Letters to the editor for Wednesday, May 10, 2017
May 9, 2017
Look at the actual numbers
Recent letters to the editor by Jeanne "Nelson" Shizuru and others have grossly misinterpreted a Transparent Nevada "Footprints" study where the wages of Nevada's police and fire are compared to other public safety professional across the nation. The letter quotes the Footprints study citing "our local government employees are the second highest paid government employees in the nation."
The author is using the term "local" to insinuate Douglas County public safety is the second highest paid in the nation. I looked up Douglas County Starting wages for a Deputy Sheriff and can tell the readers of Douglas County that a new Deputy Sheriff starts their career protecting and serving at $20.02 per hour, which is available on the Douglas County Human Resource website. That same employee spends up to 25 percent of his/her salary for medical benefits assuming a high deductible family plan. Oh by the way, Carson City Deputy Sheriff's start at $5 more per hour. Even Lyon County starts at a higher wage then Douglas deputies.
East Fork Fire is seeing the same hiring and retention issues that the Sheriff's Office has been experiencing for the past two years. I can promise the readers we are not hiring experienced lateral deputies from Las Vegas or Reno which should be the case if we are the second highest paid in the nation.
The truth is the wages of the southern public safety agencies are driving Transparent Nevada's Foot Print study and have no basis being compared to our local government i.e. Douglas County. The study conveniently uses three high paid administrative employees at Metro Police and Fire for the meat and potatoes of their pension comparisons; again let us try comparing apples to apples.
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As an executive board member of the Douglas County Sheriff's Protective Association I can tell the readers the county has been responsibly attempting to bring Douglas County employees up to our best and fairest comparable agency, i.e. Carson City, our Carson Valley neighbor to the north. The county bargaining team, county commissioners including her husband Dave Nelson and the county manager has access to the same facts. I would like to thank the County Manager Larry Werner, Chairman Barry Penzel, and Commissioners Nancy McDermid, Steve Thaler, and Larry Walsh for their continued support of the Douglas County Protective Association.
Lastly I would like to remind the readers and Mrs Nelson, Douglas County is one of the safest and best places to live in the nation, in part by the sacrifices of the men and women of your Douglas County Sheriff's Office and East Fork Fire Department.
President Jon Storke
Vice President Jeff Schemenauer
Douglas County Sheriff's Protective Association