The salaries of Centerville's City Council members should be raised $25 a month this summer if it can be done without raising taxes, a citizens committee recommends.
But the mayor's salary should stay where it is, as should the pay scale for members of the city's planning commission and board of adjustment, the committee recommends.The subject of pay raises for city officials first came up last November when Councilmen Steve Mangel and Kent Lindsey suggested increases were in order.
Their proposal and a subsequent public hearing in December showed the council split on the issue. Mayor Michael Kjar and council members Bruce Erickson and Nancy Gibbs opposed any increase, saying it would detract from the public service connected with the city job.
But Mangel, Lindsey, and Michael Barton said while they agree that public service is a large part of it, the time and effort involved in serving on the council should be acknowledged with a higher salary.
The mayor currently earns $600 a month, or $7,200 annually, split equally between salary and a travel allowance. Council members are paid $175 a month, or $2,100 annually. Their pay is broken down to $50 a month salary and $125 for travel.
Mangel proposed an increase last fall while reviewing the city's compensation package. With a change in the federal tax code, dividing the compensation into salary and a travel allowance is no longer necessary.
Mangel recommended the travel allowance stipulation be dropped and that the mayor and council be paid a flat salary, plus a bonus for attending each council meeting to encourage participation.
Under his proposal, the mayor would have earned up to $9,600 annually and council members up to $3,600.
The December public hearing drew a large crowd, including some former mayors and council members. But they, too, were divided in their opinion on compensation vs. public service.
As a compromise, the council agreed to appoint a study committee of citizens to look at the issue, including compensation packages in other comparably-sized cities, and report back to the council.
Committee chairman Earl J. Banner said his group's consensus is that council members should be boosted $25 a month and the mayor and other city officials should stay at their current level. And members of the city's historic sites committee should serve without pay, the committee recommends.