This is a follow-up to my August blog entry titled “Alderman Ament’s Antics”.
In June, for “budgetary reasons”, the New Berlin Common Council approved a maximum of four unpaid furlough days for city workers.
At a July meeting, Alderman Ament presented a Requested Action Statement (RAS), which contended that the mayor and aldermen should take the equivalent of furlough days by having each alderman refund $26.96 for a day of furlough and the mayor refund $322.24. Ald. Ament argued that the aldermen and mayor should “share in the sacrifice” being required of city employees.
All four unpaid furlough days were imposed in 2009.
I decided to call City Hall this morning to inquire about any voluntary “refunds” aldermen had made to the City in 2009 or 2010.
Here’s what the City Accounting Manager told me:
- Ron Seidl: $49.47 on Aug. 14
- Dave Ament: $53.92 on Sept. 3 & $40.47 on Dec. 29 (total=$94.39)
- Ted Wysocki: $80.00 on Nov. 13
That’s it folks.
That minimal aldermanic participation and comparatively small "refunded" amount is what Ald. Ament calls "sharing in the sacrifice"?
Heck, city workers lost 4 days pay with the unpaid furloughs. FOUR DAYS !
And months earlier, Ament and his aldermanic cohorts had cut the mayor’s pay from $90,634 to $83,772, a huge decrease.
But while our aldermen have acted to reduce other people’s pay significantly, they have been notably reluctant to decrease aldermanic pay in a substantial way such as by eliminating or slashing the aldermanic expense account.
For their part time aldermanic positions, our aldermen are each paid an annual salary of $7,000 and get $250 per month for expenses for an additional $3000 per year. (in other words, they get $10,000 financial compensation annually). And the Council President (Ken Harenda) is paid even more.
By the way, New Berlin School Board members are paid a $3000 salary, which is less than half what an alderman receives, and they don't get an expense account.