In mid-February, I wrote a letter (never published) giving my views on a probable ulterior motive on the part of the Los Angeles City Council members for promoting a pay raise for themselves. That motive was to receive a husky increase in their pensions, which they might be forced to live on in light of a popular move to limit office to two terms.
My suspicions have been borne out considering the publication of the anticipated pension increases arising out of the most recent proposal to be placed on the June ballot (March 1). Six council elders and Mayor Tom Bradley would receive increases ranging from in excess of $5,000 to more than $15,000 annually. Bradley's pension would increase from almost $60,000 to more than $65,000 a year in addition to the $13,336 annual pension he now receives as a former police officer.
To add insult to injury, The Times editorial ("They Deserve Applause and a Raise") on that same day takes the position that the ballot issue should be passed by the voters. The Times alleges that the council members should receive the same compensation as Municipal Court judges. Municipal Court judges are highly educated people, having graduated from law school, served some time in the law profession and in many cases could earn equal if not more in private practice. Members of the City Council found their way into these prestigious positions either haphazardly or through rich daddies and friends. I'll wager that 90% of the present council members could not get a job in private practice other than that of lobbyists.
The council can point to absolutely nothing with pride as accomplishments that warrant an increase in salary. I hope the voters reject the proposition and The Times' endorsement.