THE QUESTION: The Camden County Commission has decided hourly employees will lose a paid day off to help offset a budget shortfall caused by declining sales tax revenue. Should the commissioners and other elected officials also help by losing a day's pay?


THE QUESTION: The Camden County Commission has decided hourly employees will lose a paid day off to help offset a budget shortfall caused by declining sales tax revenue. Should the commissioners and other elected officials also help by losing a day's pay?

What a great leadership opportunity
This is a great opportunity for our elected officials to participate in the suffering of our bad economy as a gesture of appreciation for the sacrifices they are requiring of others.
I can already hear their excuses in my head.
Ron Smith, Camdenton

Help out or forget cutting paychecks
In my 60-some years lifetime, I have never seen an elected official take a pay cut of any kind.
I have heard of politicians returning their paycheck back into the payroll fund, but normally those particular officials could well afford too.
However, I feel that yes, they should help out or forget the idea of cutting the paychecks of those that need it the most, namely the hourly employees.
Ron White, Camdenton

They should set the example themselves
If the County Commissioners elect to deal with the budget shortfall by reducing labor costs, they should set an example by including themselves.
Since the commissioners serve at the will of the people, it behooves them to take positions to ingratiate themselves to their electorate.
The publicity so far concerning the issue has implied the commissioners lack of personal commitment to the problem.
What better time than now to publicly proclaim their solidarity with their subordinates and give up a day’s pay. The commissioners can also set a good example for other elected officials and encourage them to do the same.
Carolyn, Thom and Beverly have been doing an outstanding job for us in Camden County. Now let us see them inspire others with their personnel management skills.
Hal Anway, Lake Ozark 

Cost cutting should start at the top
I am a recently retired Colonel from the United States Air Force and the best lesson I learned as a Commander was to lead by example.
Eat last, make sure your enlisted folks had a place to sleep before you did, show integrity always, and be the first to take criticism for your organization. 
The Camden County Commission has a difficult and highly visible job executing a budget that has been hit by lower revenues.
One avenue for cutting costs will always be salaries. If that is the avenue chosen however, it should start at the top.
Mike Waggett, Lake Ozark

Why not use up vacation-day liability?
I believe if they don't, it will have a very negative impact on their employee morale. 
If I recall correctly, however, employees were not given an option to take a vacation day.
 I am not sure I understand that since vacation days represent a financial liability to the county and if there are layoffs or terminations, these days would have to be paid to the employee anyway. 
It would seem that they would benefit by allowing employees to use vacation time and not impact the county services another day when employees actually use and are paid a vacation day? 
Nancy Viselli, Osage Beach

No absolution for elected officials
Commissioners and elected officials should not be immune from their own decisions that drastically affect others!
William Schaefer, Rocky Mount

Cut should effect all employees
I have yet to see any numbers on how much will be saved by the plan to take away one paid holiday.
It may be more a symbolic gesture than a real saving.
Either way the cut should effect all employees of the county including elected officials.
Francis Carr, Sunrise Beach

Ben Franklin’s wise words apply
Of course.
“A good example is the best sermon.”
 Wise words of Benjamin Franklin still apply.
Joe Roeger, Lake Ozark

If one loses, they all should
I think if a group of workers are going to lose a paid day off and others above them think this is really going to make a difference in the budget, then it only makes sense that the more that lose a paid day off the better the long term outcome. 
So the commissioners might think of losing two of their paid days off to really set an example. 
Unfortunately, a lot of higher ups think it’s others patriotic duty to help by losing money, as long as it’s not them. 
Where have I heard that before?  But, if one loses they all should lose.  What they aren’t seeing is the big picture and the morale and lost productivity of employees. 
These employees will now look at something going wrong or needs to be done, shrug, walk away and make a comment to themselves, “that looks about like my lost day.” 
Bill Heckart, Horseshoe Bend/Sioux City, Iowa

Take one for the county team
It is a great idea! The money a day makes! It shows responsibility.
It is not responsible of Thomas to quote “We just plain don’t have the money,”  How much money?   It would be nice to know how much money the county will save. I read in the article that “the amount of money that will be saved is unavailable.” 
I take for granted it is known but not available.
Everyone that works for the county take the day off with out pay.
Someone get on the calculator and explain how much money the county is saving.
The county employees have a nice benefit package 27 paid days off one of them a birthday date.
That is just dumb.
How about reducing the number of days off to 26 permanently.
I bet someone can tell us how much money taking one paid day off the books will save the county.
Noelle Frazier, Osage Beach

That’s ludicrous
Your kidding, right? To even suggest something like that is ludicrous!
These people take from others, not from themselves.
The working person has aways had to give up compensation, whatever the crisis. The people in charge usually just get a raise.
David Grossen, Osage Beach

Show 100 percent participation
What’s good for the goose is good for the gander! 
That’s the best way to evenly distribute the cutbacks in that area by showing 100 percent participation by all county employees. 
This is a tactic that could save money and jobs if the options were swiftly and evenly applied. 
I personally think this should ring through to all federal and state offices in need of cutbacks. 
I’m certain, in this financial mess we are all in, those folks will gladly lose one or two days in lieu of their positions.
Michael Kirchhof, Osage Beach

Applauds commissioners’ tough decision
I think the Camden County Commissioners should be applauded for agreeing upon a paid day off to reduce expenses because the alternative is typically to eliminate jobs. 
Eliminating jobs is the easy way out of a bad situation. If revenues are down, the common response is to eliminate jobs. However, business managers and government officials need to work to find viable and even creative alternatives to layoffs.  
I would certainly accept a pay cut rather than a job loss.  With the unemployment rate at 10 percent and seven million people out of work, who wants to be searching for a new job? 
Nationally, on the average, for every job opening, there are six people without a job.  Layoffs devastate families; we all are becoming weary of a poor economy. 
Reduced employee benefits, shorter work weeks, and carefully considered and carefully crafted pay cuts are smart ways for managers to control costs.  
As a final note, managers and elected officials should never force their employees to make a sacrifice that they would not accept themselves.  If the CEOs of AIG, General Motors and Chrysler are being forced to take pay cuts, then certainly county commissioners should be forced to take pay cuts.
David Gregg, Eldon

Why penalize just working staff?
If the elected officials of Camden County wish to maintain the respect of the hourly workers of Camden County, they should also take a day's pay cut for the day after Thanksgiving.
This would also maintain their integrity in the eyes of the electorate.  If they are to impose such a harsh penalty on the working staff during the holidays, they should lead by example.
They must also realize that the economy is hard on everyone.
I don't think that the voters of Camden County would stand for it if the commissioners and  elected officials were paid while the working class folks were not. 
What is good for the goose is good for the gander!
James R. Hall, Camdenton

Make it a matter of law to reduce pay during tough times
I have expressed my opinion concerning this issue.
Christmas Vacation comes to mind here, when the boss changed his bonus giving, to a jelly of the month club.
State Law needs to be addressed as does the Federal, during times of economic distress Elected Officials automatically receive a reduction in pay to offset the decline in government moneys which is the tax payers’ burden.
It is more than fitting that our elected officials address this issue, for it is tax dollars that their salaries are paid as it is the tax dollars that pay for county, state and federal employees.
The merits alone of asking subordinates to reduce their income would also suggest that elected officials reduce theirs as well.
Carol Ferguson, Montreal Mo.

Show some real leadership
Real Leadership means that everybody is asked to share the same painful experience.  By taking the same day without pay management would be showing real Leadership.    What's good for the goose is good for the gander and all can live with the results.
By taking the same bitter pill, at least the morale of the staff can rationalize that both management and staff were equal in this event.  By not taking the day without pay, Management is saying that they are better than their staff.  I would suggest that the management is the culprit more than their staff and if anybody should take a day without pay, it's the management.  I say this as a disinterested  party.
Wake up management - This is a new day.  Get with the program.  Where is your Leadership?
Joe Murray, Osage Beach