The perception at the time was that one of the prime reasons for Sunrise employee unions backing Michael Ryan for Mayor in 2010 was the promise of raises despite the faltering economy.

Despite the fact that unemployment stats were still rising and many Sunrise residents had lost their jobs, had homes in foreclosure, or both.

Candidate Roger Wishner suggested a pay freeze.

Candidate Imogene Ferguson suggested a 5% pay cut.

All of this while Sunrise was projecting a $10 million shortfall.

The unions fought hard for Ryan.

Harder than I’d ever seen in my 26 years in Sunrise

Ryan won.

Fast forward to 2012.

Ryan’s 2010 victory was so overwhelming that nobody dared challenge him for 2012 re-election.

He won without opposition.

And now that his election is over, he’s asking for what?

A subject he wouldn’t dare broach before the end of qualifying.

A 5% pay cut for all public employees.

So how will the commission react?

Scuotto’s been re-elected without opposition while Alu and Sofield won’t be vulnerable for two more years.

Only Rosen is vulnerable and I expect he’ll vote with the unions.

Alu has already voted against raises.  A dissenting vote until now.

Not that Mayor Ryan’s wrong.  He’s got to address the $6 million budget hole.

But there are other options to consider first.

Cut prices for city facilities (Golf, athletic facilities, pools, summer camps, etc.)  by up to 30% and encourage monthly payments.

With a small finance charge, of course.

Lower pricing does raise volume.

City bus advertising, etc.

The city needs to get smart about raising revenue before cutting salaries.

Pay freeze?  Maybe.

Negotiate different benefit packages for new hires?  Definitely.

Perhaps the unions will agree to a pay cut.  But I wouldn’t bet on it.