Red’s speech to the Mayor and City Council Members at the July, 19, 2011 City Council Meeting
Mayor Gilmore and council members
Your recent secret dealings with two unions bring to mind an incident in which Winston Churchill asked a lady if she would sleep with him for a million pounds.
Well, I suppose so, she said.
Would you sleep with me for five pounds?
What kind of a woman do you think I am?!
He replied – We have already established that; now we are just haggling over price.
Following acceptance of the fire union contract it was clear that the police contract would also be accepted, but sliding it into the consent calendar is disingenuous at best. I am annoyed that either union would continue to demand benefits they knew would force dismissal of other city staff. But I am completely disgusted that council members – who have taken an oath of office – would accept payments from the people with whom they were negotiating a contract. The most fitting word I can find is corruption. And that your constituents can tolerate such conduct is beyond belief. …
For the past decade, we have heard the refrain – our lives are on the line, as complete justification for very high salaries, pensions and medical benefits. Fair enough, but I wonder how fair this is to retirees who themselves saw combat duty and who now survive on very modest pensions. I also wonder how many public service employees actually pay taxes in Alameda compared to the number of veterans and the Alameda residents currently on military service. The residents of this fair city elected you to watch over our interests, not to make secret deals for your own benefit. If you are not prepared to live up to your oath of office, you should at least have enough decency to resign.
You must have no sense of shame!
And yes! I was in the armed forces at the very end of World War II, and I was a member of a fire crew.
-Ewart Wetherill aka Red (Go Red!)