Suspicious of job title

Dear Editor:The more I read and hear about the newly filled position of Deputy City Manager/Public Safety Emergency Operations Chief, the more I become suspicious. The title alone is so grandiose it seems to demand the generous salary that accompanies it. As I have been reading in the Patriot a description of the multitudinous tasks the new chief must deal with, I'm astonished Downey has been able to survive since 2005 with the position open. But it did. On the other hand, I've heard rumors that filling this position merely provided an opportunity to shelve a person who was not effective in his previous position. Or was it filled in hopes of staving off a harassment and discrimination suit filed against the city of Downey and former fire chief? The Patriot article clearly indicates that the suit plaintiff's problem was with the fire chief. Adding the city just allowed reaching for deeper pockets. I am a retired aerospace engineer with a Master's degree in engineering. I have had over 80 engineers reporting to me at various times, but I never made a fraction of the $185,000 ($315,000 including benefits, I guess) this prestigious position commands. After all, one of those tasks is "training the city - making sure our communications go where they need to go." Sounds a bit like a mail clerk, but what do I know? I'm not a rabble rouser. Maybe we desperately need that position filled, and maybe Mr. Sauter is the ideal person to fill it. But these are tough times. I know my net worth has plummeted, and I've lost the battle to prevent McMansions on both sides of me, but I would have hoped that our new City Council would be more responsive to the needs of the city's tax-paying residents. We should make every dollar we spend productive, such as not filling the position of Assistant Fire Chief for now. Maybe there are other positions better left open. - Don Niemand, Downey ********** Published: January 16, 2009 - Volume 7 - Issue 39

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