To tell the truth, we don’t know. We can’t know. All the decisions are made out of the public eye. Your City Representative might be fighting for a more transparent local government. Your City Representative might be arguing for lower taxes, or better roads, or common sense, back there in Executive Session, but we don’t know, because local government is secret.
Maybe it’s Operational Security. Maybe it’s gross ignorance. Maybe it’s delusion. How would we know? Their reasons give way to rationales once you shine the light at them.
Maybe it’s corruption. Maybe it’s social climbing.
Have you seen any rational discussion at City Council? Not unless the outcome is foreordained, and then it’s just theater.
A charter amendment to raise the salaries of City Council will be on the ballot this November. From KVIA:
City representatives currently make $29,000. The committee recommended to increase the pay to $45,300. The salary shall be set at the amount equal to the 2017 El Paso County area median household income as established by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The salary change would go into effect on September 1, 2019.
After that, the salary would change based on the median household income established by the HUD.
The committee also recommended to increase the mayor’s salary to $67,950 (150% of the HUD’s median household income).
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that there are 3.13 people per household in El Paso.
Voters will not only decide whether or not to give City Representatives a raise this year. The proposed charter amendment also includes a raise every year, tied to the median household income established by HUD.
The proposed amendment to the City Charter was initially brought to Council by Mark Benitez. You remember him, don’t you? He was instrumental in getting the Quality of Life bonds passed, according to Tripper Goodman.
I’ve said before, I don’t think that City Representatives get paid enough. I think they should make $36k a year, maybe $38k, maybe even $40k. Enough for them to act like it’s a fulltime job, if they want to. But I think that $45.3k a year is too much. And almost $68k a year for the mayor? Forget about it.
And guaranteed automatic raises for perpetuity? Does your job offer that?
Inflated salaries only divorce our City Council from the realities of most of their constituents.
If you think your City Council Representative is doing a good job, make a campaign donation. But don’t vote to give them raises every year.