Kettering’s Issue 29, if approved this election, will cut the pay of Kettering’s mayor and Kettering City Council members by 50%. Mayor Patterson now earns $23,500 each year and if Issue 29 is approved, his new salary will be $12,000. Council members now earn $15,922 each year and, if Issue 29 is approved, members will earn $8,000 each year. If approved, these cuts — for the six council members and the mayor — will equal $59,032. Kettering’s budget this year is $63,207,310 — so these cuts, if approved, amount to less than one-tenth of one percent (.093%) of the total budget.
Kettering is widely acknowledged as being a well run city, and I appreciate the effort spent by our council and mayor to keep Kettering a model city. Drastically cutting the salary of the mayor and council members, via Issue 29, to me, sounds like a slap in the face to these elected officials. Why show ingratitude? But, I’m waiting to hear the argument from Citizens for a Better Kettering to explain how such an action could possibly make Kettering better. The web-site says, “Our proposed Charter Amendments will bring Council and Mayoral pay back into alignment with neighboring cities,” but, really, wouldn’t that be a step down? Does Kettering really want to become more like Beavercreek, Springfield, or Fairborn?
Kettering has over 56,000 citizens, and when compared to other area cities — at cost per citizen — what Kettering spends on salaries for the mayor or council members is about in the middle. I produce the charts here, in my post, “Are Kettering’s Mayor and Council Members Paid Too Much?”
Tonight, the Kettering City Council will vote on an resolution that encourages a “No” vote on Issue 29 (to reduce salaries) and Issue 28 (to impose term limits). It should make an interesting discussion and I’ll be listening particularly to what council member, Ashley Webb, has to say. Mr. Webb is identified as part of the Tea Party group, along with council member, Rob Scott, and now, Webb is seeking election to the County Commission. On his web-site, Webb states, “Kettering is recognized as one of the best run government entities in the region.” Anyone voting “Yes” for either of these two issues should have an answer to the question: “How will approving these issues make Kettering even better?” So, having declared that Kettering is already well run, it will be interesting to see if Mr. Webb will keep aligned with Mr. Scott concerning this resolution.
I contacted Connie Gaw, Kettering Clerk of Council, and she did some research for me:
Former Mayors Chuck Horn and Dick Harman are both endorsing Issues 28 and 29, and I checked to see what both mayors were earning the last year they served as mayor — then I used InflationData.com to calculate what each of their salaries would be in 2012 dollars. I found that the $23,500 that Mayor Patterson earns each year exceeds the inflation rate from 1980 and 1998 — but the amount decreed by Issue 29 would cut the mayor’s salary considerably below the inflation rate, particularly compared to 1998 dollars. This pattern also was true for the pay given to council members in 1980 and 1998 — when compared to 2012 dollars.