Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Poverty Level Park Rangers

Members of the Utah Park Service sent around a questionaaire to candidates seeking public office this week. In a nut shell, it said that starting pay for park rangers was only $25,000 a year and if elected, would you be willing to see that they get pay raises - at least as much as the law enforcement officers in West Valley City?

Here is my initial, though not politically correct, response:

I know 4 people who work for the park service. All but one are single.
One of them gets FREE lodging from the park service in exchange for 4
hours a week of cleaning outhouses.
I also know someone who has a family of four who recently was fired
from his job of 14 years. He was making over $70K a year and now
qualifies for food stamps.
I know people who own restaurants that make $60,000 a year, but entry
level jobs in the restaurant business pay $4 an hour.
The fact is that "entry level" jobs with the park service are
typically snapped up by tree huggers fresh out of college. If you have
a family of 4 and still have an entry level job with park service,
move on.
The entry pay for teachers is pathetic, yet most folks in the state
see these jobs as vital to our future. With such a fragile economy,
gas prices hovering at $2 per gallon, a war sucking Billions of taxes
a year and rising taxes on the horizon, how on earth does the park
service have the nerve to ask Utahns to raise taxes again so that
people who get to hike and ride 4-wheelers all day get pay equal to
someone who drives a patrol car in West Valley City?
According to Bush, the economy is wonderful and getting better every
day. If watching trees grow isn't paying the bills, considering
changing jobs.
By the way, what is the "perceived value" of the benefits package of a
full time park ranger? I'll bet it is a darn site better than the
benefits package of a full time dishwasher at Denny's.

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