Let’s take a closer look at salaries!

Well, we’ve seen a lot of raised eyebrows in the last few days over Governor Dayton’s salary increases for commissioners.  And I’ll admit, myself, to thinking they were too much.  That is, until I took a closer look at the numbers.  Check out the Strib letter to the editor below to see the results.  Then ask yourself if you think the showboating by our Republican friends is sincere.  Ask yourself if Rep. Roz Peterson, 56B (R) is a good spokesperson on the subject of salaries.  Rep. Peterson was Lakeville area school board chair when that board approved a salary of $182,000 escalating to $187,000 in 2016 for the Lakeville school district superintendent.  That’s $30,000 more than the state Commissioner of Education now gets.

See our letter at http://www.startribune.com/opinion/letters/291592951.html.

“Republicans are going ballistic on the pay increases for commissioners in the Dayton administration, and, at first glance, their argument seems reasonable. Such increases, they claim, are too much. They want them scaled back. They suggest that the commissioner of education, for example, who was making $119,000 per year, should not get an increase, even though she makes significantly less than the superintendent of Minneapolis Public Schools.

“So I did the math. If someone was making $119,000 in 2000, the last year that commissioners got any pay increase, then received only a 2 percent pay increase, compounded annually, for the next 13 years, they would be making about $155,000 in 2014. That, coincidently, is about what the top administrator is making now with the raise.

“And one commissioner, according to the Star Tribune, manages a budget of $17.7 billion. What would a person in the private sector make if they managed that amount of money? You can be sure that it would be more than $155,000, or even $1.5 million.

“So, commissioners are getting a 2-cent raise on each dollar they make for each year of service. That doesn’t seem so out of line, does it?”

And now Peterson has introduced a bill, HF666, to interject the Legislature into such executive branch decisions.  These are executive management decisions; not political ones.  And it seems to me that’s why the people of Minnesota rehired the Governor last November.

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