Now is not the time for big council raises

info@islandpacket.comNovember 5, 2012 

Here we are in the fourth year of the "Great Recession," having made very little progress in restoring normal employment or in reducing deficit spending and home foreclosures.

Our federal government borrows approximately $1 billion a day. And this borrowed money constitutes 35 percent of the federal government's routine expenditures, a clear dependency on external borrowing and an amount the credit markets will not tolerate much longer.

Yet our Hilton Head Island Town Council has approved a plan to raise the remuneration of the Town Council by 216 percent for the mayor and 55 percent for the councilmen. These amounts would be considered flagrant even in prosperous times. The nation has thousands of vacant retail stores, and even here on Hilton Head, plans are under way to demolish about half of our flagship enclosed mall. And as if this weren't enough, the council has, in recent months, proceeded with the design work for a duplicate gym, an indoor swimming pool and an additional senior center, and is considering raising the local accommodations tax.

This council seems to be oblivious to the financial troubles of our country and the likely trickle-down of financial stress and additional taxes into our community. The council members would do well to put their responsibilities to the town ahead of their own selfish interests.

Robert J. Keegan

Hilton Head Island

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