New Orem City Council members are very liberal with taxpayer money to feather their own nests.

The City Council and mayor received a new 2.3 percent pay raise, and the city staff received a 3.6 percent pay increase. Members of the City Council receive $678.28 per month. Plus an additional $480.19 for medical and dental insurance, or a salary of $1,158.44 per month. Also they receive free $50,000 life insurance, and $100,000 travel insurance, so their remuneration package is generous.Those council members who choose not to participate in the city health and dental insurance program get to pocket the extra $480.19 as a bonus.

The mayor is paid $1,356.50, plus the $480.19.

The City Council meets as an elected legislative body only three times a month. However, absenteeism is a problem. If they miss one, two or all three meetings during the month, they still collect their full salary and benefit package. I believe that they should sacrifice a third of their salary for each time they miss a scheduled city meeting. We elected seven individuals to conduct city business decisions, and when one or two members are absent, decisions made are not receiving the full consideration they deserve.

There also is a large amount of taxpayer money in the budget to cover first class travel to conventions all over the United States.

With all of this extravagant personal pork barrel expense, it is no wonder that the city complains that there is not enough money available to repair sidewalks.

Bob Wright