Or so we are led to believe. But our public employees come first, of course.
At last night’s council meeting the discussion rolled around to what to do with $34,000.000 that will be coming Fullerton’s way courtesy of the federal governments latest orgy of largesse. Fred Jung opened the discussion with an emphasis that the City’s massive infrastructure debt be addressed. That sentiment was echoed by Councilman Dunlap and Mayor Whitaker.
Then the predictable began.
Ahmad Zahra cautioned that there might be restrictions on the money of which we are unaware and not to “count our eggs.” Of course this is code for: protect our employees.
At the 5 hour and 20 minute mark, Jesus Silva raised the topic of making our employees whole for their wonderful pay reduction sacrifices during the pandemic; City Manager Domer, reminded the council that the various bargaining units had taken pay cuts with the understanding that they would be reimbursed when new revenue was discovered (Measure S passage, no doubt, or failing that more fed bailout).
And that’s where the discussion wandered off into bureaucratic miasma with nothing resolved and no policy established. Once again the proverbial can was kicked down the road for another day.
Yet one thing is crystal clear. A public that has suffered itself tremendously over the past year, financially, psychologically, and personally is very likely to be on the hook to recompense public employees whose incomes, jobs, health insurance, and overall well-being was guaranteed (by us) throughout.
And that’s just the way it is.