Right to know?

Several people called, emailed and wrote letters to us with various perspectives on the subject of disclosing public employee incomes.

One of the responses came from Castro Valley resident Dayna Leines, wife of a police officer, who wrote:

I realize that this is public information. However, I am appalled that The Daily Review would publish the names of those employees, especially without their consent. As per the most recent article, “The California Supreme Court ruled that governments must disclose what they are paying their workers.” Nobody will disagree with that.

However, releasing the names of those individuals was unethical and of no relevance. It seemed like an invasion of their privacy and, in the case of police officers, it put them and their families at risk.

See her full My Word column in Sunday’s newspaper.

  • monica ruiz

    I like to know exactly where my tax dollars are spent and whom they are spent on. What’s wrong with that? More US citizens need to concern themselves with what’s going on with our tax$$. Keep the disclosures coming!

  • TheVoice

    The disclosure of salaries is public information, the taxpayers need to be more aware of where the money they pay goes. To update all employees of Hayward, your job is a public position, you work for and are paid by the citizens of the city you work in. Most employees are protected by and their pay is argued for and negotiated by these same collectives.

  • mlcinca

    You people are missing the point. Yes, salaries are public information, but there was absolutely no necessary means for each officer’s name to be printed. If you need to know what a police officer makes, fine, but to print the names in a newspaper? It’s absurd! Given the nature of the job, surely you aren’t ignorant to the fact that the lives of the officers and their families are at risk to those that have been aprehended by the police. Unfortunately, the people that could use this information in a harmful way could care less what an officer’s salary is.

    Here’s a shocker. Hayward police department is understaffed; therefore, mandatory overtime comes into play. Get the facts before you get diarrhea of the mouth on what you THINK you may know. All you saw was a name and a number. As far as I’m concerned, they still aren’t paid enough. When your husband risks his life every day tell me if you think the salary is equivalent.

  • monica ruiz

    don’t worry most people don’t read the paper or read at all!

  • TheVoice

    Take your issue of name listing up with the newspaper, write them a formal complaint on your behalf. Next, the majority of the people apprehended by police aren’t bent on revenge or harm, and if that was the case the arresting officers name is on their uniform with their badge number if someone wanted to remember. I am more concerned with the public being aware of the wages that different departments and positions are paid.

  • Kim Santos

    Tsk tsk, Monica!

    As to mlcinca’s issue of listing the names: Doesn’t the public have a right to know where their tax dollars are going? Doesn’t the public have a right to know how much each officer is making, along with their name, in order to track whether there is favoritism, discrimination, etc. involved? And also to track how much the city is spending? If you were to hire an employee and pay them a wage, wouldn’t you want to know the employee’s name? It seems only fair if you are going to give that person money, no? Especially if it is more than $100K. And we did mention the issue of overtime in our story. Printing the names makes it even clearer who is making overtime, how much of it they are working, and sheds even more light on the issues of understaffing.

    I agree that a police officer’s life has immeasurable value when compared with salary. But when it comes to taxpayer money and city spending, the public still has a right to know how those dollars are being doled out, and to whom. That is why the Supreme Court ruled in our favor. Knowing names and salaries helps the public watchdog city spending.

  • craig

    How about those huge salaries at the Daily Review? Makes people wonder why everyone isn’t signing up to work for the cities.An old fire fighter friend of mine only knew three people to leave his department . One became a fire fighter in Florida, one a cop and one a pilot.No one leaves a good deal. Making over $95,000 makes you one of the economies “fortunate fifth.” Then again the top one tenth of one percent in the country make 300 to 400 times what the average worker makes.
    In fairness Kim should disclose the salaries of Daily Review journalists and corporate upper staff, CEO’s etc.

  • Kim Santos

    It would make you cry, Craig. 😉

    But in response to your comment, we are not city employees and we are not part of city government. That’s the difference.