December 22, 2014

Utility board approves raises for Gardner Electric

Danedri Thompson
dthompson@gardnernews.com

Members of Gardner’s Electric Utility Board approved 2011 salary schedules that include pay increases for employees of the electric company.

During a meeting Dec. 2, board members unanimously approved varying increases. The majority of employees will receive a 3 percent increase starting in January. Other employees will receive 6 percent competitive salary adjustments.

When they approved a 2011 budget in August, board members planned to offer larger raises as part of a phased competitive adjustment approved in 2009.

That year, board members commissioned a salary study after the electric utility had difficulty filling two vacant positions.

“The pay for our employees was not competitive,” Gardner Electric Director Bill Krawczyk told the board.

As a result of the study, board members agreed to adjust some salaries in phases to make them competitive. In 2010, some employees, including apprenctice linemen and journeyman metermen, received increases equal to 50 percent of the recommended competitive adjustments. The plan was to phase in the remainder of the competitive adjustments in 2011. Instead, board members approved only 25 percent of the recommended competitive adjustment for 2011.

“I am here while explaining this to suggest that Gardner Electric is operating like a business,” Krawcyzk said. And for that, he credits employees.

“They are entitled or deserve salary increases because of those contributions,” he said.

Board member Eric Schultz questioned why electric utility staff only recommended that the board approve half of the competitive adjustments when the budget was designed for double that amount.

“In light of the economic conditions, and present-time controversy surrounding increases for electric employees, I thought it would be prudent,” Krawcyzk explained.

City officials worried at one time about morale if electric utility employees received raises while city employees did not. The concern prompted the electric board to offer to pay additional fees to the city so city employees could receive raises as well. However, Mayor Dave Drovetta said in a letter to the board that the utility’s offer could not be considered until the council drafted the 2012 budget.

The city’s 2011 budget does not include raises for city staff.

Electric utility board vice chair Lance Boyd said he struggled with the timing of offering raises to Gardner Electric employees.

“The employees deserve it, but there are a lot of people who deserve it and aren’t getting it,” he said.

Boyd requested information about the disparities between public and private compensation and learned the federal employees’ salaries far outpace their private sector counterparts.

“I think that is a problem,” he said. “But my point in wanting to find that out is

I think local (public) pay is lower than the private sector. That’s my assumption.”
The utility will post a profit in 2010 and board members haven’t raised fees in the last two years. They also don’t anticipate a need to raise rates in the next few years.

“At the present time, we’re being very fiscally responsible with the revenues,” Krawcyzk said. “If we don’t give increases to our employees, how do we explain that to our employees?”

Board members unanimously approved the measure.

Comments

  1. Well, let’s see, these jerks are appointed so I can’t vote them out of office and I can’t recall them……….Drovetta’s dictatorship works well for him and the special interests but you know what the people are getting………..a thumb to the nose or the bird……………..

    Most companies are LAYING OFF PEOPLE, giving little or no raises and what does Gardner do………..this bunch of bull hockey…………..3 or 6% raises and them telling us they needed to give 12% increases while they increase your electric rates………you may be running this as a business but I believe it is a mafia business run by mafia members…………I can hardly wait to hear what the next deal is going to be………….

    I bet Beasley, Schultz and the rest of this gang are all wearing their PROUD buttons……..

  2. Judith, it seems to me you could find reason to be supportive of this. This is a quasi public utility making money, being fiscally responsible all the while not burdening the public with increased fees.

    What is wrong with a fiscally strong business giving raises?

  3. Perhaps it is because the people of this country are truly suffering now and cannot afford these increases. All need to be sacrificing for the benefit of all in my opinion. Do you not realize senior citizens are looking at a second year with no increase in their social security income and for some people that is their only income which is a pittance in many cases – perhaps you need to be walking in their shoes for a few years. Do you not realize millions of people are now unemployed and can’t find a job but are so willing and how many of them can’t even put food on the table? Do you think we should be increasing costs to these people right now? Are you familiar with families who have kids in college now and how they are coping with those huge costs? Are you not familiar with the huge educational costs citizens are facing now and how we need to improve that system so badly to keep costs more affordable and give our youth what they so desperately need and how we should not be losing millions and billions of school tax dollars so the big money boys can sit there and watch how their bank accounts are increasing daily while the average citizen gets a higher tax bill to cover for their greedy rearends? Those big boys are not creating jobs now – they are sitting on their trillions of dollars and wanting more and more and more. The dear ole Coleman warehouse had a tax bill of over $625,000 this year but citizens didn’t get another over $625,000 which was their full tax revenue due them – over $625,000 just for one year stayed in the pockets of US Reit II rather than with the people who have such a need for that money now and always will and for what? Hire and fire jobs for the most part with $8 to $10 hour salaries, no benefits, no security, no nothing – all those kinds of jobs do is create more social costs and then I lose over $625,000 in tax revenue for THAT. Well, to me right now electic company employees coming to me with their hand out right now saying they want and deserve more money, is not the right time. They need to be writing in their grateful book about having a decent job with excellent benefits with the backbone of this country supporting them, the people.

    Jared, I wish I could give you a “grow-up” pill most days or give you a few hard knocks and then maybe you might have more empathy or could be making some better LONG TERM judgment calls rather than hurry up, give me my gratification now whether I can afford it or not – we have had way too much of that here in Gardner and across the nation now for years in my opinion and you are seeing the consequences of those actions but in your case I am not too sure you are seeing or wanting to see the consequences.

    I believe this country right now is suffering so due to money and greed and everyone only thinking about themselves, especially the special interests who the people have to pay for the costs and the losses while they gain. Gardner this year had the biggest tax increase in its history I believe, I know for certain for the last 10 years and what brought that about? I believe it is from years of spending more than what is coming in the door and handing out the sweet deals to the special interests while the people suffer the loss of tax revenue which gives them a higher tax bill. ALL need to be contributing for the needs of the community and the tax burden should not be transferred from one party who doesn’t want to carry their weight to an average citizen.

    You say this electric company is not burdening the public with increasecd fees – have we not had an increase in our electric rates in recent years???? What part of our debt is due to the electric utility? What are we doing to reduce the city’s debt which has created so many of our financial problems now?

    I know it is hard for all employees across the nation now but we all, in one way or the other, brought on our problems and now the piper is having to be paid. Hard to swallow but that’s life and hopefully a learning lesson for many. These hard times separate the boys from the men and the girls from the women and there is no easy answers but everybody is going to have to do their job, whether it is fair or not.

    Again, your comments, Jared, sound the same as those I have heard from worthless politicians for years now and not what I want to hear. I don’t want the wheeling and dealing, the conniving, the manipulation, the shell game of moving money from one pot to another, etc. – I want some governing for the PEOPLE, not the special interests, and involving honesty, integrity, ethics, character and someone who can look further than the end of their nose.

  4. Judith, maybe one of the places listed here would suit you better.

    Bon Voyage…

    http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/bplive/2010/

  5. The concerns I write about are widespread across the country – you can NOT move away from the problems – you have to face them and resolve them. Milo, perhaps you also need a “grow-up pill” or be aware of the real world and what is really going on in it.

  6. Jared T. Please define quasi public utility. By its nature, this EUB can’t be run as a private business. Not even a controlled monopoly, as there is no public oversight – Kansas Corporation Commission – that investigates and regulates rate increases. Customers are captive and have no recourse but to purchase electricity from the city at whatever price this board levies. It shows the board’s lack of business acumen to say they want to run it like a private business – no successful private business can raise the price of its product above what customers will pay. Let’s say McDonalds wants to pay their employees 10 percent more because they work hard and deserve more, but they have to increase the price of their hamburgers. Would you pay $5 for a quarterpounder, fries and a drink? What about $7? What about $10? $15? At what price do you go elsewhere for lunch? The EUB is not faced with that dilemma. They simply raise rates, and the customers have no recourse. The mere comparison of this unregulated utility monopoly to a private business is ludicrous. If they want to give deserving employees a raise, and they have the money, fine, but the comparison to running it like a private business is laughable.

  7. Peter Plante says:

    I guess that’s what I’m doing too. I live in Gardner and KCPL is my electric company. On November 22, 2010 this article appeared in the Kansas City Star.

    “The Kansas Corporation Commission, in a decision released Monday, said it would let KCP&L collect an extra $22 million annually, a 4.5 percent increase.

    The increase will take effect Dec. 1 and boost the average residential customer’s bills about $50 a year. With the increase, Kansas KCP&L customers’ rates will have gone up more than 30 percent in the past five years.”

    Really – more than a 30% increase in the past five years – now that’s ludicrous! So Merry Christmas to me! Do I have any other recourse? If so, please advise.

  8. Well said, Samuel K and I will add that the city of Gardner has not run their house as a private business either for years and that too could be laughable but it is not because of the serious affects to the people and citizens of Gardner, Ks. and even beyond. And I would say the same about USD School Dist 231.

  9. Well, Peter you might want to compare what you would be paying if you were with Gardner Energy and then perhaps a smile might come on your face…………not sure what you would find but if you would tell me what your electric consumption was on your last bill, I could perhaps compute what it would be if you were living in Gardner city limits. Might help both of us to know and in fact, I think I will contact a friend in this area under KCP&L and compute their bill and then I will know. Should have thought of that before now. I’ll also try to pull out my electric bills for the past 5 years and see what has happened here in Gardner. Give me something to do tomorrow after I get my priorties taken care of. I have stayed in the same house for the past 5 years so I should get some good comparison info.

  10. @Samuel, your point is taken with my referring to the EUB as a “quasi public” utility. However, my point still stands. The EUB has followed the direction the City gave them when they extended the franchise to them, they kept rates low while maintaining reserves and being fiscally responsible.

    If you compare rates between KCP&L and EUB you will find that comparitively speaking our rates are lower and our services levels are higher.

    Now Samuel, your point about the monopolistic tendencies of any public utility is well taken and is a good debate.

  11. Jared T. speaks as the consumate worthless politician – is Drovetta or Tom Mertz mentoring you, Jared, or have you taken a correspondence course on how to stab citizens in the back with a smile on your face and your hand automatically swinging out there to do the ole politico handshake…………….

  12. Previous reference to School Dist. 231 should have been School Dist. 233.

  13. @Judith, so you’re saying I. Will get your vote?

  14. Peter, You are correct about the KCPL increase. The only difference would be, and I say this from memory so feel free to verify with the KCC, is that KCPL, and other regulated monopolies must notify customers of impending rate increases and hold public hearings. They do take public comment. In the KCPL case, I believe the approved rate increase was less than what the utility requested. I don’t believe the EUB is required to hold public hearings, but residents should check with their city hall to verify. The biggest problem with regulated monopolies is that a few years back the KCC allowed utilities to “pass thru” fuel costs – and that took away the incentive for utilities to shop for a lower rate.
    Jared T, My only problem with the EUB is saying they are running it like a business. They are running it like an unregulated monopoly.

  15. KCP&L or the Kansas Corporation Commission are required to hold public meetings with respect to any requested increase of rates. I know from experience at least in the insurance industry that has to get approval for rate changes, that they always ask for about twice what they anticipate what they will get and that way they will get what they want. The following from KCP&L website proves that point and you will note they went for more than twice what they got:

    KCP&L FILES RATE INCREASE REQUEST WITH KANSAS CORPORATION COMMISSION
    Company asks for recovery of costs associated with its
    Comprehensive Energy Plan
    Kansas City, Mo. (December 17, 2009) – Kansas City Power & Light Company (KCP&L), a subsidiary of Great Plains Energy Incorporated (NYSE: GXP) today filed a rate increase request with the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) to increase base rates for electric service in its Kansas service area. The total amount of the request is approximately $55.2 million. This would raise the typical residential customer monthly base bill 11.5%, or approximately $11.08 each month. If approved, the base rate increase is expected to be effective on October 17, 2010.

    **************************************************************

    At least with some type of oversight I would be hopeful but certainly not guaranteed, that the people would be protected more but in this day and age it is my opinion YOU are the one who has to provide the oversight because the worthless politicians certainly won’t.

    I just brought in my utility bills for 2005 from the garage so later today or tomorrow I should be able to tell you what I find when I compare 2005 electric costs here in Gardner compared to what I have paid in 2010. Just right off hand, I would say they will have increased by 35 to 40%……………we will see ……..

  16. Is there tax money that helps fund this EUB? Or is it wholly self-supporting. If taxpayer money was used as an original investment, or to contribute to monies in any way, I would repharse my statement and say the EUB is an unregulated monopoly funded by, but not overseen by, tax or ratepayers. I’m curious as to how this came about. It doesn’t seem like a well made plan for ratepayers.

  17. I can hardly wait for the person who stated “I have been in line and executive management positions with P&L responsibilities for over 20 years.” answer Samuel K.’s last question………..I’m waiting………….

  18. @Samuel, the Electric Utility Board is made up of Gardner residents. Those residents I would assume are also “rate payers”. No?

  19. The Electric Utility Board is the oversight, same as the City Council for the rest of the city. There is no additional taxpayer revenue, just the funds from selling electric.

    So Judith, where is that comparison on our rates versus KCPL rates? I’m guessing you found out that the adjusted rates for KCPL customers with the new rate increase is about 12 cents per kwh while Gardner rates are about 11 cents per kwh. If you crunch the numbers our rates are about 9% cheaper.

    I guess when you worked that out you decided not to post it here since it didn’t support your ridiculous claim that the electric is some sort of monoply or even a ‘mafia’. Just like your claim that our rates have increases 35-40%, something with no proof to back it up because it isn’t true.

    For someone who spouts off about the truth and facts so much, you don’t seem to concerned with them, only making outrageous claims and bashing anyone and everyone in Gardner.

    I also don’t see how the electric is coming to you with their hand out. I know you read the previous articles since you commented on them, there are no rate increases in the budget for the next several years and these raises were also a part of that budget.

  20. Charles: Funny, to receive your snipy note now since I just now came into my office to let the citizens know what I found out about my comparison of what I have paid in electric costs here in Gardner for 2005 vs. 2010.

    I live in the same house, no change in overall usage so we should be comparing apples to apples. For 2005 I paid $717.18 and for 2010 I have paid $929.70 for total electric charges here in Gardner. I believe that works out at around a 29.6% increase. Better than the 35 to 40% increase I anticipated. Next few days I hope to compare the increases in water and sewer too so I can know what has happened on those two utility charges.

    I have not came up yet with someone to give me a KCP&L bill for say like the month of November which needs to show the consumption, etc. I want to have the bill before me. If you can help me in getting a copy of an actual bill then I would be glad to work further on a comparison or perhaps you would take the time to do that, Charles, by giving us a copy of the KCP&L bill and your calculations – I am working on several projects right now and would appreciate your citizen contribution.

    So let’s recap here a little bit. Kansas gave us a 1% sales tax increase in July which I believe is the biggest one in history, the city of Gardner gave us the biggest mill levy increase probably in it history, I know for at least the past 10 years, the water and sewer rates are or will be going up, my medicare tie-in plan and prescription D coverage insurance is going up again eff. 1-1-11 and on and on we could go but I have to be rushing to the aid of Gardner electric employees to the tune of 6% salary increases in some instances and the Board wanted to give them 12%……….oh yes, I guess you could justify murder if you wanted to, like Roeder did……….I say be careful, very, very, very careful what you stand for.

  21. There are more variables then just stating what you paid for in a year. What about taking into account the weather? Stating how much you paid in a year tells us nothing unless you’re also going to tell us what the average temperature was through the summer.

    I’ll help you. According to the National Weather Service here are the average Temps for Kansas City in the summer time.

    2005 77.5
    2006 79.3
    2007 77.8
    2008 75.4
    2009 74.1
    2010 79.7

    Side note,2010 Was the 15th hottest year in Kansas since 1889.

  22. Oh, yes, Ryan, I thought of that too but I keep it simple and don’t go into all of the conniving, justification, etc. crapola like yourself. As I said some justify doing murder like Roeder did……….you specialize more in the lie and hate games to justify what you and others do to get what you want. Scientifcally run this issue into outer space if you want to but when it comes down to it for most citizens, in my opinion, they are having a hard time swallowing 3, 6 or 12% increases in pay right now especially considering the huge tax increase the city of Gardner approved for 2010, just like they have a hard time to see the Wall Street, Banking and other big money boys once again dragging in billions while there are many people who don’t have enough money to put food on the table or have a roof over their heads. Tell me some more so I will be even more convinced of what you stand for.

  23. I have to assume Judith, that you used the exact same amount of electricity in 2005 that you used in 2010 or your comparison might be off.

    To compare apples to apple, I looked online at my kcpl comparison, my average cost per day in 2009 was $4.13; my average cost per day in 2010 is $4.98 and that is thru the month of november. If I calculated right, thats a 20%+ increase in my cost per day with kcpl; and that’s before the 4.5% increase takes place.

  24. As you well know, I did not look at consumption because to me that is not the BIG issue being debated here……….get the City Hall Gang on here – I have heard them justify just about how to kill a cow for years now (I am being facetious but I have nighmares on the double talk that Drovetta, Lehman, Fairburn, Mundt, Gourley and others have made me suffer through such as the good ole one of “If You Can’t Beat ‘Em – Tax ‘Em – one of the biggest lies in my opinion) …….you want to get hung up on the percentages, consumption, weather, etc., etc., you just go to it but again I say most citizens have a hard time swallowing a 3, 6 or 12% increase for government employees now and for good reason considering the increases they are seeing in practically every level of their life while many of them are losing their jobs, houses, medical insurance, etc., etc.

  25. YOU DON’T LOOK AT CONSUMPTION? Are you kidding me? I know you want it to be difficult so you can use that as you’re excuse, but it really isn’t that hard.

    We are all charged for the amount of electricity we use.(consumption) If we use more electricity because it is really hot outside and we need to run our fans or air conditioners longer well then our bill at the end of the month is going to be higher. (If that is scientific for you than I give you too much credit)

    Again the summer of 2010 was one of the hottest on record thus most people have probably paid more for their electricity because they ran their air conditioner more. (Or maybe I’m the only one that can’t stand it being 90 degrees in my house)

    So for you to add up the cost of all 12 months in a year for the past five years and say the electric rates in Gardner have gone up 30% since 2005 is absolutely silly. As for rushing to people’s aid…take your time.

  26. So I guess basic match and logic and just too scientific for this issue? All you told me is how much you paid in a year, which means nothing. If I pay $5 for lunch on Tuesday and $10 for lunch on Wednesday does that mean food costs suddenly doubled? Or could I have just eaten more the next day because I was hungrier? If you pay $1 for an 8oz soda one day and $1 for a 4oz soda the next, has the cost of soda stayed the same then? If you don’t talk in per unit costs it doesn’t really mean anything.

    I gave you the per kwh costs which can been determined by looking at your electric bill and the bill of a KCPL customer. Instead you want to ignore that and make blind accusations without any facts to back them up.

    And, as I said before, those raises aren’t affecting your electric rates so I don’t really understand what you are so worked up about. You talk about all these increases but your electric isn’t increasing so how is any of that related to this issue? If your taxes go up is everyone in the world to blame?

    It seems to me that you just like to complain about anything and everything.

  27. The little boys in the long pants have got their panties in a wad………..give me all the scientific and weather and whatever trivia if it makes you feel better but in the end do you think citizens appreciate to see their utility costs to continue to escalate and they have to dig further in their pockets to pay the bill and then the government employees want even bigger and bigger paychecks that no one else is getting – that is if they are lucky enough to have a job. As I say, you can justify murder if you want to but it doesn’t make it right and Roeder found that out. I deserve an increase in my income this year too, but I will play heck getting it.

  28. I may not agree 100% with Judith, but I will say that our electric bill is not going up, but did you see that water and sewer is? So, is that where the money went for these raises? I understand giving people raises when they deserve it, but an 8% increase is a little crazy. There are so many people out of jobs or making less than they were because they were laid off and had to take a pay cut to even get a job. I understand that Judith may not have been comparing the usuage correctly, but honestly my husband and I noticed a huge jump in utilities when we moved to Gardner from Olathe. I do agree that it is crap that we can not choose where we go to get out utilities. I would love to go back to KCP&L as there was better customer service there and they have more options to help people when they do get in binds and cannot affford the full bill unlike Gardner Utilities. If you have a bill you cannot pay in full you have to work something special out and you have to pay so much per week. With KCP&L they will spread that bill over the next year to make it easier to swallow. They also offer the even payment plan, which is nice and I would LOVE to be able to do. Thank God gas is not through the city! Gas is already crazy as it is!

  29. It is cheaper in Olathe. And people don’t look in your business and make you feel bad because of the bill. Especially in trailers. But thats like the projects to the mayor.

  30. I agree with you Wendy.

  31. Sure Judith, keep repeating your snide little comments about ‘wheeling and dealing’ and ‘justifying murder’ since you have nothing valuable to add the conversation and certainly no factual evidence to back you up.

    Brandy, the electric budget is seperate from the budget for the rest of the city. So no money from water and sewer is going to the electric and vice versa. The budget for the electric can afford raises without increases whereas the city budget cannot and are increasing water and sewer just to cover their debt.

    As far as your utility bill, are you looking at utilities as a whole or electric, water, and sewer seperately? I used to live in Overland Park and I know my water and sewer is higher here, but my electric isn’t.

  32. Hey, Charlie K., if what you say is correct why was the Electric Board going to raise our electric franchise fee to cover raises for ALL city employees????????? The people did not go along with that so they backed off and then just gave raises to the electric employees. If you can’t manipulate things as you have planned, go to Plan B. Wake up and smell the stench – I have to wonder how long you have lived in Gardner and been paying attention to city and school issues and business because if you were doing that, you would know what has been happening to your dollars and you wouldn’t be concerned about the weather, how many times you have flushed the toilet or some other trivia you want to track. Try tracking those electric bills in Gardner for the past 5 years when some of the charges change MONTHLY, to say nothing whether now you are being blessed with a service fee or not at that particular time and a whole bunch of other charge changes in 5 years. If you think you can get all of those differences for a 5 year period on spread sheet, then humor me and do it and tell me exactly what all you took into consideration.

    And again I don’t think you can see the forest for the trees.

  33. Well Judith I don’t think you can see the truth because you don’t really care to. First I was being too scientific by doing some basic math, now you want me to make a spread sheet to track all the seperate utilities for the past five years? I’ve already given you the electric rates and you completely ignored those, so if I did make that spread sheet I don’t think it would change what you think at all. At this point I’m not even trying to convince you since you have made it apparent that you don’t want to be convinced and that you aren’t overly concerned with facts, only accusations. However, I do think the residents of Gardner need to be able to come here and read the real facts, instead of only your warped version of the world.

    I will answer your questions by quoting the past articles on this matter:

    “Last week, members of the EUB voted to increase franchise fees – dollars its pays to the city in order to operate a utility in Gardner – from 5 percent to 7 percent.”

    “the fee increase would not lead to a utility rate increase for consumers. It will, however, slow the speed at which the utility board increases its own reserves.”

    “Utility board members set a goal not to increase rates for five years when the utility split from Gardner in 2008. To date, residents have not seen a rate increase.”

  34. Peter Plante says:

    Thank you, Charlie K., for clarifying this issue.

  35. Oh, yes, the good ole Drovetta semantics……….I recognize it immediately since I have expereienced it for years………enjoy what you support.

  36. I enjoy reading this board. Judith, I don’t know what you have done to raise the hackles of some of the commentators! It’s entertaining to see the give and take. So if this unregulated government monopoly is truly benevolent towards their captive customers – as some of these commentators seem to believe – who does have oversight of this board? It appears to be an appointed board, so apparently not the voters. What about your city council? If a customer – or customers – believe the rates are too high, who can they complain too? I would imagine your city council, but it seems the board is freestanding. Not even a private monopoly enjoys that power. Why would a board decide to increase franchise fees for the city staff, if indeed they are separate entities? Who does the billing, city or EUB staff? Is the city reimbursed for this service? Who pays or payed for the basic infrastructure? So many unanswered questions. And as to the rate comparisons on here, it is true there are a lot of variables, but most ratepayers are usually more concerned with what they have to pay, as opposed to a utility’s justification. Are these comparisons only for residential, or commercial and residential? What about large power usage? And if, as some comments have indicated, it is cumbersome to make pay arrangements, that’s because as a government unregulated utility, the EUB does not have to follow state regulations/tariffs as proscribed by the KCC. Not a good business model, except as a “slush” fund for a municipality.

  37. Samueal K. your words are like a breath of fresh air to me………the Judith that so appreciates a voice of reason and common sense and I would say intelligence which can spot political propaganda that has been around for so long here in Gardner. “They” dislike me, Samuel, because I am usually the voice that calls them out or doesn’t agree with their opinions or their judgments – I am the voice they don’t want heard because sometimes it puts a snag in their plans – only “they” can be right – no respect, just arrogance and their ego. But whatever, that is not the important thing at least with respect to myself but it is wrong when they try to control everything and they adversely affect others. The important thing to me is to get people to use critical, independent thinking and not be led down the rosy path that some entity has decided is the best path for them, but in reality it usually is one that will financially rape them again for I can’t remember how many times and adversely affect them in other ways too.

    As far as I am concerned with this electric utility, I think it is time to sell it, take the money to reduce our huge debt, the employees can go to work for another utility, reduce the costs by what we are paying for these employees plus their benefits costs, etc. and get our house in order with respect to fiscal responsibility in the future which certainly hasn’t been practiced in the past and then, of course, to stop taking care of the special interests but protect and appreciate all of the citizens of Gardner, Ks. who, to me, are the backbone of this local economy and who like people across America are the backbone of the American economy. However, the worthless politicians have totally forgotton who has made this country great and work for the corrupt entities who are only worried about themselves.

    Again, Samueal, I appreciate knowing there is another person who actually can see the forest.

  38. People don’t want to be confused with facts; it’s easier to follow than think for yourself. Apparently though, you’re accurate enough to frighten them or they wouldn’t be so angry. We used to be taught to question the status quo, but now asking questions is taken as a personal affront. Remember the powers that be used to argue the Earth was flat.

  39. It is still round, isn’t?

  40. I saw these comments on another blog and thought I would share them. It reminds me of how Drovetta and others support the thieves and give the bird to the people time and time again – that is my opinion.

    ***********************************************************

    tomatogrower (anonymous) replies…
    Yet, you would probably be the first to whine about poor roads and lack of police. Then you would whine about people living in tents cities along the river, because that’s all they can afford. Did you ever work for a company who would come in and tell everyone what a good job they are doing and how much profits went up this year, then they throw you a 5 cent an hour raise? I have. That’s why I would never do that to my employees. They share in the good times and the bad, and I’m right up front with them. I don’t earn 1000 times more than they do. Yes, I’m the boss, but I actually let things trickle down, unlike the likes of the Koch brothers and their cronies.

    Why do you think this would be such a stable society to have some very rich people, and a whole lot of dirt poor people working for whatever scraps the rich throw them? Have you ever read history? Who do you think really created unions and spurred people like Karl Marx? It was the rich industrialists who refused to allow their money to trickle down to the people who were breaking their backs to make these people rich. How many of these CEO’s and investors have become obscenely rich from their engineer’s ideas, and the people who work in their factories? Not from their own ideas and hard labor. Yes, CEO’s have to be leaders, but most of them just have MBA’s and know how to kiss the right behinds. And look how many corporations award these guys with huge bonuses even when they make lousy short term decisions? A CEO runs a company into the ground and then keeps his job? or is given huge money to leave? Enough money to support 100 families comfortably? Do you really think it wasn’t a good idea to fire GM’s executives who even had a separate elevator put in, so they didn’t have to mingle with the lowlies?
    Go ahead. Try and accuse me of being jealous that I haven’t figured out such a good scam. But what I am is disgusted. I have some morals. Anyone who worships these thieves are just as immoral as they are, even if you go to to church every week and pray to God. You worship money the rest of the week.

    December 12, 2010 at 9:24 a.m.

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