The Board of Aldermen voted themselves a rather substantial pay raise at Monday evening’s meeting.
Aldermen will now receive $25,000 a year and a $5000 expense account which brings total compensation to $30,000 a year.
Considering the frequency of meetings and whatever else aldermen tend to do, the per meeting charge comes to about $1000 per alderman per meeting, in case anyone is counting and we know voters are counting.
The raise coming at a time when the local economy remains in flux and the effects of the recession are still abundant is ill timed and as a result is also ill advised.
Residents should ask themselves: what do we get for the added money the aldermen are going to receive?
Frankly, voters and taxpayers will get the privilege of paying the aldermen more money and the jury is out on how much more the voters and taxpayers can hope to get back from them.
Raises such as these, given to themselves at a time when the economy is so uncertain and weaker than ever before in modern times are not in keeping with the needs of the people.
If anything, the aldermen should have dropped their salaries by a percentile to show solidarity with all those who have lost jobs, lost homes and who are today without health insurance.
What the aldermen did was legal but it wasn’t moral and it certainly wasn’t right.