Letters to the Editor - Rejects pay raise

Dear Editor:I don't get it. We are in the midst of the worst recession in decades, and it's going to get worse before it gets better. People are losing their jobs, car dealerships and other businesses are closing, and out illustrious City Council gives a 4 percent pay raise to 98 city employees, plus other benefits that could add up to much more. ("City, Union Come to New Agreement," 2/13/09) Now 4 percent is a modest increase in normal times, but these are not normal times. If ever the Council would be justified in refusing the union's demand, this is the time. Is the city worried the employees will quit? I think not. With an unemployment rate approaching 10 percent in California, anybody should be thankful for a job. If the city treasury is so flush with cash, let them take that 4 percent and use it to hire a half-dozen or more employees to fix our streets. It seems to me the union would even benefit by having more employees to collect dues from. We live in a representative democracy, and our City Council members are our most immediate representatives. I know they like to play their little political games, but this is serious business. I think they should retract that agreement with the union and start some real thinking about how to bring more business to Downey. It pains me to see the huge holes where car dealerships have folded, reducing our tax base. We should be spending less money, not more, and anything we spend should produce a benefit to the city. Higher salaries don't do that. I didn't vote for the representative from my district, and I'm sure going to work to find someone else at the next election. I hope every Downey citizen will watch the City Council's actions and be prepared to reward or punish as appropriate. - Don Niemand, Downey ********** Published: February 20, 2009 - Volume 7 - Issue 44