Bennett’s peanuts economics makes monkeys out of most of us |

Bennett’s peanuts economics makes monkeys out of most of us

The Record-Courier Staff

We raised a collective eyebrow this week at Carson Water Subconservancy District director Kay Bennett’s discussion of the salary for the agency’s new general manager, Ed James.

Ms. Bennett, also a Carson City supervisor, lobbied for a salary at the high end of the $60,000 to $85,000 range offered for the new general manager’s two-year contract.

Her reasoning?

“We’re asking this fellow to take on a huge, huge amount of responsibility. You pay peanuts and you know what you get? Monkeys,” Bennett told fellow directors on Tuesday.

Even our own Jacques Etchegoyhen cautioned against paying James a mediocre salary. A rancher calling $60,000 a year “mediocre?”

Three of the directors argued that $82,500 – which was approved – is too close to the top of the range, and that it will take James at least a year to be up to speed.

James is expected to start work later this year. He lists more than 17 years of experience in water management and planning positions in California and Colorado.

The subconservancy district addresses Carson River-related issues in Carson City, Lyon and Douglas counties, and its board of directors is made up of representatives from those areas.

So, where’s the cutoff between monkeys and mediocre? How many of us can say we have truly evolved?

What does this make our own public employees who toil for far less than $82,500?

For example, look at Douglas County’s salary range: Sheriff Ron Pierini ($60,000)? District Attorney Scott Doyle ($72,360)? Clerk-treasurer Barbara Reed ($51,360)?

If you apply Ms. Bennett’s logic – monkeys, monkeys, monkeys.

What about those of us laboring in the sea-monkey range?

What Ms. Bennett may be overlooking is that it takes a heck of a lot of us monkeys working for peanuts to pay Mr. James. Perhaps she ought to read “Planet of the Apes.”

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