Aldermen raises not justified

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 2, 2006

Now before you think we&8217;ve gone batty this morning, hear us out on this. Anyone who has watched a mother bluebird tend to her young knows the care she takes in making certain they&8217;re well fed &8212; first. The mother flies from her nest, finds something to eat and then brings it back to the tiny, chirping chicks. Baby chicks get fed first, period. A few feathers got ruffled this week as three members of the Natchez Board of Aldermen &8212; David Massey, Joyce Arceneaux Mathis and Theodore &8220;Bubber&8221; West &8212; voted to give themselves sizable pay raises. Three other aldermen &8212; James &8220;Rickey&8221; Gray, Jake Middleton and Bob Pollard &8212; voted against the raises. Mayor Phillip West broke the tie, making the pay raises a reality. The move is baffling.

Until the city&8217;s police and firefighters are paid at a rate near the top of the state, our alderman shouldn&8217;t be paid at that rate, either. Were the three aldermen so enamored by the higher-than-expected sales tax receipts that they felt it was OK to give themselves a more than 20 percent pay raise? Why not save for a rainy day or pay down some debt? It&8217;s a bit infuriating. For now, we&8217;re going to try and relax by watching the bluebirds. We hope the aldermen do the same.

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