Dear Editor,

I was appalled by the Nov. 20, 2008, Chieftain article and letter to the editor by Clem Falbo regarding the Thursday, Nov. 13, special meeting of the Joseph City Council, where Councilors Sajonia, Sands, Zacharias, and Mayor Kite-Martin, decided to boost Rowdy Smith's salary of $2,712 to $3,815 per month. I did the math: Smith's raise to Range 16, Target Zone 3 equals a raise just over $1,100 per month - a 40 percent raise, amounting to over $70,000 annually with benefits - about what the city paid Jim Lewis for 15 years of service around his retirement. I understand that the city has employed Smith for five years.

After reviewing the Nov. 13 minutes and ordinances governing Joseph City Personnel (available at, I discovered Section 5.3.1: "Upon initial appointment to a position, the employee shall receive the minimum salary for the class to which the position is allocated."

In the minutes when Councilors Tyreman and Lacey pointed out that the salary raise was not commensurate with 23 years of service; the others chose to ignore this and other ordinances that govern these issues. Not only is that not in keeping with municipal laws, it places individual interests before public ones.

I remind our elected officials that they serve at the pleasure of the public, and took or will take oaths to adhere to laws set down in the city charter and its ordinances. As a Joseph resident, I insist on sticking to the law, Robert's rule of orders in council meetings, a show of common courtesy and respect both to fellow councilors and the public, and wise use of my taxes.

Elizabeth Cunningham


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