South Carolinians were slapped in the face this year when their elected representatives in Columbia spent most of a six-month General Assembly session manufacturing budget problems and deceiving the public about tax cuts that never materialized.
Aiken Countians get the privilege of being smacked around again. Their county government grows ever larger, with the 1997-98 county budget hiked by $7 million dollars and 38 new positions created.
Yes, some county employees will receive needed raises under the new pay plan. But over 120 middle- to upper-level managers earning over $25,000 annually won't receive a raise for the second year in a row.
However, County Council members (with the lone "no" vote being cast by Rick Osbon) just had to boost their annual salaries to $7,200 apiece.
Hmmmm. Let's get out the calculator. Members attend 18 evening meetings a year and, with a total yearly salary of $13,440 each, that gives them $746.67 a meeting. Are they worth it?