The Statesman's Kevin Richert opined that Gov Otter ought to give back his $4,500 monthly housing stipend, given the hard times and all. (I'd link to this, but can't find it on the Statesman's website.)
I'm of mixed minds on this. On one hand, I understand that the stipend is designed for governors who don't live nearby, so they don't have to maintain a second home at their own expense. Otter, who lives in Star, doesn't have to maintain a second home, so him accepting the stipend is a bit like Sarah Palin charging Alaska a per diem to stay in her home.
On the other hand, I think at least part of the stipend is to allow a governor to have a place to entertain in association with official state functions. A state reception or dinner, or the like. I believe that Otter has used his home for this, though I can't say for sure. (Perhaps I'm remembering a Republican Party function there, which is troubling if true, given that the stipend could be seen as supporting this function.)
On the third hand, I don't really like the idea of asking state employees, even ones at the top, to bear the brunt of budget shortfalls. People vote for fiscally conservative legislators, and they accordingly try to keep the budget lean. When state employees don't get raises, or take days without pay, they still deliver the services of the agency they're working for, so taxpayers don't experience the effect of budget problems.
If we just eliminated some service altogether, so that taxpayers felt the effect of fiscal conservatism, perhaps they'd vote to return the service. This is kind of a spiteful "I'll show you" idea, and will probably not happen. But it illustrates my point, that state employees tend to be used to perpetuate the political status quo. And so, if the Gov is entitled under the current law to a stipend, I say let him have it. If we don't like that, change the law to exclude Governors within commuting distance, but don't game the system by asking Otter, or any state employee, to make sacrifices that aren't asked of others.