Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A touch of fiscal sanity

Earlier this week, reports the San Jose Mercury News, city of Tracy department heads agreed to forego their cost-of-living pay increase beginning this month and to cut their compensation package for the 2010-11 fiscal year by 5 percent.

The estiamted savings are a drop in the bucket compared to the city's estimated $6 million deficit for the next fiscal year.

However, as this Tracy Press report made obvious, reductions in employee compensation — particularly outsized benefits and retirement packages — will be key to getting Tracy back in the black.

Give credit to the department heads for sharing some of the pain, for rank-and-file workers for taking on furlough days and to the police and fire department unions for agreeing to less money than their boom-year contracts inititally called for.

But city employees, beware. There's still a big gap to fill. And slicing out more of city employee compensation is bound to be the most politically popular move.

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