Homework For A "New Era"
OK, all that turkey is behind us now, so I want to talk just a little bit about the "new" attitude we anticipate from the new City Council that will be seated next week.
A "NEWER, KINDER" RIGHEIMER?
You'll recall that Mayor Pro Tem (and probably soon "Mayor") Jim Righeimer appeared to be offering a peace pipe to the employee associations at the last city council meeting. I've expressed some skepticism, but am taking a "wait-and-see" position and will give him a chance.
In the meantime, the local media has had a couple very interesting articles on "unions" and pensions and their impact on organizations that I wanted to bring to your attention.
The first is an OC Watchdog column in the Orange County Register last week, HERE, titled "'Pension Envy': Few private workers have secure retirement". As you will see when you read it, it presents a pretty compelling viewpoint of why folks who work for - or have retired from - private industry are so willing to begin frothing at the mouth when public employee pensions are discussed. The author quotes Orange County Employee Association General Manager Nick Berardino thus: “When you talk to workers who don’t have those pensions,” Berardino said, “their immediate thing is, ‘Unions have those pensions. We don’t have them.’ And it creates a shift – pension envy.” You'll find this an interesting and provocative article.
HILTZIK IN THE LOS ANGELES TIMES
The second is a column by business reporter Michael Hiltzik in the Los Angeles Times Sunday, HERE, titled "Poor management, not union intransigence, killed Hostess". In his piece Hiltzik debunks the myth that the unions caused Hostess - the manufacturer of Twinkies and Ding Dongs - to go out of business. His second paragraph sets the tone for the column: "It failed because the people that ran it had no idea what they were doing. Every other excuse is just an attempt by the guilty to blame someone else." I think you'll find Hiltzik's column informative, to say the least.
TWO STUDY GUIDES
I hope you'll read both these excellent articles in preparation to observe just what new overtures the City of Costa Mesa - led by a Righeimer-controlled council - might make in the near term to deal with the employee associations to move forward in a post-layoff, post-litigation future for our city. We'll talk more about this as we move through the end of this year and into 2013.