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Education Matters: Adams can still be that 'good man'

August 06, 2010|Dan Kimber

Editor's Note: Numerous instances of plagiarism have been discovered in Dan Kimber’s “Education Matters” column, which ran in the News- Press from September 2003 to September 2011. In those columns where plagiarism has been found, a For the Record specifying the details will be appended to the piece.

The outrage generated by the bloated salaries and pensions for top officials in the city of Bell has been amplified throughout the state, and for good reason it is resonating in our fair city. One of the "Gang of Three" in Bell, Randy Adams, will be asking Glendale to contribute to his bloated pension, now estimated to be $411,000 per year for the rest of his life.

I'd be curious to know what Adams — former police chief of Glendale — was thinking when he maneuvered to position himself for this unwarranted payout. Was he thinking, "I deserve this," or was he thinking, "I can get away with this"? Did he believe that no one would take notice? Did he consider the financial straits of a nation, a state, of cities and of millions of people struggling to survive in a depressed economy?

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Who was minding the store when these sweet deals were concocted? How many other officials in other cities have quietly lined their pockets with seeming impunity, relying on the apathy and non-involvement of local voters?

I am amazed that there is any objection in this country to government oversight and regulation given the recent and continuing financial meltdown at every level — national, state and city. The debacle in Bell should become a national metaphor for the wages of greed and the ongoing necessity for the people to be vigilant, and for the government to act swiftly to keep it in check.

Greed is responsible for the obscene salaries of chief executives, now put at a 500-to-1 ratio to an average worker's compensation. Greed is the cause of the high wages paid to the bosses, even of failing companies. Greed has government bailed-out enterprises giving bonuses to the very people who presided over their corporation's failure.

And now we have mid-term elections coming up and, as per custom in our country, money plays a feature role in determining outcomes. Large chunks of it will go toward promoting a candidate, some to promote change and some to protect the status quo.

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