Blind loyalty behind new leave deal

Published 10:15 pm Thursday, March 12, 2009

Suffolk’s City Council recently voted, unanimously, to increase City Manager Selena Cuffee-Glenn’s annual leave to four days a month and increased her monthly vehicle allowance to $950.

How can our mayor and city councilmen deem this reasonable when her annual leave of three days per month was already more than other cities of similar population and budget?

This reflects the same misdirected and blind loyalty that has added to the national economic crisis we now face, continuing to increase the CEO’s salary and benefits, while the corporation fights for its existence. The news has daily examples of this, including banks and insurance companies, automakers and investment houses.

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Ms. Cuffee-Glenn has directed Suffolk’s Department heads to provide her with budgets containing reductions in costs; she has frozen positions and cut overtime, which will reduce services. She has stated that all options are on the table, including pay reductions, furloughs and layoffs. The Suffolk Public Schools are forecasting the loss of over 100 positions, including teachers.

Despite all of this, she willingly accepts a benefit that with a value of over $27,000 a year. Doesn’t this seem hypocritical?

By not putting a cap on the number of days Ms. Cuffee-Glenn can accrue, this benefit will end up an exorbitant cost to the city of Suffolk. Since she gets to keep all of her previously accrued leave days plus the nine and a half weeks per year she will now get, in less than five years, she will be able to get paid for a full year — without working a single extra day for the city.

And, if she is as good as City Council obviously thinks she is, there is no doubt that she will move on to other opportunities, leaving Suffolk’s taxpayer to pay her for all those accrued leave days — with nothing in return.