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Giving Credit where Credit is Due!

Friday, February 5, 2010
posted by Jerome Stocks

I must give credit to the North County Times editorial board for having the integrity and honor to very boldly publish a correction for a previously published misleading piece. They didn’t hide it on the page two “corrections” blurb, they put it right out there in the editorial section where the error occurred. If this type of responsive and admirable journalistic character  and integrity were the norm in the mainstream media, I believe the public would have far more respect for it, and they would have far more credibility with the public. Thank you North County Times for doing the right thing.  You make me proud to be a subscriber and occasional Community Forum contributer!

From this mornings North County Times Editorial page : Editorial correction in italics below.

CORRECTION

Exec’s pay hike $10,000 per year; was misstated. A “raspberry” published Monday inadequately described the nature of a raise awarded to San Diego Association of Governments Executive Director Gary Gallegos by the Agencies board Jun. 22. The board acted to extend Gallegos’ existing contract for three years with a $10,000 raise in his base salary each year for a total of a $30,000 increase.. His current contract includes a similar raise for the next two years. As a result of the board’s action, Gallegos’ salary will increase by $50,000 during the next five years. The original “Raspberry” characterized the increase as “a $50,000 raise”. We apologize.

On another note, one of the email exchanges from one of the editor’s referenced my earlier post regarding this issue on this very blog, SDRostra.com.  Could it be that our humble site is viewed as a source of information from the powers that be? Interesting…

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11 Responses to “Giving Credit where Credit is Due!”

  1. Thor's Assistant Rostra Administrator (Thor's Assistant) says:

    Here is the earlier Councilman Stocks post…
    http://sdrostra.com/?p=2900

  2. Could it be that our humble site is viewed as a source of information from the powers that be? Interesting…

    Well, this North County Times reporter keeps an eye on what SD Rostra says, and alerts editors to pertinent info. And I will continue to do so.

  3. Thor's Assistant Rostra Administrator (Thor's Assistant) says:

    Brad, one of the reasons we’ve always considered you a smart and thorough journalist. The UT could take a lesson.

  4. That was supposed to be:

    (blush)

  5. SB says:

    How much money does a SANDAG manager need to make? We can’t find someone who will do a kick ass job of implementing the policies the SANDAG board develops for $200,000 a year? If Gary left, SANDAG would fall apart? Gary could not be replaced?

  6. a.j.foytunate says:

    “Are the editors merely envious of a highly compensated extremely competent individual who is serving our region admirably?”

    The quote above is from your previous post pointing out the errors in the NCT editorial Raspberry. And I would say that this citizen is envious of Mr. Gallegos. As a working stiff in the private sector, I had more than one involuntary reduction in my compensation during the last year. What politician in their right mind would approve extending a civil servant’s employment agreement for three years when there were two remaining, especially when it included an automatic raise?

    La Mesa Mayor Madrid had it right when he provided this quote to the U-T: “It really just indicates to the public that we really don’t give a damn about what they think.”

  7. Interesting Comments says:

    I believe in paying for performance. If Gallegos is exceptional in his performance, and by all accounts he is, whhy begrudge the man a contractually agreed upon pay raise?
    For a “center right” blog, the comments above by SB and a.j.foytunate seem wayyyyyyyy left to me.

    Interesting comments…

  8. a.j.foytunate says:

    Huh? Interesting comment, indeed. Since when is questioning public sector pay raises–and contract extensions–when the private sector is reeling from pay cuts during these tough economic times considered “wayyyyyyyy left”? Seems like some fairly straightforward fiscal conservatism.

    Mr. Gallegos has a job and his base salary alone is pretty freakin’ hefty, though it seems to be in line with others who do the same thing. His contract also provides for a raise so long as he doesn’t do anything to get fired. In other words, he doesn’t need to have an “exceptional performance” to get his raise. From the comments of the Board members that spoke about this subject, Mr Gallegos does a great job, so he appears to be earning his raise each year.

    However, why extend the contract for three years now–especially with two years remaining? My guess is that some agency was attempting to hire Mr. Gallegos away, and he let the board know about it, asking for the extension in order to feel he had his long-term interests protected. I can’t think of any other reason these astute politicians would take this action, which they had to know wouldn’t look good.

    Mr. Stocks took to this blog to correct the inaccuracies in the NCT Raspberry editorial and got his published correction. But he’s yet to speak to the issue of how this contract extension looks to the Average Joe. Maybe, as Mayor Madrid stated, he doesn’t give a damn what we think.

  9. Jerome Stocks says:

    Call me at 760-931-1144 and we can talk it through in person, or maybe arrange to meet face to face. That’s always nice.

    Certain jobs have certain pay ranges. It’s called “class and comp” which stands for “classification and compensation”. The CEO of Palomar / Pomerado Hospital District got a raise and bonus bigger than Gallegos’ annual salary. Same can be said for many wall-street and banker types.

    Gallegos brought our region hundreds of millions of infrastructure dollars that we would not have gotten by government formula. That’s serious performance, and yes, I, along with the vast majority of the Board was more than willing to extend our commitment to him and he in turn extended his commitment to the region.

    Does that help explain things? If not, or even if so, feel free to call me.

    Jerome Stocks
    P.S. I’m posting under me real name for all to see. How ’bout you?
    Didn’t think so…

  10. a.j.foytunate says:

    Thanks for the reply Mr. Stocks. It’s good to know where you’re coming from, though I wouldn’t recommend that you rationalize a civil servant’s contract extension by citing the compensation practices of Hospital administrators, Wall Street and Banker types. They’re not the most popular bunch in the “real America” right now.

    I appreciate your offer to talk about this on the phone or in person. Needless to say, I won’t be taking you up on that, since you’ve made yourself pretty clear with your SANDAG vote on this matter, as well as your last couple of blog posts. I think my position is pretty clear too: extending the contract of a civil servant that had two years remaining on it seems out-of-touch given the current state of economic affairs.

    As far as your postscript is concerned, if it makes you feel any better, I’ve been writing under this name since 1982. I don’t see any reason to stop now. Whether I agree or disagree with someone, I enjoy using this new medium to exchange ideas and don’t really care if I know the writer’s true identity. But it’s great that you are literate enough to carry on here, something that very few of our elected officials could do.

    Cheers.

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