Bill Wayne's Political Pages - The Gadfly
Gadfly 63
Submitted to the Warrensburg Gazette for October 5, 2000

The Gadfly is a series of letters offering commentary on local issues and published in the Warrensburg Gazette.

Dear Editor

Well, the legislature is trying to sneak another one past us. Several years back, we were conned into voting for an amendment that delegated the responsibility to set the pay of our judges & legislators to a so-called “Missouri citizens' commission on the compensation for elected officials.” The real intent was to allow the legislators to raise their pay without having to vote on the record. It didn’t work because they left a loophole – the legislature could, by joint resolution, decide not to give the recommended raise. Bowing to political pressure, they’ve exercised that option.

In November, we’ll be voting on Amendment 3, which would remove the loophole. The only way pay raises could be stopped would be through the appropriation process, where it’s much easier to disguise a vote. Not only that, it removes per diem and mileage allowance from the minimal control exercised by the compensation commission. It still allows legislators and judges to receive cost of living increases at the same rate as state employees.

Actually, I don’t have any problem with paying legislators when they’re working. From what I’ve seen, they do work hard on studying issues, attending hearings, meeting with constituents, etc. When they’re in session, they’ll be hard-pressed to work at whatever their ‘real’ job is. They just ought to have the guts to vote on what they think their work is worth, instead of trying to hide behind a “citizens’ commission.”

What I do have a problem with is their plush retirement system. There was little rationale for an expensive pension for part-time workers before term limits were passed; now, there’s none at all. The voters have decided that legislators can serve a maximum of 8 years (16 if we elect a representative to the Senate or vice versa). Taxpayers should not have to continue to pay ‘pensions’ to an ever-growing number of politicians (the number will grow as term limits increase turn-over) for a part-time job that pays well. I am pleased to see that Jim Howerton, currently State Representative for the 120th District and candidate for the State Senate in the district that includes Warrensburg, agrees with me on this issue.

| Old Drum Net Home | Gadfly Index |

This website compliments of
Cedarcroft Enterprises
including Cedarcroft Farm Bed & Breakfast
431 Southeast County Road Y, Warrensburg, Missouri, 64093
(660)747-5728 \