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Published: Tuesday, 3/16/2010

Public workers no exception

There is plenty of blame to go around for Toledo’s financial mess.

Citizens do not want cuts in services, yet no one wants a raise in taxes or fees (“Layoffs inevitable, city officials believe,” March 13). You can’t have it both ways.

The previous administration, along with City Council, saddled the city with labor contracts it cannot afford. One glaring example is the minimum staffing provisions in the firefighters’ contract that have prevented the city from making necessary cuts.

Mayor Mike Bell is trying hard to balance the budget with proposals that few approve. He was elected mayor and now needs support that he’s not getting.

The mayor is not infallible, however. He proposed a rise in the city income tax that would have resulted in a significant increase in revenue with minimal pain. He was forced to withdraw this proposal when everyone learned of his ill-timed and poorly planned idea to give raises to some employees.

In the private sector, employees do the work of several people. Companies lose good employees because they cannot pay enough. Those firms still survive. If city employees are truly dedicated, they won’t leave because such raises aren’t feasible right now.

The city’s facing financial ruin, but greedy city employees and the greedy unions that represent them would rather file grievances and lawsuits, even when the issue is minor.

In the private sector, employees are paying more for health insurance. Benefits are dwindling. Public sector employees shouldn’t be immune from sacrifices that might save their jobs or the job of a fellow employee.

Ron Craig


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