Michigan Capitol Confidential reports,
Despite having no horses, the water and sewerage department for the city of Detroit employs a horseshoer.
Yet even with a department so bloated that it has a horseshoer and no horses, the local union president said it is “not possible” to eliminate positions. . . .
The horseshoer’s job description is ”to shoe horses and to do general blacksmith work … and to perform related work as required.” The description was last updated in 1967. . . .
“They have said for years that they don’t have enough people,” said Roi Chinn, a former city administrator and 2013 mayoral candidate for Detroit. “As the bureaucracy thickens and union power grows, there is always a built in reflex … to want more. . . .
Stephen Henderson, editorial page editor for the Detroit Free Press, wrote last week about the “intolerable waste” in the water department.
“For unions and the whole idea of collective bargaining, this is the kind of report that just makes any sort of future very, very hard to negotiate,” Henderson wrote. “It suggests that collective bargaining turns government into a provider of jobs instead of public services.” . . .
The city pays $29,245 in salary and about $27,000 in benefits for the horseshoer position.