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Editorial: Big pay hike a symptom of failed policy

Original post made on Jan 27, 2009

Menlo Park's recent approval of a major pay increase for police sergeants has been roundly criticized by many residents, but the real driver of this and a raise for rank-and-file police approved earlier last year is the use of pay rates of nearby cities to set salary levels in Menlo Park.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, January 28, 2009, 12:00 AM

Comments (3)

Posted by Hank lawrence, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jan 27, 2009 at 2:27 pm

Tom Gibboney is spot on. There is nothing more to say.

Posted by Paul Collacchi, a resident of another community
on Feb 1, 2009 at 12:08 pm

I see the escalation Gibboney and others talk about, but cities may not "collude" to "stop the bidding war." Its just as illegal for buyers to fix the price they'll pay as it is for sellers to fix the prices they charge.

I'm not a lawyer, but I think anti-trust laws are Federal, so even a State or County legislative act would not work.

BTW, below this post at the moment I'm typing is a banner ad from It advertises education services to qualify to become a law enforcement officer.

For those who really believe in free markets, and hope for solutions other than destroying them, what capitalism is supposed to do is to respond to the demand for police by adjusting supply (not fixing prices.) Maybe some of those laid off car workers will become nurses and police who are willing to accept a new career at the lower starting salary and work hard to provide near equivalent service levels.

The banner ad suggests just that.

Posted by Fair Witness, a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Feb 2, 2009 at 8:45 am

Here's what Gibboney said in a 2007 editorial: "Menlo Park cops need help"

"Given the tough recruiting environment — California faces a shortage of up to 13,000 police officers by 2010 — it is time to abandon the city's position of setting its wage standard in the mid-range of what is offered in the surrounding area. That strategy obviously is not working, and if the city is to catch up, it will have to ante up more dollars."

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