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Open Forum: Koep's contradictions

The Brainerd City Council's first meeting of 2011 included a 1 percent pay increase for a majority of union and all non-union employees, effective Dec. 31, 2010.

Disappointing aspects of this pay increase included the related Mary Koep rhetoric and how Dale Parks, sworn in about an hour earlier, voted his approval.

Koep has been talking extensively about the struggles people are suffering from during these tough economic times. She has talked about foreclosures, tax forfeited properties and how we need to focus on needs before wants and how concerned she is over high unemployment. Koep has talked about how businesses are struggling, how we all have to tighten our belts, how we need to do more with less, and concerns of price increases at grocery stores and gas pumps.

Doubtfully, there have been two meetings in a row where Koep hasn't mentioned some aspect of the troubled economic conditions we're experiencing.

Prior to voting on the pay increase, Koep went on to say how well paid and how good the benefits are for the city employees, in most cases better than many in the private sector. She wanted citizens to know the value of work performed by city employees, so she approved the pay increase.

Only eight months ago the City began shutting off approximately 500 street lights to save money and Koep led the charge.

She squawked a few weeks earlier when others desired to increase the levy to pay down the approximate $15 million debt she previously so adamantly addressed.

Koep obviously forgot about the longevity pay (some as much as 5 percent) most employees receive.

If Mary Koep did as much walking as she does talking, her shoes would wear out very quickly. Hopefully, she'll soon realize her lip service and double standards don't fool everybody.

Jeff Czeczok