The question, in my mind, is not why do you make so much money? The question is how will citizens actually believe you are worth it. I know city staffers are worth the money. I've had first hand experience. Council members often contort themselves every which way, vying for the opportunity to compliment city staff in meetings. But, I am not sure that works in inspiring public confidence in city staff. It seems too cozy to me when I watch on tv or am sitting in the public gallery of council chambers.
Councillors often feel sheepish asking tough questions of senior city staff at council meetings. I know I often did when I was on council. But, this may be the best opportunity for city staff to really show their stuff.
I also think part of the role of a councillor is to ask tough questions on behalf of the public. Early on in my council term, we were given the opportunity to choose a piece of City of Kamloops clothing. A rationale given by one staffer was that we were now representing city hall in the community. I think it's the other way around.