In the spirit of free speech, in the attempt to resist political correctness, consider paraphrase of Mark Twain's alleged quotation: "In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made politicians." In the alleged original quotation, Twain says, "Then he made school boards."

Public schools in Twain's era were creeping out of the cocoon of parental dominance. Twain was a cranky iconoclastic thinker and humorist who if you remember Tom or Huck, resisted conformity.

If the president of City Council is asked and refuses to donate $1,000 of his salary to an IRS recognized local charity, the president risks losing his $1,000 perquisite, which he's awarded in addition to his $15,000 salary. If the president donates $1,000, he earns $15,000 annually, the exact amount all City Council members earn.

If, as alleged, City Council members are overpaid, why introduce what amounts to an involuntary donation, which applies to the president only?

Because it doesn't come out of his pocket?

Better to pay each member $14,000? Better to voluntarily donate to charity?

Let each member decide to donate to a charitable institution irrespective of place of incorporation. Not all charitable institutions function efficiently. Avoid institutions that keep more donations than they distribute.

The cited Stow Sentry report includes, by way of comparison, "Hudson council members receive $1,920, with nothing extra for the president."

If charity begins at home is true, and if government purpose is to serve people efficiently, government should avoid the motivation and the appearance of a charitable institution.

Taxpayers who suspect government spendthrift polices are not mean-spirited.

Jim Skeese, Stow