A 112 percent raise?
You read that right. At the last meeting under the old administration, City Council in Ocean City granted itself a 112 percent raise, increasing council members' salaries from $10,300 a year to $21,850.
The raises were in return for the seven part-time council members giving up their taxpayer-funded health benefits, which cost the city about $22,000 per person for full family coverage.
Outgoing Mayor Sal Perillo, at least, had the good sense to veto this outrageous measure as his last act in office.
The notion that a part-time elected official is entitled to compensation for losing his taxpayer-funded health benefits is misguided and offensive.
Part-time council members shouldn't have health benefits in the first place - no part-timer should. Part-timers certainly don't get health benefits in the private sector. And, in fact, a new law that took effect last month prohibits newly elected part-time officials from being enrolled in the state health-benefits plan.
The perk is an outdated practice that stems from a time when giving an official taxpayer-funded health benefits was seen as a minor inducement to get people to serve. But there is nothing minor about it anymore. Health care costs are skyrocketing. And taxpayers are fed up with the cost of government, as they have every right to be.
Two Ocean City councilmen didn't even have the sense to be gracious for this outrageous deal, or at least not complain about it.
Councilman Scott Ping, who said he'll suffer a net loss of $10,000 despite the increased salary, said, "My hope is that I have a very busy summer at my store." Councilman Roy Wagner said he's not a "slave." "I don't really think anybody expects me to be working for nothing," Wagner said.
But if you are in public office for the salary and the benefits, you are in it for the wrong reasons.
Look ... we understand. No one likes someone reaching into his pocket and taking out cash. So we get where Ping and Wagner are coming from.
But apparently they've forgotten that taxpayers feel the exact same way.