This is in response to the article you ran regarding the vacation benefits accrued by Ventura City Manager John Baker ("City Manager to Leave Job With Nearly $50,000"). I am outraged that you would run such a story. The implication was that somehow Mr. Baker was undeserving of these benefits. Mr. Baker is one of the finest city managers in all of California. One only has to look to Ventura's fiscal soundness to conclude that. It is near tragic proportions that he is leaving us. What was the point of your article? To manufacture scandal? To make unpleasant the final days of the career of a fine and dedicated public employee?
Rosa Lee Measures and James Monahan expressed outrage at Mr. Baker's accrued benefits. Are they suggesting that the next city manager be paid overtime instead of being granted vacation benefits? Mr. Baker could have doubled his annual salary if that had been the case.
We should be thanking Mr. Baker for not taking the vacation time to which he was surely entitled and probably needed and sticking with us during some really hard times. Maybe if someone would have insisted that he take more vacations, he wouldn't have to be leaving us now.
I am extremely concerned about the City Council's attitude. We need a quality person to guide our city while the City Council bickers away and accomplishes nothing. Quality people need to be compensated at the going rate. This includes benefits.
We should be falling on our knees and begging Mr. Baker to stay rather than complaining about him not using his vacation time. People of Ventura, we're in a lot of trouble.
DONNA W. THONIS