Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

January 18, 2023
‘Hefty’ county pay raise

Congratulations! The new year is only a few days old and Tooele County employees already have cause to celebrate. Embedded in the county 2023 budget is a hefty pay raise the 5 member Tooele County Council voted themselves, and not wanting to appear to be entirely self-serving, the raise is extended to all county employees. And make no mistake, this is not a merit-based reward for above and beyond personal performance, but is intended to insulate its protected beneficiaries from the economic devastations of crippling inflation.

And the Tooele County Council is not alone. In December the North Tooele Fire District similarly voted itself across the board pay increases in spite of objections made at a public hearing earlier that month.

These are examples of inevitable consequences that follow when the government, possessing complete taxing authority, is allowed to freely spend other people’s money without consent and without the slightest possibility of a public veto. It’s a monopoly of the worst sort.

The point is not that county employees don’t deserve to be paid more for their services; that’s a matter that should be decided by public debate, not government fiat. Rather, the point is, with current economic conditions in mind, there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of Tooele County residents who are not so privileged as public employees, who are being forced to make choices between critical goods and services because they don’t have the luxury of being able to vote themselves a wage increase and therefore struggle to make do with what they have. Imagine that! Now is not the time to be dolling out generous pay raises to public servants who are comparatively well-paid to begin with. That serves only to inflame resentment the public holds for what is perceived to be the privileged, isolated class of unaccountable government. We should all be willing to endure our share of inconvenience and sacrifice, believing that what we suffer together will unite us, not divide us, as a people for our common good. High and lofty ideals, to be sure, but ‘tis the stuff of personal and community greatness that would inevitably set us apart as unique, caring and responsible people.

But truth be told, during difficult times there always exists a few fortunate, well-connected people who manage to suffer less than most, or not at all. 


Richard Ewing Davis

Stansbury Park


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