Some reactions to pay raise based on untruths

Letters to the editor

Editor’s note: Clovis city commissioners on Jan. 8 voted 5-3 to raise salaries for commissioners and the mayor by $2,000 each.

I normally don’t respond to letters to the editor, but after reading those from Denver Jones and Ben Moralez (Jan. 8 CNJ), I feel I have to respond.
I respect everyone’s opinion whether it agrees or disagrees with mine and I encourage everyone who has an opinion to send it to the News Journal for publishing.
However, I find it distressing that a person can write blatant untruths.
Moralez states “for the past several years, our city employees have been asking for a pay raise without any luck. Our commissioners have refused this request because of the so-called lack of funds.”
The truth is, and this is something that I am proud of, that 2003 pay increases for police, fire and overall employees was $500,000.
In 2002, employees were not given a pay raise, but those who’d been with the city for one year or more were given a $1,000 bonus.
Employees have been given a pay raise every year for at least the last 18 years.
Moralez and Jones both stated that city commissioners voted themselves a pay raise. This is also untrue. In order to get a raise, a commissioner must run in an election and get elected. No one serving on this commission will get a raise unless he or she is re-elected.
It’s hard to get people to believe something is not true once they read it in the newspaper. It’s sort of like trying to put toothpaste back in the tube once you’ve squeezed it out.
—Robert Sandoval
Clovis city commissioner

Recent pay raise the first in 18 years for commissioners
In 1986, the Clovis City Commission voted to raise commissioners’ salaries from $3,000 to $5,000 per year. The salaries have remained at that amount for 18 years.
Yes, that is right. For 18 years.
I find it hard to believe there are those who find $2,000 exorbitant after so long a time.
In response to the Jan. 16 letter writers:
I do not know where you obtain your information in regard to salaries, but it is sadly lacking.
It is apparent you were not aware there had not been a salary increase for the commissioners for 18 years.
I am requesting you both watch the city commission meetings on TV or come to the meetings. They start at 5:15 p.m. the first and third Thursdays each month. I think you will learn just how much time is spent thinking of the people’s needs.
Perhaps you didn’t know that because the commission terms are scattered only four commissioners will receive the increase this year. The other four will receive increases in 2006.
I am in the phone book for any citizen to call me about their concerns. That is the way it should be for a public servant.
—Gloria Wicker
Clovis city commissioner

Citizens do not realize commissioners’ sacrifice
I am the granddaughter of Gloria Wicker. She recently told me about some of the disapproval being conveyed from some citizens of Clovis over the recent commissioner pay raise.
Do these disapproving Clovis citizens realize the time, dedication, sacrifice, and low salary (a little over $100 per pay period) Clovis city commissioners receive?
I think not, or they would not feel the way they do.
While I realize commissioners are voted into office and serve the people of Clovis, I also would like to point out how much money commissioners pay out of their own pockets to campaign for voters’ support and other expenses (phone costs, faxes, etc).
That’s not to mention the extensive amount of personal time involved.
Holding a position as a city commissioner is not just about going to a meeting every other week. It’s about knowing what is happening in Clovis and what the citizens of Clovis want. This involves many functions, gatherings, phone calls, faxes, etc.
Luckily, my grandmother is retired and can devote 100 percent of her time to serving the citizens of Clovis. She even was involved with Clovis matters when she was in the hospital, suffering from a massive heart attack. Doesn’t she deserve to be compensated some for this dedication?
I know Commissioner Wicker fights to increase city employee salaries, especially for the police force, firefighters, and EMTs/paramedics. I know she would not support an excessive city commissioner pay raise, unless it was justified and deserving.
To all of those who are disapproving of this pay raise, I challenge you to campaign and hold office as a Clovis city commissioner for a full term. After you have been there and done it, then you can comment on whether you think a small pay raise is appropriate or not.
—Beth Covington
Fort Collins, Colo.