KVIA reported yesterday that the El Paso County Commissioners voted to give themselves a raise. The County Commissioners went from $62,000 to $90,000 and the County Judge went from $90,000 to $102,000. Looks like Brutus at elpasospeak was right when he said they commissioned a study in order to justify raising their pay.
Here is how Commissioner Perez justified the decision:
- “We are the lowest paid in Texas, even along border counties”
- If salaries don’t rise for elected officials, it will get to a point that the only people who run for office are those who can afford to.
- Do we want to limit public service to those individuals who have some source of supplemental income? We need to encourage a broader group of people to run, not just those who are retired or is individually wealthy.
- The rise in salary will also help attract more qualified individuals.
- Commissioners deal with a $350 million budget.
- The raise is still 70 percent below the market value of the state.
The raise goes into effect on October 1, 2016. So, you see, the County Commissioners didn’t do it for themselves, they did it for YOU, so that YOU can attract more qualified individuals to run. Of course, the raise goes into effect before any of the current commissioners leave office, so his reasoning is disingenuous at best. Perhaps their logic was that, since property taxes are going to go up anyway this year, they might as well get as much money as they can.
The median household income in El Paso is $40,133. The median for Texas is $53,035. Per Commission Perez’s logic, in order to attract more qualified individuals to El Paso, we must all immediately give ourselves raises, it’s the only logical thing to do.