At a time when county services are diminishing, why in the world would Ingham County Commissioners consider raising their own pay?
"The Sheriff's office has already experienced deep cuts, I'm concerned commissioners are looking for a raise," one Aurelius Township resident said Tuesday.
That was the basic sentiment at Tuesday's board meeting.
"You guys all have regular jobs, I'm retired and I'm on a fixed income," A Delhi Township resident said. "I'm getting cut in my pay, but there are raises in medicare."
The one percent increase in pay in 2011 and again in 2012 is the idea of Commissioner Mark Grebner.
"The Board of Commissioners' pay has been lagging behind inflation the entire time I've been here, that's 30 years," Grebner said.
He's been campaigning to raise commissioner pay for awhile now. His theory: you raise pay and turnover on the board will decrease.
"Besides myself and on other commissioner, the other 14, none of them go back more than 8 years," Grebner said. "People don't know our policies or why we do things, or how our budget works."
Depending on position, a county commissioner makes approximately $13,000, so a one percent raise doesn't exactly break the bank, but now is not the time for an increase said Commissioner Steve Dougan.
"The way we make a responsible decision about saying we know it's tough out there for people, is by saying we can do with less or we can do with none at all," Dougan said. "This is the time to make that decision."
Grebner argued his point at Tuesday's county services committee meeting, but didn't get much support from other commissioners.
"I'm sure there isn't anything that would pass right now, but over time, I'm sure we can come to a compromise and satisfy my concerns as well as get a system in place that gives incentives to board members who stick around," Grebner said.
The issue was tabled until early next year.
The commissioners are not getting a raise this year, but have already voted themselves a 2 percent raise for 2010.
Grebner wants an additional one percent in both 2011 and 2012.