I know blimps and balloons filled with less hot air than Councilwoman Marti Emerald. Last week Councilwoman Emerald proposed something shocking, but the shock will change as you read more about her proposal. When I first heard that she wanted to cap salaries for city employees at the Mayor’s salary of $100,500 I thought “Marti Emerald? San Diego City Councilwoman Marti Emerald? Well, great, looks like she has finally seen the light and is going to start addressing the city’s problems”.
Well turns out she did see the light, then with one resounding obscene gesture did an about-face and walked deep into the darkness. Marti didn’t propose capping city salaries at $100k, she proposed capping NON-UNION city salaries at $100k. Nearly half of city employees who make more than $100,000 are in the fire department and will continue to do so, as will all other union employees in various city departments. It is the dozen to two dozen non-union consultants, the people who could be making ten times as much in the private sector running large corporations or small nations elsewhere who Marti has set her sights on.
Her excuse? Labor contracts. You know, the contracts that the City Council negotiates, votes on, and can ultimately mandate. The contracts they essentially have complete control over, that’s the obstacle she is citing. If Marti really wants to save money maybe she should enact managed competition, that pesky little proposition passed overwhelmingly by the taxpayers a few years ago, then we can cut those over $100k salaries for both union and non-union employees alike if their jobs can be done better and cheaper by someone else.
Marti is the first one to rush to the scene of a disaster, but where does she go when she is the disaster?