Guest opinion: Hey Granby board, show some compassion
November 19, 2010
After many years, I’ve come to realize the rest of the world doesn’t think the way I do. Usually I think I might as well save my breath as try to explain my thoughts on many topics. But, here I find myself wanting to try another time.
Have we noticed the empty store fronts in Granby, and know the reason(s) why? Do we understand the drop in student populations due to families having to move away to find work? Do we see the struggle of families trying to keep a roof over their heads, keep the heat turned on and put food on their tables?
Do we even KNOW how many of our friends, neighbors and fellow citizens have lost their jobs and benefits. Or had their hours, pay and benefits cut drastically?
How many of us really feel that … feel it clear to our bones? Are some of us so “safe” in our own situations we can turn blind eyes to all of it? If we ourselves aren’t in the middle of these devastating ordeals, do we just look at those who are and think, “Sucks to be you.”
So, the gist of this missive is to ask the Town of Granby board and manager what their personal thoughts are regarding the current economy. Are you satisfied with what you see when you look around our town? Have you talked to your constituents asking them what the Town of Granby could be doing to help them?
Now I know we have representative government, but from little ole Granby all the way to Washington, D.C., is anyone listening to We The People?
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I have nothing against the Town of Granby employees. I think it’d be marvelous for them to get a raise … merit or otherwise, a raise is a raise is a raise. And an increase in benefits, that’d be nice too, since insurance premiums are increasing for everyone in the whole wide world, even for those of us paying our own premiums.
But, I can name quite a number of employers (AND employees) who would love the same for their businesses and themselves. The decisions they have had to make have been gut-wrenching. These employers had superb, hard working employees too, but the money wasn’t there; being in survival mode, they did the only thing they could by cutting benefits, pay and jobs. They certainly didn’t choose it this way.
I’ve heard it’s been said that the “public employee” pay scale falls short of private sector pay. Well, I offer you this: I’ll compare my tax returns with any of them; you just let me know and I’ll pull my files.
My next question is this: How do you suppose the citizens and taxpayers of Granby are going to look at increases of any kind? I personally will be extremely offended. I will feel that the Town of Granby is lording it over the lowly private sector.
Instead, I would like to propose that if there’s some “extra” money floating in the Town of Granby coffers, that we set aside everything we can. Or if it must be spent, how about showing some good faith in “feeling the pain” or showing us the town board and manager really do have their fingers on the pulse of their constituents. Maybe discount the water bills. Maybe even a couple of “Granby 4 percent tax-free days,” which might actually generate a few extra sales.
None of us likes this economic situation but it would be easier to stomach if we felt there was some compassion trickling down, if we could unite in a way where we don’t feel so much division between the Haves and Have-Nots. If we could feel we’re all in this together and the togetherness makes us strong and brave and now we know we can get through this, instead of feeling the wedge driven deeper.
Please, Town of Granby board and manager, do the right thing.
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