||Including the City of Corunna, Village of New Lothrup, Caledonia township north
of the river,
Hazelton township, New Haven township and north Venice township
July 31, 2006
Original letter as submitted to the editors of the Argus
Press, the Shiawassee Independent and the Flint Journal.
My name is Jack Johnson, and I am the Democratic candidate
for District 3, County Commissioner. I have concerns over a re-classification
given, to alleviate the responsibilities of our elected representatives. I
question where this money is going to come from.
If you polled the elected and mandated offices in the
county, how many would report that they are doing more? As more legislation,
rules or mandates come into the county from our Legislature, everyone’s job is
becoming more complex. Every office is asked to do more with the same or less.
That is not just a condition in the county, but everywhere. People are losing
jobs, losing health care and retirement benefits, taking cuts in pay. The
general population is asked to pay more for less… more for groceries, more for
gas. What salaries, services or programs are going to be cut to accommodate the
budget increase? What services or programs are going to be sacrificed just when
they may be needed most?
I would like to see everyone get the raise they deserve,
including every citizen in this county. But there is always the question of
where the money comes from.
It is entirely probable that the Board of Commissioners has
granted every re-classification request that has come before them, as indicated
by the chair, Mike Fuja. But I would ask the Commissioners to also look
historically at how those re-classifications were implemented. I believe that
when the re-classification constituted a large wage increase, they were started
at the bottom of the scale, and worked their way back up to the 3 year level, no
matter how many years they had worked. This would seem prudent in order to fund
the increase at a reasonable level over a period of three years as structured in
the pay scale.
I believe everyone should be paid well. You keep quality
personnel by allowing for good pay and benefits. I also know that every one I
talk to has had to make decisions regarding their own expenses. What to leave
in, what to leave out. Can I afford it? Do I really need it to survive?
While acknowledging that a good employee deserves a good
salary, the Commissioners should also acknowledge that they understand how hard
this is for the average taxpayer of Shiawassee County to accept. Do the
Commissioners understand that the same people who fund these positions don’t
have the luxury of just rearranging their employer’s budgets to fund their
raises? Dignity, a universal Human Right, is circumvented when the citizens of
Shiawassee County are not acknowledged and respected.
District 3 County Commissioner Democratic Candidate
US Senator Carl Levin