Open debate pays off

THE councillor pay debate roared on social media yesterday, as expected.   Elected officials voting on their pay packet is always going to stir up a hornet's nest and undoubtedly the vast majority of people will, if you ask them if our pollies deserve more pay, scream 'no'!   I've said it before, and I'll say it again; being a local councillor is a thankless job.   If you work out the amount some of those elected representatives spend on their gig and divide it by the measly $17,000, it wouldn't be much.   And 2.5% on to $17,000 isn't much either.   Would turning down the $400 or so save the budget? Of course not.   It would be tokenism and I can't help but feel with our Scottish town antsy over rates, other areas making a splash over pools and a nasty looking budget to butcher, the tokenism might have taken a big of weight off. It would have led by example.   But does that then set a precedent? Is every budget grim and therefore is it never a good time to increase the remuneration?   Yesterday The DEX wasn't above criticism yesterday either and it was said the pay rise article was a "beat up."   But this is clearly worth reporting on (if we don't, who will?) and it's worth having the debate. Do they get paid too much? Is it nowhere near enough?   Discussing it is not stirring the pot, it's about having healthy debate, so tell us what you think.   And letter writers, lots of talk about "bullies" and "bullying" these days. I don't want to have to edit you, so please, let's keep it civil.   Jenna Cairney


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