March 18, 2018

Salaries of Mayor, Council Nearly Double in April

   Voting in April of 2016, the Mayor and City Council raised their salaries to nearly double effective April, 2018. Because a sitting City Council can't raise their own pay, the salary increases will take effect this year, just a few weeks after the city will ask voters to approve a new "use tax" for most purchases made online. 

   Election Day for the tax vote is Tuesday, April 3.

   This April, Mayor Weir will begin receiving $40,000 a year and City Councilpersons will get $20,000 each per year. All will be given a $500 per month car allowance. As is the current policy, those salaries will increase by $500 automatically every 4 years. During her first term in office, Mayor Weir earned $29,999 and members of the Council received, on average, $11,500.

   The 2016 vote to raise salaries was close. Incumbent candidate for an At-Large seat in the April election, Karen DeLuccie, voted against the pay raise citing raised service fees, unfunded positions and other city employees she believed deserved raises.  The 2016 City Council passed the pay raise by a vote of 4-3, with Mayor Weir voting in favor. It was made clear at the time that the pay raises could be rescinded in the event that the economic situation in 2018 was not as optimistic as they were expecting it to be.

   At the City Council meeting on March 5 of this year Lucy Young, a former At-Large Councilperson  elected three times between 1998 and 2010, addressed the City Council and spoke at length about the financial problems facing the city, citing the Bass Pro Shop TIFF and questioning the logic and cost of building the new Farmer's Market at its chosen location. She said that pay for elected city representatives was kept where it was to prevent councilpersons from becoming "career politicians" and asked that a motion be made to rescind the upcoming pay raises.

   After Young spoke, Mayor Weir thanked her and asked the members of the Council for comments. The subject was quickly changed and Ms. Young's comments were not addressed in any way No motion was made to rescind the upcoming pay raise.

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