A lot of Sedgwick County residents have gone a while without raises. On Tuesday night, Jim Skelton won a $48,000 raise for himself. As a Wichita City Council member, Skelton has earned $34,865 a year. When he joins the Sedgwick County Commission, he will be paid $83,718 annually — more than even Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer earns. In his new role, Skelton will be in a unique position to help settle the city-county dispute over jail fees, for example, and avoid more spats like the one last summer over a federal crime-fighting grant. Perhaps he also can provide answers to questions that have nagged at many citizens over the years: Why are County Commission jobs full time and generously paid, while City Council members are considered part-timers and paid accordingly? And would the public be better served and scarce dollars better used by one consolidated city-county government?
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