Winnsboro's underhanded city council
posted Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010 @ 8:02 am
Earlier this week, the Winnsboro City Council gave the mayor a $5,000 pay raise.
Beginning July 1, Winnsboro's mayor will receive a $30,200 annual salary, plus benefits. In this day and age, $30,200 is not a great deal of money, but Winnsboro is not a large municipality either.
It was not the pay hike the city council authorized for the mayor that bothers us. It was the manner in which the city council went about granting it that smacked of everything that's wrong with government and politics in America today. To surmise, the city council's pay hike maneuver was underhanded, and it told us that the public's right to know apparently is not important to Winnsboro's elected governing body.
Allow us to explain.
Last week, the city council conducted a special-called meeting where the issue of granting a pay raise for the mayor supposedly was discussed. Though city officials say the public was properly notified of the special-called meeting, which is required by law, Winnsboro's Official Journal—The Franklin Sun—was not informed that a special-called meeting would be held.
The Franklin Sun learned about the special-called meeting when a Sun reporter attended the city council's regular meeting Monday night. It was at the regular meeting that the city council signed off on the mayor's pay raise, which it supposedly discussed last week during its special-called meeting.
The Franklin Sun requested a copy of the minutes of the special-called meeting. They were not available Tuesday morning.
Rest assured, The Franklin Sun will review the minutes of the special-called meeting, and the newspaper will report its findings in the not-too-distant future.
Yet, it is a bit ironic that the city council's decision to raise the mayor's pay will coincide with a changing of the guard, so to speak, in Winnsboro.
When Jackie Johnson takes office July 1 and enjoys a bigger paycheck than his predecessors received, we hope he realizes that playing fast and loose with the public's right to know will generate nothing but ill will with the public and this newspaper.