Washingtonians are rightly dismayed and upset by recent scandals, including Lincoln Navigators and Sulaimon Brown. We should demand the highest standards from leaders. However, we should also beware that righteous indignation can quickly transform into unstoppable pressure for very bad policies.
These revelations in the news are indeed troubling. As one who did support Gray (as a few commenters never tire of pointing out), I too am very disappointed to read them.
Residents and opinion leaders should beware of a natural tendency to want to go after everyone in government with a metaphorical meat cleaver, however. In particular, we should be very skeptical about proposals to restrict the pay of top administration officials or cut the pay of councilmembers.
A great department head can save millions of dollars by managing projects better, hiring more capable staff, and avoiding costly mistakes. In the private sector, a good leader can make very good money. We should rightly condemn paying anyone six-figure salaries if that person isn’t qualified to do a job, but we also shouldn’t hesitate to pay six figures to someone who’ll pay for his or her own salary several times over.
[Continue reading David Alpert’s post at Greater Greater Washington.]
David Alpert is founder and editor of Greater Greater Washington. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.