According to an article Wednesday by Daily Herald political reporter Joe Pyrah, the County plans to tap into reserves "to keep from raising taxes" as our county's debt load continues to pile up.
The Daily Herald itself courageously spoke up against the proposed pay hike in this morning's editorial:
Proposing a raise for government employees right now painfully highlights the element of coercion in taxes. Revenue for private business comes from customers who take money out of their pockets in a free market and spend it as they choose. By contrast, government just takes your money whether you agree to give or not. You have no choice.The Herald is right on the mark here with the "unethical" label, but even a step short of where I would take it: if you pass an irresponsible budget including pay increases when we can ill afford them, this is a de facto tax increase and unsound Republican government.
Raising the pay of government employees on the backs of taxpayers who are getting no raises thus borders on the unethical. We don't recall any of the candidates for county commission in the recent campaign loudly proclaiming that, if elected, their priority would be to raise the compensation of all government employees. That one probably wouldn't fly back then. So why does anybody think it flies now? It shouldn't.
A Herald reader/commentor self-identified as "grumpydad" brought to light the conflict of interest issue I have personally sensed as a county delegate myself regarding county delegates who are also county employees: this group overwhelmingly votes in favor of Commissioners who raise county employee pay.
Are these people crazy!!!!??? What planet are they living in to give raises on the backs of the taxpayers? They keep collecting more and more of our money, andPerhaps then it is more than coincidence then that Commissioner Ellertson--the next Commissioner up for reelection--is the outspoken supporter of such raises. What the Commissioners should be discussing instead is whether pay cuts are necessary for us to meet our financial obligations.
stack the party caucuses with County employees (mostly deputies) to guarantee that they can keep getting elected and the deputies get all their special favors and raises from the Commissioners. This is a total racket. [emphasis mine; ed. sp.]
With a final vote on the budget scheduled for Dec 14th, two days hence on Pearl Harbor Day Tuesday, December 7th, at 9am at the County Administration Building will mark the final opportunity for citizens (who aren't working at that time slot) to voice their opposition to these Utah County tax-increasing pay raises in the deficit budget.