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March 30, 2009 / jimnv

Governor’s Response to Me

I e-mailed the governor’s office a couple weeks ago about their raises because I was not in support of them. I let them know what I thought using their on-line comment form. A representative responded today and I responded back.

First, The Governor’s response to me:
_________________________
From: Annalyn Bo Carrillo

Sent: Monday, March 30, 2009 5:30 PM

Subject: Office of the Governor

Thank you for your email.  Unfortunately, the media has misconstrued the situation with respect to salaries in the Governor’s Office.  By law, the Office receives a sum total and the Governor is authorized to distribute that however he sees fit.  In response to the growing fiscal crisis in Nevada, the Governor has reduced that appropriation by almost 12% and returned those savings to the state.  In addition, all of our staff, including the Governor, is subject to the proposed 6% cut and that is what was submitted in our 10/11 budget to the State Legislature.

The initial appropriation for salaries was based on staffing levels in January of 2007.  At that time, 27 people worked in the Governor’s Office.  Today, there are 17.5 (one part time employee).  By comparison, the Governor’s Office in Idaho has 29 staffers, Arizona has 39, Oregon has 65, Montana has 35, New Mexico has 30, Washington has 34, and Utah and Wyoming each have 20.    

As you can see, the Governor’s Office has reduced staffing by over 1/3rd from where we started, largely in response to the current recession.   And you can also see that despite the responsibilities of the Office of the Governor, the size of the staff here is quite modest in comparison to Governor’s offices in nearby states.

It’s true that some employees in the office have received promotions at various times over the last two and a half years.  With those promotions came increased pay.  But it is no different than any other employer in either the public or private sector.  If an employee is promoted, even in an economic recession, they can expect an increase in pay.  Despite any promotions, the overall salary spending in the Office has been decreased by almost 12%, and the size of the office has decreased by over a third.

Thank you again for checking with this office and allowing us to set the record straight.  We live in a day and age where the media is often more interested in grabbing headlines than checking facts, so we appreciate the opportunity to personally respond to your concerns.

Respectfully,

Annalyn Bo Carrillo
S NV Director of Constituent Services
Office of Governor Jim Gibbons
_________________________
My response to her was this:

Sent: Monday, March 30, 2009 6:54 PM

Annalyn,

Thanks for your response. I did not expect one.

I know that the Governor can do what he wants as long as he does not over spend his allotment, but his inability to understand the hypocrisy of the situation is amazing.

To illustrate my thinking on this: 

  • The number of state employees is the lowest per capita of any state. It seems state employees should be getting a major increase in pay and not a decrease as the Governor wants. The number of state employees is quite modest compared with the workload and responsibilities.
  • There are thousands of unfilled positions throughout the state system which means state employees must do more with less but no one is giving them any more pay because of it. 
  • Because of the budget crisis, most state agencies have been cut more than the Governor’s Office. A 12 percent cut is relatively minor. They should be so lucky!
  • Certainly, when an employee is promoted there is a pay increase but for regular state employees there are few promotional opportunities due to budget cuts. It appears the Governor’s staff were promoted just to give them a pay increase. This is not allowed in regular state service.

To state employees, teachers and the regular citizens, rationalizations are not acceptable. Never will be. The Governor and his staff need to “come out of their bubble” and see what is really happening in this budget crisis.

Jim Pierce

Minden, NV

http://www.nvemployees.com

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