Thank you to the Kern County Search and Rescue team and others who unselfishly volunteered their time and resources to come to the aid of the residents and travelers stranded by the recent icy conditions on Pine Mountain. That was a job for the County of Kern Public Works employees, who ignored the calls for help apparently in protest of pay and benefits changes in their union contract.

Then, there is the pitiful excuse given by the Director of Public Works for their failure to respond: “We have employees that don't want to go out in the middle of the night to plow snow for only straight time.”

If there is a provision in their union contact for being fired or disciplined for “just cause.” that would seem to fit the description. It will never happen, however, because public union employees exist only for themselves. What's in it for me?

Gary L. Hoetker