Merit pay: Good use of taxpayer dollars?

Merit pay: Good use of taxpayer dollars?
YAKIMA, Wash. -- Some people from the Lower Valley concerned about air quality question how the Clean Air Agency is spending your taxpayer dollars.

They're upset with the agency's decision to spend about $22,000 on merit pay for employees and for a reader board.

They brought their concerns to the board meeting this afternoon and say the money could have been used on equipment that monitors pollution.

"What they do is they listen to us and then they ignore us," said Jan Whitefoot who says Lower Valley air is dangerous. "What we need to do is have more people coming to these Clean Air meetings. We need to have more health officials speaking up about the problems with breathing with children and people with compromised immune systems."

They say they've been asking for air monitors for years, especially near Sunnyside.

The Clean Air Agency admits monitors aren't there and says it will talk to the group in private about the concerns.

Editor's note: KIMA's original story reported that the $22,000 was to be spent on merit pay. That amount actually reflects how much was spent on merit pay and for a reader board.