Your June 6 article on the San Diego Police Officers Association's proposal to the city playing second fiddle to politics is a great example of one of the greatest problems facing this country today. Sure, the SDPOA's proposal saved the taxpayers money, but it was not "on message" with the anti-employee rhetoric being put forth in this city.
Even your most labor-friendly candidate might pale at the appearance of giving the unions anything after seeing the polling on Prop. B. In the quiet back rooms of City Hall, you likely would hear, "I'd love to help the cops, and the proposal makes sense, but I do have re-election to think about."
I think it is important for people to know while other media outlets like the U-T are portraying unions as being backroom-dwelling monsters guzzling taxpayer dollars, there are actually union types out there working hard to come up with ideas to save you money and get more bang for your buck at the same time. Jeff Jordon stands out in particular. His Fred Flintstone-esque body contains one of the finest brains working in the city today.
Having spent three years on the SDPOA board, I got a firsthand look at politics in this city and I can tell you with a few exceptions the top level of city government is being driven by the desire to get re-elected, not to effect actual change. Fortunately, people like Jeff and Brian Marvel, both registered Republicans, by the way, will keep coming up with ideas that make sense. Hopefully, someone in City Hall will start to listen. Keep up the good work, CityBeat. You are, without a doubt, the most informative media source in this city.
Woody DuBois, San Carlos
School district is top-heavy
About your June 6 editorial urging the San Diego Education Association to make contract concessions: I appreciate your fair and basically unbiased report. But as a union rep at my high school and a 40-year veteran of the classroom, including teaching stints in Iowa and Houston, there are some facts missing. Those of us at the top of the salary scale have already given up around $5,000 from the 10 furlough days the past two years. The current onslaught of anti-teacher, -firefighters and -police bias and their unions is absolutely horrendous. Witness the June 5 debacle in Wisconsin.
Again, I have taught in 11 different schools, five different districts and three different cities and have never felt and witnessed such disrespectful, cruel and unprofessional treatment of a teaching force. I am very sorry and very sympathetic for those 2,600 teachers, nurses, counselors and teaching assistants who are looking at no employment at the end of this month, but this district is top-heavy with administrators at 4100 Normal St. making $150,000-and-more salaries who have not seen a young person is years. What do our nine district superintendents do for those extraordinary salaries? Have principals and vice principals taken a pay cut? I don't think so.
Sacramento is very broken, and it seems again teachers and students will have to pay the price. I certainly do not want to try to test 50 kids in my U.S. history class—any number over 25 is a losing battle. I think parents, teachers and counselors will have to take it to the streets again because our school board doesn't seem to be able to deal with a budget. Hopefully, newly elected Marne Foster will bring new blood and insight to the board.
Peggy M. Spates-Johnson, Valencia Park