To the editor:
I feel I must write after reading reactions to a recent salary increase for the mayor of Provo, Joe Jenkins.In a democracy, the people elect public representatives to serve in office, give serious consideration and deliberation to matters, then make decisions based on facts, figures and other information. Part of the oath of office states . . . "that I will discharge the duties of my office with fidelity."
I don't take that oath lightly, nor do the other members of the Provo City Council. When study and consideration is given on any matter that comes to the council for action - new ordinances, amendments to existing ordinances, budgets, Seven Peaks Resort, the mayor's salary, etc. - materials are studied, discussion takes place, then a decision is made. Members of the council make those decisions in the best interest of Provo and its citizens.
So how much is a good mayor worth? My complete answer to that is involved and lengthy. In my opinion, having worked closely with Mayor Joe Jenkins for 21/2 years, he is worth all that he is receiving and more. He brings to this public office expertise in many areas that we are fortunate to have. I've seen him make decisions in a single meeting that have justified his entire year's salary.
Just look at the positive things that have happened in Provo under his leadership, and they're still happening with more on the way. He does not work single-handedly, of course. Many others are involved, but he is a dynamic leader.
It is immaterial whether he receives more compensation than some other mayor in some other community. Each city is different, has different needs, problems, opportunities.
I appreciated one citizen's reaction to me about the mayor's salary increase when he said, "You and the other members of the council have been elected to serve and represent us. If, after study and serious evaluation, you feel that such an increase is justified, and if we have the funds, I support you." Well, the council vote on this issue was six in favor and one opposed.
Time and space do not allow a full review of all the facts and details that were considered before the vote on this issue, but I believe history will show that Mayor Jenkins earned and deserved the compensation that he is getting.
Gordon W. Bullock
Provo City Council