Throw a bunch of money in front of politicians and it is sure to create great entertainment.
Listening to the española city council meeting on August 24 did not provide as much fun as a lesson in politics and good ol ‘human behavior.
The American Recovery Act can only be called public welfare. We’ve seen this money spent on everything from vehicles to equipment and more recently bonuses for people who showed up to do a job they chose to do and for which they are paid well.
Public bodies around the world are taking their millions of dollars from the law and paying them to employees in the form of “compensation.” It cannot be called a bonus because it is illegal.
The rationale for the bonuses is that people did their jobs for most of 2020 and the first half of 2021. They showed up. No one has gone “beyond” whatever that means in public employment. No one ran into burning buildings and saved kittens. In fact, it may have happened. But no one took a bullet or balanced a spreadsheet so perfectly it brought tears to CPA eyes.
People showed up and did their jobs, as we all have.
We will immediately recognize that first responders are an exception. While everyone was doing work they were already paid for, first responders were at risk of being exposed to COVID-19 almost the entire time they were on duty. In addition, they worked with other people who were probably exposed. Add to that risk the element with which first responders interact. Yes, there are heart attacks and falls, but overall these guys (and girls) are dealing with unmasked, unreasonable, often violent people who don’t care about anyone’s safety. , especially a cop, assistant or paramedic.
That’s a different level of danger during the dark days of last summer with high positive test rates, before a vaccine was available.
Arguably this is what first responders accept when they take on the job, but not at the level they encounter on a daily basis, and to some extent still are today.
However, we would also say that someone behind a cash register in Center Market is a hero. Rude, mean, and unreasonable people who feel free to vent their frustration of selecting bread or forcing a mask on a complete stranger doing their job managing a registry baffles a sane person. Again, it wasn’t on anyone’s mind when they agreed to run a registry anywhere.
But Center Market has not been showered with taxpayer dollars to distribute to these heroes of the checkout lane.
Rio Arriba County considered its resolution in late spring and approved it in July. Loud and clear. All employees who worked six months for roughly the same time as the City’s resolution will receive $ 2,500. If you don’t work for the county in July to get the check, you don’t get one.
A commissioner tried to get money for the former employees, who had left the county, but it was never successful.
The city was a whole different story. The advisers set aside what is essentially a gift to the people, borrowed from future taxpayers. Recipients did the job they were hired to do, in many cases the jobs were much simpler.
Consider the finance people who have to listen to residents day in and day out about how they couldn’t have used so much water. Or they were only going to pay part of the bill for some reason. These people have had eight months of peace and quiet. They simply went to the town hall or opened their mail and processed the payments.
It was illegal to disconnect the water service, so it was a less unpleasant task. Few people were on the move, so connection calls were minimal as well. Much of this work has been suppressed.
Several advisers had a sacred cow. One wanted employees who broke the 12 month rule to be paid something anyway. Another wanted to include public works employees in the same category as first responders. There is clearly no comparison there. Some wanted the former employees to be paid and others said they were not loyal.
This bonus is what people in college call “house money”. It’s unexpected and undeserved. The right thing for councilors to do would be to vote on the resolution and move on. Instead, they made it clear where their voting base was, as several argued for certain categories of employees while ignoring others that fit their own argument much better. Someone who works on a broken water line deserves more money, but not someone who works on a broken transmission fluid line?
We will be happy when all this government aid is distributed and the workers of this country return to work and stop waiting for someone to pay their rent, give them a bonus or give them a pat on the back for being themselves. present.