Freeze council pay, cut KC judges' salaries
The Kansas City Council soon will decide how much its members, the mayor and Municipal Court judges will earn over the next four years.
The best idea out there: Freeze the pay of council members at around $61,600 a year, and the mayor’s pay at $123,000 annually.
The most important move would be to slice the outrageous $145,000 judicial salaries by at least 10 percent, with 20 percent being a better target. That would reduce the judges to more realistic pay of between $115,000 a year to $130,000 a year.
The council, in dealing with a long-running fiscal crisis, must finally decide that it’s absurd to pay city judges handling speeding tickets more than most real judges make at the county and state level, where they handle much more difficult and much more serious crimes.
Even if you think Municipal Court judges now work more hours than the leisurely schedule they did a few years ago, pay in excess of $100,000 a year for that job is enough to attract people to it.
The council has to make the decision about its pay as well as pay for the judges because - after the next fiscal year starts on May 1 - the City Charter prohibits any decrease in pay for these city employees.