It’s disingenuous for the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors to publicly state that they had always intended to increase their investment in the community.
We spent four months bargaining with them and they spent the first three months offering 0% — no one goes to buy a car from a dealer and starts negotiations with: “I’ll take it for free.” Sounds to me like a waste of the taxpayer’s money, if indeed there was willingness to offer increases from the beginning.
The more important thing is that the Board finally did do the right thing for the people of Tulare County. It doesn’t matter if they did it because they always meant to or if it was a result of the endless media coverage shaming them and calling out their hypocrisy.
We need investment in county services and in the people who provide them. We also need more interaction between Supervisors and the community. Kermit Wullschleger, one of our bargaining team members, tried to make this happen and didn’t get very far. We still hope to convince them that they have always intended to do this too.
Our other hope is to change the conversation in Tulare County. Why are we spending time and energy to decide whether or not we should invest in our community? We should instead look at how we begin to build the county we want our children to inherit. SEIU has a Community First vision for Tulare County that eliminates waste and focuses our resources on those things that provide a return for our county.
Quality public services are one of the best ways to do that. It’s going to take all of us to support this change, but I believe that we are ready.
Greg Gomez is the Vice-Mayor of Farmersville and the President of the Tulare County Fair Board.