Friday, September 30th, 2016

How much is that mayor in the window?


Waukesha mayoral candidate Jeff Scrima has a promise on his campaign website to only take $35,500 per year in salary. The polite response is that this was clearly an idea not well thought through. Or, to put it another way, it’s just stupid and low pandering unbecoming of a candidate for mayor.

I understand not wanting to support the increase in the mayor’s salary. I understand some politicians might want to promise not to accept the raise. But cut the existing salary in half? What is the justification?

Scrima’s website seems to indicate that because we have a full-time city administrator, we should cut the mayor’s salary. Okay, why?

If it’s because Scrima thinks that the mayor’s job is a part-time position, let him come out and say so. Let him also say that the mayor should be paid a part-time salary, much less than the $35,500 he is promising to take.

He’ll have to scale back his other promises, too. It’s okay to promise to be the city’s #1 ribbon-cutter, only with better shoes and a tie. It’s a legitimate campaign position, and much more honest than pretending the mayor’s job is only part-time but that he can still do everything he wants.

But if Scrima believes the job is a full-time job, and given the number of other promises he’s made he clearly believes that it is, then $35,500 is hardly sufficient salary for the position.

This isn’t bold thinking. This is just pandering, and picking a number that would outbid anyone else wishing to engage in the dumb salary gimmick game. And when voters are treated with such disrespect, they should really wonder about the candidate that would think so low of them.

If, by chance, Scrima is sincere is his belief that the salary should only be $35,500, then voters should wonder about electing a candidate to an office he finds so contemptible.

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