Council pay discourages

The current annual salary for Akron City Council members is around $35,000 with the council president making about $45,000. The position of City Council member is meant to be a part-time position with a salary to reflect that. Unfortunately, over the years, residents have come to expect full-time hours and beyond from council members. Something needs to change. Either the salary should be increased commensurate with the hours expected or residents should temper their expectations.

City Council has a mix of retirees, those with high school diplomas and those with advanced degrees. There appears to be little diversity of age. The ability of younger residents to run for these positions is prohibitive based on pay and the hours required. Being able to take a huge pay cut to serve on City Council is a luxury enjoyed by few.

Of course, the argument can be made that there is a large swath of Akron residents who make less than City Council members. Asking residents to raise the pay of elected officials can be difficult.

It should be said that you get what you pay for. The best and brightest are very likely to pass on running for office unless they are independently wealthy or have already existing political connections. It is one thing to ask someone making $100,000 in the private sector to take a pay cut of $30,000 to $40,000 to serve their community. It is quite another to ask them to take a $65,000 pay cut.

The question of whether residents want the best and the brightest running for these positions, or someone with nothing better to do, is a question they will have to answer sooner or later.

Brian Holb, Akron

 

Buybacks are good

Those who are opposed to stock buybacks, because, they say, it results in misallocating investment funds, never learned (or forgot) the basic premise of “Economics in One Lesson,” by Henry Hazlitt, first published over 50 years ago.

And that is: “The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists of tracing the consequences of that [act or] policy not merely for one group but for all groups.”

What they miss is that funds used by firms to buy back stock are not withdrawn from the capital market — they aren’t stuffed under mattresses — they are reinvested into other firms, thus reallocating investment capital to a higher and better use.

Dave Garthoff, Stow

 

Thoughtful debate needed

Garbage in and garbage out. Every day there is some new piece of offensive information released by our president. It is regurgitated on television, in print, and on the web.

This constant flow of nonsense has made us tune out, lower our standards and accept that which should concern everyone. Is this the best America has to offer? I certainly hope not.

As we approach 2020, the noise will get louder. We must demand thoughtful debate by the candidates on policy, plans and solutions. We will no longer accept name calling, public shaming and questionable opposition research. Wake up, and please remember that change will happen at the ballot box. Your voice matters, so please use it wisely.

Lynn Bagi, Akron