Editorial board should cool its rhetoric

Cool the rhetoric. What a great title for a recent editorial; unfortunately, the column that followed fueled the flames with unjustified claims and misleading information. So I guess my statement to the editorial board of this paper is cool the rhetoric. A debate about overtime can be helpful to our community as long as both sides use correct information. Fact checking by your paper would show the county does not have a policy that “Fulton County’s unionized Highway Department has a labor contract that mandates each of its employees receive a minimum of four hours of overtime any time employees are required to work outside of their normal work week, regardless of whether there are four hours of work to be done.”

Ask any county highway equipment operator. If they are called in to work two hours before their regular shift, they are paid for two hours of overtime, then continue on with their regular day.

You then go on to discuss the “state laws that make those contracts so hard to change” without citing one example. Contracts are renegotiated often, and both sides are able to make needed changes at that time. For instance, the highway department went from having two people plowing in each truck to having one person plowing, thereby saving money for every member of our community. You then cite “dramatic overtime costs” without giving one figure. Ask any privately owned plowing company if they have not paid their workers more this year because they have worked longer hours.

Misleading people to blame public employees for societal ills has become a sport in parts of society, but I have always expected better from my community paper. As a smaller community, we rely on the integrity of our paper to provide correct, unbiased information to us. It is disheartening when our paper throws away its integrity to add to the rhetoric to bash public employees. Our community needs and deserves better.

BARBARA HANDY

Mayfield