Saturday, March 16, 2013
The commission charged with reviewing, every four years, the wages of Toledo mayor and city council has decided that members of council deserve an 18% pay increase.
Yes, you read that correctly.
They want to increase the pay from $27,500 to $32,500. The $5,000 per year increase for the part-time job is 18%. That's almost as much as the median income for the city and - let me repeat - for a part-time job.
According to Census.gov, the median household income for Toledo from 2007-2011 was $34,170.
Do Toledo city council members really deserve to make as much as the median household (not individual)???
Having been an elected official, I know that no elected position is ever the time they say it will be. A full-time position is never just 40 hours per week and I'm sure a part-time position is never just 20 hours per week. But as Jon Stainbrook told The Blade, it's not supposed to be about the money.
And Stainbrook, the only Republican on the commission, did vote against the council pay increase recommendation. Thank goodness!
But note that the other six members of the commission (five of whom were present to vote on the recommendation) are all Democrats.
The commission is technically appointed by council; they name organizations which then send a representative to serve. There is nothing in the ordinance, nor in the city charter, that requires a balance of party affiliation.
Is anyone surprised that five Democrats voted to give city council members a raise and one Republican said no?
(Well, considering Stainbrook's past behavior, some might be surprised it wasn't unanimous.)
Yes, it's true that current council members won't be eligible for the increase unless they are re-elected, with at-large members getting it starting January 2014 and district members getting it January 2016 - and then only if council approves the recommendation.
Regardless, the council that said Toledo didn't have enough money to pay for our parks and recreation and needed a 1-mill new tax levy doesn't deserve a pay increase now. If they've got the money to spend on their own pay, they can put it to parks instead.
And don't forget, this is also the same council that was going to devote the fine income from the new red light/speed cameras to recreation.
Yeah - that hasn't happened yet either. All that money went into the general fund and, per my last conversation about two weeks ago with the city treasurer's department, has yet to be allocated to parks and recreation.
And just to rub salt in an open wound, what about the temporary 3/4% payroll tax that was supposed to be - you know - temporary?!? We're going on 30 years now. Or the trash tax that was supposed to go down to zero that is now a permanent part of our water bills?!?
I know - don't get me started.
Maybe they just need the additional pay so they can all cover their past-due water bills....
You need to get on the phone now and tell city council that they don't deserve a pay increase - no matter what any commission says. They ran for the positions - actually paid money to attain them - knowing it was paid based upon a part-time basis and they should keep it that way.
For a part-time job, they don't need to be making nearly as much as the median household in the city.
The telephone number for Toledo City Council is 419-245-1050 and here are their email addresses:
And don't forget to mention that they need to pay more attention to the makeup of their commission next time around and ensure *balance* and *fair* representation in terms of political parties.