Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Did Even the Lifeguards on Baywatch Make This Kind of Money?

"Lifeguarding in Newport Beach is a pretty good gig, if you can get it."

I guess so! According to a city report (lifeguards at this posh Orange County beach are public employees), 13 of the city's 14 full time lifeguards received over $120,000 in total compensation last year. (The other one pulled in a mere $98,160.65.) For a few of these lifeguards, the rewards were really sweet. More than half the lifeguards collected more than $150,000 for 2010 and two of them collected $203,481 and $211,451, respectively.

Not bad for a town where the median income is about a third of that highest total.

And, oh yes, the lifeguards receive an annual allowance of $400 for “Sun Protection.”

Now I'm all for lifeguards. And I applaud them for their critical work in the same way that I respect, admire and appreciate policemen and firefighters. But, at some point, fiscal responsibility must be taken seriously by the city fathers -- as well as the persons who are considering these life-saving professions.

A city can pull from its citizens only so much money before the city goes bankrupt, the people flee and there is no one left to go to the beach. Some economic common sense is way past due here.

(Hat tip: Rich McGinness)