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May 26, 1979 - Image 4

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Michigan Daily, 1979-05-26

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Page 4-Saturday, May 26, 1979-The Michigan Daily
I THE WEEK IN REVIFW

A2 adopts budget
After nearly a month of highly
politicized deliberations, City Council
Thursday night adopted a $43.8 million
operation budget for 1979-80. Included
in the document was a Republican-
proposed half mill reduction in proper-
ty taxes.
The Republican-dominated body also
hiked sewer and water rates by 12 and
18 per cent respectively. A homeowner
with property assessed at $30,000 stands
to pay $15 less in taxes next year, while
the water bill for that home inceases by
about $17. Due to the offset effect of
those adjustments, Democrats
criticized the tax cut as a "sham" to
make voters think they had done them a
favor. First Ward Republican Coun-
cilman Edward Hood responded to the
charge by saying the Democrats'
comments confused him, and he asked
incredulously if they would rather have
raised taxes.
Council also decided to conduct
property assessment on an annual in-
stead of biannual basis, hereafter. It
also moved to eliminate high-paying
clerical positions at City Hall by at-
trition.
Council also directed City Ad-
ministrator Sylvester Murray to
examine the cost-effectiveness and
feasibility of contracting out City refuse
collection. And Murray is also supposed
to look at the cost of alternate health in-
surance programs to the present Blue
Cross/Blue Shield coverage city em-
ployees now receive.
Council Republicans rejected eight
proposals sponsored by Democrat
Councilwoman Leslie Morris to
eliminate several administrative
positions. She said the motions did not
reflect Democratic priorities or her
personal priorities, but merely
illustrated Republican disinclination to
save our citizens money wasted on un-
necessary administrative positions.
The positions she wanted to cut were:
assistant planning director, manager
of park planning, deputy fire marshall,
manager of field services in the parks
department', the chief assistant city at-
torney, and the communications super-
visor in the radio shop. The other two

motions dealt with use of funds saved
by eliminating those positions. The
other Democrats did not support most
of those proposals, nor did they vote for
the amended budget which the seven
Republicans voted to adopt.
The operating budget includes a 6Sper
cent increase in wages for city em-
ployees which may change through ar-
bitration later this year.
Death penalty imposed
After five appeals to the Supreme
Court and several delays, John Spenke-
link lost his life in Florida's electric
chair yesterday. He was the first death
row prisoner to be executed since a
firing squad killed Gary Gillmore on
Jan. 17, 1977.
Spenkelink's death and court actions
leading to it brought capital punish-
ment back into the public's eye, and has
aroused renewed interest in gover-
nment-ordered executions. But even
though the entire affair shocked the
nation, a recent poll showed nearly two-
thirds of Americans support the death
penalty.
Few of the other 522 members of the
nation's death row population have
execution dates set, Spenkelink's
death has obvious implications for their
futures. Spenkelink's attorney Margie
Pitts Hames commented on the state's
determination to kill her former client,
and said the state's overwhelming
power "is coming down on everybody's
head."
On Tuesday, U.S. Supreme Court
Justices William Rehnquist and John
Paul Stevens turned down defense at-
torney attempts to save Spenkelink,
before Justice Thurgood Marshall, who
morally opposes the death penalty,
stayed the execution.
In 1977, a last minute court order
saved the convicted murderer, whose
sentence was imposed for the 1973 mur-
der of Joseph Syzmankiewicz. Delays
caused by repeated attempts to save
Spenkelink's life have evoked questions
See DEATH, Page 5
Week-in-Review was written by Editor-in-
Chief Elizabeth Slowik and Editorial Direc-
tor Judy Rakowsky.

...

Eighty-nine Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI. 48109
Vol. LXXXIX, No. 19-S News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students
at the University of Michigan

'U' rmust reveal salaries by name

W IEN THE State Appropriations Committee requested that
the University reveal a comlete list of staff salaries by
name this week, they put pressure on University officials to break
a long-standing tradition of keeping such personal information
confidential. But that tradition has few redeeming qualities and
must be broken.
Many University administrators and faculty members have
said that it is an infringement on personal privacy for the Univer-
sity to make public the individual salaries of all personnel.
However, many public officials are required to disclose their
salaries and other universities in the state have released staff
salaries by name for many years.
"We have no reason not to comply with a state-request," said an
official from Western Michigan University. "We've released
salaries by name for a number of years:".
The release of such information is invaluable in assessing
discrepancies within and between departments and colleges. It
might also show salary relationships at the University by sex and
ethnic background-depending on the manner in which the infor-
mation is compiled. It is imperative that this data be disclosed, for
without it, there is danger the University may be able to conceal
unfair or unethical payment practices.
It is unclear what powers the committee has to coerce the
University -into revealing salaries by name. Its members have

said they hope the University will supply the information
requested without incident. This University is admittedly more
powerful and prestigious than WMU and some of the other in-
stitutions which have already complied. It is hoped that Univer-
sity officials will not take advantage of that fact by stubbornly
refusing to comply.
A good example of the way in which such information would.be
used was demonstrated recently when the Grand Rapids Free
Press asked Grand Valley State College to release personal wage
information so that a comparison could be made between the
salaries of male and female professors at the college. When the
college refused to make such a disclosure, the newspaper asked
the Senate Appropriations Committee to demand the release of
that information. That college has now complied with the com-
mittee's demands, and it is only fair that other universities in the
state also make comparable lists available.
Michigan taxpayers and members of the University community
are entitled to know how their dollars are being spent. Tuition
costs are rising at an incredible rate, and the legislature under-
standably is becoming concerned with the manner in which the
public schools spend state money.
It is apparent the University can no longer keep such salary in-
formation confidential any longer, and it is in the best interests of
students and citizens in the state of Michigan that such data be,
released'as soon as possible.

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