It seemed the mayor was trying out an April Fools’ joke in suggesting Roanoke City Council raise taxes and his salary. Sadly, he is serious.
It is moments like the one that occurred Monday more than seven hours into a Roanoke City Council meeting that cause people to wonder how Mayor David Bowers keeps getting elected.
The next opportunity to silence him won’t come for three years, but Roanokers ought to give Bowers an earful in the coming weeks in response to his dual call to raise their taxes and give him and council members a pay raise. Surely the mayor jests, speaking as he did on April 1. But then Councilmen Sherman Lea and Bill Bestpitch were well-rehearsed and foolishly backed the mayor on pay raises. Bestpitch went so far as to suggest they could draw the maximum allowed by law. This would boost his city salary $6,440 to $23,000; the mayor would get a $5,000 bump to $25,000, and city taxpayers would shell out a total of $48,640 more to their elected leaders.