Start From The Top

Law Talk

Sam K. Abdulaziz
Attorney at Law

There was an article that appeared in the December 24, 2008 issue of the Los Angeles Times that dealt with the economy, layoffs, and public officials. It resulted from events in Orange County. This particular article hit home.

Orange County stated that it would cut 210 social services employees and 60 more probation department employees. However, the employees have urged the supervisors to find alternatives to layoffs. I do not have sufficient knowledge to determine what the types of layoffs would have to be made to make it worthwhile. However, I do believe in what Nick Berardino, general manager of the Orange County Employees Union requested. He asked that the supervisors cut perks for managers in order to save jobs. Among the perks her proposed to cut would be car allowances and planned pay raises for supervisors. He also pointed out that maybe some of the layoffs could have been avoided if they did not put more than $300,000 into remodeling the supervisors’ lobby.

I do not have the wherewithal to determine how much of a cut would be necessary or appropriate. However, in the overall scheme of things, it seems to me that the upper crust law makers and managers should be the first place to start with the cuts. Clearly, much of our problem results from the upper crust. Why shouldn’t they bear a substantial portion of the reduction?

Again, I do not profess to know the answers to the problem at hand. I do know that it may be fairer if the cuts were taken from the top down.

If you agree, pass this on.