This past week, Q-line asked:

City Manager Lamont Ewell has asked hundreds of city employees to forego performance bonuses to prevent cuts to services and possible layoffs because of a reduction in revenue. Do you think employees should give up their bonuses, or should the city find alternative means to cut costs?

Here are your responses:

“Of course the Santa Monica employees should give up their performance bonuses. Frankly, I think most of them are overpaid anyway with way too generous benefit packages. Do you’re damn job and be glad you are employed. They should do away with these bonuses anyway.”

“An entertainer performs for money and applause. The degree of applause indicates the quality of performance and is the icing on the cake. The amount of bonus paid to an employee is a form of applause for a job well done and is the expected icing on the cake. Both the entertainer and employee deserve applause and cash for a job well done. To eliminate this form of praise would not be prudent in the long run.”

“Like all government workers, or rather employees, they’re probably overpaid as it is so they don’t need any more bonuses. If they don’t like it, let them quit and they won’t do that because they’ve got it great the way it is. They have plenty of money and benefits so they won’t quit. Even if they do, there are plenty of people who can do their jobs better than they can.”

“I think the city should find

alternative means. Not giving bonuses punishes salaried employees and continues to reward hourly employees who are paid overtime as mandated by law. I strongly oppose giving up employee bonuses. Employees are already fixed and capped for the most part and that is their only way of having any sort of parity with their costs of living.”

“I think employees should give up their bonuses and it’s prudent at this time for the city to continue to provide city services to the community and also to ensure financial longevity over the long haul. These are tough times, and tough decisions do have to be made, but through those tough decisions the city will end up in a better financial position in the next two years. So it’s time to be selfless, not selfish, and pull together. City Manager Ewell’s request is the right request, and most city employees realize that and are willing to pull together to benefit the city and its citizens.”

“Regarding your question about bonuses to city employees, I for one think they should give up the bonuses. Also, I don’t even think they should have gotten any bonuses to begin with. What are the bonuses for? It doesn’t say why they got them. I just don’t understand it. Our hard-earned money in Santa Monica is going to bonuses. What is all this about?”

“I think the city employees should receive their bonuses because this is a group of employees who are, I believe, exempt employees. They cannot earn overtime and this is the only way of increasing their salary and, in some cases, making them competitive with other cities’ employees doing the same job as these folks are doing for Santa Monica. Without those bonuses, many of those salary ranges are not particularly competitive and we may end up losing people who are good people that we want to keep.”

“Employees shouldn’t give up part of their salaries, whether it’s bonus or whatever it is, to meet the budget cuts. I think the city management should look at other alternatives because it is hard for people to make ends meet.”

“To the question of the week: As a city employee, I feel strongly that I want to help the city in this economic crisis and in this time I feel like all of the employees who work for the city want to step up to the plate and contribute to help the city. However, I think Lamont asking only a small group of employees to give up their bonuses, while other employees and unions of the city don’t have to give up anything, is wrong. It really smacks of inequity, and if one group is asked to give up something, all groups should be asked to give up something, not just have one group of employees bear the burden for everything.”

“Hi. I’m a city employee, calling to reply to the Qline about tough choices. And I feel that in order to have an equitable way to bridge the budget gap, we should come up with a better solution than target three bargaining units — that’s EPP, MTA and ATA employees — to give up their bonuses. We should have an equitable way. Every employee should share the pain.”

“I am an employee, and I belong to one of the unions that are going to forego their bonuses. I agree with it, I think it’s a good thing. We do the right thing it’s going to prevent possibly layoffs as well as continue the service that we currently give to the city of Santa Monica.”

“We should not only cut their bonuses, but also cut them to the minimum wage.”

“I agree with the city manager at this particular time, with hundreds of thousands of people losing their jobs, that to give up a bonus this year to continue with services and prevent possible layoffs is a good decision for now. And I’m sure Lamont and the City Council thought long and hard about it before they suggested it, and I know they will look for alternative ways to prevent having to take away bonuses year after year after year. But after all, a bonus is a bonus. People should be able to live without it.”

“A performance bonus? That sounds like a management employee. Or is ‘bonus’ a nice word for ‘raise?’ The question is hilarious when you have a half-billion dollar budget in this town. Santa Monica is like a bloated dead whale with lack of ability, City Hall’s pseudo-workers feeding on the carcass. If the average monthly employee is forced to take an unpaid day, than a management employee should be forced to take three. Plus, council members should sacrifice, let’s see, how about termination of their putrid leadership of Santa Monica into a neo-European socialist dunghill?”

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