The problem with giving our “public servants” big salaries is that it changes who they are and who they serve.
When you’re pulling down $100k plus, you are living in a different world than you were when you were making the El Paso household median income of $51,325. You have different problems. Grocery shopping isn’t one of them. You’re eating out more, and rubbing shoulders with people in your same enhanced financial situation. You forget where you came from, except in your nightmares.
Did you know that, according to the Sun City Hunger Relief Coalition, one third of all children in El Paso don’t get enough to eat, and 68,256 El Paso children go to bed hungry?
If you’re making $100k plus, childhood hunger is an abstract proposition. You only see it if you go look for it. It’s like that kitchen roach problem that you’re only aware of when you turn the lights on. You can always leave the lights off, and turn you attention to something else, like water parks or AAA baseball or an amphitheater at Ascarate Park.
And it’s not just our elected officials that grow blinders. What are the problems that confront all those $100k plus bureaucrats that work at City Hall? Their biggest problem is how to spend their leisure time. Which accounts for all the projects for the leisure class that the City of El Paso has enthusiastically embraced for the last 15 years.
Our City Council Representatives, drawing a mere $51,325, are supposed to hold municipal extravagances in check, but our City Council Representatives are surrounded by city staff who are selling all those Quality of Life projects that the El Paso taxpayers are paying for. City Council lives in an echo chamber voicing and re-voicing the concerns and desires of the well-heeled leisure class.
Well, we’ve got a new City Council, and the new members of City Council seem to have better bullshit meters than the old members of City Council, who believed whatever tale was spun by the dearly departed City Manager and his minions.
But now we have our County Commissioners bellying up to the public trough, saying that $114k a year isn’t enough to attract qualified candidates. They voted themselves a $19,000 a year raise. A $19,000 raise would be a 37% increase for El Paso’s median family income.
$19,000 would feed a lot of hungry kids.
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