Center Theater Food and Film

The City Council will meet in private Tuesday to discuss the city’s potential purchase of the Center Theater and surrounding properties.
When the theater was last discussed earlier this month, supporters of a plan to turn it into a performing arts center that nurtures fledgling arts nonprofits made their pitch to the council. One thing going in their favor back then was that the alternative plan – a second run movie theater that serves dinner and drinks – no longer appeared viable in the Bay Area.

Similar establishments in Oakland and El Cerrito had just closed.

But now it looks like both theaters will reopen shortly. Several news stories about the Parkway and Cerrito theaters insinuate that their closings had more to do with their owners, not their business models. Click here for more.


Average pay in Fremont

Firefighter: $135,957

Police officer: $117,157

Teacher: $76,436

Again these aren’t perfect. I excluded anyone  who didn’t make roughly the base salary at the start of the calendar year. Quite a few police officers and teachers made less than the base, which I took to mean they didn’t work a full year.

Scary that only 130 police officers made at least the base salary in 2008.

Also the averages are only for the rank of police officer and firefighter. The averages would have gone up if I included captains, sergeants, etc.

I don’t know if it was an error or not, but one Fremont teacher $235,9222.


Guess who got to speak to the President?

The one and only Fazlur Khan.

After finishing last in the 2008 City Council race, Fazlur has become active in the Barrack Obama group that tries to spur citizens to rally for the president’s agenda. As part of his work, Khan got to sit in on a conference call with Obama about the health care reform effort.

He said Obama was very passionate.

Now Khan is trying to mobilize. Click where it says to click for details Continue Reading


100k club

In 2006, 383 Fremont city employees made more than $100,000

In 2008, that number jumped to 446.

So what percentage of city workers made more 100k?

I can’t say. More than 1,400 people are listed on the city’s salary spreadsheet, but many of those work part time or work full-time, but weren’t employed for the entire year.

Fremont’s new Human Resources director said the city had 860 full-time employees for the 2008 fiscal year, which started last July and ends June 30th. The salary numbers are for calendar year 2008 so it’s not a perfect match.

But if you figured that 446 of Fremont’s 860 full-time employees made more than $100,000 that would be about 52 percent.


Cop, firefighter pay roughly doubled over 15 years

I took a look at some of Fremont’s employee contracts going back through the years. One thing to note: Fremont uses several cities as a benchmark to determine if police and firefighters are being adequately compensated.

Fremont looks to pay an average of the top five cities in the group. All of the benchmark cities are in the immediate Bay Area except one. That one would also be the only one to have gone bankrupt: Vallejo.

It’s been 16 years since public safety officers went without a raise. During this time, their salaries have outpaced inflation. And their pension benefits have become much more generous. More on that later.

In 1994, a starting Fremont firefighter made 3,144 a month or $37,728

This year, firefighter starts out at just over $6,365 per month or $76,384

In 1994, a rookie cop made a base salary of $3,686 per month or $44,232

This year, a rookie cop starts out at just over $6,742 per month or $80,906 per year


No pay raise?

Fremont has not budgeted for employee raises this year. If the city holds firm on that, it would be the first year since 1993 that police and fire didn’t get a raise.

Both unions didn’t get a pay raise from July 1, 1991 through Dec. 31, 1993. Remember the recession that swept Clinton into office?


No incentive to stay

I didn’t  realize just how strong an incentive police and fire have to retire after 25 years (with 75 percent of the final earnings for the rest of their lives)

Police officers in Fremont get 21 vacation days from year 15 to year 26.

But after 26 years of service, they’re basically booted out.

In year 27, they only get 9 days of vacation, and

In year 28 they only get 3 vacation days.


NUMMI spokesman: Prius to NUMMI seems “highly unlikely”

UPDATE: And now the innate pessimism of maturity sets in at NUMMI. We’ll be printing this tomorrow.

I heard  there was a meeting at NUMMI today. It wasn’t to announce that the Prius is coming. It was to talk about the the Vibe going.

Here’s what NUMMI Spokesman Lance Tamaso wrote:

The meeting was to inform team members that NUMMI will not manufacture the Pontiac Vibe after August 2009, but will continue to produce the Toyota Tacoma and Toyota Corolla.  NUMMI will focus on building high quality vehicles and work on lowering its costs while GM and Toyota discuss NUMMI’s future direction.

We have had no indication whatsoever that Toyota has an interest in building the Prius at NUMMI.  We have no idea where this rumor started.  That rumor seems highly unlikely given NUMMI’s current financial situation.