UPDATE: Nancy Bostock, Neil Brickfield support equal pay, not proclamation
UPDATE: Commissioner Neil Brickfield echoed much of Bostock's explanation, saying he has read other reports, including a Wall Street Journal story this month, suggesting a smaller or no pay gap. "People think it's great. But I don’t think I should be signing proclamations without anybody looking them over and questioning them."
Pinellas County Commissioner Nancy Bostock says her objection to signing a proclamation supporting equal pay for women - reported yesterday - is more about the process around the declaration, and not the idea.
Bostock said Thursday she supports equal pay for women, but she questioned how the proclamation came to be, and statistics that back up the cause. Tuesday was Equal Pay Day.
Bostock said she found the proclamation awaiting her signature on a counter in the commissioners' offices. She had not been contacted by supporters of the proclamation, and the form had no supporting information. She also has seen other studies that find the federal statistics on average pay deficit among women to men - 77 cents to every $1 - aren't true, said Bostock, a conservative Republican. So she declined to sign it.
"I’m equal because I am equal. Not because anybody has deemed me equal," Bostock told Bay Buzz.
Bostock said she never received a message left by Bay Buzz on her cell phone. A message left for fellow objector Commissioner Neil Brickfield wasn't immediately returned. Bostock did post a response on Facebook and here's an e-mail sent about noon today:
This is such an interesting dynamic. No one from either the Times or the American Association of University Women has ever asked me about equal pay for women. In fact, the way the commission handles requests for proclamations by just setting them out in a common area to be signed, no one actually asked me directly to sign the proclamation at all... See More.
Of course, I believe in equal pay for women! As a little girl in the '70s being raised by a single Mom, I was told by my Mom, my teachers and pretty much all of society around me, that girls could be anything they wanted to be and that girls were equal to boys and I believed them. I am greatly indebted to all the strong female leaders who came before me who made that true and I've never stopped believing it. (Granted my husband has made more money than I in the workforce - but I suspect that has something to do with my liberal arts major and his aerospace engineering major and his MBA. I also suspect that for all those years he reported to a female boss, that she made more money than he did. Anyway, I don't know how a proclamation could have changed the results of our life choices.)
I am thankful to be raising my daughters in a time and in a great country where girls are truly equal to boys and where they can grow up to be anything they have the desire, talent and drive to become. That is the message I try to instill in them, not that they need a Women's group or government proclamation to make them "equal."
David DeCamp, Times staff writer