Last night I once again spent four hours in Bizzaro World. It was very hot inside and about the same hot outside, yet the exit from the city council meeting felt like a breath of fresh air.
Well, it did until a certain city official tracked me down as we stood outside in little groups to process what had happened. He wanted to take me to task for “not providing context” to my gym membership figures when I spoke at the last council meeting. Seems he felt I should have gone into detail about which portion comes from payroll deduction vs. how much from the city, etc.
Here is my context: NOT ONE DOLLAR FROM MY TAX MONEY SHOULD GO TO GYM MEMBERSHIPS FOR ALDERMEN AND THEIR FAMILIES WHILE WE ARE TALKING ABOUT CUTTING SOCIAL SERVICE ALLOCATIONS AND LAYING OFF PUBLIC SAFETY WORKERS.
Aahhhh, context-y goodness.
So Alderman Baker starts off with, “If we decide to honor the [firefighters’ union] contract…”
Yep, honoring real contracts appears to be optional now.
Then there’s the fake contract for management. Management has “agreed to” a wage freeze. Excuse me, but if you are thinking about laying off firefighters, you CUT wages for management. I know a guy in management who just got cut 20% — and if his salary had been just a few hundred more, he would have been cut 30%. SO THAT HIS ORGANIZATION CAN RETAIN FRONTLINE STAFF. This has not yet been done in DeKalb, so I don’t wanna hear anymore how we have “no other alternative” to public safety layoffs.
Can pecksniffery rot your brain? You decide. Alderman Naylor says council has been working hard to “right the ship” for two years, somehow forgetting that last year they allowed Community Development to get shiny new SUVs, handed out another generous management pay plan and approved the AFSCME contract with all the usual raises.
Which some of us begged you not to do. Which some of us predicted would lead to the need for layoffs this year.
There were several bizzaro-quality gems last night, from Mayor Povlsen comparing social services funding to buying an extra SUV, to Alderman Gallagher insinuating that a resident who doesn’t have all the details on the dumpster cam line item shouldn’t be commenting on it. If you have a fave, by all means share it here.