OPINION

Faust: Not a great time for city of Dover pay raises

Posted

It was disturbing to watch members of Dover City Council at June 24’s meeting vote themselves and the mayor a pay raise (“Dover council passes several fine-related ordinances”). As usual, this was done without input or notice to city residents, who pay all the salaries with taxpayer dollars. It was further troubling that council members who were animated by the issue of the mayor’s salary appeared less concerned about the general budget and the citizens having to pay higher utility rates and an increase in property taxes. With the city being on the verge of a deficit due to overspending and not enough revenue coming in, one would have thought salary increases for elected officials would be put on hold, due to financial constraints and the current state of the economy.

According to the fiscal budget that was passed that evening, we citizens will be obligated to pay higher utility fees and a tax increase at the hands of self-seeking leaders, who, unfortunately, don’t understand that many of us are already struggling and experiencing hard times due to inflation and the state of the economy. All this, despite the fact that our part-time City Council — not full time like larger cities — want a raise, along with the mayor. Almost all the City Council members have full-time jobs or are collecting retirement benefits, to include the mayor.

According to information published on the city website, the mayor’s salary is $52,000 a year, plus $5,000 for miscellaneous expenses and the use of a city-owned vehicle to take home. Council members receive $18,000 a year, with the exception of the council president, who receives $23,000 annually. Council members shall receive reimbursement for actual and necessary expenses incurred when on official business.

Since when is becoming an elected official supposed to be all about money? I thought that most people who enter public service today do so because they are of a benevolent and caring nature, and believe it is their duty and honor to serve their fellow residents. I look at all our brave men and women serving in our armed services. Also, look at the number of teachers, social workers and religious leaders working today. If a person wants it to be all about the money, they go work for Wall Street or some other high-paying corporate job. Who forced you to run for City Council? You chose this profession. Why don’t you donate your city salary to local charities? How about that Army private, serving on the front lines, making less than $18,000? Why should they literally put their life on the line for so little pay? Because, again, they consider it a duty and honor to serve. Yes, we all understand that you attend numerous meetings outside your mandated council meetings. However, isn’t that what public service is all about? To help, serve and provide for your fellow residents? Where is your benevolent nature? Why do you have this overinflated sense of self-worth and entitlement mentality, and think that you deserve a pay raise? Why do you feel that you deserve a larger salary because another council nearby pays more?

Today, we are being hit with all kinds of increased fees (trash, electric, sewer, water, public safety), additional county taxes and escalating property taxes. We need to save money where we can, and we don’t need to give our council members or the mayor a pay raise. I strongly urge all residents to email or call the city manager and council members, and say no to a City Council and mayor pay raise.

Bill Faust

Dover

Reader reactions, pro or con, are welcomed at civiltalk@iniusa.org.

Members and subscribers make this story possible.
You can help support non-partisan, community journalism.

x
X