More cuts needed to make it add up

We read on Wednesday that 15 jobs may be cut from the county workforce due to budget cuts. On Thursday we read that there will be an across-the-board 2.6 percent reduction.

We also read that the county employs about 2,700 people. Fifteen job cuts out of 2,700 is one-half of one percent, 2.6 percent would mean a reduction of 70. That is a meaningful change that wasn’t pointed out in the Thursday article. That seems to be the only realistic way to reduce spending when payroll is 32 percent of the total budget and benefits are an additional 11 percent.

The article said county leaders were reluctant to ask employees to take a pay cut when most had 11 days off without pay last year. The article failed to mention that employees received a 5 percent pay increase last year.

The 11 furlough days without pay represent approximately a 4 percent reduction, which still resulted in a 1 percent pay increase for the year even though they worked 11 fewer days during the year. That seems like an increase, not a cut.

Citizens in the county received 11 fewer days of service but paid 1 percent more is another way of looking at this.

Tom Balt

Snohomish