At Tuesday night’s Town Council meeting, it became clear that something was very much amiss. Our Town Council voted 5-2 to give their CEO, Town Manager Grady Miller, a 20% salary increase. So now, with benefits, he will be making well over $200,000 annually.

By comparison, other municipalities much larger than Fountain Hills’ 25,000 population do not pay their executives at that level.

Miller for several years has held the top job at Town Hall. He is hired by and reports to the Town Council. Beginning in 2018, his salary began jumping dramatically and our concerns soared.

For example, the Daybreak project to build multi-story apartments on Shea and Palisades was pushed through by Town staff under the manager’s direction for approval. Massive numbers of citizens opposed Daybreak, though their voices were ignored by the council, who voted to approve the project.

Citizens jumped into action. Our neighbors and friends gathered signatures for a ballot referendum to put the matter before voters to reverse the council’s action. The vote was a massive defeat for Town Hall, the liberal elements on council, and a big win for us citizens.

This is not the only time citizens have had to fight tone-deaf Town Hall. Now we are demanding accountability, transparency and financial responsibility in our town’s government.

This salary increase is not limited to the town manager, it is just the tip of the iceberg. There are others who make over six figures under poor stewardship of the majority on this council.

Only council members Spelich and Friedel can be counted on to hold the line.