Dec 2, 2010

Rewarding Good Ideas

Last evening, City Councilman Michael Schlossberg voted to give Allentown's non-union managers a raise, for their good ideas. Michael also voted against the amended lower tax increase, favoring a higher increase by default. I didn't attend the meeting last night, but over the years I've met a few of the managers.* Where do I start, and how do I maintain my usual decorum of politeness? Lets start by asking if their jobs are necessary, considering nobody knows what they do? Lets say they don't work hard, but hardly work at all. Lets say they had their last idea in 1989, and it wasn't that good. Since they don't have to pick up a shovel, push a broom or change a lightbulb, are they not supposed to even have ideas? Is this raise for being slightly less than totally brain dead? Was I polite enough?

*I'm certain that there are indeed some city managers who work hard, and have good ideas. However, in this recession environment, I agree with Jeanette Eichenwald that now is not the time for a raise.


gary ledebur said...

MM, I agree that now is not the time for pay raises for anyone including civil servants. That being said, why do you mercilessly attack folks who are in public service. No one goes into public service to get rich. Many, and I believe most, do an excellent job under difficult conditions.

Imagine that when you were a landlord your tenants had a blog about you.

michael molovinsky said...

gary, landlords have always been insulted, regardless of performance. allentown even has a landlord of shame program on their website. can you imagine an official public servant of shame designation? you don't even approve of a private, informed taxpayer expressing criticism.

Local said...

An excellent job doing WHAT?
An excellent job performing an unaffordable, unneeded and unwanted task is not neccessary.
Allentown is in DEBT.
Local government needs to be cut back by at least twenty percent.
Cut useless services.
Any branch of government ending with bureau, agency, or authority needs to be ended.
Folks thinking otherwise are very likely members of the other welfare group - city employees.
The same bunch that prides themselves with trying to produce more and more income producing schemes and foist them on the public. This bloated group is sucking the life out tax payers.

monkey momma said...

In terms of non-union employees, this isn't a performance issue. This is simply a time when taxpayers are being asked to pay a lot MORE. You do not give raises to city employees when taxpayers are being told the hike in their taxes is to support existing obligations.

I am shocked there wasn't more debate among Council members regarding the EIT. PP&L, Armstrong, and everyone else opposing this hike have it right: this is a disincentive to work in Allentown, and it is a disincitive to locate a business in Allentown. That is exactly the opposite of what a long term planner would do. Instead, we are governed by folks who only care about the next year, at most.

I am extremely disappointed - I predict this will only make things worse for this town.

gary ledebur said...

My issue is the knee-jerk criticism of public servants. Evidently you and your readers have never been a civil servant. If you disagree as to whether they are needed or overpaid, fine. We live in a democracy that allows the people to elect their leaders. Condemn the voters, condemn the elected leaders. Don't condemn the person who works for a living. As for "an informed taxpayer expressing criticism" well it sounds more like the public did not like your mayoral platform, voted another way, and now you are taking it out on the winners. Fine, that is your prerogative, but before you state with enmity and hostility: "Lets say they don't work hard, but hardly work at all. Lets say they had their last idea in 1989, and it wasn't that good" stop and think that these folks could be your relatives, neighbors. Outrageous!

michael molovinsky said...

gary, i interacted with city hall long before i was a candidate, and spoke my mind then also; although you can't imagine it, there is long dead wood there, at taxpayer expense. apparently, you would never be a whistle blower.

gary ledebur said...

If there is so-called "dead wood" in city government the problem is with the elected official, the mayor. Don't blame the people who should not have been hired or are not managed appropriately. I worked as a public servant for two years for a mayor who, in my opinion, did not do a great job. That was not my fault. I worked with many folks who were not managed well. It was not their fault.

michael molovinsky said...

gary, hopefully there were some citizens who made the same observation, and had the courage to express themselves.

Anonymous said...

I believe the ones under attack with this post are the Progressive Liberal Democrat politicians, such as Schlossberg, who want to reward other politicians and bureaucrats for at tax payer expense some vague notion of "good ideas".

Gotta love Big Government!

(and all the Defenders)

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Johnny Mananas, the cornerstone of economic redevelopment according to Mayor Pawlowski, qualifies as a good idea in Schlossberg's mind?


ironpigpen said...

Alles Gute zum Channukah, Mr. Molovinsky.