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County employees already contribute

December 12, 2012

While reading the recent editorial from December 6 regarding the Sullivan County “fiscal cliff,” I became disturbed when seeing that the statement was made that the Sullivan County workers were not willing to give back.

I can mainly speak of the DPW departments but know that the other departments are facing the same issues. Attrition and layoffs have brought all departments down to bare bones. We now have rank-and-file workers doing middle management work for the same pay.

A past contract included a zero percent raise for 2008, and then midway through the contract, we again went back to the negotiation table to try to help the county with the fiscal problems, where it was decided that we would jeopardize our safety by changing to one man per truck for our snow plowing operations. Throughout the last 10 years, numerous money-saving ideas have been offered to the county by employees. These ideas include the burning of our waste oil for heat in our county shops; burning of wood from roadside trimming for heat; separating and selling scrap metal at a much higher price than what is received now; and many more money-saving ideas that have fallen on deaf ears. We as workers take the statements in the editorial as a personal insult as we are taking the brunt of the blame for the county’s mismanagement of funds, resulting in increase of taxes.

It is time for management to look into some other way to save the county money other than taking it from the “regular” workers just trying to make a living. I can assure all that we are not overpaid and not being selfish in asking not to be cut again.

George Fountain
Taxpayer and Sullivan Co. employee