December 8, 1997 in Nation/World

Resist Urge To Gripe

By The Spokesman-Review

Judging by the toxic talk that follows any attempt to raise the pay of Spokane’s city administrators, these top jobs must have been filled in the dark of night by vicious, inhuman ‘droids who have no actual families to support.

But if our readers are willing to set aside for just a moment the ugly tendencies to slime public servants and resent anyone who possesses a high-paying job, we would like to suggest that even city officials deserve a regular raise.

Tonight, the City Council considers a two-part proposal for the compensation of City Hall’s top 18 employees. First, they’d all get a 1.9 percent raise. Second, they can get a merit raise of up to another 1 percent, based on a supervisor’s evaluation of their performance. The merit system is new. It would create a healthy incentive for excellence in these demanding, important posts on which we all rely.

In the recent past the city lost several skilled administrators (a budget director, for example) to better paying jobs elsewhere. It is having difficulty finding acceptable applicants for some vacancies and has had to repeat the recruiting process, an expensive proposition. Unionized workers these officials supervise get better raises and their salaries are so high some talented folks have decided the hassle of being an administrator isn’t worth the small pay boost.

This proposal would cost just $42,000 a year. We do regret that the Council discussed it in closed session earlier this year. That was asking for trouble. This is a budget matter, and a defensible one. Tonight it should be aired - and approved.

, DataTimes The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = John Webster/For the editorial board

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