Our Thoughts on the Tooele County Commission’s Pay Raise

checkThe Tooele County Commission voted Tuesday 2-1 to obscenely increase their annual pay from about $70,000 to almost $90,000, not including benefits. They insist that this is to make the pay equal to the work they do and provide parity with other elected County officers. They argue that this is necessary to “attract better candidates” for their jobs.

Better candidates (and voters) would do well to remember that only a decade ago, the GOP-nominated commissioners lost their party’s re-nomination because they were seen as doing too little work for “full-time pay”—the same pay that these commissioners just increased to make “full-time.” Their GOP replacements campaigned on the promise of “full-time work for full-time pay.” (SL Tribune, Oct 30, 2006.) These same commissioners then went on to lead the county to the brink of bankruptcy, laying off hundreds of our neighbors, reducing services to the community, wasting hundreds of thousands of tax dollars, and reducing the number of elected officers in an apparent attempt to get rid of one that disagreed with their actions. Then, in order to bail the county out of its financial woes, they raised property taxes 66%, and levied even more taxes on the unincorporated areas such as Stansbury Park, Lake Point and Erda. To raise one’s wages in light of the past decade of financial mismanagement is fiscally irresponsible, to say nothing of fiscally conservative.

Better candidates should also recognize that the requirements for the job of County Commissioner are significantly less than those for the Assessor, Attorney, or Sheriff, and comparing the Commissioner pay with those positions is folly. Better candidates will worry less about being paid what others are paid and more about bringing more economic growth to the county, where the median household income of $61,000 is less than they were being paid before this self-serving raise.

Better candidates know that they should not apply for the job because of the pay and benefits package. As with any elected position, it is a temporary job, not a career.

The Tooele County Democratic Party is accepting applications from better candidates so that we may one day soon, have better commissioners. 

¡hola!

We’re proud to announce the formation of the Tooele County Hispanic Democratic Caucus!  _logo-hispaniccaucus

If you’re interested in joining or becoming part of this organization, please call us at 435-277-0336, email us at tooeledemocrats@gmail.com, fill out the form on our Get Involved page or just join our Facebook Group.

Paytyn Needs Our Help

Join us Saturday at the Kicking Cancer’s Can event in Overlake!    This is a great way to help out, even if you’re not a runner!  Click on this link and signup, they need all the help they can get and we’re asking everyone to help regardless of party affiliation.  Come out and support the Squires Family.

For more information on Paytyn, click here, for event information, click here.

Truth in Taxation

As most of us now know, we need to raise county property taxes, for the first time in 27 years. The fact that we haven’t raised property taxes in a generation is testament to the prosperity that our county has had for all this time, due almost solely to EnergySolutions and the Deseret Chemical Depot. Sadly, while this short-term money has been a boon to the county, it has also had a corrupting influence on our previous county commissioners, turning fiscal conservancy into fiscal irresponsibility. Now that those fees are going away, the residents of the county are being asked to finally pay our fair share for the services we need and enjoy. Frankly, we have no one to blame but ourselves, the Utah State Legislature, Texas, and Presidents Nixon and Reagan, all of whom claim to be fiscally conservative.

So tonight, the county commission—three men who, as a matter of political ideology, prefer to spend money they don’t have and leave the raising of taxes to their political opponents—will commit political suicide as they break campaign promises, party platforms, and personal morality to do what’s right for the county and become fiscally responsible. This tax increase, which translates to roughly $6/month for the average home, is about meeting our minimum obligations to each other as a community. Other counties across the state, faced with their own revenue cuts, have raised their tax rates up to hundreds of percent in recent years. Perhaps the future will see an increase in industry or some other windfall for the county. If so, I would counsel future county leaders to learn from their predecessor’s mistakes and treat that money as excess rather than operating capital.

Happy Birthday Bev!

Beverly White, 85, has been a lifelong democrat and a Tooele resident since she was about 14 years old. She has provided years of service on both a state and county level. She is still active in the Tooele Democratic Party and has been a mentor to many of the candidates who have run in the recent elections.

In 1970 she was asked by the governor to represent Tooele County for a year after Chilean Halladay died before his term was completed. She accepted and subsequently ran in her first election in 1971. She ended up being elected to the seat 10 times. During her time in office she is most proud of the work she did on legislation involving women and children including the Displaced Homemakers Act. This act helped women who had been working in the home get an education and prepare for the workplace. In 1984 she was hired to set up community service programs for the Adult Probation & Parole office where she worked until her retirement in 2005. During that time 289,124 hours of community service were completed.

We have all been impacted by her life of services!

Our Voices Need to be Heard

We want to remind you that the commissioners’ last town hall meeting to discuss the county’s financial recovery plan, is Tuesday, August 13 at 7pm at the Tooele High School Auditorium.

We’re encouraging all Tooele County residents, regardless of party, to attend this important meeting.  It’s our county, our voice and it needs to be heard.

Again, the meeting is 7pm on Tuesday, August 13 at the Tooele High Auditorium.  If you need more information, please visit call 435-277-0336, or send us an email at tooeledemocrats@gmail.com.

Thank you.