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April 16, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

In defense of vital public servants

How could a person running for the office of the president of the United States say we do not need more firefighters, more policemen and more teachers? Has he forgotten the sacrifice those police officers and firefighters made on 9/11? On that day they did what they were hired to do and more without regard for their own safety or how much they were getting paid. I believe these people do this every day. Everyone knows there is not a 9/11 every day, but there could be, and I appreciate them being there.

As for teachers, there is no more noble profession. We hinder them from using their ability to educate our children, then blame them when they fail. If these professionals are hindered from speaking up for themselves, then we, the people of this country, need to speak up for them.

They will have my support and those of the people I know and respect.

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  1. The letter writer suffers from a bad case of " do it if it feels good". This is a typical Leftist view of the world in which there is no connection between common sense and budget limitations. Notice that the writer pays no attention to the fact that state and local governments across the nation must limit the damage done by the excessive cost structures that result from overly generous public union compensation deals. As with most Leftists the letter writer prefers to do what "feels good" rather than he does applying common sense to restore fiscal discipline and balance to state and local government.

  2. Apparently, to Mitt Romney, police officers, firefighters, and teachers are not people but corporations are people.

  3. We do need public servants but we must also see to it that their salaries, benefits and work rules make sense and are fiscally responsible. We haven't done that.

    Michael

  4. Aparently Hamm doesn't understand satire. Mitt was referring, obliquely, to the rapid growth of government while the private sector (that's most of us, Ken) suffer tremendous financial difficulties and losses. I think the beat cop and the fireman who are on the front lines can never paid enough for the job they do because of the hardship and peril they face in protecting us but that doesn't mean there aren't budget constraints on what we pay can them. There are and always will be until we get rid of the "entitlement" parasites and use that money to increase their pay.

  5. I agree with the letter writer BUT public service employees' pay and benefits must have parity with the private sector employees. Over the years, and still, a schism developed with the public sector far outpacing the private sector. This can't and won't continue.

    CarmineD

  6. First, I would like to extend my great appreciation to the letter writer, Ken Hamm, for having the courage and compassion to write expressing his point of view. Most readers don't either realize or acknowledge their lack of ability or interest in service as a public servant to their community.

    Public servants have the unique working situation of being there in a time of crisis. When a disaster hits, they are obligated to set aside their personal concerns and assist the public. This is a part of the professional code. They are soldiers of a different class, tailored to meet the needs of the public they serve.

    In the past, public servants were appreciated and held with regard/respect. Over the years, when the public began to have a culture of "attitude", and decide being disrespectful and rude got them whatever they wanted, it appears that it was then the public servant sector began to look for better pay and working conditions. Just a little history lesson here. Cause and effect, if you will. Just talk to some of the old timers--they remember how it all transpired.

    Service to your country, to your community is an honorable thing. We can either say it or pay it, that we treasure those who serve because it is in them to CARE.

    Sir Winston Churchill once declared that, "If we don't learn from the lessons of the past, we are doomed to repeat it." Learn from history.

    Blessings and Peace,
    Star

  7. "How could a person running for the office of the president of the United States say we do not need more firefighters, more policemen and more teachers?"

    Hamm -- the flaw in your logic is the White House has next to nothing to do with firefighters, et al. Those are entirely local positions usually under the direct jurisdiction of municipalities.

    "We do need public servants but we must also see to it that their salaries, benefits and work rules make sense and are fiscally responsible."

    wtplv -- you got that one right. So many forget public employees are there by grace only, since they produce nothing and are essentially parasites on the backs of the people.

    "I agree with the letter writer BUT public service employees' pay and benefits must have parity with the private sector employees."

    CarmineD -- you can blame the municipalities for those sweet contracts. We the people are poorly represented in that regard.

    "I heartily accept the motto, 'That government is best which governs least'; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically." -- Henry David Thoreau 1849 "On the Duty of Civil Disobedience"

  8. "CarmineD -- you can blame the municipalities for those sweet contracts. We the people are poorly represented in that regard." KillerB

    True for the state, county and local levels. At the Federal Government level it's been the Office of Personnel Management [OPM] and before it the Civil Service Commission which increased pay and benefits for Federal civilian employees with carte blanche. Usually with the blessing of Congress directly and/or indirectly with little if any comments/review from outside the government realm.

    CarmineD

  9. KillerB

    Henry David Thoreau is one of my favorite Americans. Thanks for the quote from him. It was as true in 1849 as it is today. The true sign of wisdom for the ages.

    CarmineD

  10. Ken, the vast majority of police and firefighters watched the events of 911 on the television, just like you and me. What's disgraceful is that firefighters and police in Clark County, NV stepped on the backs of those dead heroes and took advantage of the warm fuzzies New York's bravest gave us.

    And let's be real honest about those NY Firefigthers, being the only ones wielding axes, it was fire fighters who smashed the windows of all the high-end shops and proceeded to loot the place as if it were South Central after the Rodney King verdict

    If the fire department can continue to function when the FF are it sick three months of the year, we clearly have too many fire fighters, not too few. Crime across the country is down, so there is no need for more armed thugs roaming the streets without accountability.

    Now I believe we could use more qualified teachers, unfortunately the teachers themselves disagree. When faced with the decision of more teachers or more money for each teachers, the teachers decided that smaller class sizes were less important than their own bottom line. So, if I am asked to choose between my bottom line and smaller class sizes, I'll take my cue from the professionals and choose my bottom line as well.

  11. How can anyone being paid $250,000 per year be considered a public "servant"?

    There was a time when being a police officer was considered a noble profession. Not anymore. The people who gravitate towards law enforcement tend to be abusive and controlling. Many are sociopaths. They are all authoritarians.

    Firefighters used to be above reproach. Not anymore. The way they took advantage of taxpayers with their sick leave abuse is disgusting. I don't believe people with only a high school diploma should ever be paid an average of $175,000 annually, especially when they are public "servants".

    Teaching is a noble profession and we should have more of them. It seems that they are valued the least of the three professions mentioned because they are the least paid. Unfortunately, teachers appear to be their own worst enemy.

  12. "Some public employees make the same or less than their private sector counterparts, so let's not overly generalize."

    The operative word is "some." In the most recent studies that have been done and publicized, the vast majority of Federal civilian job positions/categories have higher pay and more generous benefits, based on years of experience, than their counterparts in the private sector. That is not an over generalization. It is true.

    In part due to the bad economic times. Why? Private industry can and does reduce salaries in bad times. Not in the Federal government. Salaries, at worst, stay the same and that is a rarity. More often than not, the salaries rise year over year. It's even been given a name: "Pay creep." Without any action, the annual salaries automatically rise, ion good times and bad, across the board for all government civilians every year. Over a career, it's a huge pay advantage compared to the private sector.

    CarmineD

  13. I want to correct my post above. The term is called "grade creep."

    Here is a June 12, 2012 article on the subject.

    http://www.federaltimes.com/article/2012...

    CarmineD

  14. Another article on the grade creep from Nov 2011 and its affect on inflating federal civilian salaries over the private sector salaries.

    http://www.federaltimes.com/article/2012...

    CarmineD

  15. Sorry: here is the link for the Nov 2011 article on grade creep.

    http://www.federaltimes.com/article/2011...

    CarmineD

  16. Oh, Star, Churchill also said, "When a man is in his 20s, if he is not a liberal, he has no heart. If, when that man is in his 40s and he is not a Conservative, he has no brains." Churchill hit a home run with that statement!

  17. Yant was paid $143,479.01 ($1.7 million settlement)
    Alan Hirjak $142,085.97
    Darrin Densley $176,127.66
    Greg S. Theobald $161,475.
    Steven Radmanovich $129,584.82
    Edward Little $108,892.71
    Richard Dean Goslar $188,571.55 ($125,00 settlement
    Brett Seekatz $161,930.57 ($300,000) settlement
    Bob Rogers $172,177.96,
    Jerry Montes $168,059.29
    Bob Lewis $275,254.75 The last three are responsible for a ($900,000) settlement

    A Sad Teacher supports paying these criminal cops more than $1.8 million dollars last year despite the fact they have cost us more than $3 million dollars in settlements.

    And he/she wonders why we won't support him/her agenda.

  18. "The lying talking point of the so-called republicans that private workers make more than private workers has been debunked so many time by the experts,"

    A brilliant enlightening lead-off statement. Congrats. You outdid even your own self once again.

    CarmineD

  19. Tanker 1975:

    Thanks for posting the salaries. It's one ting to read the words about extravagant waste of taxpayer money. It's another to see the $ amounts. Perhaps these people are paid properly. I don't know for sure. But it certainly makes the case that these public employees are not underpaid by any means. In fact when compared to the private sector just the opposite.

    CarmineD

  20. And thanks too Clark Crimcops. The names and salaries speak volumes.

    CarmineD

  21. "Unions are the strongest protectors of Freedom in the USA. If and when they are gone, you will be defenseless."

    At 7-11 percent membership, unions are on life support. Surprise surprise. Workers are not the worse for it. In fact, many Wisconsin union employees voted for Gov Scott Walker in the recall. More than did so in the initial election.

    Lad, your silliness is showing. Again.

    CarmineD

  22. The problem is not the people (public servants) doing their job if they do it well. The problem is the elected officials that fail to perform their fiduciary duties. Obviously, no one has "supervised" the contract negotiators and arbitrators for a long time. Seems their ONLY interest has been how much more to compensate based on how much more can be taxed--without realizing that taxation is LIMITED. It is shameful that we are taxing more than the people and the economy can afford. We can figure this out by looking at the unemployed and retired who have difficulty living on limited incomes. They'd have more resources if they hadn't been taxed so much while they were working. We see current politicians more concerned about bringing in more illegal immigrants than in going after employers of illegals. Giving work permits to almost a million illegals means they have a "right to work" which will sometimes to often eclipse your right to work. It is one thing to say you are interested in providing jobs but then your actions are to spend on non-job related programs--that is further COMPOUNDING THE JOBS Problem. Every dollar taxed and every dollar spent plus every dollar of deficit strains the economy further. There are good public servants but that does not mean their services are essential. There are public servants who perform well in essential jobs but that does NOT make them priceless. Their compensation must be reasonable in all respects. Now we have to make up for the poor performance of our elected officials and over-payments for decades. If we could immediately fix the over-compensation, we still have to pay off the deficits and obligations. That will continue to drain our economy. We need to do everything reasonable to allow our economy to function--to make up for all this past nonsense.

  23. Teamster:

    After all the times I tell you, you still get it wrong. I'm an independent. Always was and always will be. Gives me the option to vote for the best candidate regardless of party in the general elections.

    CarmineD

  24. Unions were relevant and necessary at one time. Not any more.

    CarmineD

  25. Independent in reality. One of the few around, I'm told. I've probably voted for more Dems than you and paid more in union dues. BTW, my dear wife is a Dem.

    You're living in the glory days of the past and you call me old.

    CarmineD

  26. @teamster...First off, you need to realize that a call to end public unions is not an attack on unions that represent private workers.Look at it this way, when any of the locals are negotiating a contract, do the owners get a vote as to whether or not the union accepts the terms? No, they don't. But with public unions,the workers are, in fact the owners. And look what happens when the workers asked themselves is they deserved more money. Of course the owners told themselves they deserved it and on and on it went until there was no more money.

    And before you launch your battle cry "WE WILL OUT VOTE THESE FOOLS IN NOVEMBER!!" consider that same sentiment echoed throughout Wisconsin a month ago. It was quickly swallowed up by the winds of fiscal responsibility.

  27. Teamster:

    It's not me that is anti-union that matters. It's the majority of Americans who are. You're the minority, the outcast, the dinosaur. And for all the wrong reason, your own self-aggrandizement. Americans who consistently are more and more anti-union have it right.

    Working conditions are bad here in Las Vegas for employees? Then what have you and your union buddies done about it for them?

    CarmineD

  28. El Lobo:

    What relevance does it have who I voted for in 1964? That's ancient history.

    I was a Chief Steward for AFSCME. Unions were relevant and necessary then. No more.

    You change with the times or you live in the past.

    Text/class room studies are a good thing. But they are not the only thing. Life lessons are important too. You still have a long way to go in that department.

    CarmineD

  29. El Lobo:

    You should try listening to other news sources beside CNN. You sound like their polly parrot repeating their news reports.

    Take note that after over 12 months of virtually ONLY Fox coverage, NBC finally, finally, on the evening news covered Eric Holder and the DOJ coverup. What took them so long?

    CarmineD

  30. @el lobo..."And before you launch your battle cry "WE WILL OUT VOTE THESE FOOLS IN NOVEMBER!!" consider that same sentiment echoed throughout Wisconsin a month ago. It was quickly swallowed up by the winds of fiscal responsibility."

    Not sure how you came up with that evaluation concerning the recent election in Wisconsin..."

    Is, "The entitled liberals in Wisconsin organizes a recall for the governor based on his attempt to break public unions. The pro-parasite faction filled the state with chants to 'vote him out.' They failed and those chants were lost in the wind."

    What make me sad is how teamster reinforces the concept of the uneducated union worker. He just can't get his mind around the very real concept that public unions are entirely different than unions representing private workers. And one can abhor one and not the other.

  31. Two defeats for unions in two weeks. At home in Wisconsin and abroad in Greece. Conservatives took both elections. CONSERVATIVES. Get use to it.

    Union fans are living in the over-the-hill glory days long past. Once a real necessity and useful, unions are no longer relevant. Even unionized employees vote for non-union candidates both home and abroad.

    UNIONS are dead/life-support.

    CarmineD