Your April 10 article on the city's budget crisis made one thing painfully clear: The City Council has not been on the ball ("Council hears city budget in 'crisis', asks for more info").
With a $6 million budget gap this year, and projected multimillion-dollar budget shortfalls in the coming years, it looks like the city is going to have to tighten its belt and make some difficult cuts.
Perhaps instead of making the suggested cuts to the public library or to public safety, the first place we should consider making some cuts is to the paychecks of the council members. It should be easy, seeing as they probably won't notice.
They already admitted that they don't know how the city budget works. Any bets on how active they would be in the process then? What are the chances they actually pay attention to their personal finances? I doubt that they will be so passive when it is their own money and not the taxpayers'.
E. Dana Street
Day workers kicked in at Foundation auction
I was very impressed when, at the recent fundraiser for the Mountain View Education Foundation, which supports our local K-8 schools, there were two silent auction items donated by the Mountain View Day Worker Center, each for four hours of donated labor. Thank you to the day laborers for supporting our schools.
Judicial Watch not welcome here
The announcement that Judicial Watch is becoming involved in the Mountain View Day Worker Center controversy is not welcome news ("National legal group targets Worker Center," April 17). Judicial Watch is one of many conservative foundations funded by Richard Mellon Scaife, an ultraconservative who uses his inherited wealth to promote right-wing causes.
Judicial Watch claims it is an educational foundation, but its main means of teaching is through litigation rather than critical thinking. It almost always represents conservative causes, and is primarily known for being the instigators in the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.
In short, Judicial Watch is to the law what Fox News is to journalism.
Police union is studying pay cut request
The Mountain View Police Officers Association is very sympathetic to the current economic situation the city and the nation as a whole is currently experiencing. City manager Kevin Duggan has done an outstanding job in managing the city's finances through many challenging times both in the past and in current times. Through his conservative economic practices he has placed our city in an outstanding financial situation compared to most of our surrounding municipalities.
He has additionally kept the collective salary and benefit levels of his city employees marginally at parity with our benchmark cities. If you do a comparative analysis of our salary and benefits with that of our benchmark agencies, you will find us at the median level of compensation/benefits.
As a result of Mr. Duggan's conservative fiscal practices, he has successfully managed to keep his operational costs, more times than not, under budget, leaving him with a surplus of millions of dollars each year to transfer into various reserve funds.
Mr. Duggan has asked the collective labor groups to consider voluntarily forgoing their cost of living allowances (COLA), but we and the others are still in the process of understanding the city's current economic situation and level of the fiscal crisis.
As an organization we are working diligently with Mr. Duggan and his staff, along with the other city labor groups, to address ways to control costs to the city, generate and recover revenue and manage health care costs. Our dialogue with Mr. Duggan and his staff is ongoing, and we will continue to work with him and the other labor groups to meet the challenges of our current economy while providing the outstanding level of service the citizens of Mountain View deserve.
Allen Sakaguchi, president
Mountain View Police Officers' Association