This isn't the time to raise council's pay

Saturday, March 9, 2002

At a time when the police and fire departments are complaining about outdated equipment and going begging for what they need, a proposal by two Cape Girardeau city councilmen to raise council salaries to $200 per month -- a 100 percent increase -- seems inappropriate.

Ward 6 Councilman Butch Eggimann, who will be off the council next month when he reaches his term limit, and Ward 1 Councilman Frank Stoffregen, running against Evelyn Boardman in next month's election, supported the boost. The other councilmen properly voted against the issue.

The $100 per month councilmen earn now is little more than a symbolic gesture. Of course it doesn't cover expenses, which include transportation, phone calls, meals and more.

When candidates run for the council, they should understand their service is a gift of their time and resources to the people of Cape Girardeau, not a money-making enterprise.

Mayor Al Spradling III made an excellent point when the issue arose at Monday's meeting: The city charter should be reviewed more closely in the future to make necessary adjustments and keep up with inflation, but now is not the time.

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