I figured I should post this now rather than waiting until tomorrow morning. For one it is fresh on my mind, but also I already have something written for tomorrow. It involves the full-throated fire horn, so obviously it will be a lot more popular as far as blog traffic goes. And what could possibly be more important than blog traffic?
Here is my takeaway from this morning's community get-together. It isn't the services that need to be changed or adjusted, it is the costs for those services. According to Wikipedia (link) the average household income in Sierra Madre is right around $80,000. Here is what the Top 10 most compensated employees at City Hall are pulling down. The column farthest to the right is what you are paying.
The total for just those 10 employees comes to a rounded off number of $1,730,850. And that is just a small portion of the total headcount. Click here to view the entire list. Do grab a chair, it goes on for a while.
Aren't you somewhat amazed that city employees make more than many of the taxpayers who shell out for their salaries? Is your self-esteem so low you believe they are worth that much more than you? Or that they do things that you yourself are incapable of doing? Like rent picnic tables?
The only way the city can sustain this level of spending for employee compensation is to raise utility taxes. Something the voters of Sierra Madre have now refused to do twice. The other option, cutting employee salaries, did not appear on any of the helpful information boards or handouts at the Fire Station. At least as far as I could see.
And let's face it, if City of Sierra Madre jobs were thrown open to the public to apply for, the line would extend all the way down Sierra Madre Boulevard to Hastings Ranch.
You pay a lot of taxes to live in Sierra Madre as it is. Anyone who has cut a property tax check lately can tell you that. So don't you deserve the kinds of community services any city can provide? Of course you do.
Yet rather than curb salaries and overall compensation, apparently what the city is proposing to do is cut services. That is, unless you vote yourself a tax hike.
Quite a story if you think about it. Ever feel like you've been used?