After yesterday's post about Alderman Lyle Sohns resigning his posts as aldermanic representative for the Board of Public Works and Environmental Commission, a reader sent me an e-mail and asked the question, "So why should Sohns continue to get any pay if he refuses to do all of his duties?"
The reader has a point and it should be a topic of discussion sooner rather than later. If an alderman flat-out steps down from posts he was assigned to by his colleagues upon (re)election, why should (s)he receive the same amount of pay that their colleagues receive? What I find disheartening about the matter is that even though Sohns knew he only had 2 more months of meetings to go, which is only 4 regularly scheduled commission meetings, he still made the decision to step down from them. Apparently attending 4 more commission meetings just wasn't something he wanted to do. There also has been no indication on if he also intends on resigning his council seat prior to the April elections. If he does this, then the 5th Aldermanic District will have no representation on the council til April, since it is unlikely the council would appoint someone to only serve upwards of 3 meetings.
In the end, the reader's question deserves an answer. One would think that if an alderman refuses to carryout his duties by serving as aldermanic rep for some boards and commissions, then why should he be getting the same paycheck from taxpayers his colleagues receive for doing less work? No matter what the total dollar amount may be, I don't think it's fair to the other aldermen or the taxpayers Sohns represents. Perhaps the job description for an alderman in Franklin should be more clear in that if one is interested in representing their district, there is a requirement that they be part of various boards and commissions during their tenure.