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Published: Saturday, 11/23/2002

Can't support raise for head of port board

In response to the article on James Hartung's salary, it is difficult for me to support a raise for Mr. Hartung or for anyone at the Port Authority.

I know he oversees the port's water and air operations in Toledo, but I will only speak of the air side of things, as this is where my experience lies. I doubt it is much better on the seaside. These are just a few of the reasons I disagree:

All of the airlines are going broke, with tens of thousands who have lost their jobs, more with each passing week. Anyone employed by an airline has been affected: pilots, flight attendants, agents, and mechanics. Those lucky enough to hold their jobs have experienced huge pay cuts with productivity increases that force them to work longer hours for much less pay. Many, and we are talking thousands, have lost their homes, taken children out of college, and given up on their retirement dreams, all because the airline business is doing so poorly. One of the greatest facilitators of this decline is our government's policies toward - and I use the term with tongue in cheek - security. The airlines are expected to pay for this expensive, misguided, hysterical overreaction.

Tom Schlachter says it would be difficult to replace Mr. Hartung.

I disagree on the fundamental principle that we all can be replaced. I personally know several people from Toledo who would make an outstanding director for less money. I am sure any one of these people could gain the confidence of the board.

Come to think of it, I know there is a large pool of people who have been laid off recently who meet or exceed the qualifications for the job.

One has to consider, if under the present circumstances it would be prudent for the board, (government) to reward a servant of the people when the people (businesses) the Port Authority serves are barely hanging on and losing ground daily.

As they do in the private sector, streamline operations, right-size, trim costs, etc. That's what we are all doing.

WILLIAM JOSEPH DAVID

Perrysburg

Until we make all responsible for every dollar they borrow, we will continue to see a rise in bankruptcies. Both couples The Blade featured should be forced to sell their homes and have payroll deduction until their debts are paid off.

My wife and I make a decent income, have both cars paid off, and have no credit card debt. We also live in East Toledo with a house we can afford that will be paid in full shortly. It is called living within your means, not spending the almighty dollar before it is actually made.

It's called responsibility, people.

JOHN NEWIS

Raymer Street

I applaud the domestic partnership ordinance that Wade Kapszukiewicz is sponsoring and Roberta DeBoer for sharing the information in her column.

It is heartwarming and refreshing that the city of Toledo might offer benefits to employees who are unmarried partners in a committed, long-term relationship.

This is long overdue and will establish a fair policy for all if enacted.

HELENE HELBURN

Lost Creek Drive



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