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Editorial: It’s a lousy moment for an automatic aldermanic pay raise

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16.09.2021

Ald. Jim Gardiner, 45th, texted offensive rants about his colleagues and stands accused of withholding city services from constituents who criticized him. Time to give that man a big raise, at least according to the Chicago City Council.

The same goes for Gardiner’s three colleagues on the council currently under federal indictment. Anyone accused of a crime deserves the presumption of innocence, but that basic right does not mean you automatically deserve a fatter paycheck.

In the business world, this quartet ofpublic embarrassments probably would be out of their jobs, and certainly ineligible for big pay bumps. We’re in Chicago, though, where too often politicians get taken care of no matter how badly they perform. The latest example is an automatic 5.5% salary increase for the City Council that goes into effect Jan. 1.

Automatic raises for politicians insult the public. Elected officials who want more money for themselves should be required to explain why and vote up or down on it.

Not so for the City Council. A 2006 ordinance pegs its pay to inflation, which has gone up partly because of federal pandemic........

© Chicago Tribune


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