Regarding the recent editorial on city council members' salary increases, I note that the aggregate increase of $190,000 taken against the total city budget of $393,000,000 represents 0.0005 percent of the city budget or, put another way, 5/100ths per penny of the city budget is going towards these increases.
Much was made of comparisons between Rochester, St. Cloud and Duluth. A cursory internet search shows Duluth has been a city in decline for the past 50 years. How much skill and attention does it take to manage a city in decline? I don’t think it’s a model we want to emulate in any respect.
St. Cloud paints a brighter picture, but still pales in comparison to Rochester. Its population has increased by about 15% since the year 2000 to about 68,000. By contrast, Rochester has grown by 30% in that same time to 119,000 so Rochester has about twice the population of St. Cloud and is growing at twice the rate of St. Cloud. Further, St Cloud’s budget, at about $126,000,000, is 1/3 the size of Rochester’s. It should be plain to see that the management and oversight of Rochester is a much bigger job than it is for St. Cloud.
In short, with regard to the council member salary increases, get over it. It's not enough money to worry about, and even if it were, the mayor and council members are now being fairly compensated for the time and energy they put into the job.
Ron Blume, Zumbro Falls