Officeholders are elected to serve public
The concept is simple: Ironton voters elect their representatives to actually lead the city. So those who do not fulfill that responsibility will lose some of their compensation.
That is the approach that will soon be enforced by the Ironton Finance Department when it comes to city councilmen or councilwomen.
The law that has been in place since 1985 dictates that council members who miss more than three regular meetings in a calendar year must forfeit half of the monthly compensation if there are any subsequent absences.
Since the individuals are only paid $120 per month — $200 for the vice mayor — this really isn’t about the money, but it certainly sends a strong message that those who stand up to represent the citizens will be held accountable when it comes to their attendance.
Mayor Rich Blankenship and others have expressed concerns that chronic absences have become a problem and often hinder timely votes on key issues.
Taking this step to address the financial compensation is a good start, but it may not even be strong enough.
Council should consider either implementing a law — or enforcing it if one is already in place — to address attendance problems if it shows there is a dereliction of duties.
At some point, individuals who cannot attend the meetings and fulfill his or her responsibilities as an elected representative may need to be replaced.
Serving as a city council representative is a mostly thankless job and the compensation doesn’t come close to outweighing the work required to truly serve the citizens of Ironton.
But that is the job for which these men and women signed up. They owe it to the citizens to give 100 percent.