Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Shame Of Paul Ricketts

Where's the outrage? For the second time this year, career government employee Paul Ricketts is seeking a $15,000 pay raise for serving as mayor of Lawrence, a job he has held for 8 months. The raise would boost his pay from $65,000 to $80,000. "I've never gotten a raise like that," Lawrence resident Bob Schussler is quoted as saying at a city council meeting in a Star report today. Instead of thinking of himself all the time, Mayor Ricketts should follow the advice of Gov. Sarah Palin. She cut her pay from $68,000 to $64,000 when she was mayor of Wasila, Alaska. Speaking of Palin, Ricketts missed the public hearing on his raise. He was attending the GOP convention in Minneapolis. What an embarrassment Ricketts has become for the Republican Party.


mackenzie197 said...

Three embarassing mayors in a row for Lawrence. The good news is the Republicans (Schneider and Ricketts) are more competent than the Democrat mayor sandwiched between them. The bad news is they steal more.

artfuggins said...

I guess you measure competence by the amount that you are able to steal. That is an unusual benchmark.

Vox Populi said...

The first thing that sticks out to me is that the part-time mayor of a town of 6,500 people was making over $60,000/year anyway...

The second thing is that Ricketts is a complete joke. He was a joke as Assessor, he was a joke as a candidate, and he has been an atrocious joke as mayor. I'm a resident of Lawrence again as of September 1, and I can tell you people are ready to be done with Paul.

It's just a matter of whether 1) the Dems can get a strong candidate to run agaist him, 2) he will choose not to run for reelection, or 3) a better Republican will take him out in the primary.

Gary R. Welsh said...

"The first thing that sticks out to me is that the part-time mayor of a town of 6,500 people was making over $60,000/year anyway..."

Vox has obviously never been to Alaska. The cost of living there is very high. $60,000 isn't a lot of money up there.

Vox Populi said...

Hi AI,

You're correct, I have never been to Alaska. Thankfully I just have to let my fingers do the walking over to Wikipedia, which tells us that:

Alaska has the fourteenth highest per capita income in the United States of America, at $22,660 (2000). Its personal per capita income is $33,568 (2003), the twelfth highest in the country. Its median household income is $51,571 (2000), ranked fourth in the country, and its median family income is $59,036 (2000), the fifth highest in the country. The median value of an owner-occupied housing unit is $144,200 (2000), ranked twelfth in the country.

I still think $60k+ is a lot of money for a part-time job, and that's not a jab against Palin, but of the outrageous nature of mayoral pay in small communities in general.

But even that part-time pay is well above the per capita average for an Alaska family. And that was just her income, not her oilman husband's.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Being mayor of Lawrence should be a part-time job. Many of the administrative functions which would typically be administered by the mayor have been given to the Indianapolis mayor under the consolidated government. Lawrence's municipal government is really duplicative under our city-county government. It should be abolished.

Vox Populi said...

Gary, I am in total agreement with you there. I think all the "unigov" cities (Beech Grove, Speedway and Lawrence) should be integrated into the City of Indianapolis. And I think the Townships should be eliminated.

If I run for Mayor of Lawrence pledging to get rid of the city, do you think I could get your endorsement? ;)

Anonymous said...

Do not believe what you read on Wikipedia about Alaska. That $144,200 figure is _very_ misleading if you ask me. Currently, Anchorage Police are putting out e-mails and mailings about how they are now bringing testing to the lower 48 to try and find people who want to move up there to be cops. Here are some of the benefits of the Anchorage PD:
1st year officer: $73K/year
5th year officer: $84K/year
10 year officer: $103K/year
Take home car
If you work 1500 to 0100 hours, you get a 3% wage hike.
If you work 2300 to 0900 you get a 6% wage hike.
Sounds like you get 3 days off in a row. If you work OT your 1st day off, you get 1.5x pay. Your second day off, 2x pay. Your third day is 1.5x pay.
If you have a 2 year degree, you may get 4% pay hike.
A four year bachelors could get you 8%.
5+ weeks/vacation per year.

Now, I went over to and found out that a basic 1,700 sq. ft. home that would costs about $150-160Kish in Fishers/Carmel area will likely run you $200K+ up in Anchorage. I think the more suburban/rural you get, the more housing costs.