Salary status quo
Council members vote themselves no pay raise.
It would have been no big deal if members of the Champaign City Council had boosted their pay by $1,000 a year, beginning with the April 2013 election.
But in sympathy with beleaguered taxpayers and probably out of a little bit of fear of public reaction, they voted unanimously Tuesday night not to do so.
So council members' pay will remain at $5,000 a year while the mayor of Champaign will continue to be paid $35,000 a year.
An advisory committee, which recently conducted a survey of municipal officials' pay in other communities, recommended only one change in the elected officials' pay package — the $1,000 pay hike for council members. It recommended the mayor's pay continue at $35,000 a year because its survey indicated that it already is the highest among 14 part-time mayors in the 18 communities surveyed.
Taxpayers have mixed views of public official pay. Most don't want to run for office themselves while simultaneously resenting whatever remuneration goes to those who do.
School board members receive no pay for what is a difficult, and sometimes miserable, job. Meanwhile, state legislators are paid very well, especially when compared to their overall job performance.
In Champaign's case, council members do expend considerable time and effort. A pay raise was in order, but their decision not to take it should be duly noted and appreciated.