Readers react to city commission pay increase
Project reader reaction
A recent Project: Reader Reaction question asked about Clovis’ city commissioners recently voting themselves a 29 percent pay raise and whether that action might impact the March 2 vote on a proposed sales-tax increase. Some responses:
“The representatives in the early republic were essentially men of independent means who would go to the various meeting places and conduct their business without expectation of being paid anything. Somewhere along the way someone decided representatives should get paid. Now, people who are interested in politics look at it as a salaried job. It’s probably how we lost people with statesman qualities, replaced by politicians with special interests.
“I’m with Clovis City Commissioner Kevin Duncan — the commissioners knew how much the compensation was when they aspired to be elected to the job. The pay structure should have been left alone.
“But then, when you see that from a town of over 30,000 people less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the population shows up for the regular commission meetings, it’s no wonder there was no hue and cry over the passage of the pay increase. Every community, from a town to a nation, gets the government it deserves.” — Brent McBee, Clovis
“That is quite a generous pay raise for the decision makers of this community. Hopefully it is a step in getting pay raises for the people whose primary job is taking care of Clovis — police and (firefighters). I really worry about the crime and gang activity in this area. I would hate for the “heroes” of Clovis to feel unappreciated and unworthy of such pay increases.
“As for the sales-tax increase, I will definitely vote no to any tax increase. We in education — the ones who teach the next generation — only received a 3-6 percent pay raise. I was happy for that!” — Lynn Davis, Clovis
“I believe it’s time to vote out the present crew and get some new blood in office. it’s the city/county workers that need the money first. ... Commission members and city managers are at the bottom of the list for a raise.” — Gerald Majewski, Clovis
“Clovis city commissioners have always had a substandard salary. They’re caught in a tough position though. Taxpayers will never vote to give elected officials a raise. They really can’t do it any other way. It’s also certain that taxpayers will never agree to a sales-tax increase. That holds true regardless of the reason. They’re just going to have to make do with the money they have.” — Richard Lopes, Clovis
“I have seen changes since I have been here for the past two years. As long as they keep up the work, they deserve a pay raise.” — Angus C. Lam, Clovis
“The three commissioners who voted for their pay increase showed the voters why (they) should not be re-elected. Once the fox is loose in the chicken coop, there is no hope for the chickens! ... Certainly there must be a half dozen people in Clovis who are not self-serving, egotistical ‘politicians’ who can conscientiously serve the community.” — Bill Gaedke, Clovis
“I think the commissioners raising their pay at the same time they want to raise taxes is a bit over the top. Just how many times have the voters turned down the tax increase now? And just how many different reasons have the voters been given for the gross-receipts tax increase? Seems to me if the commissioners were worried about a budget deficit, they’d reduce their salaries, not increase them ...” — Joan McCarty, Clovis
“Yes, elected officials should be compensated for their work, but a 29 percent pay increase should arouse some public interest. I’d hope it would impact the March 2nd election, but such a pitiful amount of people will go to the polls that it won’t have much of an effect.” — Tyrell Northcutt, Broadview
“I think this raise is further proof ... that we have a financially irresponsible commission and it is time for the citizens of Clovis to vote out the old and get some new people in that are interested in what the people of Clovis really want. I would never vote for an increase in gross receipts tax or sales tax for them to squander away.” — Bill Lee, Clovis
“I believe that the commissioners giving themselves a raise is outrageous. I served as mayor of a small village in New Mexico three years ago for $125 a month. The main word here is ‘served’ and if anyone is in it for the money ,especially in a small town, they should not have run for election.” — John Frey, Clovis
“Pay raise? I do not recall that being mentioned when they were running for the office.” — J.W. McDonald, Clovis
“I have always wished that I was able to give myself a raise! I was a bit surprised at the hefty percentage of increase, but the actual dollar amount is not that much. No matter what the amount, the psychological effect on the voters can’t be good. My biggest concern is that since I live just outside the city limits, I am unable to have any say in what the city commissioners do.” — Carol Singletary, Clovis
“I think it is preposterous for the city commissioners to vote themselves a pay raise when there are “no funds” to pay our city workers more money. We have a shortage of police officers because we don’t have money to keep them here, but the commissioners are getting more money? What is up with that?!” — Amy Graves, Clovis
“The pay increase is inappropriate and while I am not sure of how, or if it can be done, the citizens of Clovis need to take action to revoke the increase. Public service is or should be about the desire to improve Clovis, not supplementing an individual’s income.
“As to the sales-tax increase, I’m not sure if the pay raise will have a direct impact, but it should be considered. Many times in the past the commission and city management has not demonstrated good stewardship with tax-payer money. Increasing taxes and placing the dollars in the general fund reduces the accountability for its intended use, irrelevant to what the city administration and leadership advertises to the voters.” — Bruce Ford, Clovis
“I will not vote for the sales-tax increase. I can’t afford it now; I have to fund the city commissioners’ pay raises.” — Janet Mason, Clovis