Congratulations to San Luis Obispo City Councilman Andrew Carter and his three colleagues who now seem interested in fiscal responsibility (“SLO voters to decide on wage, benefit reforms,” Feb. 23). The council members also need to recognize the fact that what they do has ramifications outside of their jurisdiction.
Neighboring communities all use comparable cities when negotiating salaries and benefits, so we are also hit with the impacts of irresponsible decisions. The salary decision of the new San Luis Obispo city manager was as equally bad as the arbitrator’s decision with the San Luis Obispo Police Department. It is so easy to be generous when you are spending someone else’s money.
Now with the write-in ballots, you can expect teams of police and firefighters harassing individuals to vote in favor of their continued rip-off of city funds. These aren’t the public safety officers of old, rescuing your cat or helping you in your neighborhood. These are just greedy individuals, interested in getting in, getting all they can and getting out early, regardless of the impacts on the rest of the city.
The sad part is they are trying to do this by banking on the goodwill built up over many years by their predecessors.
Let them quit
In response to the article titled, “Arbitration issue ignites SLO Council” (Feb. 17): What’s the problem with putting binding arbitration back on the ballot? It seems to me that the City Council is worried that the citizens of San Luis Obispo will repeal binding arbitration, because Councilman Andrew Carter had it right when he said that voters “want the council to get control of the city budget” (“It’s undemocratic and it costs the city,” Feb. 20).
The City Council is scared to have this initiative on the ballot because they fear that the citizens may stand up for what they believe in and vote to make their jobs harder.
The problem these days is that people get too comfortable with their luxuries, forget what it’s like on the other side and fear cutting back on anything in their lives. No matter who it would benefit.
I say if someone working for the city has a problem with their salary and amazing health benefits being knocked down a bit in these tough economic times, let them quit. There are plenty of people with the same skill set who would be glad to have the job, no matter the salary.
San Luis Obispo
Like spoiled kids
They are supposed to be San Luis Obispo’s finest, but the city’s police and firefighters are acting like a bunch of spoiled kids. Their salaries make up the lion’s share of the city’s budget, but they refuse to participate in any meaningful process that involves their compensation.
They should be working toward solving the city’s budget deficit instead of being a major obstacle to the solution. It’s time the city leaders treat these employees like everyone else instead of above everyone else. Their behavior hasn’t earned them any special consideration; in fact, just the opposite.
Wake up, John Ashbaugh; it’s time you stop yielding to the pressure of the police and firefighters and start protecting the financial future of the city you were elected to represent.
San Luis Obispo
A slippery slope
It is a slippery slope that the two new San Luis Obispo City Council members find themselves taking by siding with Andrew Carter’s drive to have the City Council place a binding arbitration measure on the ballot (“Arbitration issue ignites SLO council,” Feb. 17).
I would caution being preyed upon by the business community, namely the Chamber of Commerce, now that they have assumed the risk of spearheading this measure. After two years of prodding by Carter, Christine Mulholland and other anti-labor individuals in the community, no group had stepped forward to take on the task of getting this initiative on the ballot. This should give them some sense of its popularity and danger.
This undoubtedly will be an all-consuming campaign with personal and character attacks, and I wonder whether they are prepared for such vitriolic rhetoric.
San Luis Obispo
Council has backbone
Hallelujah! Finally, a San Luis Obispo City Council with a backbone to do the right thing for their fellow tax-paying citizens!
Thank you council members Andrew Carter, Dan Carpenter, Kathy Smith and Mayor Jan Marx for agreeing to put binding arbitration and pension reform on the ballot for our citizens to vote down before San Luis Obispo city becomes bankrupt and everyone becomes a loser.
Councilman Carter presented a very powerful PowerPoint presentation with graphs at the Feb. 22 City Council meeting to show just what will happen to San Luis Obispo city if binding arbitration is not defeated.
Carter’s graphs need to be published widely for all to see, because seeing is believing.
San Luis Obispo