We need record attendance at this year’s City Council budget hearing. Not from the traditional attendees, (people seeking to create a pet project, preserve a pet project, or grow a pet project) but from the vast majority of this community that have never considered attending this meeting. We need righteous indignation over a City corporate culture that believes public sector employees should be immune from adversity related to the nation’s economic meltdown.
We need a tea party. We need to fill City Hall way over capacity. We need thousands of people to show up and fight for this city by showing support for changing the way the City of Colorado Springs does business. The City’s fiscal problems are real, the magnitude of the impacts is artificial. The dire, doom and gloom prophecies are all premised on the idea City Council is already doing the best it can and that simply isn’t true.
Are you aware of the “under paid, underappreciated” compensation myth? By cherry picking comparison communities the compensation numbers are being grossly manipulated. Compare a Colorado Springs employee to the Denver market and they are under paid; compare that same position to (for example) Omaha, Lincoln, Kansas City, Jacksonville, Huntsville, or any other community of 400,000 residents and a different picture emerges. Did you know that traditionally Colorado public sector employees are compensated at rates that when ranked nationally fall in the top 20%? Did you know the average full time city employee earns more than the median 2 income household in El Paso County?
A 10% across the board pay cut means no layoffs are necessary in the Police and Fire Departments. The 10% pay reduction trims $16,000,000 out of the proposed $28,000,000 budget cuts.
Please encourage everyone you know and everyone you don’t know to make their presence known next Thursday night. You have to balance your check book why shouldn’t the City? Please come and demand an answer to that question.