Opinion » Letters

Good government isn't cheap

Paso Robles



I have a negative reaction to the initiative that would require our legislators to become part timers. Governing a modern, pluralistic state of 37.5 million people is incredibly complex. Each assemblyperson must also represent about 420,000 people, the highest ratio of any state. This should be a full-time job with no second jobs or business ventures taking one’s time.

There is room to lower the salaries, but you can only go so low before you increase the temptation and likelihood of legislators looking for bribes to augment their pay. Certainly, paying only $1,500 a month as advocated in the initiative would certainly invite corruption. Either that, or the officeholder must hold another full-time job, with little serious time for the state, or he/she would have to be wealthy.

This initiative strikes me as a Republican scheme to weaken government at most of our expense, with the power vacuum being filled by large corporations and local plutocrats.

Good government requires working with others to evaluate the candidates, electing the best, and then monitoring those officeholders to make sure they are doing their job. This requires diligent work, but it is the only way to ensure good government. Trying to get it on the cheap at a state level would only invite disaster.

-- Gerald Manata - Paso Robles

-- Gerald Manata - Paso Robles

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