Baskin: “People will die” if SLO measures pass

July 10, 2011

State Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian and Erik Baskin

The president of the San Luis Obispo firefighters union warned Friday that “people will die” if local voters pass two ballot measures in the upcoming August special election.

Erik Baskin made the prediction during a live radio interview Friday afternoon on KVEC 920 AM.

San Luis Obispo voters are being asked to decide two separate issues—Measure A, which calls for pension reform and Measure B, which would do away with the current system of binding arbitration.

Baskin suggested that California cities, like San Jose, who have done away with binding arbitration, ended up laying off police and firefighters. Any reduction in staffing, the union leader argued, threatens response time and community safety.

Andrew Carter, San Luis Obispo city councilman, issued a response to Baskin’s comments, saying “Nothing could be further from the truth . . . City Council has placed Measures A and B, pension reform and the repeal of binding arbitration, on the ballot in an attempt to rein in out-of-control employee pay and benefit costs. It is these increases which could threaten public safety staffing, not the repeal of binding arbitration.”


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Part of the Governor’s new budget requires residents who live in outlying areas to pay a special fee to cover the cost of the many fires which occur as people push further into the wildernesses. So how about each resident of SLO pay an amount – say $1000 per year for the fire coverage and use ONLY that amount of money collected to pay for fire service. Sound good? That should cover enough firemen, vehicles etc to take care of things. Right?

Unfortunately, the focus of the loss of binding arbitration has been focused on the higher paid employees and those in the lower strata have not been heard from.

So – when you go to the hospital will you complain about the ‘alien’ who is charged with taking care of your MOST personal needs? Well, if a person starts doing this type of employment with a minimum wage and has no chance to look forward to a higher salary – who will take these jobs?

When your kid has a problem at school, who is the first person who gets your wrath when you walk in the door? The clerk sitting at the desk who may also rely on arbitration to look forward to a higher salary.

That employee shoveling the hot tar on the road also may not take a job when there is no hope that he/she might get an increase in salary. Would you or someone in your family step in or would you complain that ‘those immigrants are taking all the good jobs in this country’?

Third world here we come. The rednecks have gotten theirs (count those living in north county who have taken retirement benefits from a former government job and now are also working at a second government job with more benefits to come) and don’t want anyone else to have a piece of the pie. I got mine, baby, how you doing????

Sheesh, you make is sound like everyone is getting Taco Bell wages! Where’s the binding arbitration for every other job?

The fire department has been making good money for a long time. Erik Baskin has a well paid paidcheck each month and he has plenty of expensive toys because of it. Trips to Las Vegas gabbling and a big house to go home too. I can tell you many of these fire fighters are ranking in the money each month and the partying they do on after hours. I know these fire fighters and personally I think it is sick these guys are ripping us taxpayers off. They all have fat pensions and they all expect taxpapyers to pay their pensions when they retire early in life where they can do something else afterwards. Read a newspaper and look why Greece is bankrupt on these ridiculous pensions and Italy is next in line because of these pensions costing too many people like the current police chief Deborah Linden retiring at 49 years old and worked here only 9 years and is going to get $160,000. year. That’s $13,333. a month for life or $83 an hour on a 40 hr work week that eqauls 10 Wal-Mart employees an hire.

I think these guys know the public is going to reject their binding arbitration. The excuse for San Jose, well they will dealing with high cost too, so San Jose repealed their binding arbitration because the public is being ripped off by these police and fire unions costing too much money.

If Erik Baskin wants to make a threat they will walk away from their careers, go right away. I mean really folks what does the fire deparment do in San Luis Obispo most of the time? They mostly respond to heart attack calls (not fire), false alarms and spending their time in Fire Stone Grill. Its the easy life guys, they are paid too well. They drive their fire trucks in town waiting for a fire but their is hardly any fires here. I like to see these guys work up in Oakland with less paid and more fires.

They all have mortages from buying expensive properties and they all have credit debt (not all of them but most of them) when they were getting too much on taxpayer money. They are worried the economy wounded public is going to vote down their collective bargaining rights and they know it. Really have you see people with master degrees working as Wal-Mart, well there are because getting any job is hard to come by now days. Making $8.00 or $9.00 an hire with master degree with a high institution and seeing fire fighters making over $100,000. thousand a year and much more is mind baffling.

There’s plenty of people who will work and do the samething they do for a lot less pay plain and simple. If Erik Baskin wants to cry the blues, take a trip to his house and see all the stuff he has bought with his salary from the fire department. Its a disgrace that is his is making so much money and he can’t understand that too much is too much.

Shack of shame

oxford….you’re a compete idiot. Baskin does not have an extravagant house BY ANY MEANS and he has NO toys.

Erik is right, people will die if binding arbitration passes, why? Because your city council will cut staffing which will close a fire station which will increase response times to medical calls. It’s simply a FACT.


It saddens me that though you may disagree with Oxford but do you really have to call him an ‘idiot”?

I don’t care if Baskin has a big house and ‘toys’.

I do care that the SLO fire (and PD) are paid close to the same amount as their counterparts in every other incorporated city in the county… whom most have had to take pay cuts!

People will die? Does a yes vote cut ambulance staffing? No. Then I guess we’re all going to be ok. How fortunate.

People will die? Will Erik Baskin send John Ryan Mason to eliminate anyone with a Yes on A & B sign?


Just don’t go into a public restroom alone when he is around.

He is sneaky and a very powerful hitter.

His method, damage, and fast flee support he has lots of prior experience.

I am waiting to see if his job retention will be predicated on the court’s findings.

(You know the courts, good lawyer and you can walk on a technicality)

Remain unlisted, if Mason knew who you were you could end up like his recent victim, you won’t have a chance to protect yourself.

This is the problem with unions. They push and push and push until there is no more money available from the companies who are forced to use them. With the government, they think there is an endless supply of money. Plus, why should we keep upping the pay and benefits when we have a firefighter who just about beat a man to death but is still on our payroll.

I will be voting yes on measure A & B and urging my lay family, friends, neighbors to do the same.

I sympathize with the fears and worries of good Safety Officers that will be cast into the hopefully fair responsible discretion of the mayor and city council members.

I am a believer that although you cannot work for free, that it is more important (in life) to pursue your passion, trade or career of choice with the dignity and quality even if you make less than some others.

Those thumbs down I guess won’t accept reality like their Chief, should know that if the job is for money alone, should switch jobs.

I hear plumbers make a lot $ in S.F.

Besides most of you don’t even live hear (I do) and its an outrage for you as an outsider to swing from sypathetic persuation to self serving intimadtion on the residences here.

I think the posts below are important factor to weigh in for ignorant old people like myself.

(sincerely-I retract my earlier posts made from asumptions and in ignorance)

From: SLORider

The mayor makes peanuts. You are confusing the mayor with the City Manager.

“The Mayor receives $1200 per month and each Council member receives a monthly salary of $1000, as specified by the Council Policies and Procedures Manual. However, on January 4, 2011, Council adopted Resolution No. 10241 (2011 Series) reducing the monthly compensation of Mayor Jan Marx to $1,100 per month and modifying Council Member Dan Carpenter’s compensation to $8,600 annually for the remainder of each of their terms.”

Marx and Carpenter already took voluntary cuts. $100 and $287 dollars. Interesting that a council member took a much larger cut then the mayor.

From Cindy

It isn’t the mayor that earns a high salary, It’s the City Manager (staff) that earn the presidential salaries and benefits. City Council receive a stipend to serve, they are supposed to be in service for the benefit of the community and not for any personal gain other than the satisfaction of watching out for the citizens!! It gets confusing because ,every now and then, Jan has a mishap and exposes her envelope’s.

Willie, Considering what we all saw going on in Bell, it’s no wonder people get confused about which public servants are on the payroll and for how much ;)

Precisely because of these threats I will vote to end binding arbitration and for pension reform. Plus I will never donate to police or fire charities ever again. I believe the majority of SLO citizens feel the same as I do, we do not like to be threatened by people that pretend to “serve” the public.

He is not “threatening” you, he is stating the facts. Less fire stations equal longer response times which equal people dying who could have been saved when a minute counts.

Why does everyone have to be “saved” from dying a natural death?

Doesn’t everyone know when their time has come? What about those people who have experienced death and make the decision to return? Is that due to the heroic efforts of public safety workers or is it more due to the intent of the soul which discovers itself in the state of limbo, between this life and the next state?

What makes one response time more inherently worthy than another?

Aren’t they completely arbitrary, just like the rationale for safety officer’s and administrator’s high salaries? Corporations use a concept called acceptable risk which is a guideline for how many people will likely die from using their product. It’s common practice, and totally arbitrary, but since it pertains to profitability it is amoral, meaning that it is beyond moral considerations. The same logic pertains to acceptable response times. It is arbitrary, and it is amoral. Police & Fire can’t save everyone, nor should they be expected to. It is a false hope sold to a public which is afraid of death because it doesn’t understand death.

Why is it illegal to aid someone who wants to die?

Why is a fireman a well-paid hero and Dr. Kervorkian an outcast & a criminal? Don’t they both have the best of intentions — to assist the victim? Don’t they both operate with deep levels of compassion?

Why does Baskin believe that his argument has merit?

Because people are afraid of death, afraid of the idea, without an understanding of what life is, how enduring life is, or how death is but a passage and not something to fear. Baskin, like the other public safety groups, is preying on your fears.

“People will die”

Some characteristics of identifying a Pathological Liar

1. Exaggerates things that are ridiculous.

2. One-upping. Whatever you do, this person can do it better. You will never top them in their own mind, because they have a concerted need to be better than everyone else. This also applies to being right. If you try to confront an individual like this, no matter how lovingly and well-intentioned you might be – this will probably not be effective. It’s threatening their fantasy of themselves, so they would rather argue with you and bring out the sharp knives than admit that there’s anything wrong with them.

3. They “construct” a reality around themselves. They don’t value the truth, especially if they don’t see it as hurting anyone. If you call them on a lie and they are backed into a corner, they will act very defensively and say ugly things, but they may eventually start to act like, “Well, what’s the difference? You’re making a big deal out of nothing!”

4. Because these people don’t value honesty, a lot of times they will not value loyalty. So watch what you tell them. They will not only tell others, but they will embellish to make you look worse. Their loyalty is fleeting, and because they are insecure people, they will find solace in confiding to whomever is in their favor at the moment.

5. They may be somewhat of a hypochondriac. This can come in especially useful when caught in a lie, for example, they can claim that they have been sick, or that there’s some mysteriously “illness” that has them all stressed out. It’s another excuse tool for their behavior.

6. Obviously, they will contradict what they say. This will become very clear over time. They usually aren’t smart enough to keep track of so many lies.

a simpler explanation; “self serving” ?

My god. You’re probably having a pretty crappy day anyway if you gotta call an ambulance. Just imagine how much worse it’s going to get if this clown and Mason roll up on your ambulance call. Sheesh.