Comments for Keeping watch on town business Tue, 13 Jun 2017 18:45:04 +0000 hourly 1 Comment on Paying our bills, and extras by plurimus Tue, 13 Jun 2017 18:45:04 +0000 First, there is a “market rate” for most jobs. Raises should not go on forever in the same job unless market forces drive it up. Promotions should increase salary with responsibility. Salary should also be considered in the context of other benefits and perks such as heath care, savings/investment matches and education reimbursement. Total compensation is the yardstick.

Second, salary is not for rewarding performance bonus payments are. Bonus should be reward for above and beyond commitment and accomplishment in a given fiscal year and in my opinion be team based.

As far as CEO and executive pay Bonnie is bang on. The amounts paid to Execs while simultaneously giving them government funded welfare such as deferred income, reduced taxes on options, indemnifying them legally from questionable decisions and other financial candy is disgraceful and harmful to our society at every level.

Third democratic approaches do not work. It isn’t a popularity contest. Corporations are not democracies, trying to run them as such shows a lack of adequate ownership and leadership.

Comment on Paying our bills, and extras by Bonnie Hauser Mon, 12 Jun 2017 16:56:43 +0000 There are broader questions – one is whether people are being paid competitively – and does their salary keep up with inflation.

The rewards for public service jobs are not money – but people deserve to be paid for their contribution and experience. Salary compression can create serious problems for morale.

IMO, the wealth gap is not between people making $150,000 or $40,000. Its people making millions on the backs of low wage employees. That’s not a problem here.

Here’s UNC’s comparison of county salaries 2017. Is there a similar benchmark for towns?

Comment on Paying our bills, and extras by Terri Mon, 12 Jun 2017 11:22:21 +0000 I served on the OWASA board for 6 years and for 5 of those years I argued that a flat rate for employee performance increases was the most democratic approach. At the common 2% award, someone earning $100K a year, would get a $2,000 annual salary increase. Someone earning $35K would get $700. Another way to look at this is that 3 employees at the lower salary rate earn the same as 1 employee at the higher rate. We could have paid a $1,500 flat rate to everyone for the same budget as we paid the percentage rate. But even that slightly less increase was enough to cause the traditionalist to claim injustice for the higher income workers.

Is good performance really dependent on original salary or is good performance good performance? I believe it should rewarded equitably.

The first couple of years, I argued alone but slowly others began to join me. We never reached a majority but came very close. I hope at least a couple of those board members who are still serving will continue the fight for economic justice.

Comment on The Confederate flag: Whose heritage? by Bonnie Hauser Sun, 04 Jun 2017 23:43:03 +0000 Good point – I was giving you the benefit of the doubt – cause for some stupid reason I assumed you were interested in the the facts about what’s happening with kids, classrooms, race and the flag in OCS.

Obviously you are happy with theoretical platitudes in your ivory tower. Easy to take cheap shots when you are nameless and have nothing to lose.

Comment on The Confederate flag: Whose heritage? by plurimus Sun, 04 Jun 2017 19:10:41 +0000 Bullied is a state of mind. Most people bully themselves. It comes when you are unprepared. Whining about it is not the solution.

At the point I am far more interested to see how far you will go to have the last word all the while adding nothing new.

Comment on The Confederate flag: Whose heritage? by Bonnie Hauser Sun, 04 Jun 2017 16:42:20 +0000 Its not either-or nor is it identity politics. You would have to attend a school board meeting where parents, teachers and students are speaking out about the flag and other racially discriminatory actions in their school.

They are happy to have a conversation – but not while their kids are being bullied.

Comment on The Confederate flag: Whose heritage? by plurimus Sun, 04 Jun 2017 11:03:37 +0000 A conversation about race and the facts around colonialism, slavery, the war between the states, reconstruction, civil rights is facilitated by conversation and discovery about monuments, symbols, words and actions. Its also good to appreciate the separation of powers and rule of law as a framework and system that encourages all voices to be heard.

Using identity politics to ban symbols only lets things fester with artificial and unspoken divisions suspicions and denial.

The problem I see is that although everyone says they want to have the conversation, when it actually comes down to it no one really does want to do the necessary hard work.

Comment on The Confederate flag: Whose heritage? by Bonnie Hauser Sun, 04 Jun 2017 03:14:12 +0000 Kids are not allowed to use foul language or hate speech, and are not allowed to wear certain things.

I don’t believe the school board is serious about banning the flag. The question is whether the parents are – and whether they will show that preference at the ballot box.

Comment on The Confederate flag: Whose heritage? by plurimus Sat, 03 Jun 2017 13:31:25 +0000 I can only refer you to Mark Twain for my shared opinion on school boards. If they support the decision they would not be torturing it or trying to circumvent it with twisted logic.

Censorship undercuts the benefits of education. If we shield students from dissenting opinions, how will they respond to opinions they disagree with after they graduate? A ban such as this encourages artificial reality, alternative facts, conspiracy theory and fake news. The bad would reduce student critical thinking and their ability to tolerate and deal with diversity effectively.

Unlike yelling fire in a crowded theater, displaying this and other flags are opinion that, while offensive and unpopular, do not cause serious harm. The fundamental right to free speech should not be restricted merely to prevent whatever a school board decides is hate speech.

It’s a very slippery slope. Someday (as it has been in the past) the shoe will be on the other foot.

“The very aim and end of our institutions is just this: that we may think what we like and say what we think.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

Comment on The Confederate flag: Whose heritage? by Bonnie Hauser Sat, 03 Jun 2017 02:02:44 +0000 so does the school board. It works if they have to acknowledge the dozen or so “disruptive” incidents that have occurred this year. UNC believes they have leeway to go back decades to note disruption.

Works for me if its accompanied by a memo to the principals, teachers and parents saying that the flag is no longer allowed and it falls under the district’s policy as a racially inflammatory symbol. Without that, it becomes arbitrary – again.