Raises for top city officials unjustified

To the editor:

On principle, I’m not in favor of granting a raise before someone’s contract even begins. Yes, the mayor is doing a great job, and no doubt Ms. Elmore will, too. In fact, I’m on great terms with both of them. But when their salaries are commensurate with similarly sized cities, how is a salary bump of 14 percent justified?

According to grant requesters, you must add 18 percent to your budget for a person’s salary to account for benefits. That makes their raises that much more costly.

Can Greenfield afford it? Apparently. Nonetheless, it just doesn’t look good and probably isn’t good for morale.

Kerry Grass, my opponent in the Nov. 3 election and the president pro tem of the council, cast the deciding vote to support these raises. It will be interesting to watch if public opinion alters that support come Oct. 14, when the city will hold a public meeting on the budget.

It also makes one wonder why the budget meetings weren’t conducted in front of the cameras, like the city council meetings are. Transparency is our friend.

And just as an aside, I worked for the Jefferson County School System of Alabama as a high school librarian. It was common knowledge the library director was the highest-paid employee in the whole system, surpassing even the superintendent of education’s salary.

He did not need to make more than her to know he was doing a great job, nor did he request it. He simply waited for her to retire, and the board adjusted her exit salary down for the next director. That’s called fiscal prudence.

Donna Steele