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Letter: Why increase council pay?

Why, Mr. Mayor, are you proposing an increase in the budget of an 18.4 increase in the salaries of the mayor and councilpersons? Especially when you personally told me that you had originally requested from department heads and the administrator an across-the-board reduction of 10 percent and most recently you say it may be between 3 and 5 percent.

It will be interesting to see the actual breakdown and comparison when it is put on the website of the city. The citizens should have full access to these numbers at the same time as the council in order to maintain your promise of total transparency.

These councilpersons have been serving for up to 30-some years and most of them for 12 or more years knowing what the salary will be and continue to file for re-election every four years. Why now, Mr. Mayor?

To follow your original action of requesting a 10 percent across-the-board reduction for all departments would have resulted in a decrease of close to $7,300. So in effect you are padding these salaries by over $20,000 by not doing what you yourself wanted to do and then ask for a $13,500 increase.

You say you will donate any increase in your salary to charity. Is that your excuse for such a purely selfish action? I truly hope that this measure is voted down by the council as soon as it is presented to them for a vote.

Why can't you settle the contract for the department heads and confidential employees which hasn't been done since 2010? I'm sure they would love to have an 18.4 percent increase like you are suggesting for the council.

John L. Sullivan