Because the world is complicated
In case you hadn’t noticed, the world is a complicated piece of work.
Monday night, Anderson County Commission grappled with the issue of pay raises for county employees. It’s an important issue — and not just to county employees.
You can probably get a job flipping pizza pies for $10 an hour.
And there’s nothing wrong with that. Ten bucks an hour seems to be kind of a standard wage for a lot of jobs. I guess maybe because it’s a round number, easy to multiply.
There are a lot of private businesses that are hurting financially right now. A lot of businesses can’t give employees raises. A lot of businesses are closing.
You can probably get a job at Wallyworld for $10 an hour, Maybe more.
It was pointed out at Monday night’s meeting that $10 an hour is what a lot of county employees make. Many of those employees have found themselves to be the lone breadwinners in their homes at this time.
A lot of work has been done by Anderson County commissioners sitting on the county’s Budget Committee to try to give raises to county employees.
Still, a lot of commissioners have questions about that — nine of them, in fact.
And they are not questioning whether the county should be giving those raises.
Their questioning centers around whether they are doing enough.
Maybe they are.
The county Budget Committee is not a bunch of yahoos who sit around sipping RC Colas and eating Moon Pies. Every decision that committee takes on, every process, has so much at stake that they go over it and over it and over it and over it … Until they probably have dreams — or nightmares — about them.
Do county employees deserve raises when maybe you didn’t get one and you work your butt off and, heck, you’re paying taxes to pay their salaries and why should they get a raise when you didn’t get one, maybe haven’t had one in a couple of years?
Why is that?
Because the world is a complicated place, that’s why.
Considering that a county employee may help you figure out your tax bill, maybe save you a dollar or two; help circumnavigate some sort of strange otherworldly zoning regulation; or maybe even save your life.
Now, maybe they can do all of that for just $10 an hour.
Or, maybe, they can go flip pizza pies for $10 an hour and have a less-stressful existence.
Not that making pizza pies is easy.
But if you mess up a pizza pie, you just make another one.
If you mess up helping someone figure out a tax bill, maybe you don’t save them a dollar or two; or can’t help circumnavigate some sort of strange otherworldly zoning regulation that sorta messes up a building project; or maybe even not be able to save a life …
Well, that’s kinda different, isn’t it?
County Commission understands that. See, that was brought up as well. It’s gotta be discouraging thinking your county is kinda being like the minor leagues — you train people up, get them good at what they do, then they go someplace else that pays them a boatload of money.
But the world is complicated.
Because while your local government has a responsibility to help you, it also has a responsibility to spend your tax dollars wisely.
Sometimes it seems like maybe the two don’t go hand in hand. But they do.
If you’re a county employee, be patient. You’ll get that raise.
If you’re a taxpayer, understand this — that may be the best way you’re being helped by local government.