Monday, August 31, 2009

7th And Last Question: Commission Raises

This is the last question the Tribune asked of the candidates:

Should part-time city commissioners give themselves a raise? Commissioners receive $487 per month, and the mayor receives $643 per month, in pay and expenses, and both positions qualify for health insurance.

Sandra Guynn: Given the economic conditions and that the city's 2009-2010 budget was not at all flush with excessive cash, the commissioners should not give themselves a raise.

John Hubbard: No, it should be based on what they have done for the community. Citizens don't have the ability to give themselves raises, so why should the city commissioners?

Michael Winters: No. No sitting elective board should raise its own pay. They should not be considered part-time. Pay raises when needed should only apply to the new incoming board, or at least apply to future boards.

Mike Witsoe: No, I should not give myself a raise. City commissioners choose to serve the public and take an oath to serve the people. Commissioners who work for the public and the public good should be paid a fair wage for the time they serve the people. Raise their salaries? I don't know.

Bill Bronson: No. Commissioners should not raise their compensation during their term in office. I would not support any increase at this time, and if an increase were approved, I would refuse to accept it during the balance of my term.

Donna Zook: No, I think it is absurd for the commission to ask for a raise during difficult economic times.

Fred Burow: No, especially in this recession. Most people are just getting by. If our elected (officials) vote themselves raises, the feeling is that they are not in touch with the people that elected them. Everyone has heard the comment, "I wish I could vote myself a raise."

Kathleen Z. Gessaman: When the city has a budget that is not balanced by using money that depletes reserves and if cost of living increases justify a pay increase, the commission can consider granting a raise to new and/or re-elected members of the next City Commission. Sitting commissioner members should not benefit from any granted raise — any raise a commission approves should only apply to the newly elected and/or re-elected members of the next commission.

Robert G. Jones: No.

Rolland Leitheiser: I do not think that anyone runs for City Commission, or mayor for that matter, because of the pay. The commissioners should not give themselves a raise with the economy as it is. When the economy picks up, raises should only be given with a lot of public input, and then the raises should only take effect after the next election.

Ed McKnight: No. City commissioners should make their case with the public if they want a raise.

John Rosenbaum: No.

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