• Last modified 3500 days ago (Nov. 26, 2009)


How much is your raise?

We have been hearing grumbling among Marion residents when they read in last week’s Record that city employees were to receive a 4 percent cost-of-living pay increase in 2010.

The council made the decision in July, when the 2010 budget was finalized. At the time, the most recent cost-of-living adjustment made to such things as Social Security benefits was 5.8 percent, effective in December 2008. No cost of living adjustment is planned for this December because the cost of living, as measured by the federal government for such purposes, has actually gone down since last year's adjustment. However, the new number, indicating no cost-of-living raise, was not computed until last month.

We haven’t heard anyone say city workers don’t deserve more money, but in this tight economy some think the city’s budget belt should be tightened just like everybody else’s.

And the timing was not good when the council discussed the budgeted raises in the same meeting as doing away with $10 Christmas lights credits and increasing the monthly trash collection fee.

Looking at other newspapers around the state, I found an interesting story about Ottawa City Manager Richard Nienstedt, who asked city commissioners to delay a pay increase for him until July. The request was made as a “cost-saving measure during difficult economic times.” The City of Ottawa is asking other employees to do the same thing.

Now, that’s a breath of fresh air.

Employees, public and private, appreciate receiving raises. Heck, who couldn’t use some extra money and how many of us would actually turn it down?

I wonder how many private sector employees will receive a similar cost-of-living raise in 2010?

— susan berg

Last modified Nov. 26, 2009