Clarification on mayor's pay increase
October 29, 2020
To The Eagle:
Last week’s Eagle mentioned the Town Council recently voted to increase the mayor’s salary $250 per month. The reason behind this is not based on his performance and to avoid further questions, needs to be explained.
Town Councilors are paid $50 per month and the mayor is paid $250 per month. This pay ordinance has evidently been in place since the early 70’s. In late 2018, the previous council started discussion to update these monthly payments to more current standards. After much back and forth, our new council resumed taking up the issue and voted to increase their payment to $100/month, a 100 percent increase. Fifty dollars over 50 years seems reasonable to most anyone. To avoid any apparent appearance of conflict of interest though, the council also added the provision that any current councilors would not receive any of the new payment increase while serving in their current term. Since the mayor’s pay is tied to the same ordinance that details the council’s pay, he too gets an automatic 100 percent pay increase, thus the $250 increase.
The town council sets policy, and the mayor runs the town. These are two, separate functions so the mayor does not vote on town policy. Since the new payment applies only to new, incoming council members, that would mean the mayor’s increase would automatically apply in January, 2021 (in 60 days).
Some of us thought the current mayor getting a pay increase was both unjustified and inappropriate. Accordingly, the ordinance revision was changed to have the mayor’s compensation increase delayed to January, 2022. This way, in the November 2021 elections, town voters can hire the mayor they think deserves the $500/month payment, which is fair for a mayor, providing that person is actively involved running the town.
Please note that I don’t write this representing either the town or it’s council. I’m writing this for information sake only, and all details mentioned are easily available at the town hall through the Public Information Act.