Friday, August 12, 2011

The staff hikes weren't Hancock's

Under the provocative page-one headline "Mayor Ups Pay to Aides" (although the on-line title is different), the Denver Post implies that new Denver Mayor Michael Hancock is ratcheting up salaries on his staff. They compare his staff salaries so far with those of former Mayor Hickenlooper during his first year in office, 2004. Yes, the new mayor is paying about $1 million more on staff than Hick did in his first year. But is that really the right point of comparison?

Notably, in a table buried on page 6A, Mayor Hancock's staff payments are compared with those of Hickenlooper in 2009, and they're virtually identical. Hick paid $2,512,651 in salary to his discretionary appointees; Hancock is paying $2,514,211. Yes, Hancock is paying all of $1,560 more for these appointees than Hickenlooper did two years ago. This is a scandal?

All this really demonstrates is that Hickenlooper ratcheted up staff salaries during his term, and Hancock is maintaining salaries at that same level.

Does any of this matter? Katy Atkinson gets in the key quote:
Sometimes you have to pay more for really good top people. Success will breed all kinds of forgiveness Failure? Everyone will be screaming about everything.
But really, this is a pretty pathetic way to gin up a scandal.

1 comment:

Robert said...

Agree. When you think about comparing 2011 to 2004, it also doesn't make sense based on simple inflation and cost of living increases. I mean, I'm sure that the headline "Administration salaries higher than ever" is an evergreen in any jurisdiction you care to look. Come to think of it, that's an evergreen for a lot of things, e.g., movie tickets, teacher pay, new car prices, etc., etc., ad infinitum.