Premium Public Employment era is coming to an end

When I hear that the Gilroy Fire Department union leadership is
flat-out rejecting good-faith city efforts to re-open contract
negotiations, it’s an absolute wonder … so buried in the sand
that it can only be arrogance. Look around guys, layoffs,
concessions, foreclosures and government deficits abound.
Unfortunately, it seems the only solution for the city is to take a
hard-line approach. First step is to rescind binding arbitration.
But the real City Council vote should be to disband the city’s
department entirely, thereby voiding any contracts and seek
consolidation with CAL FIRE or county fire. Cupertino contracts out
for both fire and police. The costs are far, far less and the
customers (the residents) are happy. Just ask Cupertino Vice Mayor
Gilbert Wong. Gilroy’s fiscal crisis is going to be a litmus test
for Council candidates. Russ
– (who said Rusty) – Valiquette and Dion Bracco are both going
to run. Both have been there and done the job. But that’s not going
to be good enough any longer. Creative ideas and firm stances
necessary, or take a pink slip …
When I hear that the Gilroy Fire Department union leadership is flat-out rejecting good-faith city efforts to re-open contract negotiations, it’s an absolute wonder … so buried in the sand that it can only be arrogance. Look around guys, layoffs, concessions, foreclosures and government deficits abound. Unfortunately, it seems the only solution for the city is to take a hard-line approach. First step is to rescind binding arbitration. But the real City Council vote should be to disband the city’s department entirely, thereby voiding any contracts and seek consolidation with CAL FIRE or county fire. Cupertino contracts out for both fire and police. The costs are far, far less and the customers (the residents) are happy. Just ask Cupertino Vice Mayor Gilbert Wong. Gilroy’s fiscal crisis is going to be a litmus test for Council candidates. Russ – (who said Rusty) – Valiquette and Dion Bracco are both going to run. Both have been there and done the job. But that’s not going to be good enough any longer. Creative ideas and firm stances necessary, or take a pink slip …

Want to send a pink slip to every member of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate? Well, it costs just $55 and a grassroots conservative organization is more than happy to help. Fire up your missives at www.teaparty.org. Don’t agree with everything on the tea party list, but less government spending, lower taxes and a balanced national budget sure represent common sense to me.

This news item doesn’t seem like common sense, but perhaps it is:

“A small, high-poverty school district in Rhode Island is now ground zero for some of the most explosive debates over reforming America’s worst-performing schools.

To the dismay of many local and national union members, all the teachers, the principal, and other staff of Central Falls High School were fired by the board of trustees this week. The move is part of a dramatic turnaround plan proposed by the superintendent and approved by the state education commissioner.

Because of pressure from the Obama administration – and the incentive of billions of federal dollars – more such cases are likely to arise across the United States in the coming year.”

Could it happen in our town? It’s entirely possible …

Possible, but unlikely that Gilroy Councilman Peter Arellano will drop his race for county supervisor. He should … What does it say about the level of local support when Art Barron, Cat Tucker and Efrain and Claudia Coria are co-hosting a fund-raising event for candidate Teresa Alvarado? Says a lot for her (as does the endorsement from Councilman Perry Woodward), and it’s a strong statement that Arellano has no shot. The June battle will likely end up with former Los Gatos Mayor Mike Wasserman pitted against Alvarado in a run-off. A South County candidate who can’t muster vigorous local support is doomed.

Maybe not doomed, but District Attorney Dolores Carr has a serious election challenge on her hands from hard-working Deputy DA Jeff Rosen. Surprised that the Deputy Sheriffs Association has given its endorsement to Rosen who is an active campaigner and is mounting a serious threat … more to come on this race …

No mas when it comes to getting a new post office in our town, and the same no mas most assuredly for Saturday delivery because, drum roll, please … the United States Postal Service expects a $7 billion shortfall this fiscal year and … compensation and benefits make up about 80 percent of costs. Remember the Great Communicator Ronald Reagan and the air traffic controllers? That’s what needs to happen with USPS – and, unfortunately, with Gilroy Fire. The Premium Public Employment era – and by that I mean plus 30 percent over the private sector in pay and benefits – is coming to a screeching halt.

Halt the madness is exactly what Gilroy voters can do if they get the opportunity – which they should – to vote on binding arbitration for city public safety employees. The Council should put this on the ballot and strongly consider placing two separate items: 1.) Should the binding arbitration section in the city charter be rescinded for fire department personnel? and 2.) Should the binding arbitration section in the city charter be rescinded for police department personnel? Let the people decide if there should be a differentiation.

No differentiation between the weather at the Jeff Garcia Golf Tournament a few years back and Saturday’s hailstorm. Went to hit some golf balls at Eagle Ridge about 1:45 p.m. and the skies sent their own golf balls hailing down. Hopefully, Mike Hoshida, bucket in hand on the way down to the range, got a refund.

Never a refund necessary at the incomparable 30th annual Gilroy Athletic Association Cioppino Feed and Dance. Mark the GOOD TIMES calendar for Saturday, May 8 … 10 or more tickets are only $45 each. Tickets at Gilroy High or online at: http://gilroyhs.schoolloop.com. Email AD Jack Daley for info at [email protected] Buy early.

Leave your comments