Bad economy? Vote yourself a pay raise!
The times are tough?
So, the economy is hurtin' and businesses, individuals, and governments are all struggling to make ends meet. Seems like that would be a good time to tighten the belt a bit (unless money is being spent to stimulate things - in which case there is at least a reasonable debate that could be had about the merits of spending the dough). But Socorro City Council and Mayor Bhasker, in their infinite wisdom, have decided that these trying times are a perfect opportunity to vote themselves a pay raise for their part-time jobs.
Not a bad gig, if you can get it
The current pay scale for the part-time city council positions is $800 per month and Bhasker's monthly pay is $1,200. They'd like "merit" increases - well, actually just increases - to $1050/month for council members and $1,700/month for the mayor. That's a good 20 percent raise for the council members and about a 40 percent raise for the mayor. No, that is not a typo: the mayor wants a 40 percent raise during a downturn. I suppose the arsenic in the city water will have to wait, since these guys seem to have different ideas about budget priorities.
Maybe time for a change
The city council and the mayor may be taking a cue from the Socorro Electric Coop board in that they figure they've got enough friends and buddies around town to keep voting them into office, no matter what they do. It's certainly worked thus far for the SEC board, despite the fact that they work at every turn to thwart things that could benefit the members, they keep getting reelected because they've all lived here long enough to have lots of friends and family that will vote for them no matter what. They're all nice guys, so many Socorroans just don't figure the guys would do anything that wasn't kosher.
Truth is, they may all be nice guys, perhaps, but they've long ago quit thinking in terms of service to the community and started thinking - probably unconsciously and not intentionally - of how the office can benefit them personally. Perhaps Socorroans need to vote some new blood in the next time around. But, alas, we Socorroans often have short attention spans.
Make your voice heard!
The best way to get these pay raises stopped would be for a nice strong crowd of folks to show up at the next city council meeting and raise some opposition. Let's get down to brass tacks and see why Mayor Bhasker thinks he's worth a 40 percent raise in a bad economy. I'm all ears.