AND ACTION: Greenville County Officials & Salary Increase
May 31, 2005
Robin Hood was evil. Letís face it, our childhood hero was a thief. To steal for a noble cause must nevertheless be called stealing. Today, many people are suggesting that Greenville County Council is stealing from tax payers in order to line the pockets of family members. Is that a fair statement?
Recently, County Administrator proposed a hike in six elected officialís salaries (probate judge, clerk of court, county auditor, treasurer, the coroner, and register of deeds). I call it a ďhikeĒ with a sheepish grin, because from where I stand the hike looks more like the
Appalachian Trail. Iím no different from the next guy, I am not particularly fond of having my taxes go up. Nevertheless, they do and will most likely continue to do so with or without my approval. In the meantime, I will not sit still with a passive spirit.
However, I donít think itís fair that Greenville County accuses a councilman because his son-in-law would benefit for salary increases. Tony Trout and some local media want you to believe that the salary increase exists because one of the recipients is a councilmanís son-in-law. Yet, County Administrator, Joe Kernell, admitted to WYFF that he made the decision without any council membersí influence. That means that the accussed councilman has been no more part of the proposal than Trout himself has been. To be fair though, Trout did fulfill his role as eyes and ears for his constituents, and local media has been acting as the communityís faithful watchdog. However, to go after a particular councilman is barking up the wrong tree and is hardly fair.
Kernell did say that the reasoning behind his decision was for equality in pay. The increase causes these six officials to receive a similar pay as another elected official, the County Sheriff. Again, I do not prefer tax increasing situations, and plead with Joe Kernell to consider a more fiscally conservative and tax-payer friendly alternative.
**Offer preferred alternatives to Joe Kernellís office:
**Let Greenville County Councilmen know that you hope they will introduce an alternative plan.