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Reader's View: Duluth's sick-safe policy a little too '1984'

Retirement affords me the opportunity to read and reread the classics. The Jan. 17 story, "New hire for new work rules: Position created to enforce controversial Duluth time-off policy," reminded me of one of the classics I intend to reread, Geor...

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Denfeld’s 1947 boys basketball team is the only Denfeld basketball team to win a state title. The team’s head coach was Lloyd Holm. Team members were Rudy Monson, Larry Tessier, Paul Nace, Kenneth Sunnarborg, Eugene Norlander, Howard Tucker, Tony Skull, Jerry Walczak, Bruce Budge, Keith Stolen and student manager Bob Scott.

Retirement affords me the opportunity to read and reread the classics. The Jan. 17 story, "New hire for new work rules: Position created to enforce controversial Duluth time-off policy," reminded me of one of the classics I intend to reread, George Orwell's "1984," which was written in 1949.

The following comments are not directed at earned-sick-and-safe-time rules. Rather, they are a cautionary note regarding tyranny.

As I remember, "1984" portrays government tyranny in the development and maintenance of a supposed Utopian society (Oceania). The overseers of this state are the "Party" and "Big Brother," which define what is and is not to be in their state. Rules and regulations govern every aspect of life for Oceania's population, which is monitored by a complex system of "Watchers." Oversight of those in power does not exist. Those who question the state are educated or re-educated.

It's not much of a stretch to superimpose our current Duluth City Council and Mayor Emily Larson over the "Party" and "Big Brother." Utopian or not, the mayor and City Council have a social agenda. They are moving their agenda forward through rules, regulations, and/or policy. Now, without due oversight, the mayor and council propose to hire a "Watcher." My question is whether this position is specific to the new employment policy or is it to cover compliance with all current social engineering efforts and future efforts.

Should the scope of the new compliance position only relate to the new employment policy? That the compliance officer's starting salary will be $62,232 to $79,232 is beyond egregious and is an insult to police (average $51,447), teachers (average $53,360), and all other public employees. Once hired, what other areas of our lives may be scrutinized by the compliance officer? Where is the oversight to such discussions beyond the confines of the mayor's and City Council's agenda?

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James A .Holter

Duluth

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