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City Council Pay Increases

Was this really necessary?

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#1 IntegrityMatters

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Posted 08 December 2015 - 08:24 PM

The City Council approved salary increases for themselves at Monday's meeting. The council members' pay will increase from $13,000 to $15,000 and the council president's pay will increase from $15,000 to $17,000. Not too bad for a part-time job in my opinion. City Council president Lisa Gill said "I know with salaries, you're thinking we're voting on raises" (well - that is what an increase in pay is, isn't it? a raise?). But she said the "approach that I'm taking is we compared (salaries of) other (second class) cities with our population" --- that is her justification apparently for the increase. Heaven forbid, we must keep up with the Joneses -- whether we can afford it or not.

Yet it is interesting to note that according to the N&T article her research showed that pay for these other cities ranged from $9200 to $15000. So, if Clark County was already at $13,000, were we really all that out of line with other second class cities? Was there really a pressing need to raise salaries to $15,000? What happened to fiscal responsibility? Just because "you can" doesn't mean "you should".

I noted that councilmen Nathan Samuel and Steve Webb abstained from the vote. Admirable I suppose, but I would be much more inclined to applaud them if they had had the courage to vote "NO".

Gill said that comparing the Council's salary to other cities is "the only fair way we can do it" adding that the city can't compare its salary increases to the private sector. She is right --- they can't compare themselves to the private sector -- and they shouldn't. They are spending taxpayer dollars -- our dollars -- and there was no justifiable reason to do so. $13,000 was sufficient. Shame on the Council for approving this.

#2 Jules

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Posted 09 December 2015 - 01:46 AM

My husband ( or anyone else in his department ) hasn't had a raise in well over 10yrs ( in fact they've tried to find all sorts of ways to cut their pay if they could get by with it)...But that said I sure don't begrudge anyone else getting what appears to be a reasonable raise...It seems in line with other similar cities so no biggie to me.

 

(That doesn't mean I think all of the members earn their salary exactly). :)


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#3 Sleepy

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Posted 09 December 2015 - 10:15 AM

I abstain....But I will take the money.


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#4 Donna

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Posted 09 December 2015 - 11:11 AM

Its the sustainability that concerns me.  I work for a small, aging church that wanted to give me a 3% raise, but knowing and dealing with the financials, it simply was not sustainable.  I declined the raise (as did my pastor).  We work hard to stay within the budget of expected contributions and not over-tax the congregants giving. 

 

I would be more acceptable to these raises if the council stopped or curtailed some of the spending on non-essential items and the raises began with  employees from the ground up. 

 

I, too, dislike how the council votes themselves a raise, especially right after an election. 


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#5 ReverendRichard

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Posted 09 December 2015 - 11:25 AM

True leaders take care of their people first - before they take care of themselves. I would like to see these raises tabled, until every city employee gets a raise comparable to what our "leaders" voted for themselves.

 

And yes...abstaining is the chicken way out.


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#6 IntegrityMatters

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Posted 08 January 2016 - 09:03 AM

The salaries of $15,000 per year are only a small part of the total compensation received by Council members --- at least the majority of them.

 

While City Council positions are PART-TIME positions, they are indeed a lucrative gig.  Not only do the Council members make $15,000 per year (that's $625 per meeting assuming they go to all 24 meetings!), but they also are eligible for City health/dental and vision insurance.

 

City employees must work 30 or more hours ON A REGULAR BASIS to be eligible for the insurance benefits --- BUT the City Council members are eligible to participate (because they are special, I guess!) and no one knows how many hours per week they actually work.   It is highly doubtful, in my opinion, that they work 30 or more hours on a regular basis as most of them have full-time jobs.  This is just a very lucrative "perk" that they give to themselves AND their families.

 

The current rates for City insurance, including dental and vision, are $1528.44 per month if the "employee" elects the PPO plan; the cost is $1904.87 per month if they select the HDHP plan.    If the employee/Council member selects the PPO plan, he/she will pay $200 per month for the family plan; if they select the HDHP plan they pay only $2 per month.   Compare that to the private sector and I think they have a pretty good deal -- all paid for by none other than we - the taxpayers.

 

Therefore, a City council person's total compensation - including insurance - ranges between $33,341.28 and $37,858.44 depending on which health insurance plan they sign up for.

 

Since most, if not all, of the Council members have FULL-TIME employment -- and since the City Council is a PART-TIME position, I find it reprehensible that they would expect the taxpayers to pay for health/dental/vision insurance for themselves and their families.

 

7 Council members take the family coverage; 1 takes single coverage; and 1 Council person does not participate in the insurance (Bravo to him/her!!)

 

This means that the taxpayers are paying approximately $150,000 per year to insure Council members and their families ---- when most, if not all, of them have full-time outside employment.     They expect the taxpayers to take care of their insurance needs rather than their full-time employers.   Shame on them.

 

Where is the fiscal responsibility?   Where is the honor and integrity?    We, the taxpayers, will pay approx. $600,000 over the next 4 years to provide health/dental/vision insurance to these 8 people.   I doubt that most of the people in this fair City realize this.   $600,000 is a LOT of money that could benefit the City in many ways.  But, instead, we have to use it to provide health/dental/vision to 8 people who have full-time jobs already??? That is crazy.

 

And -- to make it worse --- the Council does not only participate in the insurance benefit, they also negotiate the benefits through collective bargaining.  How on earth can they be objective in negotiating rates and insurance plans when they themselves will benefit from the insurance???   Nothing like being able to give yourself a raise and also decide what your benefits will be!

 

Maybe one of them will have the integrity to put a stop to this nonsense.   I used to think that being on the City council or school board was an honor --- and that those who served were distinguished, educated, honorable citizens who were truly public servants.   My eyes have been opened in the last few years --- it doesn't appear to be "serving the community" at all -- it is more "self-serving".    

 

I challenge the new members of the Council to put a stop to this.   Who among you will speak up??   Who will bring about change??   Anyone??


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#7 Quasar

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Posted 08 January 2016 - 09:20 AM

The salaries of $15,000 per year are only a small part of the total compensation received by Council members --- at least the majority of them.

 

While City Council positions are PART-TIME positions, they are indeed a lucrative gig.  Not only do the Council members make $15,000 per year (that's $625 per meeting assuming they go to all 24 meetings!), but they also are eligible for City health/dental and vision insurance.

 

The current rates for City insurance, including dental and vision, are $1528.44 per month if the "employee" elects the PPO plan; the cost is $1904.87 per month if they select the HDHP plan.    If the employee/Council member selects the PPO plan, he/she will pay $200 per month for the family plan; if they select the HDHP plan they pay only $2 per month.   Compare that to the private sector and I think they have a pretty good deal -- all paid for by none other than we - the taxpayers.

 

 

 

Wow...

 

I'd like to take this opportunity to announce that I'm running for city council next time around...  :D


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#8 kelley

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Posted 08 January 2016 - 09:39 AM

Damnit. I cannot imagine what the justification is for the difference in cost for insurance compared to city employees.

I do know Lisa does not work a full-time job and at least puts in the time of a serious part-time job on council and constituent work. No idea if she takes the insurance.

With those low costs, even if a council member's spouse could provide family insurance, there's an incentive to use the city's. I have to assume the single one is Matt.

Edited by kelley, 08 January 2016 - 09:40 AM.


#9 IntegrityMatters

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Posted 08 January 2016 - 10:07 AM

I was told by one Council person that "everyone is aware of their incentives"!!!    ha ha     But they refused to say whether they were participating in the perk or not!   Guess they didn't want anyone to know!  :laugh:



#10 kelley

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Posted 08 January 2016 - 10:22 AM

I wonder if all city employees are really aware of that math. Seems blatantly unfair.

#11 IntegrityMatters

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Posted 08 January 2016 - 10:53 AM

Here's a little more math for them to think about:

 

9 Council members salary (8 @ $15000 plus 1 @ $17000) = $137,000 per year --- equals $548,000 for a 4 year term

 

8 Council members health/dental/vision insurance = approx. $150,000 per year  --  equals $600,000 for a 4 year term

 

That means that the taxpayers are paying 9 people on the Council approx. $1,148,000 for 4 years!! 

 

  All for a "PART-TIME" position.   No wonder there is so much fury over who won the 3rd at-large seat.   Not bad compensation for a part-time position --- in addition to your full-time job!!

 

They will tell you that this "perk" has been around for years and they weren't the ones to enact it!!    But, I don't see any of them jumping up and down to correct this travesty --- not yet anyway!    Seems like they have all signed up to get on board with the perks except for one!   At least that one lone person has some respect for the taxpayers.



#12 Quasar

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Posted 08 January 2016 - 11:07 AM

Seems blatantly unfair.

 

It absolutely is... 

 

And I'm not sure that it's even legal... 



#13 kelley

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Posted 08 January 2016 - 11:24 AM

At least that one lone person has some respect for the taxpayers.



Or just access to a Cadillac plan via their job or spouse...

#14 Kevin Vissing

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Posted 08 January 2016 - 01:12 PM

For comparison purposes, the Clark County Council, and Commissioners cannot take county insurance. We removed that perk since I've been on the Council. We have not opted for a raise since I have been on the council since 2008. The previous council had increased pay right before I came on.
I agree with IM, that part time should not receive Health Insurance.
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#15 grammy

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Posted 08 January 2016 - 03:19 PM

Wow is all I can say but shameful comes to mind.

#16 IntegrityMatters

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Posted 10 January 2016 - 12:50 PM

For comparison purposes, the Clark County Council, and Commissioners cannot take county insurance. We removed that perk since I've been on the Council. We have not opted for a raise since I have been on the council since 2008. The previous council had increased pay right before I came on.
I agree with IM, that part time should not receive Health Insurance.


Kevin -- kudos to the County Council and commissioners for not taking insurance paid for by the taxpayers. I believe ALL, except one, of the City Council members have full-time jobs. To expect the taxpayers to pay for their health, dental and vision insurance - instead of their full-time employer -- is reprehensible. It is tantamount to rape of the taxpayers.

This County needs new voting machines desperately --- just think how far that $150,000+ per year that we are paying for 8 people to have insurance for themselves and their families would go towards updating our voting machines - or updating our roads, provide lighting for several areas, or a myriad of other things that could truly benefit the taxpayers.   Instead, we are expected to pay for people who hold part-time positions to have full coverage for themselves and their families when they have full-time jobs.  

You are right Grammy. It is indeed shameful.    It needs to be changed.   I wonder if any of the 9 will step up and do what is right.   Do they really care about their constituents -- or just themselves?


Edited by IntegrityMatters, 10 January 2016 - 12:51 PM.

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#17 Tina

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Posted 10 January 2016 - 06:43 PM

This is why, at some point, Democrats (or a 3rd party) will have a chance again in Clark county.

If Republicans don't change the status quo, we're no different than the ones before. We look exactly like the national Republican party. Just because they {democrats} did or just because we can is bad justification IMO.

..that's what is giving us Trump...

What's the point of a platform if we never use majorities to enact any of it? Just a feel good lie to the voters???
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#18 sfizer

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Posted 10 January 2016 - 07:16 PM

Tina hit the nail on the head.  They will cycle out sooner rather than later.  If our next President is a Dem or Trump AND things go well you will see more and more members of the establishment ousted.  I've been trying to tell you all for a couple of years that Noel was bad news.  He only wants his people around, won't work with others,and will make sure his people get paid extremely well.  Look at all the folks on the council and over half have some sort of connection to Noel.  



#19 Savile Row

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Posted 10 January 2016 - 08:57 PM

Tina is part of the sweeping  momentum in Clark County

and is a very capable and knowledgeable person.
 
The Clark County Democratic  Party is so beaten down
that it may take at least another 15 years for them to be relevant again.
 
Clark County Republican  Chairman Jamey Noel, Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore,
and the emerging leadership of the Republican Party has done a remarkable job
of recruiting candidates and creating a network of workers and support.
There is a lot of energy, excitement, and enthusiasm.
 
The Clark County Republicans also hold,
among others, the Charlestown Mayor's office,
five of seven of the Clarksville Town Council slots,
seven of nine of the Jeffersonville City Council posts,
four of the county council seats,
the Prosecutor, the Sheriff,
Auditor, Recorder, Coroner, all three commissioners,
state senators and reps, a circuit judgeship, on and on.....
 
The GOP website lists the office holders.
Click and look at the amazing number of local Clark County elected Republicans:
 http://www.clarkgop....epublicans.html

 
One sage observer noted
that prior to the recent, dramatic successes,
only Judge George "Buzz" Jacobs had won at the county level in many decades.
 
The swift sage also noted:

 "The  Clark County Young Republicans are
being established exactly in the same manner 
as the Clark County Young Democrats
were in the early 1970's". That group

and their allies won a lot of races.
 
Jamey Noel and Mike Moore
and the entire leadership of the Republican Party
is   recruiting,   training,   and  establishing   successful
candidates for office. Already Bryan Glover and Zack Payne
have won city council races and then moved up to county level offices.
(A similar plan was the three terms of Todd Young
as a US Rep. whom is now running for the US Senate.)
 
When the Republican Party
had very few office holders in Clark County,

they could basically speak with a "monolithic voice".
Now, with the mounting success, the GOP will
obviously see more internal competition.
The Democrats  had  feisty candidates
and strong efforts; however,

that era has passed

with

a loud thud.
 
Several of the "Way Old Time" Republicans are not on board

with the new momentum and expanded opportunity. They are carping now
about the new dynamic Republican leadership

and youthful exuberance
just like they once did about the Democrats.
 
There will be
increased rivalries and competition
among the Republicans in Clark County.
Feisty primaries and candidates once helped fuel the Democrats'
successes for many long decades. It will take quite
a smart new dynamic direction or a change

in philosophy to make the D's
competitive again.
 
In summary, the Clark County Republican Party
 is just
at the start of a long ascendancy.

The R's are expanding their base substantially.
They are well led, well organized, well financed,
have very good candidates,  a smooth
game plan and the issues
are on their side.

 

Also, look for some "changes"

that may be coming soon.....

 

:popcorn:


Edited by Savile Row, 10 January 2016 - 09:53 PM.


#20 IntegrityMatters

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Posted 10 January 2016 - 10:02 PM

Clark County Republican  Chairman Jamey Noel, Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore,
and the emerging leadership of the Republican Party has done a remarkable job
of recruiting candidates and creating a network of workers and support.
There is a lot of energy, excitement, and enthusiasm.
 
.
 
In summary, the Clark County Republican Party
 is just
at the start of a long ascendancy.
The R's are expanding their base substantially.
They are well led, well organized, well financed,
have very good candidates,  a smooth
game plan and the issues
are on their side.
 
Also, look for some "changes"
that may be coming soon.....
 

 

 

I will only be happy when this "new" Republican leadership actually makes some changes that benefit the taxpayers rather continue on the old ways of "greed".   They can start by discontinuing health/dental and vision insurance for Council members!   Will they do it?   Or will they continue to feed themselves and their families at the expense of the taxpayers?


Edited by IntegrityMatters, 10 January 2016 - 10:04 PM.

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