Pay raises? What happened to $20M budget deficit?

The question of the day: When will property taxpayers in this city finally have had enough?

Despite facing what Mayor Ethan Berkowitz bemoans as a $20 million budget shortfall for next year, the left-leaning Anchorage Assembly has approved his proposal to give possible huge pay raises to the city’s police and fire chiefs. Those could range from 35 percent to 37 percent.

Police Chief Justin Doll and Fire Chief Denis LeBlanc each are paid $137,009 per year, KTUU reports. The Assembly gave Berkowitz the go-ahead to rise his salary up to $178,364. Under the proposal approved by the assembly Tuesday night, the mayor is authorized to grant Doll a raise up to $178,364. LeBlanc could get a up to $172,723.

The administration says the raises are justified because, KTUU reports, the police and fire chiefs make thousands of dollars less than some of their subordinates – and even with the raises they likely will still make less than some of them.

Assemblywoman Amy Demboski, the lone “no” vote on the proposal and perhaps that body’s only voice of sanity, says her constituents are furious over the pay raise proposal.

She blames the administration for causing the pay disparity when the Assembly approved its whopping pay raises of up to $20,000 to $30,000 to mid-level police and fire department leaders just last year. That particular bit of city largesse added about $850,000 to the city’s spending.

We are not suggesting Doll and LeBlanc are not worth the extra dough, but we will point out the months of poor-mouthing coming from the Berkowitz administration. Apparently there is enough money for whatever suits its fancy.

Will Berkowitz and the Assembly be back next year to whip-saw taxpayers for even more money?

Why not? It has worked for at least two years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Responses to Pay raises? What happened to $20M budget deficit?

  1. Morrigan August 11, 2017 at 10:42 am

    Mr. Editor, you may be on to something.

    This is important: “The administration says the raises are justified because, KTUU reports, the police and fire chiefs make thousands of dollars less than some of their subordinates – and even with the raises they likely will still make less than some of them.”

    The troubling conclusion is that administration officials just told taxpayers that, in addition to union pay raises which do not seem to be negotiated with the best interests of taxpayers in mind, nobody in city government can, or will, negotiate management pay raises with the best interests of taxpayers in mind.

    And yes, it is a suggestion that Doll and LeBlanc are not worth the extra dough.

    It is a suggestion that Doll and LeBlanc may not be sitting quietly by, letting controversy swirl around them.

    If Doll and LeBlanc are now too expensive to keep, or have chosen to price themselves out of the Anchorage market, they should go where taxpayers can afford them.

    Taxpayers might recall Anchorage, until now, has done quite well without such high-priced talent, even after Mayor Berkowitz told taxpayers to choose between law enforcement and snow plowing.

    Taxpayers might ask when this generosity will be extended to every other municipal department head and subordinate, or whether this action was meant to show that nobody else in city government is worth as much as Doll and LeBlanc.

    Yes, Mr. Editor, of course Berkowitz and the Assembly will be back next year to whip-saw taxpayers for even more money.

    Expect a lot more “whip-sawing” because Anchorage’s new mail-in ballot system should be in place with brand-new opportunities for vote fraud virtually assuring approval of every ballot proposition that involves people paying more money to government.

    Unless Anchorage taxpayers decide it’s time for a change…

    Reply
  2. Observer August 11, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    Come on: You have the give the bosses raises before you can give raises to everyone else. This isn’t so hard to understand.

    Reply

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