To the Editor, We should consider paying our mayor $80,000 salary plus benefits. This is a small amount compared to what other public employees are paid.
Our city is way generous. Gilroy is a diverse city of 50,000 Gilroyans made up of Silicon Valley professionals, blue collar workers, agricultural laborers and a mostly commuter workforce. Our city is experiencing tremendous growth and expansion. We do have a city administrator who reports to our City Council. Our City Council is at best inexperienced in managing the city in the right way since the council is made up of part-timers. Also, the council would benefit from having a CEO/mayor that is on fulltime to manage the city administrator and employees.
We recently approved a tax-funded bond for school investments to improve infrastructure; however, the monies are also being funneled toward superintendent and school executive pay raises,some as high as $30,000 more for public executives, which is what some blue collar workers earn. Our Gilroy High School principal is paid $180,000 salary and benefits, while Superintendent Deborah Flores earns nearly $240,000 salary and benefits.
Gilroy is a generous city with huge growth on the horizon. I believe we should pay our mayor to be CEO and grow the city in the right way. Currently we have to manage retirement pay to our public servants who retire on $100,000-plus salaries and receive health pay as well. Firefighters and police work many hours of overtime to increase their retirement pay. The chief of police and chief of firefighters do nothing to keep our budget in balance and allow the huge overtime. After the public employees have reached six figures in income, they are allowed to claim disability and retire with a fat check.
We need a mayor with a salary to keep everything in balance. Our mayor has been weak on discussing this retirement abuse. Flores received three huge pay raises in three years and only manages a few staff and is responsible for a small number of students, while the mayor is responsible for 50,000-plus Gilroyans. Also, teachers’ pay is pedestrian at most compared to city employees. Our city employees are paid huge salaries plus benefits for such a small city. I believe our mayor knows how to run a city and has checks and balances with a few other council members who understand fiscal policy. Our school board is lost, but our council at least has two or three good members who are the conscience of our city.