Pray for the residents of Minot, North Dakota. They are facing the greatest flood in that state’s history. MINOT FLOOD: Disastrous. Unstoppable. Historic. Unprecedented...

Well, another budget workshop concluded last night. The tedious work of cutting programs and jobs continues. Some of the cuts suggested by City Manager Quiring seemed unworthy of the time spent on them. For example, it was estimated that $1,300 would be saved by turning off the water to the city hall fountain. After a discussion which reminded everyone of the income derived from weddings and parties at the city park, it was unanimously decided to keep the water flowing.

Also on the chopping block was north Fillmore’s “Storefront” complex which is presided over by retired sheriff’s deputy Max Pina. All council members but Mayor Gayle Washburn wanted to avoid any cuts to this much-used city asset. Washburn asked for an hour-by-hour assessment of costs at mid-term. With the loss of one gang officer, any cuts of Storefront services would seem to be counter-productive.

I’m just learning of a broad survey of Orange County executive salaries; maybe it’s broader than a single county. Many, if not most, of the salaries were found to be “excessive” but not “abusive”. I believe the salary for our new city manager is excessive, especially since she requires an assistant (two assistants?) to do the job when very little is going on. I believe California Assemblymen make less than $100,000 per year. Our manager (in a city of only 14,000) makes a total of about $230,000. Remember all the emotional fuss Councilman Jamey Brooks made about excessive salaries? And who can forget his now infamous June 3, 2008 proclamation before council: "Last year at this time, the city manager had sharply criticized my motives for being up here so I just want to make my motives crystal clear tonight. I have not come for peace, I have come with a sword. I HAVE COME TO CREATE DIVISION, if it doesn't exist, but I think division already exists."

He also opined that Fillmore’s city manager should not make more than $85,000 per year. Jamey’s conservative passion seems to have melted away after he was elected. Where are his outbursts of protest about excessive salaries now, when our city manager is making more than California State Senators, State Assemblymen, U.S. Senators, and the Vice President of the United States? Do I really have to say that this is NUTS!?