Rescinding the Raises- the time has come

August 8, 2009 at 4:50 pm 8 comments

by Loraine Ritchey



The Morning Journal has had front page articles this week written by

Workers take pay cuts; boss accepts $1,700 wage increase

City Hall drones cash in: Urbanek strikes gold

Everybody gets a raise: Lorain officials to get 3 percent pay increase from ’07 ordinance

and last night Channel 19 had an expose of Cuyahoga County workers being laid off whilst others get 200,000 in raises in their Shame on You segment
Some County Workers the Hook-Up While Others Get Laid Off

Lorain and Cleveland are not alone in this happenstance and although I am sure that justifications for those raises will come hot and heavy – from –

We are having to do more work due to less staff

We have to keep up with the private sector in order to get qualified people
( that one may fall a little flat now considering there are a hell of a lot of people in the private sector with plenty of experience looking for positions- there is a huge talent pool to choose from now) –

I am one of the lowest paid department heads!

And the arrogance of ” I am entitled under the city ordinances “

These types of justification just aren’t washing and are getting right up my nose- and I don’t believe I am alone in my thinking-

The citizens of Lorain continued to support her with the 1/4 income tax renewal – which I also publically supported and took a lot of flack for doing so –

but I CANNOT support raises for a department head of 28 percent.

I am sorry, apart from rubbing salt in the wounds of a bleeding taxpayer, this is flying in the face of the economic challenges we are dealing with , it is obscene actually – to my way of thinking.

The treasurer’s salary will leap up 28 percent from $57,000 to a little more than $71,000

This same treasurer who under his “Garbo” name also ( even if he was on break) used taxpayer paid time and presumably computers to tout the 1/4 percent renewal which according to his time stamped statements on
Lorain County dot com stated:

“Message: #10 was institued by the tax dept not the mayor

Written by: garbo on January 26, 2009 9:16 AM

Posted in: Lorain City Forum “

Mr. Urbanek under his Garbo identity – never once identifying himself as the Treasurer – continued to fight for the passage of the renewal –

Quite frankly I find that behaviour suspect since his department would directly benefit- are there not rules covering this type of behaviour?? I don’t honestly know but there is a little voice telling me something isn’t right about that.

I don’t know Mr. Urbanek personally – for all I know in his personal and rest of his professional life he may be brilliant -but he has, for me, become the poster child of “wrong way thinking” and the fact that when the voters don’t have a choice we can’t keep blaming the voters.

“if re-elected, and he is unopposed in November.

It seems we do have a political party ( almost) monopoly in this city>.

I am not a political animal in the sense I don’t get involved with the party politics- I vote as an Independent and only vote issues in Primary elections .

To my way of thinking , since the voters don’t have much of a choice lately when it comes to choosing a representative, I would ask the party (in Lorain’s case the Democrats) to please start being more circumspect when it comes to your backing ( if that is how it works) because ultimately the City of Lorain is in “YOUR” hands and is being guided down a path of “YOUR” choosing. Ultimately in Lorain the more powerful “Democratic Party” has an awesome responsibility –

And I know it is asking a lot of public officials and public servants to decline the raises and rescind the raises ( or at least put them in abeyance) but you have asked the citizens of Lorain to support you ( and there will be more asking in November.) We have all had to tighten our belts – time to lead by example- if we truly have the best interest of Lorain in mind.

I would ask all of you to gauge this situation in another way .


Entry filed under: Blogging, Brit take, city of lorain, commentary, notorious opponents of exactitude, opinion. Tags: , .

It is all over- my friend Settlers’ Watch- The Blogs!

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. muley  |  August 8, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    …….Loraine, aren’t you feeling a bit “used” right now? They new well in advance that it wasn’t about the deficit, but about supplying the necessary funds for all their raises that they were getting, and were aware of in 2007. I wonder what the deficit will look like at the end of the year. And I find it ironic that it all comes out while council is on “vacation”.:(

  • 2. Loraine Ritchey  |  August 8, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    No not used exactly – I would still vote and support the 1/4 percent renewal due to the safety forces issue…. and actually it is also MY fault too for not paying more attention as a taxpayer /voter to the legislation that Mr. Snodgrass apparently introduced and not connecting the dots and getting that clarified before supporting the tax and getting reassurances that they would not be taking the raises…. so I guess I am chagrined that I didn’t pay closer attention…… and I can’t blame anyone else for my inattention…..

    I am feeling disapointed at the “behaviour of the Treasurer and his Garbo fiasco…but then his particular thought process does give me pause.

    No used isn’t the word maybe “abused” 😦

  • 3. muley  |  August 8, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    … put too much blame on yourself, but I wouldn’t expect anything less. 🙂
    I sure wish y’all would look into a “city mngr” style of government. I just feel it’s the only way things will change. …………unless


  • 4. Brian  |  August 9, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    Sure is nice to take the family to the local park and have no toilet paper in any of the bathrooms! When I asked a city employee that was emptying trash cans, they told me there wasn’t any money to buy toilet paper, but when I saw that it took six utility department workers to paint one fire hydrant on 27th street this past week, I could see that there isn’t any problems in our city and can see that the 1/4% renewal is going to be wisely spent.

    Everything in our city is perfectly fine, and comments to the contrary are just a ruse. Our elected officials who we elect to represent us don’t need anyone elses input or suggestions because they have it well under control.

    By the way, if anyone goes to the parks, take your own toilet paper.

  • 5. buckeyerino  |  August 9, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    I saw in the MJ article that Urbanek claimed to comment at on his break time. Isn’t it amazing that he gets breaks early in the 9 o’clock hour, so soon after the start of the workday?

  • 6. thatwoman  |  August 10, 2009 at 11:04 am

    apparently and all through the day – but he is an elected official and isn’t on a time card so to speak….. what concerned me is way he hid behind his other personna on Lcdot com to tout the 1/4 percent income tax renewal that was -according to the way I read his Greeda Garbo post -was instituted by his dept.

    Why didn’t he just post he was the treasurer and he was for thetax- (I did flack and all 🙂 can I expect no less than the head of the dept who instituted the tax???? and I still am a little concerned as to that behaviour – something doesn’t feel right Loraine

  • 7. Brian  |  September 3, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    I believe that the “issues” that are the most pressing right now are REVENUES for the city of Lorain. While I also believe the the organizational structure of our city is greatly screwed and full of “operational inefficiencies” because budget reductions have eliminated the positions of the “worker bees”, and done little to nothing about increasing services with less revenue.

    It has been mentioned that revenue from the utility department is DOWN to the point that I would believe that IF there were any additional funds in these accounts in the past, they are gone.

    What is the city going to be able to borrow at the end of the year to make payroll for December, and then the start of next year until tax collections come in?

    What ever has been done by our city may become undone in a short period of time. The jail that was completed after an extremely long delay, most likely will close.

    The labor agreements that were negotiated and ratified this past year with both Police and Fire that allowed raises are most likely going to be undone.

    I sense a growing displeasure with those that the public has elected swelling about because the typical distrust of politicians is emerging into a hatred. This doesn’t mean that those that are elected are at risk of losing their positions, as the “game of how to win an election” hasn’t changed.

  • […] I couldn’t help reading some of the comments on one forum and wondering just as Garbo had his agenda reading between the lines from “a distance” could it be at least one “perceived […]

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August 2009

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