What are you worth?

Chris Story
Have you ever seen someone doing something and said, “You couldn’t pay me enough to do that?”
It might have been someone cleaning an outhouse, pulling a snake from a crawlspace under a mobile home in Florida or giving a political speech. (And not necessarily in that order).
Each of us was born with a purpose, a set of gifts and talents that are unlike any other human on the planet. You are a unique individual, and you matter. It is important that you not do a job that isn’t suited to your gifts, it could kill you. Not just from the danger of the task, but doing work you don’t enjoy can lead to an untimely demise from a heart attack or other ailment. Living out of alignment is a big deal.
So should you do a job for the money alone? In fact someone that I know in a high income job, just moved from one company to another with a slight decrease in pay. Who would do that and why? Why would someone give up a job that paid them more money? Purpose. It is a statistical fact that most people leave their current employment for another position for many reasons, and money is low on that list. Respect, dignity and purpose rank highest. We want to feel that what we are doing with our lives is worthwhile.
So when you see politicians giving themselves, or attempting to give themselves pay increases, it begs the question, “Why did you run for office?”
Are you on the City Council for the monetary compensation? That’s funny, you never see that as a platform do you?
No, you run for elected office as a civic duty. You should be very uncomfortable with the compensation package offered. It should be a financial hardship to be an elected official. You should want to get back to your private sector life as quickly as you can, and leave a vacuum to be filled by your neighbor.
You have in recent meetings seen both the Homer City council and the Kenai Peninsula Borough grapple with their own compensation.
Let’s look to Homer City Councilmen Gus VanDyke; not only is Gus against a pay raise, what you need to know is that Gus refuses the current compensation offered. Gus said he is doing his civic duty and doesn’t want the pay.
Thank you Councilman VanDyke! Elected office is not a career, it’s a privilege.
Time for term limits all around!

Chris Story is a lifelong Alaskan, and broker and owner of Story Real Estate. He is also host of “Alaska Matters Radio,” heard Tuesdays from 12:30-1:30 p.m. on KPEN.

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Posted by on May 6th, 2014 and filed under Point of View. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 Responses for “What are you worth?”

  1. Know What You Are Talking About says:

    I think you are missing the point of increased compensation. This could attract more community members to get involved. The increased compensation could pay for a baby sitter or other child care necessities or attract college students attending KBC. You must have missed Councilman Burgess’ explanation. I would love to see a younger generation sitting at the Council table. The increased compensation could do that. I encourage you to actually attend the meetings instead of listening on the radio. I know, I know…this is my opinion and I am entitled to it and this is your opinion. Did you ever think about being proactive instead of reactive and slamming the City of Homer every week. There are so many proactive things you could be doing instead of writing negative columns with no solution. You own your business and some how you are successful at it. Put your success to a good use.

  2. Dan O'Phelan says:

    Chris is right. Governmental entities are out of control. They spend other people’s money for things that citizens do no want or need. Basic services are important. But everyone is frustrated with the ever increasing expenditures of government and the shrinking of the private sector, not to mention the intense pressure on private businesses from taxes and other payments for the “government.” Voluntary political “service” is a great idea. Career politicians are part of the reason America is on a financial collision course. Volunteers could be compensated for travel, stipends for housing, but why should Congressman be paid so much more than the average American. Another option would be to pay them minimum wage. The idea is simple and righteous: serve the government because it’s an honor not because it’s a paid position that further drains the private sector.

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