Monday, September 10, 2018

Everybody Gets A Raise

The city is preparing to give everyone on payroll a pay hike with the preparation, beyond the initial decision, comprising a commissioned study supporting their decision to increase salaries. At least they get what they pay for.

But do we?

The study itself, while somewhat boilerplate in presentation, content and methodology, is not entirely unreasonable. There is a section of "peer" governments to which Dunwoody compares complete with percentiles, quartile, hell, more tiles than Floor and Decor. It is the peerage where things unravel quite a bit. Largely driven by geography, somewhat by demographics, we see the likes of Sandy Springs, Chamblee, Brookhaven and the mayor's beloved Roswell. All good, but that it leaves that nagging question unanswered: do we, the mere residents of Dunwoody, do we get what we pay for?

You see, bureaucracies, particularly government bureaucracies like relativism over absolutes. Especially when it comes to bumping their payroll. So they are more than happy to compare what a bureaucrat in Roswell gets paid to what a similar bureaucrat is being paid in Dunwoody. Especially when it suggest the Dunwoody Aeron Driver should get a bump. The alternative is to compare merit, even relative. In fact, the only comparison readily available to residents is relative.

Do we get what we're paying for now? Relative to what folks in Doraville, Roswell or Alpharetta receive? Will paying more put us on par with the city's self-selected peers with regards to service or will we simply pay more for the service we're now receiving? And lest someone suggest that we are already getting more than we pay for TOD will challenge you to survey residents of, say, Roswell regarding that city's control of clutter, ordinance enforcement and compliance, traffic control and general quality of life. If the Village would be enormously improved by emulating Roswell then perhaps there are operations at City Hall that could benefit similarly.