As author of last year's ballot argument against a pay raise for the Pasadena City Council, I was angered to see that the council members thwarted the will of 56% of the voters and voted themselves a pay hike anyway.
After all, voters rejected $935 per month, so why should they object to $2,950 per month?
Being a City Council member should not be a full-time job. If it has become one, this only means that Pasadena's government has grown far too large and must be cut back. The current $273.5-million budget is much too great for a city of 130,000 people.
We have boards and commissions coming out our ears, and Rick Cole is one of those that helped create and expand them. Since he doesn't have a job and is supported by his wife, Cole is most interested in expanding the size of government so that he will have more responsibilities and "earn" enough of the taxpayers' money to make the council his full-time job.
The Community Development Commission could be a much more lucrative source of wages for the council than their actual elected position. Since the council members have appointed themselves to this board, they can also raise their own salaries for serving on it without a vote of the people.
While legal perhaps, this is certainly unethical.
I think that most Pasadenans would agree that the council has no business raising its own pay. This is a blatant conflict of interest. If the council members think they deserve more, they can take their chances with the voters in the next election, but I predict the vote would again be a resounding no.