Mailbag: Not the time to be asking for a raise

Trying to get through the depression in this country is very hard for some of us, and then again very, very hard for a lot more.

As most of you know, Haiti has had a bad earthquake that made the people of this country open up their hearts and their purses for a nation needing help. In the middle of this, five current and former police officers are suing the city because, among other things, they claim they were unable to get a raise because of their ethnicity (“Armenian officers sue dept.,” Jan. 26).

Four of them have a job; they have an income. Now what they want is more income from a city that is grappling with budget issues. I always thought if you became a policeman, you should have and show at least some consideration toward your fellow man.

The truth and honesty toward our fellow man is what built this country. To sacrifice a raise or promotion within the public scope of work is helping this city, state and country become solid and once more out of debt. Especially in this time of need.

DAVE BRYCE

Glendale

Editorial on teachers unions wasn’t fair

Both the Glendale College Guild and the Glendale Teachers Assn. have offered either furlough days or salary reductions for the coming year. Yet, in the Jan. 30 editorial, “A tale of two districts,” the Glendale News-Press editorial staff supports the college guild and criticizes the teachers association. This is a terribly unfair portrayal of the situation.

The teachers of Glendale have and do recognize the need to sacrifice for the common end.

The fact is that the Glendale Teachers Assn. has offered to take 15 furlough days over the next three years. This would save the Glendale Unified School District about $3.8 million per year.

The agreement the college guild has made with the Glendale Community College Board of Trustees would save the college roughly $250,000 for one year. How the News-Press cannot acknowledge this fact is egregious.

Whether it was a mistake or incompetence, the fact is, the News-Press is using its platform to influence the community against hardworking teachers with false data.

The News-Press should make clear the sacrifices both parties have made to help get our schools through this economic crisis. I recommend the editorial board go back and do some homework. This matter should be reviewed on their part, and for their own integrity, a retraction should be printed.

ALLEN FREEMON

Glendale

Safety should come first regarding gate

Eva La Rue put up gates to protect herself and her child from a lunatic who has harassed her for years (“Actress’ plea ups drama,” Jan. 28). Her neighbors fussed about the height and placement of the gates. She was granted a variance by the zoning administrator, only to have it denied by the Planning Commission. The City Council heard her appeal, but couldn’t decide whether to grant or deny it.

In all the public discussion and arguments, who was paying attention to why La Rue wanted gates, and asked to be allowed to keep them? Only the Police Department and FBI, who may have hoped the gates would secure her residence because they have not been able to catch her stalker.

Thanks to the city process, the stalker learned through public documents where she lives. He wrote to say so, and in fear, she moved out of her house, according to news reports. The TV reporters interviewed her neighbors when this became known, and to her neighborhood, “open space” matters more than La Rue’s need for security.

Why is it more important for the neighbors to see inside La Rue’s enclosed front and side yards, than for her to be safe from a stalker behind protective yard gates? Hers is just one residence among dozens that have space open to view. Even without the gates, her house and lawns wouldn’t be visible through the fully legal and permitted hedge and wall surrounding it.

The city knew her circumstances, but made a hash of the gate case by attaching more importance to code compliance than to her personal safety. This is hardly the only enclosed and gated residence in town. People’s lives matter more than gates and law vistas, and La Rue’s personal safety ought to have ranked higher than gates in the city of Glendale’s priorities, if not those of her neighbors.

If human values have been mislaid during an organizational realignment, the importance of lives over property may have to be assigned a higher priority in the new planning department’s future decisions. No department head should operate under a mistaken belief that his organization can’t consider safety and economics while working with Glendale residents.

I’d like to see the City Council conduct a formal investigation beginning with the anonymous phone call reporting La Rue for a code violation, and ending with the January hearing when council members voted on a variance.

Maybe an investigation will show what became of a public safety priority and what it takes to achieve better balance deciding cases if competing priorities are discovered during a proceeding of this kind.

SUSAN STEPHENSON

Glendale


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