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Original post made
on Jan 7, 2010
"The city budget was cut to the bone."? Then how does one explain hiring back three retirees for more than $100 an hour figure? I just don't buy that this city can't operate on a much leaner and ethically sound budget. Something really stinks here in Mountain View, and it's not coming from the sewers but from city hall. I say let the city go bankrupt and let's start off anew.
And as for the schools, no wonder we are in the mess we are in when the entire school board runs unopposed. The current school board must be booted out. We need new blood and new ideas. I can't stomach much more of this nonsense.
And the community should not tolerate the idea of a tax hike to support the schools as long as Ghysels' contract allows for him to be bought out to the figure of more than $300,000 over 18 months. That's where your hard earned tax dollars will go, and no doubt to fattening another round of early retirements to the tune of way over $100,000. See the San Jose Mercury article for more details. Web Link
BTW, these are two reporters Kelsey Mesher and Daniel DeBolt are future Pulitzers if they keep up the great reporting in 2010.
First of all, thanks for the nice comment about our writers. I agree they're doing a great job.
Secondly, I'd like to clarify something we maybe didn't explain properly: having city employees retire and collect pensions while returning to work at an hourly wage (even a high one) is actually much cheaper for the city. This is for two main reasons, 1) the city no longer needs to cover those employees' health benefit costs, and 2) the majority (I think around 75%) of the pensions are paid out by CalPERS, not by Mountain View proper.
Overall, from the taxpayer's perspective, this may seem like a screwy and/or unfair system. But from the perspective of someone running a city and managing that particular city's budget, this is a money-saver.
Come on Mr. Frances, wise up.
You sound like an apologist for the free spenders and their beneficiaries, or else you have fallen for their argument hook, line and sinker.
How much do their benefits really cost? New blood could surely be brought in, at lower cost, both benefits and salaries. Why in the world do we need to pay fat 6-figure salaries for HR and library people?
And the money from CalPERS isn't free.
If we groom more people for the top jobs, there will be more people available to fill the posts, at lower salaries; that's Economics 101, the law of supply and demand.
Can the city and/or state declare bankruptcy and and blow off all the cushy pension obligations for bureaucrats. (Leave firefighters, police, teachers' pensions intact, but pencil-pushing bureaucrats can get private sector jobs, the same as the rest of us.)
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