Here is another roundup of some of the most thought-provoking reader comments of the week. Comments are selected by our editors and subject to editing for grammar, spelling, clarity and length.
Click on each topic's headline to see the article in question.
A brotherhood to fight against special ed families? I am speechless. All on the taxpayers dime?
This article is more proof that Orange County government — that is, all agencies — have been co-opted by "interests" opposite of the mission of the public.
Orange County needs outside support to wrestle control from these misaligned interests. The Voice of Orange County is doing an incredible job reporting and connecting the dots, but the shear volume of public law violations is staggering.
— OCservant-leadership / Sept. 27
[Michael] Giancola [director of Orange County Waste & Recycling] is not going anywhere only because he is being protected by the Human Resources director — his best friend, Steve Danley. Anyone else would be on administrative leave, period.
Now is the time for people to speak up and tell the truth. Failure to do so will leave these people free to continue to do whatever they desire.
— Insider2 / Sept. 26
Wow, this is getting interesting. Is anybody running the county these days? The executives seem to either be having sex with each other or suing each other.
How do you apply for an executive position in the county?
— Truevoice / Sept. 24
The bottom line is that line government workers are treated like kings and queens compared to grunt private-sector workers. Bigger salaries, much bigger retirement plans, much earlier retirements and ironclad job security. All that is fact.
So while the folks at the Hall of Administration have been raking us over the coals for years, we are getting taken to the cleaners by the rank and file too.
The private sector should be the gold standard when it comes to public employee salaries and benefits. But your unions have hijacked the system and turned public employment into just another scam.
— Beelzebub / Sept. 25
Beelzebub, it is impossible for you to know what the facts are when you are "outside" and you don't have to experience it yourself first hand, when half of the staff of an office is gone and you have to do two to three persons' jobs.
The majority of the public do not appreciate the services that we provide because they don't know how much we do until they need our help. You probably belong to that majority, and I am glad that you don't need our service [at the Orange County Social Servies Agency].
We have all kind of folks coming to our offices from all walks of life, including the well-off of South County, maybe for the first time.
The fact is those I hired for an entry level job do have a four-year degree, and they serve the public. Unfortunately the pay doesn't match the requirement of the job, and they'll be gone as soon as they can find a job in the private sector.
Do you think you would want to work for 30 years for this kind of job as I described it and retire with $48,600 a year?
— Straightmind / Sept. 26
I am expected to do the work of five people on 40 grand a year with a college degree and 20 years experience. I am ignored when I try to fight fraud. I am ignored when I say we can cut waste and costs.
I spend all day with crying people or arrogant jerks, who think I am their personal servant. On really good days, I get to deal with people who are drugged, drunk or psycho, who come over my desk at me with a pen because I tell them "no." I've had lice jump on me. I've had people cough all over me and get sick.
Our health insurance is worse than the free stuff we give out. Our union is a joke. And then we get criticized by people who know nothing about our jobs and who act like we don't work hard for every penny we get.
I pay for my pension, a pension I don't want, and I pay for my medical. I pay way more than those lazy hohos up in administration who do nada all day and get paid three times as much.
I am so sick of this sanctimoneous nonsense about how great we have it. I know that people who do my job in private sector make 25% more than I do. Further, they have the right to refuse service to someone being threatening and abusive, and I don't.
Anytime you want to haul your cookies down to my office and do my stinking job for a day, be my guest. You can't, because no sane person would put up with that level of impossible work with crazy people for that kind of lousy money.
The public doesn't want good government employees, because they don't stand up for them. I don't see any of you fighting or applauding good workers. You just lump them all together. Seems to me that you are hypocrites. You criticize the bad, but you don't back up the good. She needs to zip it, keep her job and forget it...because they will fire her if she keeps it up.
— Kate / Sept. 26