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Taxpayers Ignored

April 21, 1993

Who is watching out for the taxpayer in Ventura County?

At the last meeting of the county's Budget Committee, there was a report from the Labor/Management Committee regarding the proposals by Supervisors Flynn and VanderKolk to cut benefits and salaries. To the surprise of no one, the committee rejected nearly all of the proposals. It comes as no surprise when one considers that both labor and management enjoy the lucrative benefits. But who speaks for the taxpayer? John Flynn and Maria VanderKolk tried, but with little success.

The Labor/Management Committee did agree that county employees should not receive both a car allowance as well as mileage, and they agreed that the car allowance should be dropped, with one stipulation; the allowance should be rolled into base salary. Obviously, such a move is of no benefit in attempting to reduce the budget, so we wonder why they would make such a recommendation. The answer is hidden from public view.

Last month, the county Board of Retirement discontinued the practice of including the car allowance for determining retirement benefits. Voila. We simply take the allowance, put it into base salary, and it adds to the pension.

H. JERE ROBINGS

Ventura

Robings is president of the Ventura County Alliance of Taxpayers

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