Posted by cms, a resident of another community, on Apr 11, 2011 at 3:57 pm
the Town manager should start applying for all the other managerial positions elsewhere; she has the right. While there are many public positions available, I don't think most of Portola Valley public employees really want to jump ship. If he or she does, it will be due to an "Errosion" of hapiness at the workplace. That comes from the top down. Also, Ms. Howard, you are seeing what most towns will be doing fiscally to stay within budget. Welcome to the real world. Sharpen the pencil.
Posted by ptd, a resident of the Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley neighborhood, on Apr 11, 2011 at 4:32 pm
Have to agree with cms...the ultimate irony is that the tax revenues that pay these cadillac benefits are sourced from private individuals and business that can't obtain or afford to offer these rich benefits themselves. Public employees should not be shielded from the economic reality that affects their constituencies.
Posted by Joe, a resident of the Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park neighborhood, on Apr 11, 2011 at 4:53 pm
The "economic reality that affects their constituencies" is a distortion promulgated by the right that this country is in dire straits when in fact it is the result of a very successful and concentrated redistribution of wealth upward.
As Michael Moore noted in Wisconsin, this is not a poor country. This is country in which the wealth has been transferred away from the commons and into private hands.
We don't have to act on greed. That's why we have intelligence and compassion, to grasp the points that there are things more important than "do I have mine?" The rich derive more benefits from the liberal democracy and the rule of law than their tax dollars pay for, a chief one being a tranquil society.
There are penalties for creating a plutocracy, as can be seen in Egypt and the rest of those societies in which the distribution of wealth is egregiously unbalanced. I wonder what it's going to take to send people out into the streets here?
Posted by peter carpenter, a resident of the Atherton: Lindenwood neighborhood, on Apr 11, 2011 at 7:41 pm peter carpenter is a member (registered user) of Almanac Online
All of the local jurisdictions have been playing the game of comparing their salaries to each other and then insisting that their employees be paid above this average. If everyone is paid above the average guess what happens - the average soars.
Town Manager Angie Howard, in a staff report, said she opposes the committee's recommendation for now, citing competitive pressure from other towns that offer better benefits to their employees.
"If the town were to further reduce its overall compensation and benefit package, this would continue to erode the town's competitiveness in attracting and retaining employees," she said in a staff report." Baloney - how many highly qualified applicants would we have if every position was put up for bid?
I believe that our local public service employees, while valuable and competent, are being paid at least 20% more than their private sectors counterparts based on skill, experience and responsibilities. And they have a dramatically better defined benefit retirement program.
Something has to change or our local governments will go broke. If new labor agreements that are sustainable cannot be negotiated then contract out those services.
Posted by jackrabbit, a resident of the Portola Valley: Westridge neighborhood, on Apr 11, 2011 at 8:14 pm
Agree with Peter C. There are loads of qualified people looking for work ... and Portola Valley is a real plum. Ms. Howard, unfortunately, is the embodiment of the Peter Principle as called out by Mr. Carpenter. Good luck Ms. Howard finding anything even close to resembling what you have given your track record.
Posted by ptd, a resident of the Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley neighborhood, on Apr 12, 2011 at 12:14 pm
Raise my taxes, Joe, to pay for public employee wages and benefits that are not available to me and you'll see me "in the streets". People love conspiracy theories about the "rich" (always that other guy out there that should be transfering his wealth to us through the government). How appropriate that you mention Michael Moore who has used "us and them" conspiracy movies to become very rich himself. His compassion grows with every million he makes, I'm sure. The job market is competitive and I'm afraid that Portola Valley will find that for every employee who does not appreciate a job with good benefits that they contribute to, there will be several others very pleased to take their place. Believe it or not, the security and rule of law we value in this country comes from the people, not the government. We submit to those ideals because they come from our vote and our actions as citizens. And, I for one, wish to contribute to a government expected to see it's place as servant rather than overlord. You do nothing for the poor by damaging their economy with oppressive taxation--worse if you do it to support a separate entitled class of civil servants.
Posted by cms, a resident of another community, on Apr 12, 2011 at 5:12 pm
Everybody above should go to the council meeting tomorrow night. Let the council, who hires the city manager, know how you really feel. Maybe she would stop making press statements until those who hired her speak his or her mind