I wanted to commend County Councilman Bill Knutzen, who when faced with the potential for county employee layoffs, has suggested that layoffs, if needed, should be based on job performance rather than union seniority. Here’s what he said in Bellingham Herald: Whatcom County Councilman Knutzen angers local unions with layoff discussion
"In the current economic climate I would expect a little flexibility from the unions while we try to preserve their jobs,"
"To hamstring these managers by giving them a staff that is less than their best people to do the same amount of work seems, I don’t know, shortsighted to me."
I think there are a lot of people out here who agree with Councilman Knutzen’s thinking in this matter and his common sense approach is exactly why I voted for him.
That should be the end of the story, but per usual, it is not. The Bill Knutzen quote is from today’s Herald article. It’s interesting that the titles for both the article and accompanying Politics blog post Whatcom County Councilman Knutzen makes no friends amongst largest bargaining unit, seem to indicate that Bill Knutzen said something that was out of line or inflammatory. In fact it was the union official’s response that was out of line and inflammatory.
Teamsters spokesman Chuck Eggert was angered when he heard of Knutzen’s comments.
"Maybe what we ought to do is do the same thing with County Council members and elect someone who is responsible and doesn’t make such despicable comments," Eggert said. "Excuse me … but he really kind of pisses me off. For him to come in here and make comments like that, he doesn’t have a clue as to how we got where we are."
Oh, I think Bill is responsible and does know how we got in this position. I voted for Councilman Knutzen to represent the people of our county, and in standing up to this type of union intimidation he’s showing me I didn’t waste my vote. Way to go Bill.