Steve Vargas wants to return to the Brea City Council – and this November he just might do that. Vargas, a businessman, military reservist and GOP activist, is one of five candidates vying for two four-year terms on the council included incumbent Marty Simonoff and challengers Christine Marick, a Brea Planning Commission member; Christopher Parkin, an I.T. specialist; and Tory Stone, a businessman, according to the O.C. Register.
Marick is the first woman to run for the Brea City Council in 12 years. She has the support of most of the Brea City Council.
Who is Vargas? According to his campaign website, Vargas is “a former Councilmember of the City of Brea, 1998 to 2002. Other governmental service includes work as the Senior Community Officer for the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration, Washington D.C., responsible for 13 western states. He is president of Vargas Public Affairs, owner of SCV Construction Corps, a general contracting company and partner in LV2 Designs.” You can check out his Personal Facebook page and his Campaign Facebook page for more information.
This time around Vargas, who has lost several close elections since first leaving the Brea City Council in 2002, is leaving nothing to chance. He is championing Measure T, an initiative that will appear on the November ballot. The measure is complicated. It appears to put limits on how much the City of Brea can pay its employees and administrators. You can find out more about the measure from its supporters, here.
In fact I am told that Vargas sued the City of Brea because he was unhappy that the argument against Measure T, which was authored by the Mayor of Brea and the Mayor Pro Tem, was submitted on the ballot as representing the view of the entire Brea City Council. The only problem with that was that the Council did vote to do this and the Judge threw out the case – and another Judge threw out Vargas’ subsequent appeal. In all it is likely that the Vargas lawsuit cost the City of Brea’s taxpayers close to $25,000.
Here is the argument in favor of Measure T, as written by its author, Glenn Vodhanel:
ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF MEASURE T
This measure limits new City Manager salaries to 2. 5 times the Brea median household income. This is a fair way of compensating our City Manager.
Governor Brown manages approximately 335, 000 employees and is responsible for all state residents estimated in 2011 at over 37 million. Brea’s City Manager manages fewer than 500 employees and support less than 45,000 residents.
Compared with other elected officials, there is no reason Brea’ s City Manager should make more than some in much higher office and some with much higher responsibility.
For example, Governor Brown will receive a 5% pay cut 165,288). Vote YES ifyou believe our city manager should NOT make more than Governor Brown, the commanding generals in Iraq and Afghanistan or the Anaheim City Manager( a city ofover 336,000 residents).
Allowing large salaries for city managers was never the intention of our Founding Fathers. Tying compensation to local resident incomes creates an incentive for City Council members to improve the economic base of the city.
If you believe the City Council should be there to serve their Brea resident constituents rather than focusing on personal benefits from becoming a council member, you will vote YES in favor of this measure.
If you believe a City Manager should experience your local frustrations/joys by living in or very near your city, you will vote YES in favor of this initiative.
High salaries of administrative officials is a symptom of a lack of oversight. Your YES vote will help return control of local government where it belongs, to the people!
- Keith Fullington, Brea Resident
- Robert Kowell, Author of Voter Approved Murrieta Measures D & E ( Term and Compensation Limits)
- Desare Ferraro Founder/Leader, North Orange County Conservative Coalition
- Connie Lanzisera, Leader, North Orange County Conservative Coalition
- Paul Ruiz, President California Republican Assembly( Brea)
And here is the argument against Measure T, as written by the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem of Brea:
Argument Against Measure T – Argument against the “Brea Accountability Act”
The City of Brea is a truly special place to live, work, and raise a family. Beautiful parks, community events, a vibrant downtown, award winning schools, as well as sound fiscal policies are what make Brea the City we all love to call home. These things don’t happen by accident. It is due, in large part, to the City Council’ s ability to attract top-level talent to work in our award-winning organization.
This measure sets an arbitrary cap on the amount the City Council can pay its upper management by not allowing any consideration of the free market. It prevents the Council from offering what we believe to be competitive salaries needed to attract quality executive- level employees. At the same time it specifically excludes public safety employees from this cap. This will cause some public safety employees to make more than those who supervise them. We currently pay at or slightly below Orange County averages for our top employees. What is this measure really trying to fix? Look around our City. Why change a successful and proven strategy?
Let the free market determine the amount we pay, not an arbitrary, ill-conceived initiative. The City of Brea is a 100 million dollar corporation. Decisions made at the executive level have daily ramifications of tens of thousands of dollars. We need the skills, experience, and creativity of cutting-edge leaders. Removing the City Council’s authority to set the amount of compensation necessary would severely limit our ability to remain one of the best cities in the state.
Please vote no on measure to keep Brea the best it can be.
The undersigned proponent(s) or author(s) of the primary argument against ” A Measure Regarding Limits on City Administrative and Legislative Compensation Applicable to the City of Brea” at the General Municipal Election for the City of Brea to be held on November 6, 2012, hereby state that the argument is true and correct to the best of their knowledge and belief.
Print Name: Don Schweitzer Title: Mayor
Print Name: Brett Murdock Title: Mayor Pro Tern