This weekend the El Paso Times told us what they thought about the County Commissioners Court giving themselves raises last week. The Times Editorial Board is for it.
We believe there is a strong case for raising compensation for the county judge and county commissioners as part of a broader effort with the county government workforce, but we urge the Commissioners Court to look at total compensation packages, not just salary, in its market-based approach.
Well, like what? Limos? Use of the corporate jet?
The county, for example, gives employees 18 paid holidays a year, a number well above that given by most private-sector employers and other governments. The number of holidays was increased several years ago to offset stagnant or reduced wages after the 2008 economic collapse.
But as wages go up, the county should reduce the number of paid holidays. That hasn’t been part of the budget discussions.
The county also has a very generous retirement plan, something Perez has brought up repeatedly. Employees contribute 7 percent of their pay, and the county provides a $2.50 match for every $1 contributed by the employee.
Eighteen paid holidays is almost a whole month. Who do they think they are? Teachers?
What is it they do when they’re not taking holidays, anyway?
And two and a half bucks for every dollar they contribute to the their retirement fund?
Well, if the Commissioners are going to make $90,000, and they contribute seven percent, let’s see, that’s, hmm, carry the one . . .
They’re making $105,000 a year.
There are not a lot of jobs in El Paso that pay $100,000 plus a year. Or even $90,000 a year. The County Judge, and the Commissioners talk a lot about duties and responsibilities, but all the well-paying non-government jobs in El Paso require skills and experience. Education.
Commissioners Court, not so much.
Maybe instead of comparing the Court’s salaries to other government jobs, we should be comparing them to the private sector.