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Thursday, Aug. 31, 2006 | Re: “Why an MEA General Manager Now?” They are paying Judi Italiano’s $120,000 General Manager fee by raising the agency fees to employees forced to be part of the union who do not want to be. Italiano has developed amnesia about something else … she blames Aguirre for the pension mess but forgets he was not in office when she and her cohorts participated in sanctioning deals that benefited her and her friends and politicians and city management excessively and now are draining the city coffers. When the city decides city employees have to pay more into the pension fund, it will not be the architects of the bad deal that suffer, it will be current working employees, many of whom did not participate or have a voice in the original deal. The architects will continue to benefit from the pensions, and the current employees will be pushed out of the city because they will not be able to afford to pay into a system of rewards for a privileged few and continue to live on a shrinking paycheck. I don’t mind paying my fair share. I mind paying for Italiano’s share and her consultant fee, too. I don’t want the next generation to be paying off bonds to pay for her, I don’t want my taxes raised to pay for her, I don’t want to pay union dues into her pockets, I don’t want my salary to be taken to support her. None of this I want … but she gets to call the shots around MEA and the Board Members appear to have to interest in making useful changes.

I’m a city worker, and I am forced to pay MEA agency fees, but do not mistake me for someone who sanctions what is going on with Italiano and her family business (remember, she has a number of family members drawing a paycheck from MEA, and the employees are paying for that too).

I’ve lost all respect for the union and particularly for Italiano.

I remember Italiano at the beginning of her career when it seemed as if she cared more for employees than feathering her own nest. Times have changed. MEA rules through threats and harassment, and making Aguirre into a paper devil. But I speak the truth as I know it. And I am very sad that it has come to this.

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