We have seen the headlines repeatedly. Scandals like Bell and Vernon rock the little confidence the public has in elected officials. It’s time elected officials do more to earn the trust of the communities they serve.
Recently, the San Miguel Community Services District not only had a resignation of a longtime director, but a couple of days later, we had the issue of stipends come up on the agenda. I refused to move forward with the issue. There are few places where someone can determine their own pay; even the pay of corporate CEOs is determined by someone else. And pay is based on merit or experience, rarely because of costs incurred.
Regarding pay for elected officials, I personally believe that stipends should be determined by a vote of the public. Let’s allow the public to determine whether we are worthy of stipends. But why stop there?
I also believe that if my colleagues are serious about transparency, they would support having the vacant position — which has two more years left in the term — also go to a vote of the public.
Appointments are nothing new to the San Miguel CSD. There have been at least three other appointments in San Miguel CSD’s short history.
Proponents of appointments have said that special elections are too costly. I honestly question that statement, as I do not understand how someone can put a price on transparency. A move to elections will show that San Miguel CSD is serious about being open and honest.