Original post made by Henry Riggs on Dec 11, 2006
on Dec 12, 2006 at 3:19 pm
Give it a rest already, Henry. Your guys lost and the adults are in charge now. Why not move to Maryland and join your pal Hank in railing against the local government there?
on Dec 22, 2006 at 2:51 pm
ElectionWatcher - I wholeheartedly voted for Bressler, Cline, Robinson myself, but I agree with the points made by Mr. Riggs. This city is full of "little guys" (not everyone is a "big guy") who will have to pay for the city employee's benefits. Yes, employees deserve reasonable benefits, but it's inappropriate to enrich further the benefit structure already in place when the overall compensation is out of line with the private sector.
While I'm not proposing that city employee benefits be trashed the way many residents' benefits were trashed by their employers, including my own, I think it's critical for the long-term viability of the city for the Council to revisit the benefit structure for employees (including retirement benefits).
The private sector has been faced with "unaffordable" benefits, and much can be learned from that experience, including things not to do (put organizations into bankruptcy longer term through a sequence of short term decisions). I hope the new Council has the backbone not only to stand firm on the benefits but also to investigate alternatives such as defined contribution plans.
on Dec 23, 2006 at 12:01 am
You sound like a sincere young man, AnotherResident, but I'm guessing you don't have the full picture here - let me fill you in.
There are TWO, not just one, unions representing city workers - one covering the police and the other (the SEIU) covering all other city employees.
Now, although in the minority numbers-wise, the police actually account for the bulk of projected future pension costs facing the city (this was reported on by The Almanac this summer). So naturally, if you really want to make headway on this issue, you need to take the police union on.
But guess what - in their usual conniving manner, Winkler et al. give the police union a wink and a nod, awarding them a nice new contract this summer with little fanfare (and no concessions from the union).
They then turned right around and started screaming bloody murder (as Mr. Riggs is doing) about pension benefits and saying that they need to be tough with "the union" - only the union they're actually referring to is the "little guys" union, the SEIU (representing people like city accountants, senior center and child care workers, etc.), a union which Winkler et al. made sure would only be negotiated with AFTER the police union contract was settled.
So the next time you read another union-bashing diatribe from Mr. Riggs (and likely future ones from Mr. Boyle, who is carrying Ms. Winkler's torch on the city council now), please take it with a (huge) grain of salt.