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Prioritize Services

April 16, 1993

I am a legal research attorney with the county of Ventura. I sat through most of the Board of Supervisors' hearing on March 30 regarding the Flynn-Vanderkolk proposal (after working overtime to complete my work first). One point was made repeatedly, but was not reported in the newspaper. Those "perks" the proposal would cut were given to us in place of cost-of-living salary increases over the years, not in addition to them. They are not "gravy," they are the bread-and-butter. As a result, the cut proposed would equal 20% to 27% of our compensation, not 5%.

We receive "annual leave" credits, which include vacation, sick leave, emergency family leave, etc. However, we have little opportunity to use it, because now there is no money to pay anyone to take our places when we are not there. We have earned that money. This proposal would deprive us of getting it, either in the form of time off or of money.

It is unreasonable to expect the same level of services with an already greatly reduced and demoralized workforce. The solution is to prioritize the services that the county offers and to cut those that we, as taxpayers, can no longer afford. As one county employee said, you can't go into the market and give the cashier $75 for $100 worth of groceries. Likewise, you can't go to the county government and expect to buy $100 worth of services, yet give the employees only $75. It just won't work.

NORENE SCOTT

Ventura

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