Recent events (one being the levy passage) have fattened the Corvallis city bank accounts. Naturally, this means more city employees, even though the workload is unchanged. And lots of publicity about the new hires.

One example is Ken McCarthy, our new fire chief. Another white male in a white-male-dominated department. One glaring omission from all the hype surrounding Mr. McCarthy's hire is his salary. What does this guy cost us? Is he on a pension from the San Jose fire department, his most recent employer? And what do his benefits cost us, the taxpayers? Why aren't these numbers a part of the announcements of new hires? And why doesn't the Gazette-Times require that information as part of printing a press release?

In the same city bulletin is a notice that the Corvallis Police Department will be hiring a dozen new people. Following the links, I find these new hires will get between $30 and $40 per hour for full-time employment, plus a list of benefits that, when added up, far exceed anything available in the private sector. These are incredible plum jobs! And I assume preference will be given to women and people of color until the department reflects the general population of Corvallis ... in other words, until the Police Department is 50/50 women and men, all hires should reflect the gender imbalance of current employees. I'm very tired of seeing white men in Corvallis police uniforms, and especially the ones who zoom around on fancy motorcycles on sunny afternoons.

I will closely watch the hiring done by the city in the future to assure that no gender is treated unfairly by the folks with the power to hire for these positions.

Kirk Nevin

Corvallis (july 1)

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