About Palmer's raise

Posted: Tuesday, July 10, 2001

Front page news! Accept it, folks, the city manager gets a pay raise. And it's retroactive to April! Poor man hasn't received a pay raise since 1999 and his contract doesn't even include a car allowance. (As for teachers? ...) Rest assured Mr. Palmer "takes a lot of pressure and heat from people, handles it well and with humor." Sums it up for a lot of us, I think. Too bad they didn't list Mr. Palmer's benefits, I could have felt like a real peon.

The article in the July 7 Empire left a bitter aftertaste, like being force-fed information, after the fact. It struck me how over and over again, government and media clearly support hierarchical, patriarchal structures of government, ever-vigilant to "adjust the pay of supervisors who make less than the people they supervise" or to "(review) a study of city manager pay in communities on the Pacific Coast." It all boils down to pretending that a system of disparity works. A time-honored, American tradition, in fact. And it fails, time and time again. Will we ever do things honorably and cooperatively again? In the spirit of conservation? I find it especially curious that "an executive session closed-door meeting" and "three-person evaluation committee" formulated the recommendation in the first place. Where's the judicial and social process in that? Let's face it, unanimously approving a $12,000 increase for one person, while laboring pay increase considerations for other professions, is wrong and wasteful.

Mr. Palmer made $99,891 last year. Good money, I think. If he's to get a pay increase, he gets it at the same increment as all other city employees. The bit about Mr. Palmer not "shy(ing) away from controversial issues", I question. As a downtown resident who has witnessed pro-development, pro-business interests swarming every scratch of green hillside, I've never seen the man. By the pace of development in South Franklin, I'd have to say Mr. Palmer stays clearly on one side of the issue ... and it's not a greener pasture.

Chris Joy

Juneau



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