Re “At least pay for gas” (Letters, Jan. 30): The author clearly outlined the abuse imposed on taxpayers by a fast-and-loose city government. How Atwater, a little town in the Central Valley, can compensate its part-time city manager so lavishly is a mystery to me. City officials have made the monumental mistake of believing they can fill two, critical, full-time jobs with one person. It has proven to be misguided, ineffective, and expensive.
Imagine a president, governor or police chief that clocks out out noon, every day of the week, and heads for the golf course or another job.
The job of city manager and police chief, each, requires a full-time leader. But Atwater leaders believe they are saving money by having one person do both jobs. The result has been a continuing general fund free-fall on the city manager’s side of the house, and a police department steeped in political scandal on the other.
The solution is obvious! Hire two competent, full-time professionals for each job, because the cheap is becoming expensive.
Fred Warchol, Atwater
Editor’s note: Frank Pietro is paid $144,664 as Atwater city manager, $13,980 to supervise public safety and $30,023 in retirement and health benefits, totaling $188,667. The figure cited in the previous letter, “At least pay for gas” was incorrect.