I feel the majority of citizens in Camanche would take exception to the very first sentence of the article printed in the Saturday, March 21, edition of the Clinton Herald. Morale decimated? Really?

The three council members that voted in favor of the wage freeze are in fact the same ones who the citizens of Camanche came out in large numbers to vote for in the last election. All three members ran on a platform of accountability and change, so if they felt that addressing the payroll liabilities for city clerks, the public works department, meal site workers and department heads as a step in the right direction to forego franchise fees or raising taxes then it would behoove oneself to refrain from judgment before this all plays out as they are still in contract negotiations with the police and fire department bargaining unit.

In considering wages for the non-bargaining employees of Camanche to be fair, the complete benefit package would have to be looked at. There are many ways employees are compensated, including payroll, health/dental insurance (both during employment and after retirement until age 65) pension benefits, etc., which is quite a spread from those working full time in the private sector.

How long has it been since anyone paid anywhere near $37 a month for a family insurance plan or had 100 percent of their prescription and medical co-pays reimbursed by their employer when they exceeded $1,000. This is what happens when the employment contracts are carbon copied from the police and fire contracts that are in themselves outdated.

In concluding my response to the Clinton Herald’s article and city administrator Ton Roth’s comments, all I will say is this: in respect for our town’s businesses, schools, all citizens including seniors, that have been in our community all their lives and are on fixed incomes, and parents that raise their children from paycheck to paycheck, pushing franchise fees or tax increases should be without question the last resort until all other options have been considered.

Charlie Blount,


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