To the Editor:
Like Don Delson, I was disappointed to read that the Swarthmore Borough Council is considering payments for its members.
I am grateful to the Swarthmorean for reporting on this matter. I took the time to watch the proceedings online and certainly have no problem with the concept of reimbursing elected officials for necessary dependent or child care.
What I did find objectionable was the special pleading by certain council members that because their “day jobs” were based on billable hours, they should be compensated for some element of lost earnings. There is always an opportunity cost to public service regardless of how one earns a living, whether one is paid hourly, salaried or as a business owner.
Further, if the council has the surplus budget to pay council members $2,500 and the mayor $5,000 a year, it should either use this taxpayer money to fund budget items of benefit to all residents or to reduce the municipal tax burden.
A council member who votes to increase the fixed costs to the borough by paying members or the mayor will not receive my vote: local, state, or federal.
Due to my own work commitments, I could not attend the October 21 committee meeting. However, I emailed the council member as suggested in the Swarthmorean, and I am still waiting on an acknowledgment or a response.