To the LCRA chairman and the current council members:
I appreciate the Council's efforts to educate the citizens of Sikeston on the upcoming funding proposals on the February ballot and their attempt to respond to former mayor Josh Bill's letter dated Jan. 14. I also acknowledge the Council's response dated Jan. 21, but I was disappointed in the content of your response because it lacked proper fiscal justification to inflate administrative salaries such a significant amount.
In your response, you stated, "The level of pay for department heads within the City of Sikeston is consistent with the level of pay for corresponding areas of responsibility within the City of Cape Girardeau, the City of Carbondale, Ill., the City of Paducah, Ky., and the City of Poplar Bluff.... In addition, our salary schedule for administrative staff is very much in line with what is paid for similar duties by the Sikeston Board of Municipal Utilities and Sikeston R-6 School District."
In my opinion, your justification equates to poor fiscal management and foresight because of the following reasons:
A. Three of the four cities that were used for comparisons have a larger population than the City of Sikeston (pop. 17,642; Cape Girardeau, 34,475; Carbondale, 27,003; and Paducah, 26,307) and the population of these municipalities doubles in size during the day from commuters working inside the city limits.
B. Carbondale has approximately 283 city employees and Cape Girardeau has over 300 city employees, whereas the City of Sikeston has only 100 employees.
C. How can anyone make a comparison between a utility company, a school district and a town? Comparing a municipality (City of Sikeston) to Sikeston School District and to the BMU is similar to comparing apples to oranges.
D. The city manager of Cape Girardeau earns $83,133 a year and the city manager of Sikeston gets $89,900 a year. Do these two managers really share similar duties and responsibilities?
If the Council and administrative staff used the above mentioned cities, Sikeston School District and the BMU to raise administrative salaries, then the Council's fiscal policy is flawed (or laughable). I will not support any new tax proposals or incentives. I hope the community as a whole votes no until the Council cuts the real fat out of the budget.
Thank you for your time,
Dawn Thompson, citizen of Sikeston