Friday, July 25, 2014

Ask candidates about raise

From page A7 | May 30, 2014 |

This July, the City Council’s raise takes effect. Passed last September, it is a 70-percent increase at a time of citywide financial challenge: The city projects a $5 million deficit for the fiscal year; the council asks voters to approve and extend sales taxes; and city employees adjust to compensation cuts while bracing for future ones.

In case you want to ask council candidates about this raise — after all, they will be entitled to it if elected — here is what council members said before voting to approve it. (My response follows in parentheses.)

* One member said that the present salary was “woefully inadequate.” (In the staff report provided before the vote, council salary — in Davis and 12 nearby cities with similar population size — was compared, and Davis was fifth-highest. In July, Davis will be the highest, since no other council has changed its salary, although some members in Vacaville and Walnut Creek are voluntarily reducing theirs to participate in citywide austerity measures.)

* Another member said that the present salary meant that “only retired people or people of means are able to serve.” (If this is true, then returning or re-elected members should decline the raise, since by definition they have the requisite time or money.)

* Another member said the new salary would attract people who are younger, of lower income or of diverse experience. (In other words, the raise is intended for them.)

* Another member said that those who approved the raise, while being entitled to it, should donate it to a city low-income fund. (Instead of donating it, why not leave it in the general fund? That way it would lower the city deficit and benefit all citizens, since everyone pays tax to shop or live here.)

If you care about this issue, ask council candidates where they stand. I did so at the candidate forum May 14 and found the answers illuminating. When you vote on June 3, remember: Character counts, especially where money is concerned.

Dorte Jensen

Letters to the Editor


Discussion | 8 comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • May 30, 2014 - 2:39 pm

    If I'm not mistaken, the raise vote was 4-1. Dan Wolk was the lone dissenting vote.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Dorte JensenMay 30, 2014 - 4:05 pm

    Yes, you are correct. For more info, go to the streaming video and staff report for September 10, 2013 on the City's website.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • May 30, 2014 - 9:05 pm

    Oh good grief. City Council members are paid so little, they have to dig into their own pockets to pay for travel expenses, hotel bills, etc. to attend necessary meetings. This precludes those of low income from serving on the City Council. City Council members deserve enough of a raise so that their token "salary" at least pays for their expenses of being a City Council member.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Dorte JensenMay 31, 2014 - 5:24 pm

    I agree and disagree with you. I think that Council members should break even, since they get perks such as benefits and career enhancement . If they had said how much they were in the red each month, I would have supported a raise to cover that. However, I don't think that taking the 70% increase (which was the maximum amount allowable) was fair under the circumstances. The Council gave other City employees hefty compensation cuts, and then it gave the next Council a hefty raise (percentage-wise). If you were one of those on the losing end, how would you feel? As for people of lower incomes who would not be able to afford being on Council at the old salary, perhaps they would have been able to serve at a salary increased specifically to cover expenses (explained in the first paragraph). It they had special circumstances (such as being a single-parent needing childcare), then perhaps there could have been some kind of fund to cover that. However, none of this happened. Why?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • May 31, 2014 - 11:04 pm

    Dorte thank you for spending so much time on this truly pressing issue. Council raising their stipend from approximately $600/month to a $1000/month truly has astronomical finical implications to the city. With a job full of so many perks, like attending really long council meetings, 2x2 meetings, and commisions meetings, it seems to me they should be paying the city for the privelage of serving. Especially considering the job comes with the added bonus of getting to take continual abuse from citizens like you, who, instead of thanking them for their service to our community, decide your time is better spent harressing them for a raise that doesn't come close to reflecting the value of the work they do.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Dorte JensenJune 01, 2014 - 12:08 pm

    The Council raise is a policy decision, which like all other policy decisions can be discussed. I have done so respectfully and urge you to do the same.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • June 01, 2014 - 6:32 pm

    Respect. Interesting concept. Why don't you try and show some to our council members, and while you are at why don't you show some gratitude for their service to our community, instead of continually harnessing them for increasing their stipent to an amount that comes no where near what they deserve for the amount of work they do. Start showing some respect for that and I promise to follow your example and show some in my reply.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Dorte JensenJune 01, 2014 - 8:56 pm

    Thank you in advance for your promise. My position is basically that money is tight and that if one group gets more another group gets less. The Council is in charge of making those money decisions, of looking out for everybody, and it did what it did. You think the decision was positive; I think it was negative. You think because I disagree that I am disrespectful. On the contrary, I respect the Council so much that I am willing to tell them what I truly believe, in the hopes that they might respect me enough to listen. If they end up agreeing with me, they can change course. Everyone makes mistakes, but not everyone admits to them and tries to fix them. As for corresponding with me, thank you for your loyalty. True loyalty to someone is not necessarily agreeing with that person; it is running each issue by your own set of values and then taking the risk of expressing yourself. That way, a better decision can be reached, one which is win-win, rather than win-lose.

    Reply | Report abusive comment


Tech Trekkers boldly go into STEM fields

By Amy Jiang | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Decoding breast milk secrets reveals clues to lasting health

By Pat Bailey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

California climate change policies to hit our pocketbooks

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A1

Unitarians will host summer camp

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Artists, photographers invited to support Yolo Basin Foundation

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Wetlands visitors will see migrating shorebirds

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6 | Gallery

‘Bak2Sac’ free train ride program launched

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Explorit: Wonderful wetlands right at home

By Lisa Justice | From Page: A8 | Gallery

Recycle old paint cans for free

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

Where your gas money goes

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A12

Can you give them a home?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16 | Gallery

Americans, internationals make connections

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16

STEAC needs donations of personal care items

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16, 1 Comment



Trio disagrees on best option

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

Let’s get the bench repaired

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

Predicting climate changes

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

Clinton’s book is worth a read

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

Thanks for emergency help

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Commenting system to change

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10, 16 Comments

Support these local restaurants

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10



Petrovic, Putnam share Canadian Open lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Moss powers A’s past Astros

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Enriquez brilliant, but Post 77 season ends with Area 1 loss

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Hudson solid, Hammels better in Giants’ loss

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

The un-Armstrong? Tour ‘boss’ Nibali wins Stage 18

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery





‘A Most Wanted Man’: Superb espionage drama

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Clyde Elmore: Art in the Wild

By Evan Arnold-Gordon | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Musicians perform at Sunday service

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A17 | Gallery



Accord’s latest model is most fuel efficient

By Ann M. Job | From Page: B3 | Gallery



Richard ‘Dick’ Robenalt

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7



Comics: Friday, July 25, 2014

By Creator | From Page: A13