Employees of the city of SLO are expected to pony up $2.6 million a year to help balance the budget by agreeing to pay more for their health benefits and pensions and/or taking pay cuts.
But at least two council members — Kathy Smith and Dan Carpenter — want city workers to make even deeper concessions.
At least, that’s what they led the San Luis Obispo Property Owners Association to believe last week. At an association luncheon meeting, both council members indicated that they weren’t satisfied with the proposed level of wage and benefit reductions. Yet at a council meeting that very evening, neither one even broached the subject of bigger cuts during a budget discussion. Later, they told Tribune reporter AnnMarie Cornejo that they were waiting for someone else to suggest it.
Frankly, $2.6 million in concessions is already an ambitious goal for upcoming negotiations. But if council members are convinced that even more cuts are needed, don’t they owe it to their constituents to at least raise the issue, instead of waiting for some braver soul to step up?
Or were Smith and Carpenter merely engaging in some polite afternoon schmoozing with the Property Owners Association — when they really had no intention of pressing for more concessions?
Either way, Smith and Carpenter showed a puzzling lack of leadership. For their sheepish performances, each is awarded a fleece-lined bag of bleating brickbats.
Grand jury asks hard questions
John Wallace has been general manger of the South County Sanitation District for so long — 25 years — that many folks in South County don’t think twice about the fact that Wallace’s own firm also provides engineering services for the district. On top of that, the Wallace Group has done some big capital improvement projects at the sewer plant in Oceano.
Last week, though, the county grand jury came along and issued a 46-page report that questions whether that’s such a great idea. The jury, in fact, calls it a conflict of interest.
Among other information, it points out that Wallace’s firm charged the district $836,000 in 2009-10, which is almost as much as the district paid its own employees that year.
It also questions why some of the projects weren’t put out for competitive bid.
Good for you, grand jury.
Perhaps there is nothing untoward going on here, but after 25 years, we agree it’s time to re-examine whether this relationship is in the best interest of South County ratepayers.
For its watchdogging efforts, we toss the grand jury a bouquet with a lot of bark.
Good riddance to Tammy Rudock
We didn’t expect to expend any more brickbats on Tammy Rudock, the former general manager of the Cambria CSD who was recently relieved of duty.
But then we read through her list of “reasons” for firing Fire Chief Mark Miller — who was recently reinstated by the CSD board — and we decided we couldn’t let her go without one last parting gift.
Because seriously, how big was this woman’s ego?
She was miffed because Miller didn’t personally inform her about the tsunami alert following the earthquake in Japan, but instead asked the utility manager to alert her. She also accused Miller of talking to The Tribune about a personnel matter — which Miller didn’t do. And she was upset because he didn’t provide her with some information prior to a meeting — even though he was attending a funeral in Colorado.
We hadn’t run into a boss this mean since we read “A Christmas Carol” in high school.
So you go, girl. Far, far, far away from here — and take your briefcase of brickbats with you.