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Letters: ‘It’s usually the money’

Posted: May 31, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: May 31, 2012 1:55 a.m.

In response to “Boydston cries foul on benefits,” May 26:

TimBen Boydston’s first public action is to object to an established policy. He is receiving $800 a month less than his fellow council members. He informs us that it’s not about the money; it is about fairness.

My late father observed when people say, “It’s not the money; it’s the principle of the thing.” It’s usually the money.

But let’s give the new councilman the benefit of the doubt. Let’s assume it’s about fairness. The policy to reduce benefits to all those hired after January 2011 has been applied fairly. Boydston cited no evidence to the contrary. He was hired after that date.

The fact that he was elected does not put him in a class that transcends the policy. He went through Human Resources. He is on the city payroll. He is being treated like all other hires. What is unfair about how he is being treated?

It’s a classic example of Thomas Sowell’s idea of stage-one thinking. Boydston has not looked beyond the present. To make an exception of him will not allow the city to apply the new policy fairly to all its future hires. Fairness only has meaning in the context of the application of current policy.

When Boydston took the oath of office, he agreed to abide by the policies of the city. This is part of his responsibilities.

The council meeting to discuss this alleged underpayment convenes June 26. We will find out then how committed the newest council member is to the principle of fairness toward all those hired after January 2011. Or is this about the money? 


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