As the soon to be former Mayor Littlefield touts to a barely mentionable crowd of 100 about his successes he cannot help himself but to jab at the police department. It is his one last chance to make the department and the people that are "really" trying to make it a better place look like fools. The mayor wants the citizens to believe that the police department has not be shortchanged by demonstrating how he provided all the tools and upgrades such as a new fleet, computers, cameras, weapons transitions, software and other things that make the department run effectively.
Number one, this is what you are supposed to do, this is your job. This is like hiring a carpenter and not giving him a hammer. Number two, don't make us feel bad that the operating cost went up 56 percent, which were certainly part of your upgrades and expansion.
I find it rather amusing that you even had the nerve to mention the "Pay Incentive" program. What an abysmal failure that turned into. You talk about old times sitting around with Gene Roberts and the same complaints were being raised then as they are now. You failed to fix them, but it seems you were able to fix everything else in eight years, but just not a simple enough structured program. The problem was not with the program, it was with you. You made the program unstable and sent it into disarray so much that the whole thing will simply have to be restructured. Yes, some did jump through your hoops and eventually did get some of the pay they were already entitled to. You held the funding of the program over our heads and when you were put in a position to have to pay employees you resorted to the "car debacle." I remember when the men and women of this police department came before the city council. You were present until it was our turn to speak, you simply walked out of the room. You did not care then, now and never have.
I was one of those officers that never jumped through your hoops. I never believed in the "Pay Incentive" program because I never believed in you. I watched my fellow officers year after year get denied the hard earned money they so rightfully deserved. It was very hard at times to watch. It reminded me of Clark Griswold in "Christmas Vacation" anxiously awaiting a Christmas bonus only to receive a devastating "jelly of the month club" voucher.
I have been employed with the city of Chattanooga for around 13 years and I do not make even $40,000. Since I have been an employee I have received a total of $9,000 in raises or cost of living raises. Truth be told I have enough education and requirements to make a substantial amount of money if I wanted to jump through your hoops. The fact of the matter is I couldn't put myself through the misery and agony that so many have done and on top of that many of those officers are having to file lawsuits to get what they already deserve. I work hard enough and deal with enough stress that I should not have to fight for what is mine, yet you see this as a victory.
It's easy for you to combat that with "as for pay, I have often said we can never pay our employees enough." That may be so, but you sure did find a way for some to get that and more. For instance, Mayor Littlefield will have left his position after receiving $17,157 in raises. He is certainly not the only one and these are just some of the few that I found: Dan Johnson total raises $14,162, Daisy Madison total raises $23,924, Donna Kelley total raises $14,748. In 2006 there were 12 people in the city of Chattanooga that made over $100,000 salary as you leave there are 20.
It seems that restructuring the pay system for the upper echelon was never a priority nor was it ever addressed. The way I see it is that many of these employees have been getting the raises that employees with the fire and police have been desperately waiting on. Shame on you and shame on your arrogance. I could be wrong since Pam Ladd thought you were doing a good job, but then again we voted her out. It's like a flaw praising a flaw.
At least Clark got a jelly of the month club voucher.