Originally created 02/15/99

Raise it, in two years 021599 - The Augusta Chronicle



The Georgia Legislature should look favorably on the Richmond County Board of Education's resolution asking for a salary increase down the road. They're entitled.

Trustees receive $4,000 a year -- a little more than that for Board president and vice-president -- and haven't had a pay boost in 10 years. Hence a raise is overdue, so long as it is reasonable.

But let's not forget, either, that school trustees are citizen-politicians, not full-timers. They ran for office knowing what the compensation was.

It appears unseemly, if not greedy, to seek a raise during a current term.

Newly-elected Trustee John Seitz is on the right track with his comment that he doesn't believe his salary should go up until he completes his term in four years. Ideally, that's the way it ought to work: No one's wage goes up until the next term.

But trustees' terms are staggered and it would be a bookkeeping headache to phase in higher salaries for some while holding back the salaries of others. Also it's not fair to pay some Board members more than others, no matter what the compensation was when they won election.

So perhaps the fairest and most efficient way to raise trustees' pay is to OK it to take effect in two years.