At the Sept. 10 Davis City Council meeting, one agenda item had us all smiling. The item under discussion was pay raises for the council members, and they each talked a little about many aspects of the issue. They all seemed embarrassed to talk about it, as though they were caught reaching into the cookie jar, but they were preaching to the choir. If they had asked for a vote right there of the audience and staff attendees, I’m sure it would have been an overwhelming yes for fair pay raises.
Why the council members were so hesitant on the subject, I cannot understand. Their last raise was 13 years ago, and their annual salary, at just over $8,000, is an insult to them. They make decisions on multimillion-dollar projects, guard with passion the Davis electorate’s mandates, and have to have another regular job to survive and bring up a family, which they miraculously somehow don’t let interfere with their dedicated work for the city.
And they aren’t even given an office! Or, more correctly, they all five share a cubby-hole briefly at odd hours, even with little coordination between them (other than self-help) to use the “office.”
Perhaps the policymakers thought the council job should be just an extension of the commissions that advise the council on all matters, and would work fine for a retired person with an annuity to live on. Thank God we have always had dynamic young people like our present council to steer this wonderful city on its journey. Why can’t we pay them accordingly?
This city prides itself at being a cut above the average small city, so why can’t we give our council members an equivalent salary and workplace?