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Raise or holdup?

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Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 11:44 pm | Updated: 12:07 pm, Mon Jan 21, 2013.

Nov. 18, 2012

To the editor,

We the taxpayers are being ordered to give another pay raise to the highest-paid public employees in the state. These are the very well-paid group that tried to get a retroactive raise last month with compound raises for the next three years and were turned down by one vote at the Borough Assembly meeting.

This group of borough employees are the highest paid 1 percent in Alaska. They now make more money, job-for-job, than anyone else. They could take a 10 percent pay cut and still be in the highest 3 percent of salaries, more than Anchorage, Juneau or the state workers.

 But wait, on top of this huge salary they have the most expensive benefits package in the state or the entire United States except for Congress. This is fact stated in the borough’s own 2012 survey of public employee expenses in Alaska.

Do you want to give this overpaid group a raise retroactive or not? You also get to guarantee the raise compounded for three years then for life because of the super retirement plan we are currently giving them.

At a time when taxpayers are losing their homes and dealing with the highest property tax and highest energy costs in the state, should the assembly give them several millions more? Is this like letting the union and assembly take a second mortgage on your property?

Instead, let’s take a look at how to reduce the budget for the assembly by $4.5 million this year. It can be done, and the benefits passed on to taxpayers. A reduction in property tax of $300 or $400 next year may be possible. Take a look at 72 percent benefits — is this right?

Gordon Depue

Fairbanks

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