Almost like - on cue - from the Black Hills Weekly website:
Last week, Meade County commissioners voted themselves an annual pay increase of 86 percent, from $12,900 to $24,000, effective this year. It makes them easily the highest paid county commissioners in the Black Hills.
Here's a scientific illustration to make it very clear:
Before: $$$$$$$$$$$$$ After: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Note this is the very same Alan Aker who has blessed us in the Rapid City Journal with tales of how lean and mean our government should be. He said about teachers (RCJ, 11/24/2004, Don't be ashamed of low teacher's salaries)
So we're not cheapskates. But even if we were, so what? It may come as news to the teachers' unions, but the purpose of schools is to offer a good education at the lowest possible cost, not compete with other states to see who can pay teachers more.
Apparently this argument doesn't apply to elected officials, or at least, to him. (RCJ, 1/17):
Commissioner Alan Aker says he believes the higher salary will encourage more people to run for seats on the board. He says it has gotten to the point where people need to be independently wealthy or retired to serve on the board.
Is Meade County really getting their money's worth when they allow their county commish's to raise their own salaries by 86 percent? Are they doing extra hours? Maybe doing custodial work after hours to pitch in as the County faces the budget challenges of the current economy?
I'm just sayin.
UPDATE: The Meade County Dems are on the case:
For immediate publication
A public meeting and question/answer forum concerning the recent vote by the Meade County Commission to raise their yearly salary has been scheduled for Wednesday, January 27th, at the Meade County Extension office (1029 5th St., Sturgis, SD 57785) from 7-9 PM. All of the Commissioners have been invited, and as of this date, Alan Aker and Doreen Creed have agreed to attend.
The meeting will be in a format similar to a cracker barrel, and a Moderator will be present to insure that the meeting will be conducted fairly and everyone that is present will have a chance to speak. The meeting is strictly non-partisan, and any/all residents of Meade Co. are welcome to attend
The Meade Co. Democrats will have their regular monthly business meeting from 5:30-6:30 PM.
If you have any questions, please contact me.
Chair - Meade Co. Democrats