6 percent Edgewater raise request ludicrous

The 6 percent wage hikes the union representing 80 employees of Edgewater government sought were not granted. It is outrageous they asked in the first place in these hard economic times when taxpayers are losing their homes. When things get tough and people in the business community start getting laid off in large numbers. You see headlines such as Boeing to lay off 15 percent of its work force or General electric to lay off thousands. What I would like to know is why we don’t read about thousands of government employees laid off at the federal, state and local level. Not only does no one get laid off from government, but they even want higher pay while the taxpayer is struggling to stay afloat. Let me suggest an alternate plan: Instead of giving every the public work force a 3-6 percent raise like they were asking for in Edgewater (getting the lower figure instead)how about trimming the work force to its fighting weight and then giving the remainder a really nice raise like 20 percent. To get a handle on what fighting weight might be consider the town of Encorse, Mich. Due to a bankruptcy condition the city government was put in the hands of a bond expert who could operate without political pressures. He privatized as many functions as he could except police and firemen. The result was a city employment list of 18 people outside of police and firemen. Since Encorse had about 11,000 people and New Smyrna and Edgewater each have about 20,000, New Smyrna Beach and Edgewater could conceivably get down to approximately 33 employees each. Then we could easily give them big raises. Nobody expects anything like this to happen any time soon. However, for starters I would suggest that now is a horrible time for anyone paid with taxpayer money to ask for a big raise -- certainly not 6 percent.