The Price of Integrity
Today’s Chico Enterprise-Record ran a letter to the editor from Stephanie Taber, in which she attempts to assault our credibility by revealing our salary/benefit packages (public information already provided by the City to the ER annually); pointing to some information about tuition reimbursement (to which she must have been directed by City officials, since Alicia graduated 10 years ago); incorrectly identifying flex schedules as some sort of additional benefit; accusing us of remaining silent while we were “on the gravy train”; and directly attacking our personal integrity.
We generally ignore Ms. Taber, since she has always been highly selective in calling out who was right or wrong, depending on her personal or political agenda. For example, I haven’t read in any of her outbursts that she is currently employed by Butte County Supervisor Larry Wahl, who voted in favor of the now infamous union agreements that linked annual cost of living salary changes to revenue increases but not decreases. An inconvenient truth, perhaps.
Anyway, we thought today’s letter deserved a short and sweet response. Here is what I submitted to the ER editor earlier today:
Former-watchdog-turned-lapdog Stephanie Taber’s recent letter, “Where was this fiscal concern earlier?” contains a number of flawed conclusions drawn from a slanted perspective that my colleagues and I surmise is being fed to her by City officials. We generally avoid responding to her, since in the larger picture her opinions are inconsequential; however, this round of mud-slinging deserves a factual response.
Fact: Tuition reimbursement has been available for at least 15 years [actually, since 1976: AP&P_15-5] to all City employees who choose to further their education in a field of study deemed beneficial to the City. It has never been a benefit available only to a select few.
Fact: Flex schedules require employees either to work a full 40-hour week or use accrued leave time for pursuing their education. Ms. Taber’s assertion that the flex schedule is an additional benefit is absurd.
Fact: Ms. Taber’s conclusion that we three did nothing and said nothing about the City’s fiscal situation is false. In addition to having spoken out to the prior City Manager, we revealed the entire history to Nakamura over the first few months after he was hired. I personally received an email from him in October  thanking me for my full explanation of the issues surrounding the Private Development Fund and agreeing with me that it should be daylighted.
Ms. Taber should examine the price of her own integrity before she questions anyone else’s. Shame on her.