Are salary increases warranted?

To the Editor,

I’m kind of befuddled reading the explanation given for the recent raises that city council approved for the next administration. City Manager Joe DiBartolomeo said it was an initiative from him, but with what justification? He stated he compared the salaries of elected officials of Wheeling and Fairmont; cities with similar populations, and decided it was appropriate. That’s it, population? How about performance or how great the city looks, just population? That logic doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.

I always thought raises were given when a person performed his or her job in an outstanding manner on a continuous basis, always reaching for more responsibility and going above and beyond the norm. I’m not against adjusting salaries to a reasonable level but this is absurd. So, the next new mayor receives a 144 percent increase and council receives a 177 percent increase based on the population of the city. Does that make sense? So, if I follow the city manager’s logic, salaries should go down as our population decreases?

Mr. DiBartolomeo stated these elected jobs are 24/7, really? What does that mean? What do these individuals do 24/7? If someone calls in the middle of the night, do they actually jump into action, or do they just answer the phone and call someone out? Police, fire, emergency responders are 24/7! I understand that these positions sometimes require being available, but really, 24/7? So, if this is truly the case, my question is how do you contact the mayor or council members? It’s funny but there are no home phone or cell phone numbers listed on the city website for any of our elected officials. So how can they respond 24/7 if you can’t call them?

I’m sorry, but the physical condition of Weirton continues downward with nothing improving, especially our main roads, but yet we’re nearly tripling the salaries of city management. Is everyone happy with the condition of our major roadways? The fact is our major roads in and around the city are deplorable. As an example, Culler Road has been a crumbling rollercoaster for over a year. All we got this spring was a very poor patch job by the WVDOH. I brought the condition of Culler Road to the attention of the city manager and his response was; me, as the citizen needs to contact the state road to complain, it wasn’t the responsibility of the city. Really? Well then who is running the city and looking out for the citizens and the roads we have to drive on? I wonder if the citizens of Weirton know we’re responsible to report problems with our roads to the state. How are we supposed to know which roads belong to the city and which belong to the state?

So just look around and ask yourself if nearly tripling the salaries for our hard working, 24/7 elected officials, is warranted?

Thomas W. Zielinsky



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