Monday, December 14, 2015

What does Clyde say?

We recently shared what the Fort Worth Charter Amendments could end up being.  We were curious what a former council member would have to say about it.  We didn't have to go far. This is what Clyde Picht had to say....

Increasing number of council districts to 11 is good. The city is too large area wise for council members to be familiar with their territory.

Increasing terms to three years has advantages for the incumbents more than the residents.

Increasing salaries essentially removes public service from the motivation for running for council. We'll have council members so dependent on salaries that they will go to extra measures to get re-elected.

Incumbents already have the advantage o
f garnering larger campaign contributions than those attempting a first run for council. Some organizations will only support incumbents as long as they have been treated well. With higher salaries we can expect very little turnover in council members. With that we get the same deadwood as we have in congress. There are plenty of perks for council members that if they can't afford to be there they don't need to run for re-election. Higher salaries are only good for council members, but bad for the public at large.

The above comment I posted to an article in the Business Press. The council will follow the recommendations of the charter review committee especially concerning salaries. Our city council is a policy making body. They hire a city manager and staff at very nice salaries and benefits to carry out their policy. There is no justification for salary increases just because Dallas or Austin pays high salaries. When I served on the council there was enough motivation for public service that many qualified candidates ran in spite of the meager $75/meeting stipend. Lest we turn our city council into a national congress look alike, voters should reject the salary proposal. Even with term limits the responsibility doesn't warrant high pay.

No comments: