Note to government: Put the public first

Public sector employees have forgotten that they serve the citizens

The author, a retiree and native of San Francisco, is a Chico resident.

The only reason for the establishment of any governing body is to enact legislation for the health, safety and welfare of its constituency, the people, and anything beyond that scope of representation can only be of a subordinate concern.

It has become quite clear that our present governing bodies have moved far beyond providing representation for the people’s interests and so therefore no longer fulfill their obligations of office. On a national level we have allowed ourselves to become separated from the process in the selection of our representation, handing it over for the most part to wealthy entrepreneurs to elect like-minded wealthy businesspeople in a corrupt money-driven election process that excludes the average citizen’s participation. We have allowed the politician to rise above a life of public service to one of high-paying, prestigious careers of empowerment and entitlement.

This concept of political elitism has become the norm and is having devastating effects on services provided for the people, affecting our local governing bodies as well, due to overcompensation with an absence of one’s primary role of being in service to the people.

Those choosing to work in the public sector need also remember that their primary role is to be of service to the people and they therefore cannot command compensation two, three or four times the average salary of those being represented. Recent disclosures reveal that 82 percent of the general fund is being spent on compensation and benefits for our fire and police services at a time when other important services for our community are being cut or diminished due in part to this unacceptable misappropriation of funds.

Our city of Chico is an unparalleled diverse gem of natural wonder and a community bursting with talented farmers, educators, artists, musicians and mindfulness—attributes that fully warrant its claim to fame as a quality-of-life community. The very idea of cutting or diminishing services that are at the very heart of our city’s grandness, for the self interests and lucrative career opportunities of a few, is unconscionable.

There is an opportunity to set a new precedent for representation free from unsustainable compensation and monetary influence allowing the actual needs of the people in the community to be at the forefront of any decision made for the distribution of any and all revenues collected.