Thursday, November 15, 2007

Leadership and solidarity wanted in city councilors

Fairfield's city councilors cut several city department budgets in order to meet an unanticipated budget shortfall.   That's all well and good as far as it goes, but they could have easily gone further -- by cutting their own city-paid salaries.

They cut $102,500 toward a $110,000 shortfall, leaving $7500 budgeted above projected revenues.   As several councilors have mentioned at previous meetings, their salaries are nominal, only $150 per month.   Leaving their salaries in the general fund for the rest of the fiscal year (the first half of 2008) would amount to at least $6300, perhaps more.   It would be another step toward meeting the shortfall, and would show solidarity with the city's department heads who slimmed down their operations.

However supportive that might be, don't anticipate any cuts that would affect the personal incomes of the city councilors.   They like their salaries.   As one councilor told me, "No one else was laid off, no other employee took a pay cut, so why should we?"

(Exception: I do not and did not accept a salary from the city during my four years as an elected councilor.)

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