Employees from every city department made their way to the podium to plead for their jobs. They deeply touched my heart with their passion, respectfulness, dedication and clarity. One after another braved their fear of public speaking and broke their silence that tumultuous night Wednesday April 29, City Council chambers. They thanked Council for looking at bold actions to resolve the challenges of the April street ordinance.
They deserve better. Each and every one of them. I honor our public servants who run the machinery of Salida. They green and clean the parks, master computer technology, engineer master plans, clean and repair our streets, slice and chop their budgets, delay hiring , manage our money to pay off our debt, stretch every penny, make our dreams come true with parks, pools, culture - entertainment.
When I learned from Police Chief Clark that city workers have been treated "uncivilly and down-right mean" on job sites and at their desks, I was sickened and saddened. Chief Clark detailed his fears about our current climate and stated that everyone has a breaking point.
This is not the Salida we want. We live in paradise and make sacrifices to be here. We celebrate our neighbors' successes and turn out to grieve their losses. We are happy when they can get by on one job. We greet each other with gratitude and appreciation. Our city employees' passion is to make our city great, functional and beautiful so we can live in a wonderful community.
We have all sacrificed in economic downturns with stagnant wages while inflation soared. It stinks to shoulder more and more work because jobs arenÕt filled. It's no fun to take on extra assignments to fix new problems when you're stressed about deadlines. Our workers appreciate having their jobs; and now they must endure mistreatment in return for their efforts.
Previous councils got us through the recession with their best efforts. They deserve kindness because they weren't holding it all together for the money; it was for Salida. It was for us. The least we can do is to say thank you and treat them with respect. Just as we would any other of our neighbors.
We all love Salida, its small home-town feel and the beautiful mountain setting. As a community, each one of us needs to do what she or he can with simple acts of kindness, shopping locally and counting our blessings. When our neighbors succeed, we succeed. Let's work together to help Council make the tough decisions required to keep Salida a great place to live, work and play.