By Jeff Gallatin
City officials are taking the first steps toward restoring administration and City Council salaries toward levels they were before 2009, when they were cut as part of efforts to combat a tight budget in the Great Recession.
City Council was scheduled to consider at its meeting last night an ordinance with the restored pay scale for the term scheduled to start Jan. 1, 2014, for the mayor and finance director as well as City Council president and the four council ward positions, all of which are up for election later this year. As proposed, it would restore salaries to pre-2009 levels in 2014, then add pay increases of 2 percent for each of the next three years. Since the law director’s position was moved from a full-time position to part time in the last election, the proposal would increase the law director’s salary $5,000, to $59,990 in 2014, with 2 percent hikes in each of the three years after that.
By law, salaries for the elected administration and City Council positions must be set before the start of each four-year term.
Paul Barker, chairman of City Council’s Finance Committee, said the salary changes mirror those given to full-time city employees in their recent contracts.
“We asked all the city employees to take the pay cuts and make concessions, including furlough days and other measures, in 2009 because of the bad economic conditions,” he said. “Those cuts and budget changes saved us a lot of money and other layoffs. Council and the administration took a leadership role and also took cuts. Now the economy is getting better, and we’ve been restoring the employees’ cuts in their contracts, so we’re proposing restoring the cuts to the administration and council ward position salaries, and look to do the same for the (council) at-large positions in two years.”
As proposed the salaries are as follows:
• Mayor, 2014, $96,928; 2015, $98,866; 2016, $100,843; 2017, $102,860
• Finance director, 2014, $94,810; 2015, $96,706; 2016, $98,640; 2017, $100,613
• Law director, 2014, $59,990; 2015, $61,189; 2016, $62,413; 2017, $63,661;
• Council president, 2014, $12,742; 2015, $12,996; 2016, $13,256; 2017, $13,521
• Ward council members, 2014, $12,742; 2015, $12,996; 2016, $13,256; 2017, $13,521