LETTER TO THE EDITOR: City council salary overlooked | TahoeDailyTribune.com

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: City council salary overlooked

In a recent editorial, you quoted the current city administration as saying “The city believes the people of South Lake Tahoe will exercise their right in November 2010 with knowledge and thought about the direction they think local government should take over the next few years.” You added, “November can’t come soon enough.”

Unfortunately, there is something you seem to have overlooked in this tribute to democracy. City council members are now paid only $452 per month for what is at least a half-time job. So who in their right mind will seek this office? Retired persons, persons with a spouse who is employed full-time, business owners who think they can neglect their businesses for a time and, of course, those with a mission, whether it is streecars, marijuana sales, the airport, the casinos or something else. And so in this tiny community we often get, at best, the same old faces (sorry, Hal and Tom).

We would not have to emulate Bell, Calif., to attract better candidates. We could just offer a reasonable level of compensation, say, $1500 a month. I think we might get a good return on our small investment: thoughtful and creative leadership.

It should also be noted that the current administration and council have chosen, apparently, to hold back from public discussion two potentially important documents regarding the city’s future: the proposed new 20-year General Plan and the often revised Tahoe Valley Community Plan.

How can voters be expected to give informed thought to the direction the city should take without knowing what the city is planning?

Jerome Evans

South Lake Tahoe

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