Story last updated at 2:59 p.m. Thursday, December 19, 2002

Council raises in order
Being a member of the Homer City Council or mayor requires a great amount of time. There are numerous meetings in addition to the two council meetings a month. These city officials are only paid $50 per month, of which 6.5 percent is deducted for the Public Employees Retirement System. There are no other benefits.

In order to acquire the very best talent for these positions, the remuneration should be increased measurably. Let's say a range of $500 to $1,000 per month for council members and $600 to $1,200 per month for the mayor, with no benefits other than their own contribution to PERS.

This would cost $36,000 to $72,000 for council members and $7,200 to $14,400 for the mayor or a total of $43,200 to $86,400 per year. I feel this would be well worth the cost. I am sure we could attract well-qualified candidates that would accomplish more than to just hear themselves talk.

If a pay raise were adopted, and in order to eliminate any conflict of interest, the mayor and all council members would have to stand for election at the next regular election prior to the pay raise.

Where would the money come from? We have it: cut that amount of the city contributions to the Pratt Museum and nonprofits. Remember, charity begins at home. You get what you pay for and the quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten.

Roy E. Hoyt Jr.