Thursday, October 1, 2009
No Excuses When You Make 83K
This afternoon the New Orleans City Council voted to double their salary. The next council's salary will be increased from 42,500 a year to 83,500 a year. That is an increase most people only dream about. We managed to sneak in an extra 9,000 for the mayor although I don't know why. I was for a pay increase for the time it takes for these folks to really do the job right. I don't know if I would have doubled the salary but some kind of increase was okay with me. The current council makes about what I make and at 4:30PM I leave my job and don't have to deal with anything until the next morning. New Orleans isn't the place where a public official can do that if they are doing the job right. They have to be available all day and everyday because you never know what is going to happen around here. If doubling the salary increases the number of qualified people willing to run for office then fine. It's not like candidates are lining up to run for anything so maybe extra money.
We have a huge deficit coming up next year. We have to figure out a way to make up for 43 million dollars. An amount that large tells me that when cuts that big has to come; the little man at the bottom of the city food chain gets the shaft first. After they get sacrificed the next step will be things like NORD and trash collection. Everybody's going to have to make some adjustments. That means that this next council and their 83K a year are going to have hell on their hands if they come through with a bunch of foolishness. Just be warned that anyone else in this city making that much money would be fired in a minute if they didn't perform. You will be an elected official so you may have a little protection for a few years but there will be no cutting of slack for anyone. 83K a year in New Orleans is a pretty good living. That means I don't want to hear any excuses if you can't be where the people need you. In other words, you can’t make that much money and be a slacker. Actually, no one should have been slacking at 42,500 a year either but with that doubled I expect at least a grocery store in the Lower Ninth Ward or some new swings in the park in the first six months of your term.