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Speak Out 12/6/09

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Special treatment

I'D like to know why it's OK for Chris Rock to say we shouldn't delve into what happened with Tiger Woods, but it's OK with every other celebrity. Woods is no different from anybody else. He makes millions of dollars and he exposes himself to public scrutiny in endorsements. To treat him with kid gloves seems wrong to me.

Well-groomed

IF you want to see nicely groomed and well-dressed bank employees, go to the Bank of Advance. You will be amazed.

No more taxes

PEOPLE who want taxes raised ought to have to pay them. People on fixed incomes shouldn't have to pay more taxes. People like me who don't make hardly anything at all shouldn't have to pay taxes at all. You ought to try living on $750 a month. Shame on you for trying to increase my taxes.

Fun to watch

A turkey got a presidential pardon, so I think the Salahis, who invited themselves to the White House party, deserve a pardon. It's Christmas, the season of forgiving. I enjoy reality shows, so I hope the Salahis get a chance to make a living on TV. I enjoy these things that take our minds off our troubles. Consider the balloon boy. You can't tell me the National Guard didn't enjoy going on a wild goose hunt. It broke the monotony.

Credit protected

IN this shopping season we are hurried and stressed out, I made a purchase at Staples in Cape Girardeau on Nov. 27 and inadvertently either left my credit card there or lost it. Staples made sure no other charges were put on my credit card. I want to thank Staples for being conscientious in this busy season.

Broadway eyesores

NOTHING is being done about the eyesores on Broadway. I remember when the city had a building inspector who would decide if a building should be condemned and razed. He would notify the property owner and give the owner so many days to take care of the problem. If the deadline wasn't met, the city would fine the property owner. So much for the olden days.

School memories

IT is sad to see Washington School disappear day by day. All of us who attended the school have good memories. When I was in the first grade, Myrtle Schrader, school nurse for all the Cape Girardeau schools, came to our classroom and vaccinated us. Some of the boys cried. In the 1930s and 1940s Alice P. Curral and R.L. Sheets were the principals. Washington School had some great teachers. One of my favorites was Luther Hahs. I made a lot of friends while attending Washington School, and some are still around. I hope when the Washington School sign comes down it is put in a museum.

Pay issues

CAPE Girardeau County officials need to understand the difference between a "raise" and a "cost-of-living adjustment." A raise is given for merit or time in position and recognizes experienced workers for being better in their jobs than a new hire. Raises allow employees with five years of service to make more than someone just hired in an identical job. They should be given as appropriate whenever it can be financially managed by the employer. A cost-of-living adjustment is just that and should be based on an index. This year, maybe no COLA should be given, as with Social Security. A COLA applies to the entire pay scale, including existing employees but also the starting salary for future employees. I work for state government, and the state has forgotten the difference between the two. Employees with years of experience make the same amount as a new employee. That is wrong. Even as a conservative taxpayer, I don't want to see my county employees hurt the same way. I applaud anyone who recognizes the importance of employee pay, even in the hard times.

One or the other

WHICH is it? One says we're leaderless, apparently living in a state of anarchy. Another says President Obama is a totalitarian dictator.


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I completely agree with the post regarding COLA pay increases versus merit raises. I also am a state employee and am appauled at the amount of money we are expected to raise our families on. The sad reality is that when our salaries are divided up hourly, we make less than checkout people at Aldi's, yet we are responsible for assigning out millions of your tax dollars each year. For years it was my goal and dream to work for the state because you hear about the decent pay, the great retirement and the wonderful benefits package. The current reality of it is that daily I struggle with whether or not I would be financially better off on public assistance instead of working. Yes, we have insurance for our family at a costly price and then there isn't enough money left to pay for copays. My family has to budget out the $100-$150 left monthly after bills to buy groceries, gas, medicine, etc which is disheartening because I spend the majority of my week ensuring that families have about 4 to 5 times that amount just to buy groceries on with their food stamps. These are sad times, but to me one of the saddest parts about it is that people working for the system trying to help others make it through these tough times are getting left behind. I never thought I would see a day where the middle class is the new low class and the lower class members are living much better than those in the median because of their ability to receive assistance from so many programs. The idea of merit based raises is also gone as well because no matter how much more effort I put in than my peers, no raise system is in place for that either. Please forward this on to your congressmen and women - help state workers get their pay to a livable amount, please!

-- Posted by Tigger05 on Sun, Dec 6, 2009, at 9:29 AM

Having worked for a county government, I can tell you the pay isn't anything like people think. You DO get paid better outside of the government. I know this is not true of all, as I have seen some of the starting salaries for Federal employees but I'm not sure there is the security that once was thought to be.

Tiger Woods. I really would like to say enough is enough. You have brazen women that are proud enough to want to make sure their name is remembered as the 'other woman' in his life. What happened to values and shame? There was a time that it was a shame to be involved with a married person. Now, these women want their 15 minutes of fame. Beautiful women or pinheads? Your choice.

-- Posted by LiveAnotherDay on Sun, Dec 6, 2009, at 9:51 AM

Tigger05,

I fully understand what you are saying as at my retirement, Missouri State Employees were the lowest paid in the country. This came about over time as for part of my career pay was close to private sector employees.

I will give you the same advice that I gave those under my direct supervision. If you are still young and aren't in too deep, IE, too much time in service and too old to get to retirement elsewhere, get out.

If there is no federal equivalent, go to the private sector. Even the federal system doesn't compare to the private sector except in Law Enforcement. Several of mine went Federal LEO.

Education beyond a BS/BA is irrelevant as there is often no differential and many of our people were Masters level with no differential.

I would not recommend working for the state of Missouri, idealism won't feed your family.

-- Posted by Red_Rhino on Sun, Dec 6, 2009, at 10:48 AM

Red_Rhino: I have been told by some of my friends that work, for the State of Missouri that Missouri State Employees are the lowest paid in the Union is that true?

-- Posted by swampeastmissouri on Sun, Dec 6, 2009, at 12:36 PM

Special Treatment-

I think we should leave them all alone. I am not fascinated by celebrities because they are, for the most part, just like us. They eat, poop, **** and have insecurities just like us. How would you like to have your life examined under a microscope? I would hate it if every time I walked out of my front door there were 20 cameras in my face. And God forbid I walk out of the house in sweatpants!

-- Posted by kellyma82 on Sun, Dec 6, 2009, at 12:37 PM

swampeastmissouri,

Those were the figures I had as of a year ago. For a while we were ahead of Mississippi, but dropped to the last.

In my Department there was a move to eliminate the requirement for a bachelor's degree. Since I left, five positions have been lost due to budget cuts.

Some people will be unconcerned by cuts, but as a result there are people on the streets that should be in prison with the "Zero Population Growth" policy in effect.

The situation at DSS is very poor also with some administrators attempting to do two jobs.

-- Posted by Red_Rhino on Sun, Dec 6, 2009, at 12:49 PM

Tigger: Over the past few months as we all know the State of Missouri has laid off a lot of people therefore according to my friends in State Government have created a back log of cases for the employees that didn't get laid off, because they don't have enough help during the very difficult economic times which people are demanding more from their State, I have also been told the State is "top heavy" with people making $70,000.00 or more in annual salary and they are never included in the lay-offs that all the lay-offs have occurred with State Employees making between $18,000 to $35,000.00 annually, basically the front line soldiers

-- Posted by swampeastmissouri on Sun, Dec 6, 2009, at 12:50 PM

Red

Here ya go. Missouri 49th. Geez.

http://www.afscmewv.org/news_and_updates...

I had an uncle that retired from MODOT. I almost went to work for them. In the 70's and early 80's the highway department people did OK and but had a great retirement system in place that was flush with cash. I have noticed the news reports saying the fund is in trouble. Was it mismanagement?

-- Posted by Wiff on Sun, Dec 6, 2009, at 1:34 PM

Sorry Red I meant to say those numbers were 2006.

-- Posted by Wiff on Sun, Dec 6, 2009, at 1:37 PM

Mr. Wiffle,

At one point we were last, don't remember if it was the year before or after. Some departments were better than others, but the overall figure for all state workers.

In the 80's I had a friend who was an Engineer for MODOT. Toward the end of the fiscal year, they were often told to "burn up" excess funds or they would be unable to justify funding on the same level for the following fiscal year. They set about designing projects they knew would never be done because money designated for one purpose could not be used for anything else.

All governmental entities mismanage money to some extent whether due to statutory regulations or incompetence. Well maybe some I don't know about do a good job; just never heard of it first hand.

Find a retired MSHP Trooper and find out about the number of times weapons have been replaced as well as perfectly good cars being replaced at 40k.

My Department lost a boatload of money by having computers specially built to save a little money, but they never worked right and all had to be replaced with Dell which should have been done in the first place. I won't go into more.

DSS had similar problems with computers.

-- Posted by Red_Rhino on Sun, Dec 6, 2009, at 2:14 PM

RE: Fun To Watch - Maybe the White House party crashers were simply hungry. Times are tough and I understand that that is a nice spread they have over at the WH. With so many people out of work, maybe it is time for more folks to crash more White House parties.

In regards to the balloon boy hoax; I don't know why the parents have to do time for lying and wasting public resources. Politicians do it all the time and we just re-elect them.

-- Posted by Lumpy on Sun, Dec 6, 2009, at 3:08 PM

Here is a novel idea, if I didn't like how much money I was making at a job, I would quit and go to work somewhere else! Not complain about how much I am making for yrs and yrs.

-- Posted by John in Jackson on Sun, Dec 6, 2009, at 3:40 PM

John in Jackson,

I have found that most people complain about how much/little they make. In some cases it is justified and in some it is not.

-- Posted by Red_Rhino on Sun, Dec 6, 2009, at 4:01 PM

Red

Do they get rid of the patrol; cars by miles or age? I know the HP needs very dependable cars but It takes a long time to wear out a gun.

As far as computers look at the IRS. They wasted about 20 million on a new system that never worked and was trashed.

-- Posted by Wiff on Sun, Dec 6, 2009, at 7:42 PM

Mr. Wiffle,

I don't know about recently, but they used to sell them to other agencies when they hit 40k. We use to buy them, but in the past few years have gone to more economical vehicles.

You really don't wear out a 686 or G22. My friend is a Sgt. and he wasn't sure why the quick turnover, but this was a few years ago.

Lots of Departments waste money as does private industry; worked there too.

I am back out; already posted more and more often than I should.

-- Posted by Red_Rhino on Sun, Dec 6, 2009, at 11:14 PM

I am truly amazed at the fascination and wasted resources on the Tiger Woods fall from grace.

I am not a supporter of his behavior. However, there are far more important issues facing us today. I am not a golf fan or supporter. I will not purchase products or services sponsoring Tiger. The best way to show your disdain just quietly refrain from supporting these arrogant folks.....do not spend your hard-earned money on the support of them or their sponsored products/servics.

-- Posted by Balmy on Sun, Dec 6, 2009, at 11:38 PM


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