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Town pay raises

Dear Editor:

I am writing in reference to Darrell Cotton’s remarks in last week’s edition of The Pagosa Springs SUN, headed “Council debates raises for town employees,” where he stated that, “We have not lost any employees because they were looking for more money, Phillip says that’s why he left, but I doubt it.”

I beg to differ, Mr. Cotton, that is exactly why I left, because there have been no pay raises in the past four years and I, as with many other people in this community, have a family to support and was finding it more and more difficult to make ends meet. It was not exactly that we did not get raises but more that, every year, the town employees would bring home less and less monies. Maybe if the town capped employee costs I may not have left.

If you doubled any town employee’s salary, that would still not be equal to the town manager’s salary. If you are all fired up about what is fair in the local area, well you are the ones who set the bar! Perhaps if the town manager was paid less than the $120,000 a year he receives, the town employees would be able to get pay raises to adjust for the increase in the cost of living. Oh, and incidentally, why is the town manager still getting a rent allowance?

Furthermore, Mr. Cotton stated that town employees have “full medical benefits.” True, but at a considerable cost to the employee, as well. In fact, almost one week’s pay per month went towards covering my family’s “full medical benefits.” As a result, Mr. Cotton, I had to cancel my family’s coverage because I could not afford it.

My wife and I did not wish to leave Pagosa Springs; we loved living here and chose to live here because we felt it would be a great place to raise our children, which it has been. Unfortunately, as with so many other families, we have been forced to move elsewhere in order to be able to afford to keep our families fed and clothed.

God has blessed Pagosa Springs, may it also cover my friends/co-workers who still work there under some obtuse board members.

Philip Starks

This story was posted on December 6, 2012.
  • grande

    You are absolutely right, we left Pagosa because of the cost of living there!! We have lived in Panama for 2 years, and even with flight cost, we still save money by not living in Pagosa.It is very sad to see that the wonderful town and county still seems to be run by greedy morons!!!!!!