Monday, December 14, 2015

Council Raise Good Idea Timed Badly

The City-County Council on Monday voted to raise the pay of the incoming Council from the current $11,400 to $16,400.

Let's be really clear.  This is not the incoming 25 Councillors setting their own pay; this is the outgoing 29. Many will be back after January 1 but not all.

I don't like the timing, and I get that argument.  Had I been on the Council, I don't think I would have voted to pass the proposal because of the timing.  With that said, I have no problem that it did pass, and I think $16,400 is chump change for what is expected out of our Councillors.

A City-County Councillor doing his or her job right puts in countless hours of work in addition to his or her day job or career.  We're not talking about career politicians here.  Many of these folks work other day jobs, own businesses, or have vibrant careers.  A few of them have pensions or are retirees.  With maybe a couple of exceptions, these folks aren't rich.  They are just like you and me.

Candidly, when I decided to run for Council, I never once took into account how much I would make.  I wanted to serve.  I don't know how I would have felt one or two years into the job.  I just get that $11,400 is not really enough for all that's expected.

There's never a good time to vote for a pay raise, and I know that some running against the Councillors that voted for this will use it against them in the future.  I wouldn't.

I get the uproar.  I just think it's a little much when you think about it.  It's $125,000 out of a $1 billion budget.

Ultimately, it's the decision of Greg Ballard now.


Anonymous said...

Remember the 20% raises Ballard gave his staff including Ryan Vaughn? Basic city workers not including IMPD or IFD have only had a single 1-3% raise depending on how well the supervisor fluffed their review. A significant number of city employees earn below the 80% medium income.

johnnystir said...

I think that the raises of city workers should definitely be considered.