Cutting pay, getting respect

Published 10:06 am Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Shelby County’s state representatives and senators are asking for a 15 percent cut in their own pay as a response to the 15 percent cut in Alabama’s budget.

Let us be the first in what should be a long, long line of constituents to congratulate the county delegation on its actions. Members of the delegation, including state Sen. Cam Ward, state Sen. Jabo Waggoner, state Rep. Greg Canfield, state Rep. Mike Hill, state Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin, state Rep. Kurt Wallace, state Sen. Slade Blackwell and state Rep. April Weaver, are proving they have their fingers on the pulse of Shelby County and are willing to act accordingly. Everyone is taking a pay cut right now, either through actual salary reductions or through paying more for benefits.

The perception is that legislators slash budgets to the bone but never do anything that could threaten their own comfort.

Our representatives are trying to change that perception through leadership and action.

In a joint statement issued April 15, the delegation said, “As the state of Alabama deals with a financial crisis like we have never seen and as we make difficult choices that will affect every Alabama family, we, as elected officials, are not above the citizens. It is important to share the burden equally. That is why we are voluntarily taking a 15 percent across the board pay cut.”

While those elected officials may feel a hit in their pocketbooks, they should be able to counteract that with a huge jump in popularity. This is the kind of action that can make elected officials fixtures in government year in and year out.

The We Say is the opinion of the Shelby County Reporter editorial board.