I opined last week that Montgomery County is nuts to give its employees what amounts to an eight percent pay raise at a time when its private-sector taxpayers (like me) are having to forgo pay increases or even losing their jobs (like me) during this recession. Well, the Washington Post editorial board, which obviously reads "Life On The Beach" nearly as devotedly as Randy Bernstein does, apparently agrees with me.
In one of the paper's top op-ed pieces today, the Post says the county council NOT only raised property taxes this week AND preserved the eight percent raises, it ALSO gave cops a 14 percent pension increase, gave firefighters a compounded three-year 28 percent pay raise, including an 11 percent hike in 2010 alone, and boosted retirement contributions for county workers as well.
The Post editorial speaks of a love affair between the county government and its labor unions. I believe the issue has more to do with the lack of political balance in Montgomery County. I have no great affection for Republicans over Democrats, but there are no checks and balances in my hometown... No yin and yang... No one politically capable of calling out their colleagues on the other side of the aisle because there IS NO other side of the aisle.
And now we're paying the price. Well, those of us who don't work for the county, anyway.