Over the past couple of years, the commission has chosen to substantially reduce our pay, benefits and pension. They went as far as to force us to work for no pay.
Our choice of health insurance carriers was reduce to two, yet our premiums increased 15 percent. Our retirees health insurance was increased by 40 percent! This in the name of saving money for the taxpayers. But, the county over spent 5 million dollars on health insurance anyway.
We had a very good pension that we paid into. At the time, after 30 years of service, we could retire at 82.5 percent of our salary. Now the commission has changed it to 62 percent of our salary, and we can't draw it until we are 62. Now they are going to increase our monthly contributions by
66 100 percent! They are in hopes, with a preconceived plan, that paying into the pension fund will be too costly for the average police officer working the streets, and will choose to drop out of the pension plan.
In addition, the commissioners yelled “the sky is falling”, that the citizens would be left with no police or fire protection if property taxes were not raised. They also claimed the county credit rating would be worsened because the county had no cash reserves. So the commission passed a 26 percent hike in property taxes. Now we learn Burrell Ellis flat out lied. He wants to dip into the replenished cash reserve for spending, and fill 644 open positions throughout the county. A Georgia State study from last year showed DeKalb has twice as many workers as similar-size counties and called for cutting at least 900 jobs. Burrell's mental stability has to be called into question.
Burrell Ellis and the commissioners take us for fools. We have to admit, so far they are right. Last year we crippled the county to the tune of 5 million dollars because of Ellis and his antics of handing out huge pay raises to his staff, while we were being forced to work for no pay. So they furloughed us and we went back to work.
To show their gratitude, they take away 20 hours of our holiday pay. Can you say suckers!? We threatened to strike again. Knowing how powerful our strike can be, and the potential for loss revenues, the county seems poised to give our 20 hours back. And we are supposed to be grateful?! According to Chief O'Brien and F.O.P President Jeff Wages, yes.
Well, thanks for nothing!
Do the commissioners and the chief of police really want to put and an end to this? They can. It's really simple. Stop using the backs, blood and lives of police officers as a revenue generating source. The police are persons empowered to enforce the law, protect property and reduce civil disorder, not tax the citizenry! Has our entire command staff loss sight of this?
First and foremost, stop the corruption within our county government. What happened to the 60 million dollars in uncollected fines? What happened to the 50 million dollars missing from Recorders Court? Where is the uncollected business license fees between 5-7 million dollars? That’s nearly 120 million dollars that is missing!
Chief O'Brien, we have a question: Are you neglect in your duties for not opening a criminal investigation into all this missing money? No one has explained what happened to all this money. So, where is it? At the bottom of a ticket book?