|By Dave Ress, Daily Press (Newport News, Va.)|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Few Peninsula-area localities disclose elected officials' pay in budgets, annual financial reports or websites. Hardly any have changed their pay rates or benefits in years.
"It's not something that's at the forefront," said
"I think elected officials generally earn what they are paid, and my sense is that the difference in compensation is generally driven by the more complex job that a city elected official has over a county elected official," said
He doesn't see the difference as coming from different attitudes about politicking and wooing the public, though.
"Cities have more complex public safety, education, and health and welfare issues to deal with. The Code of
Bateman figures he spends 15 to 20 hours a week on council business. In addition to the twice monthly meetings, he sits as the city representative on bodies like the airport commission, and fields scores of emails, phone calls and letters a week from residents who need city services or have questions about city policies.
"When I'm driving down the street and see a power company box with graffiti, I'll stop, take a picture and send it in," he said. "Sometimes, it's like you live this job."
Like many elected officials, Bateman feels a key part of the job is showing up at community events, too.
"I look at it as community service. Instead of something like the
He, too, figures he spends about 15 or 20 hours a week on city business. And he's not doing it for the money.
"I think we're still being paid what was set when we became a city in 1975," he said. That sum:
Cities pay more