Thursday, February 19, 2009
Monterey Mayor Responds
A letter published in the Weekly (“Salary-Flation in Monterey?” Feb.5-11) had many inaccuracies about salaries in the city of Monterey. In 2008, the city had 114 employees who earned more than $100,000 (including overtime), not 144 as the letter claimed. Of those 114 employees, 70 worked in public safety, primarily police and fire, where overtime for things like booking someone who has been arrested or ensuring minimum staffing in the fire department, puts earnings above $100,000. There were 34 non-executive employees and 10 executives, who earned over $100,000 last year. It has been the city’s practice to set its salaries at “average” when compared with the labor markets it competes in.
The letter also claimed Monterey should not renew four former part-time department heads consulting contracts to save $350,000. In reality, that idea would cost the city over $300,000 more than we spend today, and we would have to replace experienced city staff willing to work part-time with full-time staff.
Monterey’s executives agreed to postpone a 3 percent cost-of-living increase a few months ago to help deal with our budget problems. The city is working with department heads, employees, citizens, businesses and boards and commissions to re-balance Monterey’s finances. I appreciate everyone’s suggestions and want to make sure our community discussion about the budget includes accurate information.Chuck Della Sala | Mayor of Monterey
While squids are known for their keen sense of smell, I really think you should have relied on other senses – like COMMON SENSE – before you wrote about smelling “job insecurity” at Asilomar. Why didn’t you contact Local 483?
If you had made that call, you would have discovered that the union had planned for just this possibility YEARS ago, and worked to get language into the State Parks Request for Proposals, protecting the workers’ jobs and their union contract, in the event another management company won the contract. Because of that work, Aramark has committed to keeping the workers in their current positions, and in the event Aramark cuts jobs or rearranges them differently from Delaware North, the company will give first opportunity to displacedworkers for other positions, even offering training to make for a successful fit. In addition, Aramark has committed to assuming the current UNITE HERE Local 483 contract. There are about 180 unionized workers at Asilomar – the others to which you refer may be management, whose jobs may indeed be insecure.
We have talked in-person, held many meetings, and sent a mailing to Asilomar workers about this, but we hope you can correct the misleading information for others in the community. We haven’t informed the public, as we were waiting for the outcome of the Delaware North appeal process.
And please see somebody about your nose/olfactory organs, or whatever the hell you use to smell, ’cause it ain’t workin’.Mark Weller | Seaside