City Benefits for Unwed Partners

Let me see if I understand the priorities of our City Council correctly. There is money available to fund health and dental benefits for the unmarried partners of city employees (Nov. 16). Zev Yaroslavsky has said this is an action that "must" be done no matter what it costs. Jackie Goldberg believes it's a matter of simple "fairness." Overlooking the moral considerations and accepting as a given that the potential estimated expenditures have most likely been low-balled by the bureaucrats, let's focus on the question of priorities.

The recent Malibu fires pointed out the necessity for more personnel and material to aid our gallant firefighters. The police force, brave and understaffed, is trying to draw attention to both its inappropriately low wages and the need for more cops on the street. However, if one were to shack up with a city employee for just one year, we are told the money is there to provide medical benefits. Hmmm.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if private enterprise operated the same way? I've lived with a buddy for about a year, we're just friends, not lovers, but how would his company know? Perhaps they'll extend to me medical benefits; shouldn't I be covered? Isn't it only "fair"? Somehow my hunch is that the company would find more suitable needs to appropriate its resources. Shouldn't taxpayers' money be allocated with the same fiscal prudence and understanding of just what our priorities should be?

RICHARD JACOBSON

Woodland Hills

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I'm in a state of amazement and shock following the Los Angeles City Council's action (Nov. 24) passing a measure to allow for health and dental benefits for the unmarried partners of city employees. These elected clowns have lost all perspective of the priorities for this city.

We're told that public safety is the No. 1 priority in this city, yet the council is unable to find funds for pay increases for members of our fine Police Department. At the same time, an openly gay member of the council sees fit to bring forth this measure, which will drain an estimated $1 million from the city coffers.

What's going on in council chambers? If you listen closely, I believe you'll hear calliope music in the background as they conduct city business.

GARY E. ROGNESS

Los Angeles

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