Friday, Jan. 12, 2007 | Mayor Sanders said that 2007 was going to be a year of action, and it would take many years to get real solvency. This year the residents would start feeling the reduction in services. We would notice that we are getting less for our tax dollars. Most of us have seen the potholes, the sewage spills, the water main breaks, the unions running ads for higher pay. Mayor Sanders ran for office stating that he would have the unions back to the bargaining table within days of taking office, it has been well past a year. I know that the police and city will start negotiations soon for a new contract. It seems to me that the real road to city solvency will began when our long term obligations (pensions and healthcare) are reined in. We hear of hundreds of being laid off, while we employ over 10,000. It is easy to cut 10 percent of payroll, but at the same time we still offer the same retirement plans. I hear that the drop plan will end someday, but I also hear that employees are still signing up for “DROP.”

I worked for a dying big cap company, every couple of years we had another round of cuts. It was horrible for the associates. You survived one round got comfortable, then here comes another round of cuts. You didn’t want to buy that new house or car, because you weren’t secure in your future. You watched friends leave, many to good jobs, and you got older. The city employees went to work there for job security, they deserve to get this issue behind them. Their union leaders won’t lose their jobs, they won’t wonder each year if their job will be eliminated. The city workers should be demanding they get back to bargaining, get a reasonable and secure retirement package. Get out from the threat of job loss for next 10-20 years. The taxpayers are not going to wait and watch reduction in services year after year, this is the time of the 30 minute solution, they wanted action yesterday, we demand action today, or there will be real anger tomorrow!

I want fairly paid city employees, with retirements on par with the private sector. No more $1,000,000 drop checks, no more retirements at 120 percent of highest pay. Former city leaders promised too much and we need to get back to reality.

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