As one might imagine, council members who do support the amendment didn’t want to publicly endorse it for fear of looking “self-serving” (Councilman Cunniff’s words).
Check out the previous post for my statement.
Mayor Troxell and Councilman Martinez were very clear that they do not support a fair council pay and that they will work against the amendment’s passage.
The opposition’s logic is that by offering Area Median Income ($57k/yr) people will run for office just because they want the money, not because they want to do good for the City. I have asked both of them to explain this to me and all they can do is repeat the same thing. When I point out that $57k isn’t really that much and that there are easier ways to earn that amount of money, they don’t have a response. If I point out that by not paying a fair wage council is made to be exclusive to the wealthy, there is a general sense of confusion. When I point out that candidates need to be elected, they say that voters will be fooled by disingenuous candidates. I guess they are thinking about presidential elections. I have more faith in Fort Collins voters. We have seen voters reject money interests in the last couple of city elections.
Another argument from the opposition is that a more professional council will micro-manage the City staff. The City Charter clearly states that council must go through the City Manager in directing staff action. The charter also gives council the authority to question staff and audit staff performance, something that is rarely done today. In talking with City staff I’ve discovered that one their most common complaints is a lack of outreach from council. Staff wants a more active City Council. Many staff members that I’ve spoken with support this amendment.
Over the next couple of months we will be demonstrating the broad range of support from members of our community and will show how paying council a fair wage for fair expectations makes sense for Fort Collins.