Letter: Governments need observant citizens

It has never been more important to be an informed citizen. Governments function best when citizens monitor their elected officials and express their opinions.

I was surprised to read in the Jan. 12 Solon Economist that my city is budgeting for a 3 percent cost of living increase for city employees (and merit increases beyond that).

While I do not question the need for salary increases for city employees, I do question a COLA adjustment of twice the CPI (Consumer Price Index). I was shocked by hearing the hypocritical reasoning for such an increase being that “wages should mirror the cost to live in Solon, which is higher than the state as a whole.” Wait, what? That argument fell on deaf ears two years ago when Solon voted unanimously to reject Johnson County’s higher minimum wage ordinance and became the first of three towns to do so. None of the council cared then about what the cost of living was for minimum wage workers in Solon and Johnson County. In fact, they quickly condensed the three required hearings and none offered any comment in the sole public meeting, and the money for a countywide wage hike didn’t affect the city’s budget. But now for a handful of employees who make decent salaries above minimum wage they are concerned about what it costs to live in Johnson County? Solon residents expect and deserve our council to care equally about all residents, not just the ones employed by the city.

Sue Ballantyne

Solon

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