Monday, September 14, 2009
Candidates Respond, Part 10: Police and Other Salaries
by James H. Hadfield, Heber M. Thompson
LocalCommentary.com: In 2006 the City raised property taxes, in part to allow it to raise salaries in the police department, where pay was below market, causing the most experienced and best-trained officers to leave for other jurisdictions. Now the problem reportedly threatens to recur. Will you raise police salaries in your first year of office to a level that is at least competitive with surrounding communities? To what extent is this a problem in other City departments? Is there anything we can do in the short term to prevent this problem from recurring in the long term?
JAMES H. HADFIELD
Salaries in departments within the City are an issue. Many of the benefits that have been part of being an employee of the City have been eliminated as a “cost cutting measure” by the current administration. Morale within the ranks of the employees is low. Several years have passed since there was a cost of living raise for the employees. Yet these employees are asked to do more with less. There are areas within the city where costs should be evaluated and all entities that are affected should pay their fair share. There are several ways to approach this without raising taxes to pay salaries.
HEBER M. THOMPSON
The possible reoccurrence of the situation is much less likely than it was four years ago. We also need the same kind of attention in the Fire/EMS Department and to a lesser degree in other city departments. All departments are cutting us some slack now, because of the declining city tax and fees revenues, and have sacrificed by tightening their collective belts. We ask continued patience of our employees. We will alleviate this problem as economics improve.
Copyright 2009 by James H. Hadfield, Heber M. Thompson.
All rights reserved.
Permission is given to publish this article elsewhere on the Web or via e-mail only under these conditions: The article is published intact and unchanged, and is properly credited to the author; and a visible link is included to the article's page at LocalCommentary.com.