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MP OKs 30 percent pay hike for sergeants

Original post made on Jan 21, 2009

Though the economy has taken a nose dive since the city of Menlo Park awarded its police officers a substantial raise in April, the City Council on Jan. 13 signed off on a similar raise for the sergeants who supervise those officers.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, January 21, 2009, 12:04 PM

Comments (9)

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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jan 21, 2009 at 1:23 pm

Police Chief Bruce Goitia suggested that the sergeants' dedication to the job might have been in jeopardy if they had not received a substantial raise. Had the council not approved the raise, Chief Goitia said, "I don't envision that I would have seven sergeants walk out the door, but I also don't envision that I will have their hearts and souls in the job."

One week later President Barack Obama vowed to forge a new era of government openness and froze the pay of top staff earning more than $US100,000 to show Americans their leaders could also tighten their belts amid economic crisis. "However long we are keepers of the public trust, we should never forget that we are here as public servants, and public service is a privilege," Obama said.

Is there is disconnect here?

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Posted by Mark
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jan 21, 2009 at 3:31 pm

I personally am revved up by Obama's message/attitude here. Unfortunately, there IS a discontect between that and what we're confronting with public employee salaries and benefits. And, even more unfortunately, it will take some time and much effort to make public service the top priority of "public servants."

I don't think it will ever happen without strong, principled leadership that leads employees to feel appreciated and eager to serve the public good. Those incapable of that type of eagerness and commitment shouldn't be working in public service.

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Posted by truth
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jan 21, 2009 at 4:51 pm

Am I alone trying to piece together Peter is saying? Just say it already, it is not like it hasn't been said over and over ad nauseum. Stop trying to be cute.

I happen to think you are exploiting our current market decline for your own publicity, but what do I know.

I just like to see truth haters mock me.

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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jan 21, 2009 at 5:40 pm

If 'truth' (who chosen to hide his/her identity) will call me (I have given my full name and have a listed phone number) I would be pleased to explain to him/her the very obvious contrast between Chief Goitia's comment and President Obama's comment about public sevice.

This forum is not the appropriate place for such remedial education.

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Posted by Hmmmm
a resident of another community
on Jan 21, 2009 at 6:15 pm

I am no fan of Obama...nor of the other side either...and I don't think it applies here. Peter...I follow most of your points, but the last comment was just plain arrogant...come on...woo me with your wit, not that stuff.

The MP Chief does not negotiate the contract, the union does. In fact, I think the chief has very little to do with this, since it is between the union and the city. As a side note, the chief is a thoroughly decent guy with 20+ years on at MPPD. As for paying cops, or sergeants, or whoever, a good wage...I see a lot of people angry. Yes these are hard times, but when no one makes a peep about the million dollars being spent on the El Camino "vision" and paying other city employees tons for nonsensical jobs (re the Shop Menlo guru) I find it hard to beat up on the cops. Financial responsibility has to be a philosophy for EVERYONE in the city, not something to attack unpopular budget items, even the ones I hate and find silly.

Is Menlo Park Oakland? No, but the Bellehaven is still rough, and they are propping up EPAPD pretty well too, so it is not all lattes and bagels in Sharon Heights for the MPPD crew. Just a thought.

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Posted by truth
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jan 21, 2009 at 7:02 pm

Freezing the salaries of White House aids is a perfect parallel to police. Thanks for the education, Peter. No comment on vision spending for me until someone can prove any success with the downtown over the past 20 years. Old cronies in this town howl at the moon all day about such failures when they have been the only constant during the era of nothing development.

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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jan 21, 2009 at 7:23 pm

The issue is not whether the Police Chief is a good guy or the police have a difficult job but how should we as citizens and public officials behave in these very difficult times.

The Secret Service folks who protect the President, a really tough and dangerous job, get paid less than do our local police officers.
White House staffers like the President's National Security Advisor, another really tough and important job, have had their salaries frozen for the next 4 to 8 years. And in this climate the City Council refuses to extend the time for public input and immediately grants the sergeants a 22.75% increase over the next 30 months - that is difficult to understand.

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Posted by truth
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jan 21, 2009 at 8:59 pm

Absolutely ridiculous comparison. And now, officially, Peter sounds like Lee and Mickie and Boyle. Obviously you all have had your little discussions to share the same fallacies.

Immediately grants an increase proves your ignorance. This was a long process and there were many areas for public input. You spoke at none of them I presume. All talk and false facts.

I respected your position when you asked for more transparency with the Fire Dept negs. I became suspicious when I read Boyle asked the exact same thing the following week. I wonder if these guys talked? Well, now you have answered the question. You are yet another in the long line of anti-union pugilists spreading disinformation to support your ideaology.

I am now done with you Peter. Thanks for wasting my time.

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Posted by Thank You Peter
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jan 22, 2009 at 8:17 pm

I agree with Peter, at the very least this decision should have been delayed. AT THE VERY LEAST. The new budget is not even out yet, but the Unions made sure this happened before the budget, and right after the election. Gee, I wonder what 4-some is being supported by the unions. I personally have no problem with unions, I get it, my problem is paying for an overinflated cost on anything, that I believe is an overinflated cost. This one walks like a duck, looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck! I am so very glad that "citizens" not Republicans, or Democrats, or Independents or whomever, are asking very good, and very inciteful questions of this decision. This is the citizens money, we MUST hold these "leaders" accountable. I think Boyle is the only one asking these questions!

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