Public fund comparison is neededPublished 12:09am Sunday, July 8, 2012
Keeping up with the Joneses is generally a dangerous pastime. Worrying over what others have is rarely productive. But occasionally, such comparisons can be useful.Fellowship
Shoppers have used price comparisons for decades to determine how much of a value they’re getting for their money.
Comparing how public funds are being spent can be useful to taxpayers, too. By peeling back a layer of government and allowing taxpayers to see how their dollars are being spent, they can determine if they’re getting a good value for their taxes.
This morning, our news team looks at the salaries of Vidalia government workers and, for a quick comparison, looks at a few of those against similar City of Natchez positions.
Direct comparisons can be difficult, since each municipality is different and what is asked from each department is different, too, but some direct comparisons are fairly simple.
Police and fire personnel, for example, perform essentially identical services, but wide discrepancies exist from one side of the river to the other.
We’ve always felt that pay should increase with responsibility and risk and that similar work should yield similar pay.
For example, something seems wrong with the fact that a Vidalia meter reader earns significantly more than many Natchez police officers.
We’ve long said Natchez police are underpaid. Today’s report illustrates that in glaring detail.
Perhaps this information gives taxpayers insight into the value they receive from the cost of running local governments. As public budgets are created in the next couple of months, this information may spark some discussion that’s useful for leaders and taxpayers alike.