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Broken Promise

May 24, 1994

The April 26 edition published an article headlined "Flynn, VanderKolk to Rescind Salary Cuts for Their Assistants." Within the article, it mentioned that these supervisors were submitting paperwork to reinstate the full salaries of their assistants. Furthermore, their executive aides could have their car allowances reinstated retroactively, and at that time, Flynn's secretary had already received approximately $1,200 in back car allowance, and that the requests from aides for Supervisors VanderKolk and Howard were about to be approved.

Excuse me! Are Flynn and VanderKolk not the very same supervisors who last year distributed to the news media (before sharing with their colleagues) a list of 15 absolutely Draconian reductions in salaries and benefits for all county employees as well as a host of other suggestions? Did not this list cause overwhelming anxiety and loss of morale and a great deal of upset for weeks?

If the Board of Supervisors was going to accept a reduction similar to the one they were asking all other departments to take, five positions would be lost, or some other alternative had to be found. Didn't each member of all five staffs voluntarily agree to the reduction so that none of their colleagues had to go out the door?

Are we not just two months away from when next year's budget will be deliberated and adopted?

If all five offices agreed to this reduction, are we to infer from this newest development that only two members of the board are willing to stick to a commitment they have made to the public that elected them? And where are the kudos for Supervisors Lacey and Kildee who, along with their staffs, have restated their intent to honor that commitment?

To have three supervisors renege on their commitment a mere two months before budget hearings are scheduled is appalling. Maybe these salaries, hours and car allowances should be reinstated. I personally think so. However, it should be done in public view during budget hearings and no part of the reduction should be retroactive.

Those staff members going back on the deal ought to be ashamed of themselves and of their bosses.

I feel pretty betrayed by my colleagues at this point. Knowing their staffs would now be the only ones subjected to the reduced salary and benefits must have made the decision by Supervisors Lacey and Kildee all the more difficult. I for one am very proud to be working for Supervisor Lacey.

JOAN F. PROVINCE

Ventura

Joan Province is senior administrative assistant to Supervisor Susan K. Lacey.

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