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Salary of Downey Police Chief

April 08, 1993

Police Chief Gregory Clinton Caldwell was hired by the Downey City Council this week (Times, April 1) with an annual salary package of $97,000 and a bunch of perks. That's $10,000 a year more than D. Clayton Mayes was hired for for the same position just a couple of years ago.

At that time I spoke before the Downey City Council decrying the excessiveness of paying $87,000 a year for a politically appointed police chief.

Since then, our economy has gone into the Dumpster. Thousands upon thousands of jobs have been lost. National and state taxes have escalated significantly; home values in Downey have dropped dramatically. The cost of water, gas and electricity has jumped; we are losing our only national attraction (the oldest McDonald's) because of the shredded economy, and oh yes, crime in the city has gone down.

But the Downey City Council says, "Hey, let's spend $10,000 a year more for the new chief."

Do you see a little something disturbing in that way of thinking? Could it be . . . wrong? Shouldn't we be paying . . . less?

Now, sincerely, I'm not in any way knocking Chief Caldwell or his abilities, or especially his right to get the most money for his service. It's the American way.

I am, however, knocking a great deal the negotiating prowess of a city government that can only spend more, tax more and give less while the world around them is doing just the opposite.

HARRY POLGAR

Downey

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