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You want it when? Carlos R. Davalos | Sat, Aug 20 2011 12:00 PM

When I am eventually fired from this gig, the best thing that could happen to reporter Allison SampitŽ is the publisher hires Chula Vista City Councilman Rudy Ramirez to replace me as editor. He is a staff writer's dream.

Ramirez: Hey Sampite, where's that story I needed an hour ago? The one that's going to blow the lid off City Hall.

Sampite: I haven't started it yet. You didn't send me a memo.

Ramirez: Oh, OK. No biggie. Turn it in whenever. No pressure.

Of course I exaggerate. We generally use emails instead of memos around here.

Back in February Ramirez pitched the idea of establishing an ad hoc committee to determine if the city's executives were being paid appropriately.

Given that most people who don't work in government think public employees make far too much money for the work they do, having an independent body support or refute that notion is reasonable.

During a public meeting Ramirez said he saw no reason why the group, led by Bill Hall, couldn't come up with some sort of report within 60 days.

That report was due four months ago. Seems like the deadline established by Ramirez and his colleagues wasn't really a deadline so much as it was a punchline to a joke disguised as a good idea.

Council members wanted the report by April so they would have the figures in front of them while considering the 2011-12 budget.

Guess factoring in how executives' salaries affects the city's budget wasn't really all that important. But if that was the case, why bother with the charade of determining who gets paid how much? Grandstanding maybe?

Hall told a reporter one reason for the delay is that the council never presented him with a deadline in writing,

Another reason is that contact information for some of the proposed committee members was inaccurate. He had no way of reaching them.

I have had junior college interns who have offered similar excuses when chasing down a story. Unbelievable and unacceptable, I told them. They were usually bright enough to get the idea.

In the grand scheme of things, the committee's tardiness isn't one of the city's great concerns at the moment.

I suppose my shorts are twisted because in my line of work, deadlines mean something, even if they are issued without a memo.

You're given a task, you do it. And if you need more time, you say so. To do otherwise just makes you look like a slacker. A joke if you will.

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