Reader signed petition but supports raise

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I am one of those who signed the petition to call for a referendum on the Town Council's ordinance to increase the mayor's salary, but I am also in favor of the increase. I support the salary increase because of the responsibilities the job requires if the job is to be done well; the amount of time and dedication the current mayor puts into it should be fairly compensated; and the recognition that the salary must be commensurate to attract future candidates. I find fault with the majority of the current council in that they chose to literally �spit in the eye� of the voters who rejected their previous salary scheme by a whopping 88 percent. Within months, the council granted merit raises after the voters had spoken, and recently added insult to injury by raising and passing this latest salary increase for the mayor. Their first mistake was to include the mayor's salary increase with the legitimate need to raise the salaries of dedicated and hard working municipal employees who hadn�t seen a raise in more than three years. Their second mistake was to not trust the voters to make an intelligent choice at the voting booth. Our Board of Education has known for years to put their trust and faith in the voters as they annually put the school budget up for a vote, and the overwhelming number of passing budgets proves the point.

Last week, reader Al Lapitka correctly praised the township's dedicated firefighters and ambulance squads who do not receive a salary for their commendable services, but he left out another important group who also does not receive a salary: our township's other governing body, the Vernon Twp. Board of Education. Many still believe �public service is its own reward,�so I will ask two things of the Town Council: 1) forego any salary increase for yourselves (in fact, you might even consider working for ZERO salary), and 2) initiate the referendum process yourselves for such things as salary increases and yes, even for the town's annual budget. Now that would really

be a change for the better!
Howard Whidden

Vernon

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