Police chief

Captain Sam Fisk, who serves as Highland’s police chief, speaks to the Highland Kiwanis Club Thursday, Oct. 5.

Captain Sam Fisk served as a reserve deputy before getting hired as a full time deputy in 1994.

From there, he worked his way through the ranks in the contract city of Rancho Cucamonga and the Homicide Division, plus stints as a training officer before making sergeant.

“That gave me an introduction to the reality of leadership.” he said in his talk with the Kiwanis Club of Highland on Thursday, Oct. 5. He even did a tour in Highland.

Apparently, his leadership training paid off, because he was brought into Central Headquarters as a lieutenant in charge of the Bureau of Administration, which included working on the Sheriff’s $600 million budget, where he was promoted to captain.

Then, former Police Chief Captain Tony DeCecio had to go out on sick leave, and Fisk was called back to Highland to take the command here.

Fisk praised the work of DeCecio and promised to work from that base for even further improvements.

“I’m a people person,” he said. “I like to be out and about.”

With that in mind, he plans to institute a new program beginning Oct. 19 which will see him more active in the community, talking with individuals and groups.

“This is a great community,” he observed, “and a great (police) department. But we can’t do it alone. We need more eyes and ears. Like we say, ‘If you see something, say something.’ Don’t worry if it’s just a stranger in the neighborhood. Give us a all if he looks suspicious and we will check him out.”

He plans to continue the H.O.P.E. (homeless) program and urges residents not to give money to panhandlers.

Fisk said there are food and housing programs for those who want to get off drugs and alcohol. The cash they receive only goes for drugs and alcohol.

“Do I need more deputies? I will always need more deputies. But working in Finance, I understand the need to work within a budget. The city is doing a good job with its budget and has managed to continue without cutbacks through the recession. They have a reserve for the nest time, and there will be a next time. So we will work with what they give us.”

City Councilman John Timmer, a member of the Kiwanis Club, warned there will be those promising more deputies during the upcoming election, but he says it would be foolhardy to spend one-time money on ongoing expenses like law enforcement until the money runs out.

The Kiwanis Club meets Thursdays at 7:15 a.m. at the East Highlands Ranch Stone House, 7136 Club View Drive, Highland.

(4) comments


Councilmember Timmer's comments regarding potential candidates in the next November 2018 election advocating for more DEPUTIES! Consider the following:

1. Councilmember Timmer claims the City is debt free? Really?
2. Forgets to mention the City used $10.5M in redevelopment agency monies to pay for the new Police Station in year 2010, the taxpayers are on the hook to repay the $10.5M, the City has NO CONTRACT with the County of the Sheriff for the Sheriff to use the new Police Station OR the City received no monies for rent or lease payments from the Sheriff, the requirement for the use of RDA money is to reduce blight, increase property tax revenues, and revenues to the City.....Mr. Timmer answer that one!
3. Mr. Timmer where is the list of RDA projects where the City spent the other $53M of RDA monies? We are repaying those monies too!
4. Mr. Timmer what is the City's "unfunded liability" for City employees' CALPERS retirement plan? We have requested ALL of the CALPERS Policy & Proicedures including "unfunded liability" to be posted on the City's website. Waiting on Betty Hughes, City Clerk, response.....again Mr. Timmer...no debt?
5. Mr. Timmer where is all of the new business development for the City you promised in the last election? 20 years of pathetic 'business development" for the City of Highland but every election you promise to do a better job in this area???

The City's of Redlands, Yucaipa etc all have great portfolios of new 'business development" except for the City of Highland?


The big "finance" problem Chief is explained in the Channel 2CBS San Francisco news article cut/pasted below! If you want to be straight up with the local residents ad your finance experience the problem is "unfunded liability" for the CALPERS Retirement Plan. Let's move the local City and Water Agency employees to a self directed 401K program like the majority of "private sector" employees. Read below:

California Pension Crisis An Increasing Drag On Cities, Counties
September 25, 2017 4:38 PM
(KPIX 5) — Cities and counties across the U.S. are going broke trying to keep up with public pension debt. The pension crisis was the topic of a Stanford University media workshop that KPIX 5 attended this week.
“It’s the albatross around the necks of cities and counties,” Stanford Professor of Public Policy Joe Nation said about public employee pensions. “Unless we do something the system may not survive.”
ALSO READ: Report: Six-Figure University of California Pensions Up 60% Since 2012

The biggest system in the country is in California, the public employee retirement system known as CalPERS. The problem is the pension fund doesn’t have nearly enough money to cover the cost of current and future employee pensions. It’s short according to some estimates by a trillion dollars. “That’s equivalent to eight years of the entire state budget,” said Stanford Professor of Economics Jeremy Bulow.
Critics say CalPERS has been hiding the enormity of the problem the same way a gambler hides their losses – by assuming that in the future, there will be huge and unlikely returns on their investment. Officially, CalPERS assumes a 7.2 percent annual rate of return on their investments -but most economists believe 3 to 4 percent is more realistic.
“What you were hearing a bit today are folks saying that the return rate should be lower,” said Richard Costigan, who sits on the CalPERS Board of Administration. Last December the CalPERS board voted to cut the assumed return from 7.5 percent to 7 percent.
But a smaller amount from investments means more has to come from governments and employees. “This is the difficulty,” said Costigan. “If you lower the discount rate you push up the contribution level of employers and employees to address the unfunded liability.”
Bottom line: cities, counties, school districts and ultimately taxpayers are footing a much bigger and likely more realistic bill. CalPERS estimates about a third of local and state budgets go to pay for public pensions. Experts at this recent pension workshop estimate it’s closer to 60 percent and growing.  “Retirement spending has doubled in the last five years, and you ain’t seen nothing yet,” said Stanford public policy lecturer David Crane.
That could bankrupt some local governments. But San Jose’s former mayor Chuck Reed, who pushed hard for pension reform, says it’s a bitter pill that we all have to swallow. “You’ve got to put more money in,” said Reed. “All of these solutions … you’ve got to put more money in.”


I guess this explains why the City of Highland's Business Development doesn't produce results for Councilmember Timmer? Larry Mainez


If the shoe fits wear it! If one is caught lying that makes him a liar. Mr. Timmer has been caught lying multiple times:

1. He made this statement: “We pay 75 to 80 percent of our city budget for police and fire protection.” This is lie. Using the 2017-2018 budget (Page 97) the actual percentage is 31% ($15,863,463 (public safety expenditures)/ $51,189,415 (total expenditures) ) Please note the difference between an “expenditure” and an “expense. The poor man can’t do basic math.

2. He claimed the state is taking the city’s money. (See www.friendsofhighland.com). This is a constant claim made by many on the council, e.g. Jody Scott. There is no proof this is true.

3. The calls for police service have sky rocketed. (See www.friendsofhighland.com). Total lie.

4. We have not been able to afford additional deputies going on now for about eight years. Again, a total lie. They pass out raises to city employees, raises the rotund city attorney, and blew over a $1,000,000 in attorney fees (our money) trying to prevent districts. They lost. Each deputy costs about $200K per year. There is PLENTY of money to hire more deputies and we don’t don’t need a tax increase. May I digress, Mr Hughes probably wants a tax increase to ensure that his and his wife’s pension will be fully funded in the future.

5. Mr Timmer claimed the city has no debt. I completely debunked this lie. (see Friends of Highland Facebook page). The city is deeply in debt, i.e. $180,000,000+ including millions in unfunded pensions costs.

What is truly abhorrent is that if Mr Timmer, Mr McCallon, and Ms Lilburn truly believed the city lacked the funds to hire additional deputies why was not the initiative they wanted to put on the ballot in November 2016 not put on the ballot? This is the initiative they blew $29K on a bogus survey and sent out Mr Deceico to hold “dog and pony shows” A.K.A. “Coffee With A Cop” events. The answer is simple. They put their political needs ahead of the citizen’s needs. They realized as George Bush Sr. didn’t realize you can’t run on a tax increase. I expect they will try in 2018 to put tax increase on the ballot.

Folks completely ignore Mr. Timmer and Mr Roberts. They are embarrassing; they are liars; and they are nothing more than Mr McCallon’s lapdogs. Mr Timmer lost the election, but the opposition vote was split three ways. After 24+ years on the council he could not find ONE accomplishment to run on, e.g. the Harmony Project. Instead he used that hackney lie that the city has no debt. It is tragic, and we will be paying the price long after Mr. Timmer sails into sunset with his $124K a year pension (http://transparentcalifornia.com/pensions/search/?q=John+Timmer). But he will have a buddy and neighbor Mr Rissmiller to hang out with. Mr Rissmiller is not doing too bad either (http://transparentcalifornia.com/pensions/search/?q=Rissmiller).

We can do it. It is our city and not Mr Timmer's, Mr McCallon's, Mr Lilburn's, Mr Hughes' and Ms Hughes' city.

Frank Adomitis

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