Our City Council will soon be considering whether or not to offer itself health insurance benefits because, as our City Manager says, at least some additional benefit is warranted... (impetus post here and my follow up here)
"The fact that this is common practice now (in other jurisdictions), coupled with the increasing demands on council and our council salaries being below average, all lead me to conclude that this change is fully justified."
The comments here and in ALL other conversations I have had with regular folks over the past couple of years indicate that it's high time we look at not only how we compensate our Mayor and City Council, but also how the role of both entities have changed, and more importantly - how they should change, to better serve local government.
Greensboro is no longer the sleepy little mill town we were when this matter was last looked at back in 1979. We have changed, grown, and become things that could not have been envisioned back then. It's time to take a fresh look at some things.
Our City Council should take the upcoming consideration of providing itself with health insurance and use the opportunity to widen the discussion. They should authorize some sort of a study to take a hard look at what else might need to change.
Do we need a fulltime mayor? I think we do but our current and former mayors could answer that question more fully. Let's ask them.
Is $9,500 per year enough for all the time that say, a hard worker like Councilwoman like Sandy Carmany, spends on the public's business? I don't know, but my guess is that she would say 'hell no'. That is if she wasn't cognizant of the potential political fallout that some future opponent of hers might selfishly mete out and use against her because of such a statement. So let's ask former Council members their opinion (hard as they are to find), and adjust.
Let's look at other cities our size and see how they do things and ascetain if they might have some ideas and policies we could steal. While we're at it we should go ahead and codify how often such a governance/compensation re-evaluation should take place in future decades.
The City Manager has opened this can of worms, but it is a can that needed opening. I know of at least one Council person who has gone on the record as saying some things ought to change. Do I hear a motion?
Update: We have a second.