Like most public agencies, the County of Madera next year will have to do more with less. Anticipated revenues for fiscal year 2012-13 are $167.5 million, compared to $170.3 million in fiscal year 2011-12.
This means furloughs of most non-law enforcement county employees will continue, and most county offices will continue to be closed on Friday.
This is worth noting as Labor Day approaches. Many of us have the habit of assuming that public employees don’t work very hard for their money, and maybe some in some other cities and counties don’t.
But in Madera County and in the cities of Madera and Chowchilla, the opposite is the case.
Public employees here take their jobs seriously and try to do them well. They value being able to work for the county or the city, and most do their best to give value for value received.
Employees of the Madera Unified School District and the Madera County Office of Education work hard, too, trying to educate a multilingual student population while dealing with pressures to improve the “output” of education. Try spending a day in a classroom or a principal’s office and you’ll know teaching is no party in the park.
Those who manage our forests and rangelands, and who fight fires, both in urban areas and on rangelands and in woodlands, risk their lives when they go to work, as do law enforcement officers in police and sheriff’s departments, and the California Highway Patrol.
Our public employees are highly skilled. Many of them have college degrees and advanced degrees.
Don’t forget the prison employees who keep the community and the prisoners safe. And remember those who repair and build roads, and who keep water flowing through irrigation canals to farmers that need it.
Public employees touch all our lives, and on this Labor Day, we should be grateful they are among us.