The recent approval of pay increases for Mankato city workers by the Mankato City Council shows how out of touch with taxpayers and fiscal responsibility the City Council members are.

I want to commend the editors of The Free Press for admonishing the City Council’s actions in a recent opinion page commentary. Councilman Jack Considine’s recent rebuttal letter to the editor just reinforces both the editors and my point and I know many taxpayers feel the same way. No one disputes that our hardworking city employees deserve a cost of living increase and in many cases, a performance increase in their wages, but these are not normal economic times.

As a small business owner in Mankato I am anticipating a 30 percent or more decrease in my income this year. I have had to lay off my employees, so they will also be experiencing a decrease in their income.

There are many taxpayers in Mankato and across the country in the same situation. We all deserve cost of living increases, but that does not mean that we will get them.

Those approved wage increases are paid by taxpayers, many of whom have lost jobs or are dealing with wage freezes or declines. We cannot afford to pay more taxes to cover the increases at this time. Our federal and state governments recognize this and are promoting wage freezes across the board.

We all need to share in the financial pains of the recession and prosper when the economy grows.

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