Borough mayor's salary raises red flags

Posted: Friday, May 30, 2008

It was brought to my attention by a recent newspaper article that the assembly might consider raising the salary for the position of borough mayor. I urge you not to.

The argument for increasing the mayor's salary seems to focus on the salaries of other borough employees. Might I remind everyone that those are career positions and the mayor of our borough serves at the pleasure of its citizens -- it is not nor was it ever intended to be a career.

Of course, the highly paid employees of the borough should be paid commensurate to their career positions, but that does not apply to an elected official. I remember when the mayor's salary was initially reduced -- there was quite the brouhaha when it was realized that our mayor was being paid more than our governor. The reduction was well justified and, frankly, I'm amazed that the salary was ever increased again.

Furthermore, I find it shocking that Mr. Williams or anyone else finds the $80,000, plus benefits, that he's being paid already to be inadequate. There is no reason to adopt the consumer price index for an elected position, as you are not hiring experience, you are fulfilling the will of the people and the people can be fickle.

Furthermore, it's my opinion that a servant of the people should be paid what the average income is for those people he or she serves. Of course, we'd want to pay the mayor what the average male on the Kenai Peninsula makes since the average female earns about 50 percent less (see the May 2008 issue of Alaska Economic Trends), but that's another issue to be addressed at another time, I guess.

Anyway, if this is indeed going to be addressed at an upcoming assembly meeting, I would appreciate being informed of the date and time. I think it would be worth my while to travel to Soldotna to testify my position regarding this subject.

Please, do not compare the mayor's role to that of a career employee, since the position is filled by the will of the electorate you never know what qualifications are coming to the job and it's truly an insult to those who strive to build their careers on the basis of years of education and experience.

Citizens, if you agree with this position, I urge you to contact your assembly member and let them know, because it would be a travesty to have a public servant paid almost twice what the average constituent (male) earns.

Patti Boily


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