Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Now is not the time for village raises

I won't be able to attend the village board meeting tonight, but I've given it some thought and I don't believe it's appropriate to be putting raises for our elected officials in the next budget.

What I do believe is that costs go up, and the jobs have gotten more demanding.  Having a discussion about those salaries is probably long overdue.  For the mayor's position, this also entails whether or not we need a full-time mayor.

However, each of our five representatives ran for office well aware of the salary that came with the job.  Being sworn in, in my mind, carries the moral weight of signing a contract.  In this case, they are four-year contracts, with both duties and compensation spelled out.  They knew what the job would take, and how much it would pay, and they agreed to do that job, for four years, two in the case of Stewart Glenn.

If Mr. Glenn, or Ariana Basco, Sally Rhoads, or Jason West believed these positions were underpaid (and they may well be), the time to discuss it was when they were running for office a year ago.  I don't recall Mr. West or Ms. Basco mentioning it when they visited my home, nor did Ms. Rhoads or Mr. Glenn mention the salaries during the campaign, to my knowledge.

So instead of slipping in a pay raise in a year during which no one is running for office, I would like to see an open discussion about compensation, with an understanding that any raises be put into place such that they start at the beginning of a new term.  Yes, that means any incumbents who are running will have to justify those increases, which is entirely appropriate.

There are lots of reasons to increase pay for our elected officials.  Slipping it by during the low point of the accountability cycle is not the way to do it.  If the arguments are good, they will stand up under full public scrutiny.

1 comment:

Brittany Turner said...

West actually did discuss it, repeatedly, including public forums and when asked about it point blank. He insisted that, unlike last time around, he would neither seek nor accept an increase in pay.

So, same old.