Boise City Hall's big raises: an easy target

On Tuesday, Boise City Council members voted themselves pay raises totaling 17.7 percent, and gave Mayor Dave Bieter 23.9 percent worth of raises.

As an editorial board, we were split on this one. I respect my colleagues’ arguments for the raises. The mayor and the council have important jobs — and if we want qualified and quality officeholders, we ought to be willing to compensate them fairly.

Ultimately, the amount of take-home pay doesn’t trouble me. When the raises fully go into effect in 2015, the final year of his four-year term, Bieter will be paid $113,059. Council members will collect $22,799, modest pay for what is a part-time job in name only.

But I go back to what we said earlier this year, when we criticized Ada County commissioners for granting Sheriff Gary Raney a 15 percent pay raise. The City Hall raises are simply too much, too soon.

I understand, and appreciate, that Bieter hasn’t received a raise in nine years on the job, and the council pay has been frozen since 2006. It was only right to hold the line during the recession, when many constituents were enduring pay cuts or layoffs. But these raises strike me as an attempt to go back and collect several years’ worth of cost-of-living raises. I doubt that’s happening much, in the private or public sectors.

The thing about big-dollar political raises is that they create an easy target. Witness this Facebook comment from Ada County Highway District commissioner Rebecca Arnold, who has, in an unofficial capacity, been blasting the raises for several days. “(Bieter) knew what the salary was when he chose to run for re-election. And what does he really do beyond ribbon cutting and glad-handing?”

Makes you wonder if the extra money is really worth the added headache.

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ACHD Deep Thinker?

Rebecca Arnold, the president of the dysfunctional ACHD Board of Commissioners, should put her nose back into that mess.

Five years ago, she voted to give herself a pay raise to $24,288 for the part time job. That's above what Boise City Council members will be paid at the end of their terms under the current raise.

Her snit sounds like jealously. What does she do besides calling meetings to order, reading the minutes and agenda,, and closing the meetings?

Silly stuff like that and her charge that the Mayor only glad hands and cuts ribbons is juvenile.

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You are really clueless!

You are really clueless! ACHD has a big job maintaining the roads and making improvements to our community and they do a great job for all modes of transportation. They oversee spending $80 - $90 Million per year and spend it efficiently . They have not raised our taxes and you won't see them voting themselves a 20% raise. Try educating yourself before running your mouth.

When they are elected to run the City of Boise they can howl.

Your No. 3 carburetor is running rich.

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Nothing happened and what if it did?

Your reading skills are a

Your reading skills are a bit rough. The complaining person is a Boise resident who has the right to question what the city does with our tax dollars. I haven't seen any comments from achd

I'm 46 years old with some college education and...

learned to read at age 3. Who the crap is ROUGH?

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Apple users, run the Gig of RAM your PC needs to have and read the dumb tech white papers, wrinkle your forehead and buy more food and toilet paper with the difference. The internet is a piece of junk anyway and your cats know this.

After so long some should give the mayor and council a break...

They've gotta pay the mortgages too.

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Nothing happened and what if it did?

"After so long" does not

"After so long" does not really makes sense. These elected positions have defined time durations. Those that successfully ran for office knew the pay going in at that point in time.

As did you when you took your job(s)...

Present an argument that makes sense.

They starve for OUR SAKE?

What other arthropods do you know under that rock?

Should you do the same?

That's STUPID.

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Apple users, run the Gig of RAM your PC needs to have and read the dumb tech white papers, wrinkle your forehead and buy more food and toilet paper with the difference. The internet is a piece of junk anyway and your cats know this.

"Bieter knew what the salary

"Bieter knew what the salary was when he chose to run for re-election."

That is key, to run for office and then vote yourself a huge raise is unethical.

Exactly! Unethical! If he

Exactly! Unethical! If he didn't like the salary, why did he run for another term? If he had any ethics, he would accept the salary that he agreed to when he ran for reelection, with maybe a cost of living increase AFTER our economy recovers. But 20% raise, no.