dotComments: They should pay us
The Aspen City Council ultimately dropped the proposal, but Councilman Jack Johnsons recent pitch for a salary boost for council members and the mayor met with plenty of skepticism from online readers of The Aspen Times.One reader had this to say, in part: I believe that the COA gives raises based on performance. This request should be put off until we see who the new City Council is and what kind of job they do. Based on this councils performance voters should be asking for money back. Offered another: Id pay them the raise if they promised not to meet. There was also this: The only raise this city council deserves is one that features suspension via a braided hemp rope from the nearest stout tree limb. Councilmen knew what the pay was, and the time commitment, too, when they auditioned for the job. How cynical is it, now, for these clowns to argue that theyre underpaid and deserve a 100% pay raise, because the cost of living has gone up? Just about everyone knows somebody who has lost his job, recently, because of the economic downturn. Cant the mayor afford a new $5,000 racing bicycle (that he can leave unlocked) without a doubling of his current salary? Local activist Marilyn Marks weighed in with this: No question City officials put in countless hours of work, and receive little financial reward. Before we discuss compensation, we should ask whether we really want the elected positions to be the time-consuming quasi-management positions, which they have become. There have been years of job creep at the Council level, moving from the policy and strategic issues to detailed, time absorbing operating matters. I prefer the original model designed under our Charter, for a strong CEOthe City Manager, to run the City and advise Council, and a City Council which focuses on policy and strategic issues. Councils role should be strategic level, very part time job, not requiring the intense time commitment the role has evolved to require. That model allows the most diverse group of candidates to run. Busy people with many commitments could afford to run for office as well. They cannot today. The dog debate The Krabloonik dog-sledding operation has once again been the focus of letters to the editor, generating plenty of online comment. A letter defending the operation (Dont like it? Dont go) elicited several responses, including this excerpt, directed at the writer of the letter: If you think being chained by the neck is such a great life, I challege you to do it yourself. Say, for even 24-hours. Ill come by and throw some dry chow at you, and make sure youre not engaged in any mass humping, then we’ll see how you feel. There was also this: I do not agree with conditions of 5 ft chains and blistering temps. I do not agree with shooting a horse seconds after a race. However, we cannot please every person, nor animal. What if we do change the conditions at Krabloonik? Are we going to start pampering cows before we send them through the meat grinder? Are we going to find a way that makes catching the fish a little less painful? People grow up. In response to another letter, In defense of Krabloonik, one reader said: I agree. I know many of the mushers at the kennel and have visited there on a few occasions. The workers there know each dogs name by heart and take great pride in caring for each and every one of them. People need to remember that just because they (myself included) treat their dogs better than most people, doesnt mean these dogs are being mistreated. Then came another letter on the topic, The abuse continues, spurring more comment, including this excerpt: Chains should not be used for humans or animals. These dogs receive no compensation for their work except for ghetto quarters, and dont even have a bowl for their food. Krabloonik should be careful that the dogs that feed them, dont bite them.
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