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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Bad timing

Those proposed pay raises for county workers have been put on hold:

County Council voted Tuesday to have its Human Resources department further study proposed pay increases for officials and employees after it was decided not enough comparison data from other Indiana counties was collected. Also, the council agreed to send e-mails to county officials, asking them if they want to receive their proposed pay increases for 2009.

My guess is that "further study" means "a dignified way to just let the proposal die," at least for elected officials. Several things might be true here, but irrelevant: The amount of money involved is so small as to be meaningless in the overall scheme of county budgeting ($226,000 total, $138,000 of it for elected officials), many of those officials haven't had anything but cost-of-living increases for a long time, and people should be rewarded for their hard work. All that matters is the symbolism. In times as tough as these, with many people worried about even keeping their jobs, it would be unseemly for officials to seek or accept pay raises amounting in some cases to a double-digit percentage range.

It's like those private jets those Big Three automakers flew into Washington the first time they asked for their bailout. In the grand scheme of things, how the executives get to meetings means nothing. But the jets are a convenient (and easy to grasp) symbol of out-of-touch arrogance. I don't think county officials want to put themselves in the same position.


tim zank
Wed, 12/03/2008 - 11:06am

It would obviously be a bad PR move to not let it die at this juncture, but if they would have just used a little common sense it could be avoided by cutting unnecessary spending. I find it hard to believe there isn't $226k in stoooopid spending in the county budget that couldn't be whacked.

Bob G.
Wed, 12/03/2008 - 11:58am

...They just need a larger "whacker", Tim!