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Need to Cut Budget? Try Officials' Salaries, GOP Says

The D.C. Republican Party thinks the D.C. Council should look at their own paychecks before they follow through on their proposal to raise sales, gas and cigarette taxes.

The council tentatively agreed Wednesday night to raise the sales tax to 6 percent, the gas tax to 23.5 percent and the cigarette tax to $2.50-per pack. Council members insisted the tax increases were necessary because further spending reductions could not be made without harming critical city services, especially those aimed at the poor.

Paul Craney, the executive director of the DC GOP, isn't buying it. He suggests the Council start by taking at look at their salaries. Council members are paid $125,000 annually but Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) makes $190,000.

"The District budget has increased 42 percent since 2004, our mayor and council chairman get paid more than all but one governor," Craney said. "Our council members are so deep in spending that they haven't seen daylight in years."

To illustrate his point, Craney and his colleagues at the GOP committee put together a chart comparing the mayor and council members' salaries to those that governor's receive. See the top 20 -- based on data Stateline.org has compiled -- after the jump.

Name of Governor State Salaries Population
Arnold Schwarzennegger California $206,500 36,756,666
Adrian Fenty DC Mayor $200,000 591,833
Vincent Gray DC Council Chairman $190,000 591,833
David Paterson New York $179,000 19,490,297
Jennifer Granholm Michigan $177,000 10,003,422
Jon Corzine New Jersey $175,000 8,682,661
Timothy M. Kaine Virginia $175,000 7,769,089
Edward G. Rendell Pennsylvania $164,396 12,448,279
Pat Quinn Illinois $155,600 12,901,563
Christine Gregoire Washington $150,995 6,549,224
Martin O'Malley Maryland $150,000 5,633,597
M. Jodi Rell Connecticut $150,000 3,501,252
Ted Strickland Ohio $144,830 11,485,910
Jim Douglas Vermont $143,957 621,270
Jim Gibbons Nevada $141,000 2,600,167
Deval Patrick Massachussetts $140,535 6,497,967
C. Brad Henry Oklahoma $140,000 3,642,361
Steve Beshear Kentucky $137,506 4,269,245
Jim Doyle Wisconsin $137,092 5,627,967
Sonny Perdue Georgia $135,281 9,685,744
Charle Christ Florida $132,932 18,328,340
Jack A. Markell Deleware $132,500 873,092
Beverly Perdue North Carolina $130,629 9,222,414
Chet Culver Iowa $130,000 3,002,555
Sean Parnell Alaska $125,000 686,293
DC Council Average Salary DC Councilmember $125,000 591,833
Haley Barbour Mississippi $122,160 2,938,618
Jay Nixon Missouri $122,087 5,911,605
Tim Pawlenty Minnesota $120,303 5,220,393
Donald Carcieri Rhode Island $117,817 1,050,788

By Tim Craig  |  July 30, 2009; 3:14 PM ET
 
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Comments

That is a DAMN SHAME!!!

THIS Mayor and Council leisurely increases taxes, gives themselves a raise, lays off government workers through non-performance related reductions in force and GIVES away tax bankrolled financial gifts to campaign donors in the form of one time (indefinite) no-bid grant awards. Yet share NO personal financial burden in all of these cutbacks, not even their parking spaces at the Wilson Building which they voted to keep as free to themselves while doubling the parking rate of FULL TIME District employees.

Yes, D.C. Councilmen are part-time positions with the salary of full time governors.

I can't wait till 2010. Payback is a "female dog".

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | July 30, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

TO D.C. Councilmembers:

Gasoline prices are already high in the District and this is why I purchase my gasoline our in Maryland and shop at the Super WalMart in Severn, Maryland. You passed a ridculous law charging D.C. residents to pay 5 cents on a paper bag. This will discourage me from shopping in the District and I will continue to shop at the Giant in Silver Spring, Maryland. All of you are making over $100,000.00 and most lower and middle income residents are struggling to make ends meet. It's hard for a single or for two people to survive, therefore it's very difficult for a family to survive in the District of Columbia. I am putting all D.C. elected officials on notice up for re-election in 2010, you will not be getting a vote from me.

Ward 4 Resident/Voter/Taxpayer

Posted by: cancer1 | July 30, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Um, it might be more analytically honest to adjust for cost of living. You simply cannot compare the salary of someone in Michigan or Pennsylvania to that of someone in the District.

Posted by: dcgovtruth | July 30, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Plus Arnold doesn't take a salary.

Posted by: writerdan | July 30, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Um, it might be more analytically honest to adjust for cost of living. You simply cannot compare the salary of someone in Michigan or Pennsylvania to that of someone in the District.

Posted by: dcgovtruth | July 30, 2009 10:17 PM
-----------------------------------------

The point is very clear, as-is, the average salary of a FULL TIME professional in the District is somewhere around 65k. We are paying part time workers full time salaries.

If you were in Gulfport Mississippi and make $100,000.00, you would only have to make $159,797.04 in the District to reach parity. Again this is for FULL TIME professionals.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | July 31, 2009 6:20 AM | Report abuse

The Mayor and DC council should be ashamed of themselves!!! I'm sure we can find someone willing to accept less pay and do a much better job!!!

Posted by: boo2 | July 31, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

It should be pointed out that while Calif. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger technically is paid more, he hasn't actually ever been paid that amount. He has refused his salary every year he has been in office.

Somehow I dont See Fenty or Gray even doing a token gesture of temporarily reducing their pay.

Posted by: Tmoney02 | July 31, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

If you were in Gulfport Mississippi and make $100,000.00, you would only have to make $159,797.04 in the District to reach parity. Again this is for FULL TIME professionals.

All use of caps-for-emphasis aside, "concernedaboutdc", what kind of house could you buy for $100k in Mississippi? And what kind of property of any kind can you get for $100k in DC?

I'm not saying that a $200,000 salary is necessarily good or fair, either, but if you reduced their salaries to $125k, you'd make $125k in savings. Exactly what budget hole is $125,000 going to fill?

I'd honestly like to see some more direct comparisons - how much is the Arlington County board of supervisors paid? Or whichever of the various Maryland state officials with similar responsibilities under their purview?

Posted by: jdhammond | July 31, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

No one working part-time in this day and age deserves 125k!

Posted by: cherita_whiting@yahoo.com | July 31, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

No one working part-time in this day and age deserves 125k!

Posted by: cherita_whiting@yahoo.com | July 31, 2009 11:16 AM
___________________________________

Exactly, that they did not reduce their own salaries while sending 15% of to District Government workforce to the unemployment lines as a result of non-performance related reductions should resonate loud and clear on election day.

They even voted to keep their parking spots free around the Wilson Building and doubled the cost to Full Time District Government personnel who make a fraction of what they take home (notice I didn't say 'earn').

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | July 31, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

So well said. NO ONE working part-time deserves six figures. Wow ...

And, to be perfectly blunt, since the mayor is such a big fan of pay for performance, he should be paying the city to keep him on. For goodness sake, $200,000 goes a long way:

Fire hydrants not working at Eastern Market or on Chain Bridge Road, resulting in property destruction, even when accountability was promised for the incident at Eastern Market,

Millions are stolen through the tax office but means to recover the CITIZEN'S money are blocked, resulting in Linda Singer separating from the city's payroll,

Michelle Rhee makes more than all of them, yet scores aren't even over fifty percent for proficiency, so shouldn't she get a pay cut or leave?

Victor Reinoso makes a salary as deputy mayor for education, plagiarizes or allows another school system's plan to be stolen, yet keeps a job,

The former leader of EdBuild who had people working in DCPS prior to getting his position as a deputy mayor for economics makes money,

One of the mayor's friends gets a contract and then spends time driving him around in the city's vehicle,

I could go on and on, but this list drives home the point!! Pay for performance? Yeah, right!!

Posted by: southyrndiva | August 2, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Southyrndiva: Way to go!!! WAY TO GO!!!!

Posted by: candycane1 | August 3, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

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