Some Detroit officials are asking for a raise

Detroit is just a few months out of bankruptcy, but at city hall tonight, there was talk of giving pay raises to some elected officials; however, they don't get to make that decision. That's up to the Elected Officials Compensation Committee.

"To ask for a raise at this time, I just think it is a slap in the face to all city employee retirees," said Annie Kuykendall, a retired city worker.

"I'm not saying that they don't deserve more money, they may, but this is not the time to give it to them," said Betty Roberts, a Detroit resident.

Only a few people showed up for the Elected Officials Compensation Commission Hearing, but they were all in agreement: Detroit elected officials do not deserve a raise so close to the city's emergence from bankruptcy.

"I really hope you consider the fact that we have gone through this bankruptcy. The taxpayers are kind of fed up with a lot of things that have been going on in the city," said Roberts.

"When they ran for these positions, they knew it was long hours and they also knew they were not promised a raise," said Kuykendall. "When I started working in 1978, I was promised a full pension plus full medical benefits and those all have been cut. For them to ask for a raise just within a few days after we received our cuts, that is a slap in our face."

Some city council members and Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey have said they want more money. The commission has not made a decision yet, but if it recommend raises, the increases will go through automatically, unless city council blocks them by a two-thirds vote.

"If they accept the raise, shame on them," said Roberts.

"Do not look for my vote to be voted back into office," said Kuykendall.

Commission Chairman Buzz Thomas said the commission has received more than three dozen e-mails from people commenting on the raise issue.

"They generally were consistent with the two public comments that we had here, folks were not supportive of a pay increase at this time," said Buzz Thomas, commission chairman.

It'll probably take a few weeks for the Compensation Commission to make their recommendation, but there's still time for your voice to be heard. There will be another public hearing next Monday.
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