Elected officials say no to their own raises
Clintonville administrator concerned about candidate recruitment
By Bert Lehman
After considering a $480 salary increase for Clintonville City Council members and the mayor, the city’s finance committee took no action on the recommendation.
Clintonville City Administrator Sharon Eveland told the finance committee Oct. 30 that she conducted research after some suggested increasing pay for city council members and the mayor.
She said Clintonville is neither the highest nor lowest in pay compared to cities of similar size. The pay has not been increased in over a decade.
Eveland recommended the city increase the salary by $480 a year for the mayor and each city council member. If approved, she said the increase would not go into effect until after the next election for each council seat. The same applies to the increase for the mayor.
Currently city council members are paid $2,500 per year. The salary was last increased in 2002. Prior to the last increase, council members were paid $2,200.
The mayor of Clintonville is currently paid $5,250 per year. The mayor’s salary was last increased from $2,700 in 1996.
Committee member Brad Rokus recommended the council and mayor salaries remain the same with no increase.
Committee member Jim Supanich also recommended the council salaries remain the same, but was open to an increase for the salary of the mayor.
Clintonville Mayor Richard Beggs said he “could care less” if the mayoral salary is increased.
“I think this is something people do because they believe in public service and it’s a voluntary elected position, and that’s different than all the people that we did the salary studies for,” said Mike Hankins, finance committee chairman. “This is their day job and I think that’s very different. So, I’m also against [pay increases for council members and the mayor].”
Committee member Brandon Braden said he didn’t think more people would seek elected positions if the salaries were increased.
Hankins added that he doesn’t want people to run for an elected position just because of the amount of the salary of the position.
“I think we get good people if they want to do it, and hopefully the salary isn’t the determining factor,” Hankins said. “If it is, I don’t know if that’s the person we want.”
Eveland said she was not going to fight for an increase in city council and mayor salaries.
“I wouldn’t have proposed it if I didn’t think it was the right move,” Eveland said. “This isn’t just about you guys individually, this is about the positions.”
She said some residents may want to run for elected positions, but they can’t afford to take off work to attend meetings.
“I just think this needs to be looked at as a long-term issue, and outside of our own little box of what we’re used to,” Eveland said. “But again, if you guys don’t want to do it, that’s $480 I can throw somewhere else in our budget.”
The committee dismissed the discussion without any member making a motion for the salary increases.