I read with some dismay Lynn Jackson’s ill-tempered letter to the editor attacking our county council’s unanimous decision to bring their compensation into line with other small counties in the state.
Lynn has apparently joined the unfortunate crew of folks who only get involved with discussing the decisions of our local officials after the decisions are final: a choice that is inevitably frustrating. Those of us who bother to subscribe to the Grand County Council agendas, read the legal notices or talk about local politics were fully aware of the proposal to raise the salaries of council members.
As required by law, a publicly noticed hearing was held to allow voters to weigh in on the matter. This separate hearing is required so that such decisions are made in the public’s view. This is in stark contrast to the midnight process that gave us House Bill 224 making us change our form of government, a process that I seem to recall Mr. Jackson supported. Go figure.
As a former council member myself, I have often lamented that the low pay offered council members was a real barrier to running for office. The $700 a month (before taxes) Lynn and I received as members of the council restricted service to the wealthy, retired or folks whose businesses could afford to have them take the time off necessary to serve.
That leaves most Grand County residents unable to even think about running. That situation is not healthy for a democracy. The new salary level will hopefully allow many more working people to consider running. That can only be a good thing.
Best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year.
– Bob Greenberg
Former county council member